Homemade Marinara

March 3, 2015

Pasta with marinara has been one of my favorite meals since I was little. Something about the simplicity and sharp flavors make this dish a classic comfort food.

Unfortunately, like the sugary cereal and pastry pockets labeled “lean,” I gave up marinara so I didn’t have a to buy a little packet of unknown powders to make this thick sauce. I’ve tried to make it from scratch several times and finally created a recipe that comes close to the flavors and texture I’m looking for.

The secret to good marinara sauce is: the longer you allow it to simmer, the better it will taste. At least an hour should be devoted to the simmer but overnight is best. 

I used my trusty Dutch oven for this but a deep skillet should work as well.

This awesome little pot was about $60 and totally worth it! I love being able to use on the stove or in the oven! Just make sure you use oven mitts when removing from a hot oven…I learned that the hard way.

Homemade Marinara

Homemade Marinara


  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes 
  • 4 diced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 diced white onion 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons basil 
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • A few shakes of black pepper


  1. Sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil on medium heat until garlic is clear or 3-4 minutes.
  2. Pour diced and crushed tomatoes in with salt, brown sugar, oregano, basil and bay leaves.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour or more (at this point you could pour into crockpot and turn on low for the day).
  4. Remove bay leaves and blend with immersion blender or pour into traditional blender until smooth (I like my sauce smooth so I blended until no chunks were left).
  5. Add pepper. Taste. Adjust. Enjoy.
  6. Note: We ate the marinara right away and it was delicious, but after I chilled it in the fridge overnight and ate it for lunch the next day it was even better!
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