Homemade Marinara Sauce

How to make Fresh Tomato Marinara sauce at home

Marinara Sauce – a basic Italian sauce prepared using fresh tomatoes. Pair it with pasta, meatballs or simply as a dip.


Italian cooking for me is incomplete without the beautiful flavorful sauces. Marinara sauce is one of the most basic Italian sauces. It is a versatile sauce and can be used in a number of ways listed below. I like to prepare marinara sauce at home, from scratch using fresh tomatoes always and never canned. It doesn’t even need a lot of planning. All it takes is some simple ingredients and about 30-40 minutes. And trust me, once you start making this at home, you will never go back to the store-bought ones!


Making a marinara sauce is also a great way to use up extra ripe tomatoes, especially since this sauce freezes well. Let the sauce cool down, then transfer into freezer safe containers or bags. You can freeze this sauce for 2 to 2-1/2 months.


Homemade Marinara Sauce

How to use homemade Marinara sauce.

  • Sometimes I like to dress this sauce with a splash of balsamic vinegar/ red wine (added in step 2) and bay leaf – fennel powder – parmesan for added flavor.
  • Add fresh cream (at step 5) for a creamy tomato sauce. Toss some cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of the starchy water from boiling the pasta, mix It thoroughly and garnish with grated parmesan and fresh basil.
  • Cook some veggies or ground meat on the side and mix it with the sauce for a vegetable or a meat based sauce. Use this sauce in casseroles or lasagna.
  • Add some meatballs to the sauce and serve with spaghetti.
  • Use it as a pizza sauce.
  • Use it as a dipping sauce for fritters, zucchini fries or poppers.

The list can go on and on.


Having homemade marinara sauce handy is a great way to ensure you are eating healthy. With all the above options of using the sauce in different ways, you can whip up a healthy meal in a matter of minutes. This gets you one step closer to avoiding junk food, fast food, and takeouts.


If you try this recipe let me know what you think! Make your own variations and combinations. Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture and share it on our  Facebook page or tag #spiceofgoodlife on Instagram.

How to make Fresh Tomato Marinara sauce at home
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Marinara Sauce - a basic Italian sauce prepared using fresh tomatoes. Pair it with pasta, meatballs or simply as a dip.

Servings: 4
Author: Soniyaa Dighe
  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1/2 Onion chopped
  • 5-6 Garlic cloves
  • 6 cups Tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh Basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1/4 cup Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 1 fresh Red Chilly Pepper or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • Salt as required
  1. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and red chilly pepper and sauté until fragrant  - about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  2. Add tomatoes, salt, sugar, oregano and pepper. Mix thoroughly, bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover and simmer till the sauce thickens for about 20 minutes.
  3. Optional step - If you want a smooth sauce, puree the sauce using an immersion blender or regular blender. Make sure you let the sauce cool down a bit if using a regular blender.
  4. Continue to simmer for about 10 more minutes.
  5. Finally, add some finely chopped parsley and basil.

  6. The sauce is ready. 

  7. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in salted water, saute some vegetables or meat to complete other components of the meal. Also, you can use a cup of the starchy pasta cooking water to make the marinara more saucy before adding it to casseroles or pasta.

Marinara Sauce


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