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Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe

This homemade marinara sauce is delicious, either with meat or all by itself mixed with pasta. It’s so easy to make you may choose to use this instead of ready-made sauce in the future. This is a delicious sauce to add to either homemade or frozen meatballs.

Plate of spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce

I recommend reading this entire post before you start the recipe. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can click on the jump-to-recipe button beneath the title. That will take you to a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Simple Marinara Sauce

This is a simple recipe that anyone can follow. Yes, I realize that there are much more sophisticated and complicated recipes out there.

But there are times when simple is best. And this recipe is absolutely delicious with all of the flavors you expect from marinara.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Ingredients

There are only 5 necessary ingredients in this sauce. However, I add more to suit my personal taste.

Here are the essential ingredients for this recipe:

  • Can of tomatoes
  • Chopped onions
  • Minced garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Italian seasoning (or oregano)

This time, I added added a tiny bit of salt, a dash of pepper, a dash of crushed red pepper flakes, and a little bit of garlic powder. 

Crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, olive oil, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, chopped onions, salt, and pepper

For a sweeter sauce, you can add sugar, honey, or monk fruit. I prefer not to add the sweetener, but everyone has different tastes.

As always, I recommend trying the recipe as-is. Then, next time you make it, alter it to suit your family.

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

How to Make Homemade Marinara Sauce

This is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. It’s basically one step and then wait.

Put all of the ingredients into a medium-size saucepan, stir, and simmer for about 45 minutes.

All of the ingredients in a pot

That’s all.

Easy, right?

Cooked marinara sauce

You can cook it longer if you want, but it’s not necessary.

How to Use Marinara

There are so many different ways to use marinara, I can’t possibly list all of them. But I’ll give you a few recommendations.

First, there’s the obvious. Mix it with your favorite pasta or spiral-cut veggies for a delicious and traditional meal.

Plate of spaghetti with Parmesan cheese

Secondly, you can use it as pizza sauce. Add pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, olives, or whatever you like. Sprinkle with cheese, and you have a winner.

One of our favorite dishes is lasagna. We love this marinara with either ground beef or vegetable lasagna and a generous amount of cheese.

For a traditional meal of spaghetti and meatballs, you can make frozen meatballs taste homemade by adding it to this sauce. Or you can make your own meatballs if you prefer.

You can also mix a few cups of sautéed vegetables into the marinara and make soup. It’s really good when you also add elbow noodles or rice.

There are so many more things you can do with marinara. I want to encourage you to experiment a little and come up with something unique.

Pot of marinara sauce above a plate of spaghetti with marinara

Versatile Pizza or Pasta Sauce

Regardless of what you use this on, you’ll love the fact that you can alter the amount of each ingredient as you make it. Follow this recipe for your first batch and adjust according to your personal taste.

It’s really difficult to mess up this sauce because it’s so forgiving. However, taste it before you add salt.

One thing I’ve learned is that most canned tomatoes are loaded with sodium. Adding more might make it too salty for your taste. 

My husband and I like a lot of seasonings—especially pepper. So I typically add a touch more black pepper and some red pepper flakes to the sauce when I’m cooking for the two of us.

When we have dinner guests, especially if there are children, I back off the pepper. If children are eating with us, I don’t use any pepper.

We love the fact that this is a very versatile recipe. You can use it on homemade pizza or top your favorite pasta with it.

More Easy Recipes

If you enjoy Italian flavors, you’ll love this zucchini pasta sauce recipe. It gives you great nutritional value and amazing flavor.

We often eat salads with our meals. One that always goes with a marinara dish is this yummy Greek olive and feta salad.

You might also like this bacon lettuce and tomato salad. It’s easy and delivers a familiar taste that everyone loves.

Also, it’s nice to have a side of bread. Serve your dinner with garlic bread, either the traditional way or on this gluten-free cloud bread.

Delicious Dessert Ideas

While you’re planning your meal, don’t forget about dessert. This easy-to-make no-bake cherry lime pie is absolutely delicious!

Chocolate lovers will go crazy over my friend Julie’s brownie cake from her Back to My Southern Roots blog. All of her desserts are wonderful!

If you want an easy dessert that you can eat without a fork or spoon, try these flourless peanut butter cookies. They’re melt-in-your-mouth amazing!

Yield: 6 servings

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Plate of spaghetti marinara sauce

For the best pasta or pizza, use this homemade marinara sauce.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • One 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste (taste before salting)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (optional)
  • Optional sweetener (sugar, honey, or monk fruit crystals)


    1. Put all of the ingredients in a medium-size saucepan. Stir and cook for approximately 45 minutes on medium heat.
    2. Serve with your favorite pasta.


  • Since the can of tomatoes is likely to contain some sodium, taste your sauce before you add more salt.
  • If you want a smoother consistency, cool the mixture and blend it with an immersion blender or standard blender. Then heat it up when you’re ready to eat it.
  • If you want your marinara a tad sweeter, you can add a teaspoon of sugar, honey, or monk fruit sweetener.
  • You can refrigerate this marinara sauce for 3 days or freeze it for up to 5 months.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 98Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 0mgSodium 297mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 3g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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