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.
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
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.
Marinara Sauce FAQ
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Simple Italian Sauces
5 Minute Simple Pasta Sauce (Marinara)
- 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
- 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.
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.
Originally published January 2013. Last updated and republished September 2022.
Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.