Make this homemade marinara sauce recipe once, and you'll never get the store-bought kind again! It's simple to make, and it has a rich tomato flavor.
Buying marinara sauce is easy, but I’ll let you in on a secret: so is making your own!
Meet my go-to homemade marinara sauce recipe. It’s simple to make – all you need are 10 pantry ingredients and 30 minutes – and it tastes immeasurably better than any kind I’ve found in a jar. Its base is canned crushed tomatoes with their juices, which I simmer with sautéed shallot and garlic for depth of flavor. Red pepper flakes give it a touch of heat, and dried oregano adds Italian flair. Balsamic vinegar makes it nice and tangy, while salt and pepper and a bit of sugar make all the flavors pop.
This sauce is easy enough to whip up on a weeknight, but it’s also a great recipe to make in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze it for up to a few months! I like to keep a stash on hand for anytime a spaghetti or lasagna craving strikes. 🙂
How to Make Marinara Sauce
Making this marinara sauce recipe is simple! Here’s what you need to do:
- First, sauté the shallot and garlic in a saucepan with olive oil, salt, and pepper until they become soft and translucent.
- Then, simmer the sauce. Add 28 ounces of crushed tomatoes and their juices (use San Marzano tomatoes if you can!), balsamic vinegar, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and a dash of cane sugar. Cover the sauce with a lid and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, giving it a good stir every now and then, until it’s thickened.
That’s it! Season to taste and enjoy.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Use This Marinara Sauce Recipe
I’m sure you already have a few favorite ways to use marinara sauce, but if you’re looking for more, I’ve got you covered! You can’t go wrong with any of these:
- Spoon it over pasta, polenta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash for a simple meal. Top it off with fresh basil leaves and a shower of grated Parmesan cheese. Vegan Parmesan would be delicious here too!
- Use it as the pasta sauce for a cozy baked pasta dish, like my baked ziti, lasagna, or stuffed shells.
- Bake it into my eggplant Parmesan or eggplant rollatini. I love homemade marinara sauce with my air fryer eggplant too.
- Sub it in for pizza sauce on any homemade pizza.
- Use it as spaghetti sauce with cooked pasta and vegan meatballs. Or make meatball sandwiches!
- Serve it as a dipping sauce with crispy air fryer zucchini or baked zucchini chips.
What are your favorite ways to use homemade marinara sauce? Let me know in the comments!
More Favorite Homemade Sauces
If you love this marinara recipe, try one of these delicious sauces next:
- Fresh Tomato Sauce
- Basil Pesto
- Kale Pesto
- Arugula Pesto
- Alfredo Sauce
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- Lemon Butter Sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over low heat. Add the shallot, garlic, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the tomatoes and their juices, balsamic vinegar, cane sugar, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.