Traditional recipes

Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce


May 2010


Recipe Preparation

Nutritional Content

1/2 cup contains the following: Calories (kcal) 125.4 %Calories from Fat 58.6 Fat (g) 8.2 Saturated Fat (g) 1.3 Cholesterol (mg) 9.7 Carbohydrates (g) 9.4 Dietary Fiber (g) 0.2 Total Sugars (g) 5.2 Net Carbs (g) 9.2 Protein (g) 5.2

Reviews Section



BA LogoBon appetit

Sign up for the Bon Appétit


Will be used in accordance with our user agreement and privacy policy

More from Bon Appétit

recipeButtery Tomato and Cinnamon-Spiced Rice2020-08-11T09:00:00.000Z

recipeBasque Burnt Cheesecake2019-01-24T15:00:00.000Z

recipeOur site's Best Pesto2018-08-21T11:00:00.000Z

BA LogoBon appetit
  • Subscription Services
  • Contact Bon Appétit
  • Reprints/Permissions
  • Newsletter Signup
  • Accessibility Help
  • RSS Feeds
  • Site Map
  • Condé Nast Store
  • Careers
  • Bon Appétit Media Kit

Food Innovation Group: Bon Appétit and Epicurious
© 2020 Condé Nast. All rights reserved.
Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20).
Bon Appétit may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our affiliate partnerships with retailers.
Your California Privacy Rights
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast.

Marinara Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This homemade marinara sauce recipe is easy to make, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and slow-simmered with the BEST tomato, basil and garlicky flavors.

Friends, do you have an amazing homemade marinara sauce recipe in your repertoire?

It’s the classic marinara sauce that I have made countless times over the years and it is my absolute favorite. It’s incredibly easy to make with a few classic ingredients, which also happen to be naturally gluten-free and vegan. It’s made with a blend of herbs and seasonings that perfectly compliment those slow-simmered rich tomato marinara flavors, without completely overpowering them. It only requires about 10 minutes of active hands-on prep time, giving you time to work on the rest of dinner while the sauce simmers on the stove. And best of all, this marinara sauce is just so incredibly nostalgic and comforting and flavorful.

Serve it up with your favorite pasta, pizza, lasagna, meatballs, parmigiana, subs, or whatever sounds good. And while you’re at it, I also highly recommend doubling the recipe anytime you make this marinara sauce, as the leftovers keep beautifully in the fridge or freezer for later.

So many good reasons to make this marinara sauce…so let’s do it!

Best Italian Marinara Sauce Recipe

Easy, chunky, creamy, rustic, hearty, flavorful marinara sauce or as known in America “Sunday Gravy” , is made at home with a few ingredients and a little patience. This is so good you’ll never be able to buy it in a jar. Gotta make your own kids!

The secret to the classic Italian sauce, lies in slowly simmering the tomatoes with onion, basil and garlic until thick and reduced and the natural sugars have concentrated their flavors. So thick you can literally use it as a pizza sauce as I do of course.

There is no heavy cream, no wine and no anchovies in an authentic marinara sauce.

It is a simple vegan and vegetarian sauce that you can serve with spaghetti and ricotta meatballs , clams and mussels , shrimp, chicken parmesan , ricotta gnocchi, peppercorn steak , mushrooms, eggplant, ravioli, veggie lasagna or whatever your favorite pasta is. Even perfect for dipping your cheese sticks!

Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce Recipe

How to make Authentic Marinara Sauce from canned tomatoes. This version of our homemade marinara sauce from scratch makes a delicious chunky--style sauce.

Servings: 12-16


½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 small onion, diced small
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
2 28-32 ounce cans San Marzano or high quality canned crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped


In a deep pan or sauce pot, heat extra virgin olive oil.

Sautee garlic and onion until onion is translucent.

Add salt, pepper, and dried oregano.

Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil.

Lower heat, and simmer for 5-10 minutes. The longer you simmer, the thicker it will be.

Stir in basil and you’re done! I told you it was an easy marinara sauce!

How to make smooth Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce

To make a smooth marinara sauce, you have 2 choices. You don’t need a separate smooth marinara sauce recipe. It just takes a couple of adjustments to the authentic Italian marinara recipe above.
1. Blend the onions before sautéing.
2. Blend the tomatoes before adding them to the sauce, or substitute tomato puree for crushes tomatoes.

Ingredients to make marinara sauce from scratch.

How to make Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce with fresh tomatoes

Use the recipe above and substitute 2 quarts of fresh, diced, seeded tomatoes. I prefer not to take the skin off, so I usually blend the tomatoes before adding them to the pot. I also find this version needs an additional 10 minutes of simmering time.

How to use Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce

This Authentic marinara sauce recipe can be used for any recipe that calls for classic Italian marinara sauce or tomato sauce. Use it on our Chicken Parm Panini (your new favorite sandwich) or Best-Ever Italian Turkey Meatballs as well as on any pasta or pizza!

Recipe Summary

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Cooked pasta, for serving (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Place the tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan along with olive oil, garlic, and oregano season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Serve with cooked pasta, garnished with cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) Prego® Marinara Italian Sauce
  • 6 ounces (about 3 cups) gemelli (twin twist tube) pasta or rotini pasta, cooked and drained
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in 2 batches and cook until it’s well browned, stirring often.

Stir the sauce in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over the pasta and sprinkle with the cheese.

Recipe Summary

  • Four 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes with basil, preferably from San Marzano
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons minced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 leaves fresh basil, torn (optional)
  • Pinch of dried oregano

Remove tomatoes from can and place in a large bowl, reserving juices. Crush tomatoes using your hands remove and discard the hard core from stem end, and any skin and tough membrane set aside.

Place oil in a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until soft and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook until softened, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and reserved juices season with salt. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 hour.

Stir in basil, if using, oregano, and season with pepper continue cooking 1 minute more. Remove from heat and serve.

Marinara Sauce

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and carrots and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour the tomatoes and juice in a large bowl and use your hands to gently squish/smush the tomatoes so that the juices are released and they are all broken up. Add the contents of the bowl to the pot and stir. Add the salt, pepper, sugar, and oregano (or other dried or fresh herbs). Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add minced fresh parsley at the end and taste/adjust the sauce for seasonings.

Toss with pasta, then serve on top of the pasta with Parmesan and more parsley (or fresh basil if you have it!)

(Note: If you like a slightly deeper flavor, add the optional tomato paste when you add the tomatoes.)

I think marinara sauce is one of life&rsquos simple pleasures, and there&rsquos nothing complicated about making your own pot of the stuff. The only thing it requires is a pot, a few ingredients, and a healthy dose of patience the longer it simmers, the better it is!

Classic Olive Garden Copycat Mariana Sauce recipe

This recipe brings the mouth-watering taste of the Olive Garden sauce at home. The preparation methods are very easy and the added spices with cheesy texture made this sauce more tempting. So let’s start the olive garden marinara sauce recipe:

  • 1-can of crushed and peeled tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 3-4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 3 tsp of basil
  • 1 tsp of salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cups of sugar for a sweet texture
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • ½ cups of Parmesan cheese (any choice)

Methods of preparing step by step:

Start the recipe by heating oil in a saucepan at high flame. When the oil gets heated enough, add in minced garlic and oregano to it. Then sauté the ingredients properly until the garlic gets brownish.

Then add in the packed tomato paste along with the juice inside the can to get gravy and savory taste. After that, stir the mixture properly to eliminate excessive burning.

Then spread in basil, salt, and pepper to enhance the overall spice taste in the sauce. After that, close the lid of the pan and cook the mixture for some time until the gravy gets thicker and the tomato paste gets cooked.

Stir the mixture from time to time to avoid bottom burning. Then after 15 minutes of simmering, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of the cooked sauce and let the mixture get chilled for some time before serving.

Finally, the delicious and sizzling classic olive garden marinara sauce is ready to be served.

Six Options to Adjust this Easy Marinara Sauce

There are multiples ways you can play with this base marinara sauce to fit your recipes and tastes. That’s what’s great about this easy marinara sauce. It’s lovely on its own but a versatile base for different flavor profiles.

  1. Delicious meat sauce: swap chicken stock for beef stock. Brown your beef well, remove, brown your onions and garlic in a mix of the beef fat and olive oil. For a “sausage” flavor using straight ground beef, add some fennel seeds to the pot too.
  2. Angry red marinara sauce: Add more crushed red peppers to taste (I’ve done up to two full teaspoons) and add a much larger amount of garlic, I use up to 1/4 cup of minced garlic.
  3. Vodka Sauce: Add a 1/2 cup heavy cream and a 1/4 cup of vodka. Omit the herbs. This is best served with shrimp or chicken. Also top with healthy amounts of parmesan cheese.
  4. Creamy marinara sauce: simmer the sauce down to a thicker consistency, uncovered instead of covered, then thin with some cream. I also sometimes add a pinch of nutmeg since the cream adds a hint of sweetness to the marinara sauce anyway.
  5. Fresh Marinara Sauce: use fresh whole tomatoes and extra-virgin olive oil – go for a really juicy tomato, as ripe as you can find. Hard, Roma type tomatoes won’t make for amazing flavors, this type of fresh Marinara sauce is best made towards the end of summer when ripe red tomatoes are most available.
  6. Simpler, fresher flavors: sometimes I’ll use half the crushed tomatoes and add in fresh roasted garlic tomatoes. I usually do a couple of pints of grape tomatoes and skip the garlic in the base recipe since the garlic roasts on the grape tomatoes. : add chicken stock and some salt, pepper, fresh oregano and basil.