Homemade Marinara Sauce (One Pot)
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The best, classic, quick and easy marinara sauce recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in one pot over stovetop in 30 minutes. Loaded with tomatoes, Italian seasoning, garlic!
This homemade version is fantastic! The flavors are robust and appearance is vibrant and bright. Thanks to the tangy tomatoes and fresh herbs, this is perhaps the best sauce to serve over pasta. This Homemade Pizza Sauce (One Pot), Tomato Gnocchi Sauce (One Pot) and Basil Pesto Sauce (One Pot) are all other great homemade sauces to have on hand for pasta night.
What is marinara sauce?
It is an Italian red sauce that’s made from tomatoes, lot of herbs, garlic and typically served over pasta or used as a dip for breadsticks.
How to make marinara sauce from scratch?
- Heat oil and butter– Do this over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, garlic– Saute until onion is partially softened and garlic is fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, parsley, oregano, red chili flakes, sugar, bay leaves– Mix until combined.
- Bring to a boil– Then, reduce heat to “Low” and simmer until thickened.
- Enjoy- Discard bay leaves and serve over boiled pasta.
What do you use homemade marinara sauce recipe for?
Use it as a topping for pasta to make a very filling meal. Serve it over any of your favorite boiled pastas such as spaghetti, rigatoni, penne, macaroni, rotini, fettuccine, angel hair.
Another option would be serving it over filled pastas such as tortellini and ravioli.
This is also delicious over other Italian dishes such as eggplant parmesan, meatballs, chicken parmesan, lasagna, baked ziti, lasagna, ratatouille, pizza.
Use it as a dip and serve it alongside breadsticks, garlic bread, cheese bread, mozzarella sticks, garlic, fried mushrooms, mini meatballs and even onion rings.
What is the difference between marinara sauce and spaghetti sauce? Is it the same as pizza sauce?
Marinara sauce is made of only tomatoes, aromatic herbs, and garlic while spaghetti sauce can contain meat, cheese, and/or other vegetables. Sometimes, this sauce is also used as pizza sauce, but it is generally cooked for longer to make thicker.
Make it hearty– Add meat such as ground beef, turkey, mild Italian sausage, pancetta, or meatballs.
Use fresh tomatoes– Use tomatoes from your garden or your favorites from a store. Just make sure to wash and crush them before adding to the sauce.
Make it spicy– Add more red chili flakes for extra heat.
Add cheese– Such as fresh parmesan, mozzarella, or even goat cheese or cream cheese.
Add red wine– Add a splash of red wine to the sauce, as it cooks, for additional flavor.
Make it creamy– Add 1/3 cup heavy cream for a very rich sauce.
Caramelize the onions– For additional flavor, caramelize the onions in butter before adding it to the sauce.
Adjust quantities of herbs- Add more or less of whatever you like or dislike.
Sweetener options– I like to use granulated sugar but you can also use brown sugar or honey.
Refrigerate– Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freeze– Store on a sealed container or freezer bag for up to 1 month.
Reheat– In a microwave or over the stovetop.
Canning pasta sauce– This recipe is perfect for canning. Remember to seal your jars completely in a water bath, and enjoy the sauce throughout the year. Its a great way to use up all those surplus garden tomatoes at the end of summer!
Tips and Techniques
The tomatoes in this sauce are very important– The higher the quality, the better the end results. Use a brand whose flavor you like best. In my opinion, canned San Marzano tomatoes are the best but they are typically sold whole. Just crush them with your hands before adding them. If you are using fresh tomatoes, make sure they are very fresh and ripe for maximum juiciness and flavor.
Use fresh herbs– Because they have the best and freshest flavor.
Make sure to simmer on Low– This allows the flavor to develop over time without burning.
Use unsalted butter– Because this prevents the sauce from becoming too salty.
Use a non-stick pot– Because this prevents the sauce from sticking and burning.
Adjust seasonings– Add more or less based on your personal preference.
How to thicken sauce? Continue to simmer and cook the sauce until excess liquid is reduced and it reaches the desired consistency.
How to make sauce thinner? Mix in more broth or water.
More One Pot Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta (One Pot)
- Tomato Basil Pasta (One Pot)
- Creamy Spinach Pasta (One Pot)
- One Pot Italian Sausage Pasta
- Garlic Chicken Pasta (One Pot)
One Pot Marinara Sauce
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 tbsp Butter, Unsalted
- 1 cup Onions, Finely chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic , Finely minced
- 2 cans Crushed tomatoes, 28 oz. cans each
- Salt , To taste
- Pepper , To taste
- 2 tbsp Basil, Fresh, Finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Parsley , Fresh, Finely chopped
- 1/2- 1 tsp Oregano, Dried, Adjust to your taste
- 1/8 tsp Red chili flakes, Optional
- 1-2 tsp Granulated sugar
- 1-2 Bay leaves
- Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, garlic and saute until onion is partially softened and garlic is fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, parsley, oregano, red chili flakes, sugar, bay leaves and mix until combined.
- Bring to a boil.
- Then, reduce heat to "Low" and simmer uncovered until sauce is reduced and thickened to your desired consistency. Stir often.
- Discard bay leaves and enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheated in the microwave or stovetop.