Easy Marinara Sauce made with crushed tomatoes and fresh or dried herbs is simple, quick, and the perfect sauce for your pasta!
This easy marinara sauce takes about 30 minutes to make and will keep for days in the refrigerator or months in the freezer. It’a bursting with tomato flavor, the way a marinara sauce should be. And it’s way better than jarred sauce!
You can add ground beef or sausage (or both) to make this a quick and hearty marinara sauce.
- Dutch oven – I love my Le Creuset Dutch ovens, but this option from Lodge is less expensive and gets great reviews! And this one from Amazon Basics is nice too!
- Olive oil
- Crushed tomatoes
- Red wine – adds a subtle flavor to your marinara sauce
- Granulated sugar
- Fresh or dried basil
- Fresh or dried oregano
- Fresh or dried parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
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How to make easy marinara sauce
Step 1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and stir for about a minute then add garlic. Turn heat to low and stir just until garlic and onion turn light but not brown.
Step 2. Add crushed tomatoes, wine, sugar and seasonings. Stir well and simmer about an hour.
Cook’s Tip: Here’s a tutorial for how to make crushed tomatoes.
This sauce is wonderful over any type of pasta, meatballs or chicken for chicken parmesan. One batch usually makes enough for one meal and a nice bit of leftover marinara sauce for the freezer.
Note: I clipped this recipe from a newspaper about 20 years ago, from an article titled “An Italian Grandma’s Kitchen.” So while some marinara sauce recipes will omit the onion, the Italian grandmother in that article added it.
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- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (I like Muir Glen organic)
- ½ cup red wine
- 1-2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and stir for about a minute then add garlic.
- Turn heat to low and stir just until garlic and onion turn light but not brown.
- Add crushed tomatoes, wine, sugar and seasonings.
- Stir well and simmer about an hour.
Add cooked ground beef or Italian sausage (or a mix of both) to make this a quick and easy meaty sauce.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 194Saturated Fat: 1gSodium: 614mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gSugar: 13gProtein: 4g
Update Notes: This post was originally published March 8, 2011, and on February 19, 2020, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.