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Homemade Marinara Sauce

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Homemade Marinara Sauce is quick and simple, requiring mostly pantry staples and just 30 minutes to make. Once you taste this delicious homemade sauce, you won’t go back to store-bought!

We love a great homemade sauce. Try my Traditional Bolognese Sauce, some Pizza Sauce From Scratch, or the best Homemade Basil Pesto Sauce! I rarely use store-bought sauces anymore and for good reasons.

A stock pot of marinara sauce.

Classic Marinara Sauce

I very rarely buy jarred marinara sauce anymore because this homemade version is SO DANG EASY. It’s a quick 30-minute recipe and uses mostly pantry ingredients that I always have on hand.

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What to Serve with Homemade Marinara:

Serve this sauce with the following delicious recipes found right here on the blog:

OR use this sauce over your favorite pasta, zucchini noodles, or any sautéed veggies. You could even do a combo of all of the above – noodles and veggies topped with fresh marinara sauce!

Why This Recipe Works:

  • SIMPLE INGREDIENTS – Like I’ve said, this homemade pasta sauce is simple and uses basic pantry ingredients. Also, it takes less time to make it then to go to the store to purchase jars of pasta sauce.
  • HEALTHY – By making your own sauce, you know exactly what’s in it. Just basic good-for-you ingredients.
  • DELICIOUS – This simple sauce is a truly great recipe with SO MUCH rich tomato flavor. Even your picky eater will enjoy it!
Overhead view of a stock pot of homemade Sauce.

Ingredients needed for Homemade Marinara Sauce:

This is a 30-minute sauce, friends. And while it simmers, you can be making the meatballs or veggies you plan to eat with it. So easy, but way more delicious than store-bought. I promise! Make a big batch and enjoy it all week long.

  • Olive Oil – For sautéing the veggies, and for flavor.
  • Onion & Garlic Cloves – These are the only two fresh veggies, and we’ll sauté them in olive oil.
  • Crushed Tomatoes – The quickest way to make sauce is to buy the crushed. BUT, you could buy whole tomatoes and then crush them yourself.
  • Diced Tomatoes – I prefer the fire-roasted tomatoes always, but you can always use regular, or mild.
  • Tomato Paste – 3-4 Tablespoons is just right for this recipe.
  • Chicken Broth – Some of this will cook down during the process.
  • Sugar – Just a bit of sugar to balance all the acidity from the tomatoes.
  • Spices – Basil, Italian Seasoning, and kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Feel free to use fresh herbs if you have them.
  • Optional – Add bay leaves and simmer for even longer (if you have time).

USING FRESH TOMATOES in your own Marinara Sauce is great too. Just use less canned tomatoes and adjust seasonings as needed.

The ingredients for the homemade marinara sauce.

How to make Homemade Marinara Sauce:

Step 1
Sauté veggies. In a large pot, sauté the onions in a little olive oil for 4-5 minutes over medium heat. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the garlic, seasonings, and tomato paste – and stir for another minute or so.

A pot of the sautéed onions with seasonings and tomato paste.

Step 2
Add remaining ingredients. Then add all the tomatoes (crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste), the chicken broth, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce heat to a simmer.

A pot of the sauce after adding the diced andsetew

Step 3
Simmer. Continue cooking the sauce for about 20-25 minutes, or until the sauce cooks down slightly.

Step 4
Test. Taste the marinara sauce, and add more seasonings, if desired.

Step 5
Serve. Serve this homemade sauce over meatballs, veggies, and/or pasta. Enjoy!

Side view of a stock po top maraca sauce.

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between spaghetti sauce and marinara sauce?

Spaghetti sauce generally includes meat and is a thicker sauce. Marinara is a bit thinner and can be used a dipping sauce.

Why do you put sugar in marinara sauce?

Just a pinch of sugar is added to marinara to balance the acidity level of the tomatoes.

What makes marinara sauce better?

Using diced onions and minced garlic in your sauce is the key to flavor. Don’t skip it!

Can I puree my marinara?

Yes. If you want a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender to puree it. Or likewise, pour it into a blender, let cool slightly, and then puree.

Storing and Freezing:

  • STORE the best marinara sauce in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to four days.
  • FREEZE marinara sauce in in airtight container wrapped in a large freezer bag. This will freeze well for 3-4 months.
A large measuring cup of homemade sauce.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

Make this pasta dish next: Rigatoni Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli

xoxo ~Sue

A ladel in a pot of homemade marinara.

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Homemade Marinara Sauce is quick and simple, requiring mostly pantry staples and just 30 minutes to make. Once you taste this homemade sauce, you won't go back to store-bought!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 102kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf


  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion – chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – diced
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz. fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste


  • In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, approximately 4-5 minutes. Then add garlic, seasonings, and tomato paste – and stir for another minute or so.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, broth, and sugar – and stir well.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for another 15-20 minutes.


What to Serve with Homemade Marinara Sauce:

STORE homemade marinara sauce in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to four days.
FREEZE marinara sauce in in airtight container wrapped in a large freezer bag. This will freeze well for 3-4 months.


Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 360mg | Potassium: 533mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 697IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!


  1. I love this marinara sauce so easy and so quick to make. Never changed a thing.
    Made the Manicotti recipe for dinner and the only change I made was Oven Ready Manicotti easy to stuff and turned out amazing.
    Thank-you Sue

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks so much, Beverly!

  2. This recipe is easy and turns our excellent each time I make it –Thx!!! 😀

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I love hearing this, Nico!

  3. I had to come back online to give my review of the most delicious marinara sauce ever. I cannot image that I will go back to jar marinara sauce again or bottled spaghetti sauce. I am so slow in the kitchen when I cook but I whipped this marinara sauce up in no time. “Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce” is an appropriate name for it. When I first got this recipe from your site, I did not sign up to receive your updates of recipes, etc, but after making this sauce (which my family raves about) I came back to sign up. If any of your recipes are as good as this, I’m in for some wonderful surprises!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Oh, thank you so much Cheryl! I’m so glad you enjoyed the marinara sauce and are staying around for more recipes! 🙂

  4. Lot easier than I thought making sauce would be! Goodbye store bought pasta sauces!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I agree 100%!

  5. Made this last night and it was so simple and flavorful!! We ate it over chick pea pasta and plan to have with spaghetti squash next!! Very versatile!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      That sounds delicious, Shari! Thanks so much for your feedback. 🙂

  6. Rob Reding says:

    Quick, easy and delicious. Will definitely make this again (and again)! With 2 young kids, marinara is a staple in this house. If we can make it this good and it doesn’t come in a jar, it’s a winner!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Exactly, it’s nice to go with homemade sauce. Healthier AND cheaper!

  7. 30 minutes later…Let the good times roll. aMaZiNg!

5 from 8 votes (1 rating without comment)

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