This easy marinara sauce is a great recipe to have on hand. It is super simple with quick prep time, all while delivering strong flavors in the end. This marinara is savory and a little sweet, with a tiny, tiny kick of heat. It is even versatile in the sense that it can be used in several different ways.
The main ingredient in this easy marinara sauce is canned San Marzano tomatoes.
Now, while you can get away with using different tomatoes, San Marzano’s have always been my go-to. They’re so rich in flavor and not too acidic, so the other ingredients in the sauce can still shine through.
The more seasoning, the better, right!?
I’m a BIG advocate of not being scared when it comes to seasoning food. Fun fact: It is one of my biggest pet peeves when I eat bland food, especially when it had potential.
SO, there are eight seasonings and spices in this recipe! That may sound like a lot, but if you’re the type of person who’s going to make marinara from scratch, then you probably already have several of them in your kitchen. If not, well, I’m sorry, you’ll have to throw ’em into your grocery cart when you pick up the San Marzano tomatoes! Haha.
I love, love, LOVE that this recipe takes only a small amount of time and effort.
You don’t need to do a whole lot! Roughly chop up some onion, saute it with fresh garlic, the spices, and seasonings, and add in the canned tomatoes. Let it simmer for thirty minutes, and then blend it with fresh basil leaves for that extra kick of peppery flavor. It’s genuinely so simple to put together.
My go-to uses for this easy marinara sauce are:
- Dipping The Ultimate Vegan Mozzarella Sticks into
- As a pizza and/or flatbread sauce
- As the tomato sauce for spaghetti, lasagna, calzones, eggplant parmesan, meatball subs, shakshuka… to name a handful!
See how incredibly versatile this recipe is!?
It’s the best! And, I swear it will be better than any store-bought marinara. I have tried so many brands, and they are always somewhat of a disappointment. None of them have ever come close to delivering the amount of flavor this recipe does.
If you make this marinara sauce, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!
Easy, Flavorful Marinara Sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion (about 1 large onion), medium diced
- 1/4 cup garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp basil, dried
- 2 tbsp oregano, dried
- 1 tbsp thyme, dried
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- Two 28 ounce cans peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add in the olive oil.
- Add in the diced onion and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, continually stirring to prevent burning.
- Add in all of the seasonings and spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add in the entire cans of tomatoes and the sugar. Stir well.
- Still cooking over medium heat, bring up to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to low—cover and cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Allow to cool down slightly, and then carefully pour it into a blender or food processor, along with the fresh basil leaves. Pulse or blend until you achieve the texture you desire. I usually mix it just until smooth.