Simple Homemade Marinara Sauce 🌱 How to make a simply delicious & versatile marinara to enjoy with pasta, pizza, breadsticks, veggie meatballs, veggie burgers or anything else you love with tomatoes. GF & oil-free option.
Are you in search of a delicious vegan marinara recipe that will elevate your pasta dishes without the fuss of preparing a complicated sauce that takes hours to cook on the stove? Look no further!
This zesty, thick & rich sauce is so easy to make with just a few basic ingredients! In about 30 minutes or less, you'll have a perfect pot of marinara ready to spoon onto a bowl of gnocchi, a pan full of spinach and vegan cheese stuffed pasta shells, or as the ideal pizza sauce for a classic vegan Margherita!
See our complete recipe for making this delicious vegan Margherita pizza here.
Table of Contents
What is marinara sauce?
I like to think of marinara as the foundation for almost any tomato-based pasta sauce. Made with the basic essential ingredients found in most red sauces, such as tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs, this marinara is an ideal vegan sauce for any dish that requires a rich Italian-style sauce. It's perfect on pasta, pizza, casseroles, meatballs, as a dip for breadsticks or with veggies.
🍅 Why you'll love this recipe
- It's quick & easy to prepare
- Simply delicious!
- Just a few basic ingredients
- So versatile! Make it your own!
- Freeze extra sauce for later
Here are the few kitchen tools you'll need:
- 4 qt sauce pan with lid
- Kitchen knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons
- Long handled spoon for stirring
🥕 See the printable recipe below for quantities and details.
- Tomatoes - whole or crushed tomatoes (we use canned tomatoes)
- Tomato paste
- Onion - fresh (brown or yellow)
- Garlic - fresh
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil - See instructions below to prepare this recipe without oil.
- Brown sugar - Adding a bit of sugar helps offset the acidity of the tomatoes. Other options you could use are granulated white or raw sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, date paste or vegan honey.
🥕Note: See the FAQ's below for tips on using dried seasonings.
I love this sauce just as it is, but if you want to bump up the flavor, you could add:
- Basil - fresh or dried
- Oregano - fresh or dried
- Italian seasoning
- Bay leaves
- Red pepper flakes
Pour olive oil into saucepan and place on stove over medium-high heat.
🥕Oil-free option: If you prefer not to use oil, begin cooking onions and garlic in 2 tablespoon of water. Add more if needed.
Add onions and garlic, stir frequently, be careful not to let them burn. Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes. If using whole tomatoes, crush apart with a spoon or fork before cooking.
Stir in tomato paste.
Add balsamic vinegar.
Stir in salt.
Stir in half the sugar. Taste. Add more if needed.
Cover pot. Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
🍅 Serving Suggestions
Enjoy this delicious marinara with our fabulous vegan zucchini ravioli.
This simple marinara is perfect with my vegan spinach ricotta shells.
Zesty rich marinara served with homemade vegan meatless meatballs.
Yes, marinara sauce is traditionally vegan.
While garlic and onions contribute to the traditional flavor profile of marinara sauce, you can still create a tasty sauce without them. You can experiment with substitutes like shallots, leeks, or using garlic and onion powders for a milder flavor.
Yes, you can use dried herbs instead of fresh ones. However, keep in mind that dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor, so you'll need to adjust the quantity accordingly. As a general rule, use one-third of the amount of dried herbs compared to fresh herbs.
If you find your marinara sauce too thin, you can simmer it uncovered for a longer time to allow the excess liquid to evaporate and thicken the sauce. Alternatively, you can add extra tomato paste, which will add thickness and intensify the flavor.
Homemade marinara sauce can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days. If properly stored in an airtight container, it can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
If you love this recipe ★★★★★ please be sure to rate it below! Sharing your experience lets me know that you enjoyed it and will help other readers decide if they should give the recipe a try too. Thanks a bunch!🥕
Simple Homemade Marinara Sauce
- ½ yellow onion medium - diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 28 oz whole or crushed tomatoes canned
- 3 oz tomato paste about 5 tablespoon or ½ 6 oz can
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Pour olive oil into saucepan and place on stove over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and garlic, stir frequently, be careful not to let them burn. Reduce heat to medium.
- Add tomatoes. If using whole tomatoes, crush apart with a spoon or fork before cooking.
- Stir in tomato paste.
- Stir in balsamic vinegar.
- Stir in salt.
- Stir in half the sugar. Taste. Add more if needed.
- Cover pot with lid. Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- That's it! Your marinara is ready to use.
- Fresh or dried basil
- Fresh or dried oregano
- Dried Italian seasoning
- Bay leaves
- Red pepper flakes
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended