5 Minute Simple Pasta Sauce (Marinara)

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Simple Pasta Sauce tastes so much better than anything you can buy at the store, and your taste buds will do backflips over the fresh, robust flavors!!

Believe it or not, this quick and easy marinara sauce takes just 5 minutes to make, and all you need are a blender and a few basic pantry staples.

titled image for homemade pasta sauce recipe

Making a mouthwatering Italian dinner that your family will love doesn’t get much simpler than with my homemade pasta sauce recipe!!!

simple pasta sauce ingredients

Simple Pasta Sauce

Tangy, smooth, and bursting with heavenly, aromatic Mediterranean flavors, this quick and simple marinara sauce has a boatload of uses! 

Of course, it’s fabulous over pasta – this is kind of a given. But, I also use it in Italian casseroles, like Chicken Parmesan Pasta

Traditionally, marinara is intended to be used as a dipping sauce. It’s a fabulous fit with my recipes for Air Fryer Garlic Knots and Italian Garden Breadsticks!

simple pasta sauce ingredients in blender

Marinara Sauce FAQ

What is marinara sauce?

Marinara is a flavorful Italian red sauce, sometimes made from fresh tomatoes. Unlike Italian Bolognese, marinara sauce does not include meat.  The flavor is similar to a basic pizza sauce, but the consistency of marinara is thinner.

How do you thicken pasta sauce?

The quickest way to thicken marinara pasta sauce (or any sauce for that matter) is with a slurry  of equal parts cornstarch and water (or other cold liquid).

Another option is to simmer the sauce for a longer period of time. This isn’t as quick as using a slurry. But unlike a slurry, reducing the sauce thickens it and improves the flavor.

blended simple pasta sauce in blender

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Fire Roasted Tomatoes With Garlic– There are all kinds of jarred and canned options to choose from, so any brand will do.

    To cut back on the sodium, start with a low sodium sauce, then add salt to taste just before serving.
  • Italian Seasoning – If you have dried oregano, basil, rosemary, and thyme, you can make homemade Italian seasoning instead of using a premade blend.

    If you do make it yourself, don’t hesitate to use the Italian seasonings you like best.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – If you don’t like spicy marinara, you can leave this out — but I recommend using at least a pinch!

    Substitutes include cayenne pepper and paprika, though they are not as spicy as crushed red pepper flakes.

Tips for Amazing Pasta Sauce

  1. Leave it a bit chunky.

Don’t puree it completely! Marinara is best with a bit of texture and body to it.

So give it a few pulses, check the consistency, and don’t be afraid to leave some tomato chunks in there.

  1. Adjust the spiciness.

Increase the red pepper flakes to 1 teaspoon for more heat. If that’s still not spicy enough, add a small pinch of cayenne pepper. 

  1. Use fresh aromatics.

You can use fresh onions, garlic, and herbs if you happen to have them on hand.

This homemade pasta sauce recipe intentionally uses shortcuts, because I wanted a quick and simple pasta sauce.

But, if you have time and desire, feel free to add some home cooked touches to your marinara sauce!

homemade pasta sauce in pan

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating

Leftovers of the homemade pasta sauce recipe need to be refrigerated and used up within 4 days.

Be sure to store it in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, to maximize its shelf life

For longer storage, your marinara can be frozen for up to 3 months without losing flavor.

Don’t reheat the sauce too many times, because it loses flavor each time it’s reheated. Instead, only heat up as much as you need and store the rest in the fridge.

Heating, cooling, and reheating is just an open invitation for bacteria to grow.

5 minute pasta sauce over noodles

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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closeup of 5 minute marinara

Other Simple Italian Sauces


5 minute simple pasta sauce on wooden spoon

5 Minute Simple Pasta Sauce (Marinara)

Donna Elick
A simple pasta sauce with fresh, robust flavors is much better than store bought. This recipe for easy marinara sauce takes just 5 minutes!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Pantry Staple, Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Method Blender
Servings 4 makes 24 ounces

Ingredients
 

  • 14.5 ounces fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, for spicier sauce, use more, up to 1 teaspoon

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to a blender. Pulse on High power until pureed.
  • Pour into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 69cal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1245mg | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image for simple pasta sauce

Originally published January 2013. Last updated and republished September 2022.

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4 Comments

  1. I bought a Vitamix after reading your blog. Please continue to post recipes using this fantastic machine.

  2. 5 stars
    This is so much better than buying canned or jar pasta sauces. Theres something about homemade sauce that tastes much better.

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