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Closeup of rich and thick homemade marinara sauce

Marinara Sauce Recipe

Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pantry
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 (about 3 ½ cups sauce)
Calories: 161kcal
Author: Marilyn
A homemade marinara sauce that is incredibly easy to make from ingredients you have on hand. Sure you can buy marinara sauce but, when this recipe is so much richer and can add so much flavor to your dishes it is so worth it.
(Adapted from a Classic Marinara Sauce recipe in the NY Times Cooking)
Print Recipe


  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes see tip
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
  • PInch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano approximately


  • In a large bowl, add the can of tomatoes. Add 1 cup water to the can and slosh it around to get the juices. Set aside. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes in the bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic as sizzling and before it browns.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, reserved tomato water, pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and oregano.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened and oil on surface is a deep orange color. After 10 minutes cooking, carefully taste sauce and season to taste with salt and oregano.


These are the Best Canned Tomatoes of 2020, according to taste test conducted by Wirecutter and the NY Times Cooking staff.. While San Marzano tomatoes have long been the cooks tomato of choice, I found some great options in this list including an inexpensive house brand from Target. You will be surprised how high this inexpensive can of tomatoes ranks!


Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 866mg | Potassium: 391mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 232IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2mg