Homemade Marinara Sauce

Aromatic and totally delicious, this homemade marinara sauce flavored with garlic and basil is a classic sauce recipe that can be used in so many ways!

Homemade marinara sauce

How to make marinara sauce

Marinara sauce can be made with either canned or fresh tomatoes. If you have beautiful, perfectly ripe in-season tomatoes then using them to make marinara sauce is a fantastic idea. However, if you can’t find ripe tomatoes using canned is completely fine. In fact, it’s the way I most often make marinara. I like to flavor my sauce with onion, garlic, basil, chilli (red pepper flakes) and a pinch of sugar. You could add other herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano too.

Cook the onion in a generous splash of olive oil until soft and translucent then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add whole, canned tomatoes or peeled fresh tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes, you’ll need to add half to 1 cup of stock or water to get the sauce started. Add the aromatics then lower the heat and simmer gently for at least 30 minutes but up to an hour with the lid ajar. Season to taste before using/storing.

Freezing and storing

  1. Freezing: Marinara sauce freezes very well. Allow cooked sauce to cool completely then transfer to freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before using.
  2. Storing: This sauce can be canned (preserved) if using proper canning procedure. Stored in an airtight jar, this sauce will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Homemade marinara sauce with fresh basil

How to use marinara sauce

  1. Vegetarian lasagna with basil pesto
  2. Pizza pasta bake
  3. Bolognese baked gnocchi
  4. Crispy fried mozzarella
  5. Easy Zucchini Parmesan


Marinara sauce in jars.

Sauce recipes

  1. Creamy Gorgonzola sauce
  2. Béchamel sauce
  3. Home-made Peri-Peri sauce
  4. Easy creamy pepper sauce
  5. Roasted tomato sauce

Marinara sauce

Aromatic and totally delicious, this homemade marinara sauce flavored with garlic and basil is a classic sauce recipe that can be used in so many ways!
4 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Marinara, Marinara sauce, Marinara sauce recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Calories: 31kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 12


  • 1 red onion finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1.6 kg (2 x 800g cans) whole tomatoes (2 x 28oz cans) Alternatively use 2kg (4lbs) fresh, peeled tomatoes.
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • ½-1 tsp chilli flakes / red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • Fry the onion in a few tablespoons of olive oil until soft and translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrants, approximately 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, basil, chilli flakes, salt, pepper and sugar. Reduce the heat and cook with the lid ajar for at least 30 minutes. For a more concentrated sauce, cook for up to 60 minutes. Check on the sauce regularly and add water if it looks too dry.
  • Adjust seasoning if necessary then use or store as needed.


Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 395mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1111IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg