The ease and convenience of store-bought marinara sauce may be hard to beat, but with only 30 minutes you can make this Classic Marinara Sauce that contains no added sugar or preservatives, and it's overflowing with love, unlike those jarred sauces.
I may not be of Italian ethnicity, but in spirit, I'm all about channeling my inner Lidia Bastianich.
Not that this recipe is Lidia's, because it's not. It is 100% my own, and it's my go-to tomato sauce for all things Italian.
This post was originally published in December of 2016 and was last updated in June of 2020.
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making my easy homemade marinara sauce is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the printable recipe.
The ingredient list:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
- 3 - 28 ounce cans tomato puree
- 1 - 28 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- tomato paste
- light-colored oil (canola or grapeseed)
- extra virgin olive oil
- Worcestershire sauce
- dried basil
- dried oregano
- Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- salt and pepper
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- large stockpot
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- measuring spoons
- can opener
- wooden spoons
- air-tight containers for storage
Why this recipe works:
You can use this homemade red sauce for all of your favorite Italian dishes.
You can whip up a big batch and then divide what you've made for all kinds of sauce-based dishes such as lasagna, pizza, spaghetti, chicken, veal Parmesan, and ravioli just to name a few.
How long will it take to make this classic marinara sauce?
About 30 minutes is all it will take.
You can simmer it longer than that on the stovetop if you'd like, but there is really no need.
Can this sauce be frozen?
This sauce freezes extremely well when stored tightly in a freezer container (up to 2-3 months), or you can store it tightly sealed in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Recipes using this homemade marinara sauce:
*Cheese Stuffed Arancini di Risa (cheese-stuffed rice balls, pictured below)
Pan-Fried Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Rice Balls are crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and stuffed with lots of melted cheese! What’s not to love?
*Layered Zucchini Parmesan (pictured below)
Layered Zucchini Parmesan has all the flavors you love about pizza or lasagna but without all those annoying carbs to weigh you down.
*Pepperoni Pizza Mac and Cheese (pictured below)
For those times when you can’t decide what to make for dinner, I suggest you whip up this Pizza Mac & Cheese. It’s a cross between two of your favorite things... pizza, and mac and cheese. Your family will thank you!
The easy instructions for making classic marinara:
- Mince two large shallots and saute them in a bit of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.
- Add 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
- Saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and add 3 cans (28 ounces) tomato puree, 1 can (28 ounces) petite diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and a chunk of the rind of a block of Parmesan cheese (optional but adds amazing flavor).
- Finally, add 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons dried basil, and 2 teaspoons dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer (partially covered) on low for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the rind (if using) and use, or store, the sauce as desired.
The honest truth:
If truth be told, I'm a little nervous to be sharing my recipe for marinara sauce because I have many friends who are hard-core Italians through-and-through, and as I mentioned earlier, I'm not Italian.
However, I am a darned good cook! So while this may not be a sauce that some people would recognize as authentic Italian, it is one that I'm very proud of and it's the sauce I would be willing to serve anyone of my Italian friends without batting an eye!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's Italian spaghetti sauce.
Classic Marinara Sauce Recipe
- 2 large shallots minced
- 2 tablespoons light colored oil canola, grapeseed
- 3 teaspoons dried basil divided
- 3 teaspoon dried oregano divided
- 3 cans 28 ounces tomato puree
- 1 can 28 ounces with juice petite diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 3 " rind chunk of Parmesan optional
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Sauté the shallots in the light colored oil over medium heat in a large stockpot for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and the tomato paste. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tomato purée, diced tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, the Parmesan cheese rind, and the salt and pepper.
- Simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
May be stored in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container for up to 7 days.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed my take on a classic Italian marinara sauce as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!