How to Make Marinara Sauce

In this post I want to show you how to make marinara sauce. This is a very easy and quick version and it renders you a very tasty sauce for pasta, gnocchi or polenta.

Marinara sauce simply refers to a red sauce made from tomatoes for Italian meals. You can also use it as a dip for appetizers for things like mozzarella cheese sticks.

You will notice that I have not added any sugar to this sauce. I believe that the tomato paste has enough to balance the bitterness of the tomatoes. However, if you would like to add some go ahead and add 1 tsp of sugar when you add the tomatoes. You can also use grated carrots for this.

This sauce can be made within 20 minutes. You can also add some extra chopped fresh basil to the sauce once it is finished. Simply add it to the hot sauce and let it wilt.

This is how to make Marinara sauce:

Makes about four cups of sauce
1 TBS olive oil
1 yellow onion – finely chopped
4 garlic cloves – minced
2 TBS chopped basil
1 – 30 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 heaping TBS of tomato paste
1 TBS dried oregano
Salt & Black Pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onions. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until onions are softened and translucent.

Add the garlic cloves, mix and cook for a couple of minutes until you can smell it. Add the basil leaves and mix.

Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste. Fill the can of tomatoes about 1/4th of the way with water, swirl to get all the tomato sauce and add to the pan. Mix well until the tomato paste is dissolved.

Add the dried oregano and salt and pepper. Mix well. Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat and allow your sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Print the Marinara Sauce Recipe Here

My name is Mary Ann Allen and I am here to help you get organized so you can save money on groceries and feed your family healthy, nutritious food. My multi-cultural cooking background comes from being born in the US and raised in Bolivia. I have 5 kids and own around 400 cook books. I absolutely love to cook!


  • January 5, 2010


    I love this site

  • January 5, 2010


    Thanks for coming by! I really appreciate it! Hope you come back often!
    Mary Ann

  • December 10, 2011


    Hi! i wanted to know how much you made. i need six cups to add in a lasagna, so i was wondering how much this is. could you let me know, please? thanks so much, and good job 🙂

  • December 10, 2011


    Hi there!
    This will make about 4 cups of sauce. Thanks for coming by!
    Mary Ann

  • May 27, 2015

    Allen Conley

    I like your marinara sauce recipe. However, I like to make enough for later dates so how much does your recipe make?

  • May 27, 2015

    mary ann allen

    Hi Allen!
    This recipe will give you about 3.5 cups of sauce. Thanks for stopping by!
    Mary Ann