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A serving spoon in a pan of homemade marinara sauce.

Homemade Marinara Sauce

This homemade marinara sauce is a blend of tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil and herbs, all simmered together to make a fresh and flavorful sauce. A quick and easy way to make your own pasta sauce that tastes way better than the store bought version!
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 93kcal
Author Sara Welch


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion finely diced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes coarsely crushed or chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil


  • Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes and all their juices from the can, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, fresh basil and 1/4 cup water.
  • Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until sauce has started to thicken. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Remove the basil sprigs and discard. This makes a chunky sauce. If you prefer a smooth sauce, you can puree some or all of it in a blender. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.



  1. Since this is such a simple recipe, the quality of the ingredients really count. Look for a high quality extra virgin olive oil and use Italian canned tomatoes. I really prefer to use San Marzano tomatoes as they have the best flavor and texture. Keep an eye out for tomatoes with a "D.O.P" on the label, which guarantees that the tomatoes are authentically the San Marzano variety.
  2. This sauce stays fresh in the refrigerator for 4 days and can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen sauce in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove until it's warmed through.


Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1137IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg