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Quick & Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce requires only a handful of ingredients and is ready in 15 minutes. This essential sauce is perfect for pasta, meatballs, or dipping bread sticks.
Everyone needs a good Italian sauce recipe in their collection. This recipe is it! I have different sauce recipes in my collection, but this is my go to recipe I use over and over again. I use it when making spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, chicken Parmesan, and as a dipping sauce for bread sticks or mozzarella sticks. It really is the best sauce because it is so easy and quick. Plus the best part, it is especially DELICIOUS!
5 Ingredients in Quick & Easy Marinara Sauce from Scratch
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Minced Garlic
- Crushed Tomatoes, canned
- Fresh Basil
- Sugar or Honey, optional
What if I don't have any fresh basil, only dried?
No worries, you can substitute dried basil. I usually substitute 1 teaspoon dried basil for every tablespoon of fresh.
What is the difference between Marinara Sauce and Spaghetti Sauce?
Honestly not much at all, both are tomato based sauces. Marinara sauce is usually simpler, made with less ingredients. Spaghetti sauce will typically have onions, oregano and sometimes other vegetables and spices cooked in the sauce.
Can I use fresh tomatoes?
Yes, but the sauce will not be quick and easy. If you are looking to make fresh tomato sauce, you will need to blanch the tomatoes, peel them, get rid of the seeds, and then crush them. After you crush them you will need to simmer them awhile to thicken up. If you need to use up a bunch of tomatoes, then by all means make your own crushed tomatoes. To keep the recipe quick and easy, start with a good can of crushed tomatoes.
How to Make Homemade Marinara Sauce
This recipe is so incredibly easy and will be ready before the pasta is!
First, heat the oil in a medium sized sauce pot and then saute the garlic for a minute or two until it is really fragrant. I love the smell of garlic!
Next, add the tomatoes and salt. If using, add the sugar or honey now too. Stir it all together and let simmer partially covered on low for 15 minutes, stirring often.
Once simmered, remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil and use it however your recipe calls for.
Told ya it was super easy! Don't under estimate the simple recipes. This recipe is so easy but still so flavorful.
Tips for the Best Homemade Marinara Sauce
- Use a good brand of canned tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are the most flavorful and naturally sweet, but can be a bit hard to find in some grocery stores. Use your favorite brand from your store.
- I normally add the sugar because my grocery store doesn't carry San Marzano tomatoes. Taste your tomatoes, if they are too acidic add the sugar/honey.
- Fresh basil has the best flavor, but depending on the season it might not be available. Use dried. Substitute 1 teaspoon dried basil for every tablespoon of fresh called for in the recipe. Also, when using dried basil add it in with the garlic, sauteing it will wake it up.
- If you like a little heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce when you add the salt.
- This recipe will make enough for a 6 person meal, double or triple the batch and freeze the leftovers! It freezes well and tastes just as great thawed.
How to Freeze Easy Marinara Sauce
Let the sauce cool completely and add to freezer safe containers or jars, leaving a one inch head space. There needs to be room available for the sauce to expand while freezing. Or you can freeze the sauce in freezer safe zip top bags and freeze the sauce flat for easy storing in the freezer.
To thaw: take the sauce out the night before and thaw in the refrigerator.
My Favorite Recipes to use Marinara Sauce with...
Try a from scratch recipe and give this Quick & Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce a try on some pasta and let me know how you like it in the comments below! Pictures encouraged on Instagram with the hashtag #heathershomemadekitchen You can also follow me on Social Media to see what other crazy things my family and I are doing! If you like what you see, please share with your friends and family!
Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later!
Quick & Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, optional
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- pinch red pepper flakes, optional
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized sauce pot.
- Add the garlic and saute for a minute or until really fragrant.
- Stir in the tomatoes and salt. (Add the sugar and red pepper flakes now, if using)
- Let the sauce simmer, partially covered for 15 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil.
- Serve on pasta, meatballs or add to ground meat to make a meat sauce. Enjoy!
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