Cutting board with a bowl of homemade marinara beside ingredients used to make it
4.93 from 26 votes

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
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 14 (1/2-cup servings)
Category: 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Per Serving (1 of 14 half-cup servings)