How to make homemade Marinara Sauce from scratch! Today's recipe is easy with just a handful of ingredients, but plenty of robust fresh flavor!

Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe

How to make a hearty, homemade Marinara Sauce from scratch! Today’s recipe is easy with just a handful of ingredients, but plenty of robust fresh flavor! Recipe includes a how-to video at the bottom of the post. 

An Easy, Hearty, Marinara Sauce Recipe

I’ve been making this marinara sauce recipe so frequently the past few weeks I finally decided it was about time I share it with you. It’s shockingly simple to make with a full-bodied flavor that puts every jarred sauce in the supermarket to shame.

This recipe is simple, but it’s a definite keeper. Use it anywhere you would use store-bought marinara, just prepare yourself because the flavor is simply not comparable. Nobody needs to know you made a sauce this good so effortlessly, and in under 20 minutes at that! This simple marinara sauce is perfect for topping off your favorite pizza dough or pasta or for dunking mozzarella sticks or garlic knots. It’s also a great vegetarian sauce option for making my Baked Ziti!

What is the Difference Between Marinara Sauce and Spaghetti Sauce?

Traditionally, spaghetti sauce is heartier and thicker while marinara sauce is thinner. Spaghetti sauce also often includes meat while marinara is a more vegetarian sauce option.

However, this my recipe is fairly hearty and I’ve used it over spaghetti plenty of times. You’re going to love the flavor so much you’ll want to put it on everything.

How Do You Make Marinara Sauce from Scratch?

  1. Sauté onion in olive oil
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, basil, sugar, oregano, sea salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  4. Simmer at least 15 minutes then use as desired.

I do want to note that many hard-core traditional marinara sauce recipes don’t use onion. Feel free to leave it out if you are so inclined! I think it adds to the robust flavor of this sauce, but to each their own.

Also if you’re concerned about the fact that we’re not starting with fresh tomatoes, I do have plans for a truly fresh option, coming this summer. It’s just… February right now and there’s snow on the ground as I type this, so give me some time. And keep in mind most marinara sauce recipes start with canned tomatoes, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have garden fresh on hand.

Is Marinara Sauce the Same as Pizza Sauce?

Marinara sauce isn’t technically the same as pizza sauce, though you can certainly use it as such. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made my pizza recipe with  this exact sauce and some mozzarella. However, there are some differences.

While marinara sauce spends some time simmering on the stove, this step is not required for making pizza sauce. While I find that cooking/simmering the sauce really helps to develop the flavors, it also will diminish that distinct fresh “tomato” taste (though it deepens the flavor profile in other ways!).


On Wednesday I’ll be sharing a Stuffed Shells recipe that I made using this sauce, so if you’re not already on my (free) e-mail list, make sure you subscribe so you never miss a new recipe!

More Savory Recipes You Might Enjoy:

  • Baked Mac & Cheese
  • Chili Recipe
  • Hashbrown Casserole

Be sure to check out the How to Make Marinara Sauce video at the bottom of the recipe! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 100 recipe videos that you can watch for free!

Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: how to make marinara sauce, pasta sauce from scratch
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 103kcal
Author: Sam


  • 2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion 145g
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic this was about 5 large cloves for me
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes no spices or salt added (680g)
  • 2 Tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoons finely ground sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium/high heat until shimmering.
  • Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent (about 3 minutes)
  • Add garlic, cook (stirring frequently) until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Add crushed tomatoes, basil, sugar, dried oregano, sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir well and reduce heat to medium low.
  • Simmer marinara sauce for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use as desired.



Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 489mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 13% | Vitamin C: 12% | Calcium: 1% | Iron: 10%

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