A fast and easy recipe for Marinara Sauce using fresh or canned tomatoes, with garlic, onions and oregano and basil cooked on the stovetop in under 30 minutes. Use this classic Marinara Sauce on pasta, pizza or meatballs. Video! 

A fast and easy recipe for Marinara Sauce using fresh or canned tomatoes, with garlic, onions and oregano and basil cooked on the stovetop in under 30 minutes. Use this classic Marinara Sauce on pasta, pizza or meatballs. Learning to live with ambiguity is learning to live with how life really is, full of complexities and strange surprises. ~James Hollis

Harvest season is upon us and many of you have been very busy making our Roasted Tomato Sauce, but I wanted to share a very quick and easy recipe for Marinara Sauce that can be made on the stovetop in no time flat. Perfect for busy weeknights. It’s full of flavor and couldn’t be more delicious.

It can either be made with fresh, ripe summer tomatoes or canned San Marzano tomatoes when tomatoes are no longer in abundance. The recipe makes the same amount of marinara sauce you would get in a jar of store-bought marinara sauce- roughly 3 cups.

If you happen to be lucky enough to have a garden full of tomatoes, make a big batch and freeze the Marinara sauce to pull out during the cold months.

Easy Marinara Sauce | 60-sec Video

 

A fast and easy recipe for Marinara Sauce using fresh or canned tomatoes, with garlic, onions and oregano and basil cooked on the stovetop in under 30 minutes. Use this classic Marinara Sauce on pasta, pizza or meatballs. Freeze for the winter months!

Ingredients in Marinara Sauce:

  •  olive oil
  • onion or shallot
  • garlic cloves
  • chili flakes
  • 2 pounds juicy tomatoes or 28-ounce can San Marzano Tomatoes
  • oregano ( fresh or dried)
  •  salt and pepper
  • fresh basil leaves, torn
  • optional- tomato paste

Ingredients in marinara sauce- tomatoes, garlic, onions or shallots, olive oil, oregano and fresh basil

You’ll need 2 lbs of fresh tomatoes or one 28-ounce can of San Marzano Tomatoes.

use canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes

How to make Marinara Sauce

Quarter the tomatoes and add to a blender

Step 1: Prep the tomatoes

A fast and easy way to prep fresh tomatoes is simply to blend them up, skins and all. Yup, I know, this is not traditional but it is really time-saving – and I happen to like, even prefer the skins in here because they contain a higher concentration of healthy flavanols ( see #10).

Pulse the tomato until chopped up

Alternatively, you can slice the tomatoes in half and grate them, leaving the tomato skins out. This is also relatively fast and easy.

Grating the tomatoes on a grater

In either case, you’ll end up with roughly four cups of tomatoes, which will end up reducing down to three.

Step 2: Saute!

Saute the shallot or onion in a generous amount of olive oil for a few minutes, then add the garlic.

onions and garlic sauteing in a pan with olive oil

Add the chili flakes.

add chili flakes

Add oregano.

add oregano

Add the grated or blended tomatoes, salt and pepper.  ( See recipe notes for canned Tomatoes)

simmer the sauce on the stove

Step 3: Simmer!

Simmer the Marinara Sauce uncovered on the stovetop for 10-minutes over medium heat, until reduced by one cup.

add the basil

Add the fresh basil.

adjust the seasonings

Step 4: Taste and Adjust Seasonings

If your fresh tomato sauce lacks sweetness stir in some tomato paste (or maple syrup or honey) to sweeten. Adjust salt, pepper and chili flakes to your liking.

use tomato paste to add sweetness

In the end, you’ll have enough sauce for a batch of pasta or several pizzas.

How to store Marinara Sauce:

The Marinara Sauce will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Marinara Sauce can also be frozen in a mason jar – just be sure to leave an inch of headroom for expansion.

A fast and easy recipe for Marinara Sauce using fresh or canned tomatoes, with garlic, onions and oregano and basil cooked on the stovetop in under 30 minutes. Use this classic Marinara Sauce on pasta, pizza or meatballs. 

I know you’ll find a lot of uses for this Easy Marinara Sauce recipe. Tuck it in your back pocket!

Have a beautiful weekend friends!

xoxo

Sylvia

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A fast and easy recipe for Marinara Sauce using fresh or canned tomatoes, with garlic, onions and oregano and basil cooked on the stovetop in under 30 minutes. Use this classic Marinara Sauce on pasta, pizza or meatballs. 

Classic Marinara Sauce

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: sauce, vegan
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A fast and easy recipe for Marinara Sauce using fresh or canned tomatoes, with garlic, onions and oregano and basil cooked on the stovetop in under 30 minutes. Use this classic Marinara Sauce on pasta, pizza or meatballs.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shallots or 1 cup onions, diced
  • 46 garlic cloves
  • pinch chili flakes (or up to 1/4 teaspoon for a nice kick)
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes (or 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes- see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt,more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, more to taste
  • 810 basil leaves, torn
  • optional: 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey

Instructions

Prep the tomatoes: If using fresh tomatoes, quarter them and blend in a blender. Alternatively, slice them in half and grate the flesh, leaving the skins behind.

Saute: In a saute pan, saute shallot or onion over medium heat, for just a few minutes until just tender and fragrant, add the garlic, saute 1-2 minutes. Add the chili flakes and stir for one minute. Add the oregano, and give a stir. Add the tomatoes and all their juices. (If using canned tomatoes, break them apart with a metal spatula as best you can and add all the juice from the can-then add one cup of water rinsing out the can. ) Stir in the salt and pepper.

Simmer: Bring to a simmer, uncovered, and simmer gently 8-10 minutes over medium-low heat,  stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to reduce and thicken. Reduce by one cup ( so you’ll end up with 3 cups).  If you used the canned whole tomatoes, feel free to blend with an immersion blender.

Stir in the torn basil leaves. Taste, adjust salt, pepper and chili flakes, adding more if you like. If your sauce lacks sweetness, stir in some tomato paste and/or maple syrup.  If your sauce seems watery, just continue to cook it gently uncovered for a few more minutes. If it gets too thick add a splash of water, or if too sweet, balance it with a few drops of vinegar.

Use on pasta or spaghetti or on meatballs. To use as a pizza sauce, cook it down just a few more minutes, to thicken a little more if you like. 😉


Notes

The sauce will keep 4 days in the fridge- or can be frozen. If freezing the sauce in a mason jar, leave 1-inch headroom for expansion.

If your fresh tomatoes are acidic, a reader suggested adding finely diced carrots along with the onions to help sweeten the sauce naturally. Love this idea!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 154
  • Sugar: 7.6 g
  • Sodium: 305.3 mg
  • Fat: 11.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.9 g
  • Protein: 2.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Marinara Sauce Recipe, easy marinara sauce, quick marinara sauce

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Hello. I am always happy with any recipe I have tried & appreciate your expertise. I plan to make this recipe & am interested in canning it rather than freezing. How long would it need in a water bath to preserve it for winter use? Thanks.

    1. Hi Arleen, I’m not a canning expert. If anyone else is out there, would love some suggestions!

  2. Easy recipe and delicious – thank you! I used canned diced Roma tomatoes, a little less onion than recipe calls for(2/3 vs 1 cup), added 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and found the result full of flavor. I typically have all these ingredients in the house so this will be my go to marinara recipe.

  3. Lovely. It has so much flavor in such a quick sauce! It’s funny how important the tomato paste is for depth. I’ll try it again with canned tomatoes in the off-season or maybe go half and half. It’s perfect with the Italian Baked Beans and Greens!

  4. Simple and fresh! I added a bit of red wine and a spoonful of calabrian chiles instead of chill flakes, it turned out great.

  5. great easy recipe that used up some of my tomato bounty. thanks for the pureeing suggestion. I hadn’t thought of that & it worked great. I learned a trick for cutting the acidity of tomato sauce from an Italian chef. add some finely diced carrot to the sauce along with the onion. after years of using a bit of brown sugar or more salt to tone it down I’ve been able to skip it thanks to the carrot. I love all your recipes and am a faithful follower-thanks for all the effort.

  6. I’m just making my second batch! It’s amazing, taste like the sauce in Italy. Thank you fir the recipe

  7. nice recipe however dry herbs should be rubbed between palms. then added to the olive oil stir several times to release their flavorful oils , then add a good squeeze of tubed tomato paste bout a tablespoon stir breaking it up so it cooks then add other ingredients stir altogether follow recipe from there

        1. Yes I did. 🙂 I always love your comments Joseph, they show the passion you have for cooking.

  8. This was wonderful. I only had about half the fresh tomatoes from my garden, so I added a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes after I blended them up. What a great and easy idea to get the taste of the fresh tomatoes without all the skinning and seeding. The herbs and spices were just right. I went to the heavy side of the chili flakes and it was perfect. Definitely adding to my rotation. I had a little bit with some roasted pecorino zucchini for a light supper.