Easy 1-Pot Marinara Sauce

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Bowl of our EASY 1-Pot Marinara Sauce on a cutting board with fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil

With as much pasta and lasagna as I cook in my kitchen, I don’t know why it took me so long to share my favorite marinara sauce recipe with you. In any case, it was worth the wait.

Let me show you how simple it is to make this basic kitchen staple.

Canned tomatoes, salt, olive oil, garlic, basil, cherry tomatoes, and herbs for making our Easy vegan 1-Pot Marinara Sauce

Origin of Marinara Sauce

Like many recipes, the clue to this recipe’s origin lies in the meaning of its name. Marinara comes from the Italian word “marinaro” which means sailor (source). It’s thought that it was a sauce made for sailors either during their travels or upon returning from sea to Naples, Italy.

The earliest written recipe is believed to be from a 1692 Italian cookbook. Marinara then became popular in the US with the arrival of Italian immigrants to the region in the early 20th century (source).

How to Make Marinara

This 1-pot, 9-ingredient recipe is forgiving. As long as you start with quality tomatoes and herbs, the rest kind of happens naturally.

Plus, I include a couple of hero ingredients that save the day if things are tasting lackluster (a cook always need a good backup plan).

Stirring fresh basil into our Easy 1-Pot Marinara Sauce

I prefer using canned crushed, peeled tomatoes, but diced work as well. In fact, I keep a few cans in the kitchen at all times in case I need a quick penne and red sauce to save the day.

Next comes flavor in the way of garlic, fresh basil, oregano, red pepper flake, and sea salt. Coconut sugar keeps things naturally sweetened and may seem like an unlikely addition. But sometimes tomatoes can be a bit astringent and bitter, and because this marinara is quite salty, the sweetness balances and enhances the flavors of the sauce.

And what if, at the end, it just needs some extra oomph? Tomato paste and nutritional yeast to the rescue (for a little “umami” effect and more depth of flavor – trust me on this one).

Bowl of our gluten-free and vegan marinara sauce recipe on a cutting board with fresh ingredients

I hope you all LOVE my take on marinara. It’s:

Easy to make (1 pot!)
& Perfect for pasta night

This is the perfect sauce for dishes like Spaghetti Squash PastaEggplant Lasagna Roll Ups, Easy Vegan Pizza, Garlicky Pesto Breadsticks (for dipping), Vegan Meatballs, Chickpea Bolognese, Lentil Bolognese, and more. Add a dash of Vegan Pesto to the sauce for an even herbier flavor. Or a spoonful of my Vegan Tofu Ricotta or Whipped Almond Ricotta to take it to the creamier side!

If you’re looking for cheesy things to pair with this sauce, be sure to check out my Vegan Parmesan Cheese (the perfect topper for any Italian-inspired dish) and Vegan Mozzarella “Cheese” (layered on top of your favorite pizza).

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

EASY 1-Pot Marinara Sauce served over spaghetti squash noodles

Easy 1-Pot Marinara Sauce

Easy, 1-pot marinara sauce that's rich in flavor, color, and nutrients. Simply seasoned, cooked low and slow, and perfect for any Italian dish!
Author Minimalist Baker
Cutting board with a bowl of homemade marinara beside ingredients used to make it
4.91 from 53 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 14 (1/2-cup servings)
Course Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (sub water if avoiding oil)
  • 2 large cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 28-ounce cans peeled crushed or diced tomatoes without salt (I prefer San Marzano but use any good organic brand, such as Muir Glen)
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar (or sub stevia or maple syrup to taste // omit if avoiding sugar)
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake (reduce or increase according to spice preference)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil (plus more for serving)
  • 1-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 3-4 Tbsp tomato paste (optional // for richness / depth of flavor)


  • Heat a large pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add oil (or water) and garlic. Sauté briefly for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until barely golden brown. Then add tomatoes, oregano, coconut sugar, salt, and pepper flake.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add basil and stir. Cook for 5 minutes more.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, oregano or basil for freshness/herbed flavor, pepper flake for heat, or coconut sugar for sweetness. At this time, you can also choose to add nutritional yeast and/or tomato paste for more depth of flavor and richness (optional, but I usually add both).
  • If the sauce has thickened too much at this point, thin with a little water. Although I prefer mine thicker and leave it on the thick/chunky side.
  • Serve with your favorite Italian dishes, such as Eggplant Roll-Ups, Eggplant Lasagna, Chickpea Bolognese, Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, or Veggie Meatballs. Or simply over a serving of cooked pasta of choice or spaghetti squash.
  • Store cooled leftovers in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or in the freezer up to 1 month.



*2 large garlic cloves are equal to ~3 small garlic cloves or ~2 Tbsp minced garlic.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with oil and without the optional ingredients.
*Recipe makes ~7.5 cups of sauce.

Nutrition (1 of 14 servings)

Serving: 1 half-cup servings Calories: 37 Carbohydrates: 4.4 g Protein: 0.8 g Fat: 2.1 g Saturated Fat: 0.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 171 mg Fiber: 1.1 g Sugar: 3.2 g

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My Rating:

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Mira! Thanks so much for the lovely review. Next time would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful to us and our readers! Thanks so much again! xo

  1. Annmarie M says

    It was just ok; a bit too spicy. I used diced tomatoes, but i think crushed would’ve been better because the diced were too chunky. If I make it again, I’m going to sauté some onion with the garlic & perhaps double the garlic…

  2. Neta says

    looks amazing and i’m going to try it out today!! just a question, i’m adding the beyond meat meatballs and I was wondering if i need to bake the meatballs and sauce together? i’ll make the meatballs ahead, will fry them up or something and then when the cooking of the sauce starts i’ll add the meatballs. Does that sound okay to do?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Neta, we haven’t used those, but they seem pretty sturdy so we think it would work well!

  3. Nancy says

    This recipe is fantastic! The flavor is rich and so satisfying. This is a keeper. The San Mariano tomatoes make a nice, thick sauce. Brands from Italy (like Cento) are the best.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sara, we think 2-3 Tbsp would be a good amount of dried basil to try. Let us know how it goes!

  4. SNL says

    My grandparents (both sets) are Italian so I grew up with pasta sauce that included pork (or beef). However I want to reduce my meat so thought I’d try this recipe, and wow was I impressed with the flavour!
    I like that the oregano isn’t pizza flavour/overpowering, the olive oil adds so much more richness than I realised, and my cooking trick* made the tomatoes taste rich and flavourful in easily half the time stated, with no added sugar (or nutritional yeast, included sriracha for chilli and garlic).
    Tips: Find a decent canned tomato brand – here in the UK, Cirio plum tomatoes tasted just as good as the fresh San Marzano’s for half the price. And don’t skimp on the fresh basil! It brought the flavours today, and took it over the top.
    *I find cooking the tomatoes liquid down until they’re saucy is what makes them less acidic. Cook time doesn’t matter, but if you use a higher heat than you’ll have to stir it sooner. Still, despite a little babysitting, it didn’t take 30 minutes and didn’t need sugar.
    Thanks again for another winner!

  5. Dolly says

    So simple, yet really tasty! And, other than the fresh basil, it’s made with pantry staples. I made the recipe using only one 28 oz can of tomatoes, the lesser amounts of yeast and paste, and the called for amounts of the remaining ingredients. I was surprised at how much my husband liked the sauce; he doesn’t usually prefer tomato/marinara sauces, but commented quite a bit on how good this was. Thank you for another solid recipe!

  6. Nicole says

    Best tomato sauce I’ve ever made! I didn’t have garlic so used shallots. Used a good quality organic tomato paste at the end. Served it over vegan polenta with sautéed mushrooms and parsley. Delicious! I will be returning to this tomato sauce over and over again. Thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Nicole. Thank you for the lovely review and sharing that delicious serving idea! xoxo

  7. Marc Henderson says

    On a WFPB no SOS (salt, oil, sugar) lifestyle and I made this without the salt, oil or tomato paste. It was amazing. I let it simmer for about 2 hours though.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We love to hear this. Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Marc! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Samantha! We haven’t tried this with fresh tomatoes and it may change the flavor a bit, but we’d suggest chopping the tomatoes, draining them (in a colander over a bowl) to remove excess liquid, then blending them until you have at least 4-5 cups (or 56 oz if you have a scale). Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

  8. Jim Tully says

    A really easy and delicious sauce. I have made this many times from this recipe. A couple of things I do: sub one grated carrot for coconut sugar; saute some mushrooms anda chopped Field Roast sausage with the garlic. I love it; thanks for this simple and delicious recipe.

  9. jennie says

    This is my go to base marinara/pizza sauce, and I make it quite frequently. It’s incredibly easy and I haven’t bought a jar in at least 2 years.

    I usually halve the recipe as we’re not huge Italian/pasta eaters at my house, and I double the garlic even though I halve the recipe (what can I say, I love garlic). The rest of the listed ingredients I just sort of go by taste.

    We’ve used this as a dipping sauce for pizza crusts, a pizza sauce, and as marinara for eggplant rollups, pasta, etc. The only time I deviate is when I make your tempeh bolognaise. Thanks for the household staple!

  10. Joanne says

    I love this recipe! I make it at least once a week with pasta and usually double it so we can use it for pizza sauce on Friday nights. It’s so good!! I sometimes add more oregano because it’s a favorite spice for me, and maybe some parsley. Thanks so much for this recipe!!!

  11. Cholena Humphrey says

    This recipe looks simple enough so I can make some spaghetti sauce. Thank you for helping me break the code on how to make spaghetti sauce. If I am successful I will never have to buy a can of tomato or spaghetti sauce for the rest of my life.

  12. KF says

    Hello! This looks delicious! Do you have a recommendation for if we’d like to use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      You’ll want to use ripe, rich, flavorful tomatoes. We have found that when cooking from fresh, it has to cook down on the stovetop or in the oven to develop the flavors. But it is possible! Also, you’ll probably want to blend it. If you do some experimenting, we would love to hear what you learn!

  13. Schyler says

    Best marinara sauce I’ve made! So delicious, had to stop myself from eating it all before serving it with the vegan meatballs! Definitely will be my go-to sauce from here on out (very hard to find American-style marinara in UK– which is hard when I crave mozzarella sticks!).

    • Cathy says

      I absolutely cannot believe how good this was, especially considering how easy it is to throw together. This is now my go-to marinara – I even stocked up on canned tomatoes and semolina flour for homemade pasta so I won’t be caught without them when the mood strikes. It’s simple enough for a weeknight but is so good you can use it for fancier meals. Thank you for yet another fantastic addition to my recipe collection!
      By the way, your cookbook is absolutely beautiful. I’m excited to try just about everything!

  14. Carly says

    Super easy/quick & delicious!!! I was intimidated to make a homemade red pasta sauce (usually I’m a lazy store jar kind of person), but I’m so glad I gave this recipe a try for my first time !!! Will definitely be making this again!!!

      • Ana says

        This was the most delicious sauce we have ever had! It was so quick and easy, I’ll never go back to pre-made sauce! Our family has been doing the L.E.A.P. diet, it is very hard to align our meals because this diet is tailored to our individual needs. We left some things out because it wasn’t on our approved food lists. I can’t have oregano so we left that out, however, we did add one leaf of bayleaf during cooking. We are allowed to have cane sugar so we added a little of that instead of the coconut sugar. Also, I do not like anything spicy so I skipped the red pepper flakes. My entire family loved it. I poured it over spaghetti squash. It was so good my son asked for seconds, actually, we all had seconds, lol!

  15. Jessie J. says

    This is THE BEST marinara sauce EVER. So easy to make. My chef boyfriend raves about it and says I’ve got him beat now! I can’t take the credit of course – but THANK YOU! I now use this for everything – even the base if I want to add veggies or meat.

  16. Liz G says

    very delicious- the long simmer allows it to thicken just right. added tomato paste is also delicious and not much is needed

  17. MKinTX says

    5 Stars! Both me and my husband love this sauce. I didn’t use oil and subbed 28 oz Fire Roasted diced tomatoes, 14 oz crushed tomatoes and 14 oz no salt diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano. I let it cook a couple hours and used an immersion blender to smooth it out. I did add the tomato paste and it added a little thickness which I liked. Won’t be searching any further for a red sauce recipe! YUM!

  18. Samantha Christiansen says

    I love your recipes! Can i make this in my instant pot? For how long?

    Thank you,

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Samantha, we haven’t tried that, but we think so! You may need to add water to prevent the “burn” message. We’d suggest maybe 1 cup water and 10 minutes high pressure, natural release? Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  19. Linda says

    I know fresh basil is best but I’m out and the garden isn’t producing yet. Is it worth doing this recipe with dried basil, or should I just wait until I get fresh?

  20. Sneha says

    The BEST marinara – so easy, and I love to add in a lot of red pepper to give it some kick. Just used it for a summer squash lasagna and froze the rest, so easy and fresh!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      You’ll want to use ripe, rich, flavorful tomatoes. We have found that when cooking from fresh, it has to cook down on the stovetop or in the oven to develop the flavors. But it is possible! Also, you’ll probably want to blend it. If you do some experimenting, we would love to hear what you learn!

    • Paula says

      Hi, I’ve made the marinara many times and always have used fresh tomatoes. (I use 24 total tomatoes to make equivalent to what the recipe calls for.) Hope this helps.

  21. R Wanee says

    This sauce was very easy to make and absolutely delicious!!! My husband and I eat a plant-based diet, and I was looking for a pasta sauce recipe that incorporated nutritional yeast. I ran across this recipe and made it last night. I used the sauce over whole wheat penne pasta and added sauteed vegetables as a side. (Sorry, I did not see the request to take a picture of the completed recipe until after we had finished dinner.). I did use 3 Tbsp of tomato paste and 1 Tbsp of nutritional yeast. I did not increase the measurements of any other spices, and the sauce turned out perfectly suited to our palates. Thank you so much!!!

  22. Rosemary Jones says

    Even though I only had store-brand diced tomatoes and no fresh basil or garlic, this turned out great. I had one 28-oz. can and one smaller can of diced tomatoes and added a can of tomato sauce (no tomato paste on hand either! I added dried oregano and basil, and roasted garlic from Penzey’s. Added the nutritional yeast as suggested and about half the recommended coconut sugar.
    Delicious and so easy! Next time I’ll have all the recommended ingredients on hand first :)

  23. Leah says

    I love this recipe but lately it has been really runny. The flavors are great but when I use it for eggplant parm or spaghetti night, my whole plate turns into a watery mess. Any thoughts on how I can fix this?
    Im adding the pasta water and not too much of it. Everything else is kept the same.according to the recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can slightly drain your canned tomatoes! Also cooking for longer with the lid off will thicken.

    • Melinda says

      Hi! I read the recipe and I don’t see where you would add any pasta water, especially if it’s been runny for you. Perhaps you could omit that step and keep it on the thick side and see if it helps. Good luck!

  24. d says

    Fantastic recipe but PLEASE reconsider how ads are laid out on your site. The constant videos popping up are really jarring and distracting and i find myself having to tape a piece of paper over the right side of my screen so i can focus on your site. I’ve actually been halfway through a recipe and then closed the site and used a different recipe because I can’t take the constant videos when I’m reading.
    If I close the ads (once they play through, there is no option to do so until the video is over), another pops up within 10 seconds, its really really frustrating.
    Just some feedback for a request for a more minimalist site to go with the minimalist theme <3

    Anyway this sauce is perfect and easy and I love it. 5 stars.

  25. Ryan says

    We use this recipe with vegan meatballs and we love it. Only thing I do differently is add some of the pasta water at the end.

    Just a small thing, on the imperial recipie it says 2 28oz cans of tomatoes. On the metric it only says 793 grams cans of tomatoes. Unless I’m missing something, it should also be 2 cans in the metric recipie. Only pointing it as it might confuse some people :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy this recipe! Thanks for letting us know about the error- we’ll get is fixed!

  26. Ida says

    I’d forgotten just how fabulous this recipe was and I’m happy to say that It didn’t let me down this time either. I’ve prepared several times in the past and it’s so easy, so rich, and oh so yummy. I added some of your vegan pesto to the sauce in place of the fresh basil and garlic. Spot on perfect!!

  27. Linnea says

    Being of Italian descent, I have eaten a lot of spaghetti sauce. My mother cooked up masses of awesome sauce. This vegan sauce is the best I have ever had. It is very excellent.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Linnea. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  28. Susan says

    Incredibly delicious. I used no oil, just one 28 oz. can of crushed San Marzano tomatos, and kept the simmer very low. I added the denerous full amounts of othe ther ingredients, with a very healthy amount of red pepper flakes and fresh-cut-off-the-plant basil. A fantastically full-flavored dinner that did not leave me craving fat, as I have been doing since it became very cold where I live. Thank you so much for another winner!

  29. Olivia McBee says

    Hi! This sauce is delicious. I did have a question though. I used 2 cans of the crushed tomatoes and the recipe gave me 14 1/2 cup servings instead of 7. Is this normal?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Danielle. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  30. Ellex says

    I experimented with 5 fresh tomatoes (skin on) from a friend’s garden and maple syrup as the sweetener to whip up this homemade sauce. I simmered for 45 minutes, blended, and then returned for another 15 minutes. The sauce is perfect. Thick. Creamy. Not too sweet. Not too spicy. My batch was small so I’ll use more tomatoes next time!

  31. Jasmine says

    Hello, how many pounds of fresh tomatoes can I use for this recipe. What type of tomatoes would I need to use for this?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jasmine, we aren’t sure how many pounds of fresh tomatoes to use in this recipe since we used canned. We have found that when cooking from fresh, it has to cook down on the stovetop or in the oven to develop the flavors. But it is possible! If you do some experimenting, we would love to hear what you learn!

  32. Alice says

    I just made this recipe for first time. Thank you. Easy and fast. It is lovely. I subbed fresh, peeled organic roma tomatoes and ground garlic as I used all up making hummus last night. I am out of fresh basil so used dried in bottle. I did add some very concentrated tomato paste and nutritional yeast to add depth but it was quite good before adding those. Oh, yes, I had a green bell pepper that need using so sauteed that with onion, in water. Again, thank you. Will be a basic recipe for my recipes using tomato sauce.

  33. Raegan Clark says

    Just made this with chickpea pasta for a high-protein vegan noodle dish for my sister and parents. It was SO GOOD. Let me just summarize it with this… I was never a red-sauce marinara person until this recipe. Thank you!!!!!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Raegan. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  34. Jay says

    I have made this many, many times. Vegans, plant based eaters and carnivores all love this recipe! My only modification is to use a splash (or two) of red wine as the sweeting agent. LOVE THIS RECIPE!

  35. lillian says

    I was craving meatballs and needed a sauce to go with them, and this sauce fit the bill pefectly!

  36. Caro says

    I made this recipe as stated, using maple syrup for the sweetening agent, and did not add the optional tomato paste or nutritional yeast. It was a home run! Easy to make with fresh ingredients, took less than 40 minutes altogether, and tastes simple and classic. I enjoyed this sauce over spaghettini noodles, and am saving up the rest in mason jars for later this week and month. From now on I’ll be making this recipe from scratch instead of buying pasta sauce!

  37. Neha says

    What an easy recipe! It tastes so fresh and takes so little time to make and store. Such a big hit in my kitchen! Thanks Dana for sharing such amazing recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Neha. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  38. Chris P says

    Yes I really did make this and it was fantastic! I paired it with sweet chicken sausage and brown rice penne from TJs (Trader Joe’s). I used the max amount of tomato paste, nutritional yeast, and extra fresh basil. My 6 year old loved it and said it’s the best pasta she’s ever had! Literally ate it as fast as she could. This will be a staple in my kitchen over store bought marinara!

  39. Oishika Mukherjee says

    Oh and hey, thank you for all your recipes. Every time I want to make something western, your blog is my go-to. Sometimes with other non Indian blogs, there are ingredients that I cannot find in my country but the ingredients you mention are almost always easily available here. Thank you!

  40. Oishika Mukherjee says

    I have made it twice and every time it feels like heaven in my mouth. I am never going back to store bought marinara sauce. Of course being an Indian who loves her food to be hot, I added lots of chilli flakes and some ground peppercorn. I love it!

  41. Evalyn German says

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes! My husband and I have not eaten tomato sauce in some time. This was delicious! I did not add the tomato paste or nutritional yeast because the kiddos do not like. Also, I did not have coconut sugar so I used cane sugar I had on hand. Next time I think I will try a date. Still so yummy!

    I used oregano this time but I am slightly allergic, so would like to sub next time. Do you think just using Basil would still taste good. If so, how much? Are there any other seasonings that would work? thanks!

  42. Linda says

    I made this using fresh roma tomatoes from my garden and maple syrup instead of coconut sugar…it was so delicious! So good I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m going to make a huge batch this weekend and jar it. I love the way your recipes automatically adjust the ingredient amounts for the servings that I input. Brilliant!

  43. Tina says

    Rather than opening up a tube or can of tomato paste, I added a few glugs of spent red wine for added depth, and it worked out beautifully.

  44. Theresa says

    Loved this sauce!! Put it over some homemade gnocchi and veggies and it hit the spot!! Subbed the oil for water and didn’t add any extra sugar.

  45. Candy Rhinehart says

    Absolutely delicious! For me, a perfect marinara sauce. What did I especially like? Nutritional yeast – and the sauteed garlic. And a good place for my fresh basil and oregano. Oh – and addition of sugar (I used date). Basically, the entire sauce! I added vegan meatballs, and poured over baked spaghetti squash, and used another night over baked chile rellenos (a fabulous old Sunset Gardens recipe).

  46. Charleen Belcher says

    This turned out great! I started by sautéing an onion and some mushrooms, then added the garlic. I skipped the sugar and upped the quantity of herbs. A quick and easy homemade sauce and I had a large jar left over for the next dinner. My son, who doesn’t often love the healthy meals I make, really liked this sauce :) Thanks Dana for another winner!!

  47. B says

    So Good! Munching as I type. I added a bit more garlic ( to chase away the vampires). Amazing as always! Thank you!

  48. Daniel says

    Something doesn’t add up. 3 1/2 cups yield converts to 28oz, and your recipe says to use two 28oz canned tomatoes. I’m assuming you meant one 28oz can, or maybe two 14.5oz cans. Anyway, I’m looking forward to trying it, but I figured I’d warn anyone reading this to either double the rest of the ingredients (and expect about a 7 cup yield) or use half the amount of tomatoes.

  49. golfmama says

    I made this today and it is so yummy. So much better than the stuff in a jar. I used 1/2 crushed tomatoes and 1/2 diced. We like it chunky. I also added a little more pepper flakes because we like spicy. I had everything on hand except basil so I subbed a heaping tablespoon of pesto. Lastly, I had a few Parmesan cheese rinds in the freezer so I added those and fished out what didn’t melt. This sauce will be perfect for tomorrow nights rigatoni. Thanks for the recipe!

  50. Anneke says

    I LOVE Minimalist Baker! My daughter went vegan a year ago, and I have been using MB recipes to include in our evening meals and have NEVER been disappointed. I tried this recipe for the first time yesterday—I made it exactly as listed (adding more herbs to our taste), including adding the paste, but not the nutritional yeast. My husband is Italin-while it was too thick for his tastes (I will forgo the paste next time) he LOVED it. I will also skip the coconut sugar—we typically do not add sugar to non-dessert items, but I tried it this time. We all agreed the sugar was distracting.
    Thank you, Dana! You make my life easier and yummier!

  51. Joe says

    One quick tip, it you are using fresh vs. dried herbs as with the oregano you want the fresh to be 3 times the dried to get the same potency. Also fresh is best used at the end as the flavor can be mutted slightly when cooked to long. Dried is best added early as it takes about 20 minutes for the flavors be pulled out.
    Love your blog, use it for Vegan and non fat recipes a lot.

  52. Lisa says

    This was a pretty good quick sauce. We are 90 – 95% plant based and follow a mostly traditional Mediterranean diet. In other words, we primarily eat whole plant foods and we eat fish and shellfish several times per month. We don’t eat any land meat or drink any dairy, but we do eat goat and sheep milk cheese sparingly. Given this, I added 3 TBSP of Pecorino Romano to the sauce. Additionally, I used 6 larger cloves of garlic and to mellow the acidity of the finished sauce I added 1/2 cup of neutral flavored soy milk. I also used 3 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste to create a nice thick sauce. For extra depth of flavor I might saute a small, grated onion before proceeding with the rest of the steps next time. I will use the sauce this time to spoon over my almond ricotta stuffed pasta shells which have been a family favorite for many years.

  53. Jocelyn says

    Hi! I was just wondering why you have to cook it for 30 minutes. What would happen if you just brought it to a simmer for a couple minutes and then used it? Would that change the flavor?

  54. Danielle Smith says

    Using your marinara recipe tonight in homemade lasagna. It’s absolutely delicious, and I’m relatively certain our pickiest eater will actually eat it. Thank you!

  55. Cassie Autumn Tran says

    Marinara sauce never fails to elevate any dish! My mother used to make her own marinara sauce to use for pastas and soups. It was so delicious and it tasted a lot fresher than store-bought marinara!

  56. Emily says

    My carnivore boyfriend and I (vegetarian) made this to go with cheese ravioli and it was absolutely divine. Such depth of flavor! We are continually impressed by your ability to make every recipe 10x more delicious with the inclusion of surprise ingredients.

  57. Audrey says

    Hi Dana, does this sauce from your recipe taste sour? The commercial ones mostly taste very nice. I wonder if it’s just sugar factor or can it be attributed to the variety of tomatoes used.

    Can this sauce be frozen? xx

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Audrey, this sauce shouldn’t taste sour. Most store-bought pasta sauces contain a lot of sugar, which helps balance the tomato’s acidity. To balance the acidity in this recipe, add more sweetener of choice.

  58. Leslie Ewing says

    I make this sauce, starting with one large or two medium onions, coarsely chopped, before adding the garlic to the pan. I use this sauce on pasta, in lasagna, for “meatless meatball” sandwiches – the meatless meatballs coming from Trader Joe’s. Some vegan mozzarella and sauce on a bun with the meatballs make a quick meal. Also, I like to get a package of vegan Italian sausage, cut the links into thin slices, heated up in the sauce and poured over whole wheat penne pasta for another quick meal. This sauce does not last long in my refrigerator because I use it up!

  59. loh says

    I frequently make a similar sauce, also use it to toss with some grilled veg over polenta. For depth of flavour I tend to go with a dash of balsamic vinegar, also find when using that sugar seems unnecessary.

    • loh says

      I’ve tried pasta sauces with fresh tomatoes a few times. Unless you leave it on the stove (or in the oven) for a few hours it tends not to be so tomato-ey oddly enough. Also, it’s a hassle if you ask me (and I’m game for multi-day cooking projects). This is one of those few instances where canned is the better, or at least considerably faster, option.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I have! I’ve also tried salsa with fresh tomatoes. But I must say, it’s so much more time consuming because it has to cook down on the stovetop or in the oven to develop the flavors. But it is possible! I just didn’t have access to super rich, rich tomatoes this time of year, so canned is the next best thing.

      • Heidi says

        I made this last week. I added vegan parm, used pink Himalayan salt and the optional tomato paste & nutrional yeast flakes. I didn’t use pepper flakes as I’m sensitive to spicy food/spices. I did add the basil earlier than called for by mistake. It came out rich and tasty. ?

  60. Robert Buckingham says


    May have been asked this before. I’m in the UK and I maybe wrong but we dont have red pepper flqke in the UK. What is it and do you have an alternative? See it in a lot of recipes.


    • Dani says

      Hi, living in Germany, I thought I couldn’t find them either, but when supermarkets here have an asain week they carry it. Otherwise buy some dried whole red peppers and grind them to flakes.

      • Robert Buckingham says

        Hi, thanks for getting back. I did a google straight after posting (yes should of checked first :) ) and indeed its chilli flakes.

        Thank you all