This website may contain affiliate links and advertising so that we can provide recipes to you. Read my disclosure policy.

Homemade marinara is a thick, rich and savory sauce made from a blend of stewed tomatoes with herbs and spices. Make a delicious batch of sauce all from pantry ingredients in less than 15 minutes!

All the best Italian sauces are made from scratch. But that doesn’t mean they have to be difficult to make! Try this easy homemade alfredo sauce, creamy Tuscan garlic sauce, or Bolognese sauce next!

Marinara sauce in a stove top pan garnished with herbs.

The Easiest Homemade Marinara

Get ready to NEVER buy store bought marinara sauce ever again! This marinara will not only wow you with its flavor but it is SO easy to make! Fall in love with this simple recipe that is fresh and can be made year round. Simple ingredients right from the pantry and a beyond-easy recipe is what this marinara is made of!

It’s a good thing this homemade marinara is so easy to make, my kids go through so much of it. We always have it on hand for leftover pasta, dipping breadsticks in, or even using it for homemade pizza! This marinara sauce is so versatile and works for so many recipes. The taste is amazing and the smell in your kitchen- well, everyone will be thanking you for that! It is so good and makes two full mason jars worth. Such a fun way to save time and money plus the benefits of having fresh homemade sauce right at your fingertips! All you need now is your favorite pasta cooked to al dente perfection.

Marinara Sauce Ingredients:

Pantry staples and all ingredients you have on hand! It is that simple and easy to make. This marinara sauce is a tried and true recipe that will keep you from needing any more marinara from the store. All homemade, rich flavorful ingredients blended together making this a one of a kind sweet and savory sauce!

  • Olive Oil: For sautéing the onions in. If you prefer butter that will work too!
  • Yellow Onion: Finely dice the onion and sauté it. A yellow onion has a very strong flavoring compared to a white onion.
  • Stewed Tomatoes: Make this simple with a can of stewed tomatoes. It’s best to purchase a good quality that has less acidity and is a little sweeter.
  • Tomato Paste: A thick paste that adds more flavor and also adjusts the consistency of the marinara.
  • Italian Seasoning: All of my favorite herbs blended together in one bottle!
  • Garlic Cloves: Add in whole garlic cloves and watch them blend perfectly in the food processor or blender. 
  • Salt and Pepper: Just a pinch of each!
  • Sugar: Sweeten the sauce with a little white sugar. Feel free to adjust to taste.
  • Chicken Broth: Liquid flavoring! If you don’t have chicken broth water will also work, but your sauce may not be as flavorful.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe

Forget the store-bought stuff and make this sauce in less than 15 minutes. It’s so simple to make and never lasts long. If any of your favorite Italian recipes call for red sauce, this is seriously the way to go.

  1. Sauté Onions: In a medium-sized saucepan over medium high heat add the olive oil and onions. Saute until tender.
  2. Blend Together: In a food processor or blender add the stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. Pulse until smooth.
  3. Cook On the Stove: Add to onions in the saucepan and add chicken broth. Then sauté for 10 minutes to let the flavors blend.
The process of making homemade marinara sauce from sautéing, food processing and then cooking over the stove top.

Delicious Variations

Mix and add in ingredients to make this homemade marinara sauce your own. You’re going to LOVE the sweet and savory flavor this marinara has to offer!

  • Tomatoes: When blending the tomatoes together, keep the tomatoes chunky or blended smooth depending on your preference.
  • Onions: Chop or mince them however you prefer. That’s one of the great things about making homemade sauce is that you can control just what the texture is like.
  • Make it Spicy: Add in red pepper flakes or sriracha sauce while blending together.  
  • Add Herbs: Fresh rosemary, sage, thyme and even oregano add in intense, aromatic flavors you will love.
  • Add Cheese: Stir in 1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese into the sauce right before serving. This will make it nice and cheesy. Just make sure it is freshly grated because powdered parmesan is full of preservatives that keep it from melting as well.
  • Make it Creamy: For a creamier rose color sauce, add in 1 cup of heavy cream or half and half.
Homemade marinara sauce in a mason jar.

Ways to Use Homemade Marinara

This sauce is meant for so many recipes and will be a new hit with your family. It’s the best addition to all of your favorite Italian recipes!

Storing Marinara Sauce

Storing is just as easy as making it! Let it cool completely before you transfer it to an airtight container. You can even freeze this sauce and have it on hand whenever needed!

  • Refrigerate: Keep your homemade marinara sauce stored in the refrigerator, sealed in a jar or airtight container for 5 to 7 days.
  • Can you freeze marinara sauce? Yes! This sauce is great for freezing. Store in tightly sealed jars in the freezer for up to 3 months. The sauce may expand as it freezes, so don’t overfill your jars.
Marinara sauce mixed in with thick linguine pasta in a bowl with a fork stuck in it.

More Classic Italian Recipes:

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It

Easiest Homemade Marinara

4.34 from 6 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Homemade marinara is a thick, rich and savory sauce that is a blend of stewed tomatoes with herbs and spices. Make a delicious batch of sauce all from pantry ingredients in less than 15 minutes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 16 ounces



  • In a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat add the olive oil and onions. Sauté until tender.
  • In a food processor or blender add the stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. Pulse until smooth.
  • Add to onions in the saucepan and add chicken broth. Sauté for 10 minutes to let the flavors blend.



Originally posted April 20, 2020
Updated on September 8, 2023


Calories: 22kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 147mgPotassium: 13mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Italian American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

More Ideas

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    The sauce is too sweet. I recommend cutting down the sugar. It did however come out great aside from the sugar issue.

    One tip I recommend is to try San Marzano tomatoes, they make all the difference!

  2. I will definitely try your homemade marinara. But I believe the secret is the quality of the tomatoes and paste cans. So which one do you use or recommend. I have no idea which brand has less acidity than the other.
    Thank you

  3. I love this blog! It is always inspiring!

    I’ve never used stewed tomatoes in making a marinara sauce. Interesting. Stewed tomatoes already contain other ingredients such as cane sugar, onions, celery, peppers, other unknown spices, and citric acid. I prefer to control the ingredients, sugar content, and type of sugar I consume. (I use Lakanto monk fruit sweetener most of the time, for instance.)

    In my marinara, I either use home canned or fresh tomatoes that I’ve processed—but since it does not take very long after a growing season for them to disappear from storage, store bought canned tomatoes are the next best thing. I try to use a really good brand of crushed tomatoes when making marinara—they tend to be naturally sweeter (less acidic) requiring less “sugar” to be added.

    San Marzano tomatoes (not San Marzano “style”) are the best of the best, but they are extremely pricy. A good quality can of crushed tomato will do. Most brands under the store’s own label are higher acidity tomatoes, but if money’s tight, of course they will work.

    Better ingredients do produce a profoundly better sauce. The quality of the sauce desired depends on how one will use the sauce. If it’s the main attraction to the dish, higher quality ingredients are preferred. If it’s going into a recipe like “Million Dollar Spaghetti,” it probably will make less of a difference. 😍

  4. 5 stars
    The sweetness to this marinara was perfect! Thank you for the recipe! I’ve been looking for a good, simple, quick pasta sauce for my kids and this was exactly what I needed. Others I’ve made have been too bitter or sour. I made your recipe exactly as is and we love it. Thanks!

  5. 4 stars
    I’d leave out the chicken broth, salt and sugar. Instead ADD a pat of butter (very important), a tablespoon of lemon juice, and either beer or a nice red wine (either work well). If you think the tomatoes are acidic just add a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, but usually not necessary. For variety, I love sliced mushrooms added at the end.

    1. 5 stars
      Tried the red wine etc from your recipe & added celery near end was amazing. Thank you for a great recipe .A winner here in New Zealand

  6. Can this be canned for later use like in the winter that would be great. Make a large pot and then can it so u can use it whenever u want. I would appreciate any help u can give to me

      1. Anything can be canned..put in hot sterilized jars. The do a boil bath to seal the jars

      2. To safely can this you would need to leave out the olive oil and you would need to add some kind of acid to it to safely get the ph above 4.5. Either a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.