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The Best Marinara Recipe: Fast Prep and Delicious Flavor

Marinara is a classic food item that we all know and love. But with so many recipes floating around, it’s hard to pick the best one. Not to worry, I am about to share with you the only marinara recipe you will ever need.

The best marinara recipe

Why is This Marinara Recipe the Best?

This recipe is the best because it’s so easy to make and takes no time to come together; two, it’s so delicious.

I don’t know about you, but I am a massive fan of easy-to-make healthy meals for my family. I try and stay away from the frozen and the processed as much as possible. But you might be thinking then, well, that’s going to take you a long time to prepare such healthy meals. Well, think again.

This marinara sauce comes together in about 30 minutes. Using simple ingredients, I know you have in your pantry and fridge right now.

Another significant aspect of this marinara sauce is how versatile it is. You can practically add anything you want; chicken, beef, pork, whatever protein you want to add works wonderfully with this simple sauce. You can add in your favorite veggies for even more flavor. Next time try adding some broccoli or diced carrots. Even in a pinch for time, this marinara sauce works perfectly over your favorite pasta with a dash of parmesan cheese.

Fresh or Canned Tomatoes?

I will use canned crushed tomatoes when making this recipe, but you can always use fresh if you want to take the extra step.

This is perfect when you have an abundance of tomatoes in your garden that you need to use up. Learning how to peel a tomato and preserve it for later use is such a valuable skill to master.

Not everyone has the time or patience to peel and preserve tomatoes, so canned is fine for me. And for that simple and easy dinner night, it’s perfect.

What you Need to Make This Marinara Sauce

In order to prepare this delicious sauce, you will need the following:

-Sauce Pan

-Stirring Utensils

-Two Tablespoons of Olive Oil

-Twenty-Eight Ounce Can of Crushed Tomatoes

-One Medium Yellow Onion

-Two Tablespoons of Chopped Garlic

-Two Teaspoons Italian Seasoning

-Two Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (Grated)

-One Teaspoon Sugar

-Salt and Pepper to Taste

-Fresh Basil (Optional)

Sometimes the most delicious dinners are the ones that are simple and use simple and tasty ingredients. And that’s that! This is the simplest of recipes but makes the most delicious of marinara sauces.

How to Make This Marinara Recipe – Step by Step

When making simple recipes like this one, to make it go by even quicker, it is best to have all of your ingredients laid out and prepared right in front of you so that all you are doing is adding them to your saucepan.

1. Chop a medium yellow onion into a small dice.

Diced onions for the marinara sauce

2. Take a saucepan, place it on the stove over medium-high heat, and add two tablespoons of olive oil.

3. Using already prepared chopped garlic (this is a lifesaver when cooking easy, quick meals), add two tablespoons into the saucepan and cook until fragrant, about two minutes.

Simmering garlic for marinara sauce

4. Once the garlic is fragrant, add the chopped onion and cook until translucent and soft.

5. Add some salt and pepper to taste your onions and garlic. This deepens the flavors once everything comes together.

Simmering the garlic and onions together

6. Once the onions are cooked, add in your can of crushed tomatoes. It is best to use a twenty-eight-ounce can; those are typically the largest you can purchase at your local grocery store.

7. Add in your Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, sugar, salt, and pepper, and give it a good stir to incorporate all your ingredients together.

All the ingredients simmering together

8. Turn the burner to low and let the sauce simmer for about fifteen minutes.

9. If you want or can, slice up some fresh basil and add it to your freshly cooked marinara sauce.

Delicious marinara sauce complete

10. Serve over your favorite noodles and top with extra parmesan cheese, and yours ready to serve dinner!

What Recipes Compliment This Marinara Sauce

My favorite thing about this fantastic marinara sauce is the fact that you can incorporate it into so many other recipes, or you can enjoy it on its own over your favorite noodles.

Vegetarian Meals

With this recipe, the options are endless. Let’s say you are looking for a great vegetarian meal to serve to one of your friends. By adding fresh vegetables such as carrots, peppers, and zucchini, you have a vegetarian marinara sauce packed full of flavor in no time.

Chicken Dishes

This sauce pairs perfectly with chicken, whether you’re making your favorite chicken parmesan or chicken spaghetti. Either way, you won’t regret pairing it with this marinara. One of my favorites is if I have some of this sauce hanging around in my freezer, I will add it to my crock pot with a large chicken breast and cook it all day while I am tending to other things. The chicken will fall apart once it is ready, and I will serve it over my favorite pasta noodles.

Beef Dishes

Maybe you are in the mood for the classics. One of my favorites of all time is spaghetti with meat sauce. Brown up and season some ground beef, then add this sauce. It is a simple thirty-minute dinner your family will be craving again in no time.

Perfect Dipping Sauce

If your looking for the best marinara sauce for your dipping pleasure, look no further. This sauce goes amazingly well with garlic knots, mozzarella sticks, pizza bread, and more!

Baked Mostaccioli

Another great classic is another meal you could prepare using this amazing marinara sauce recipe. You could add meat, or keep it meatless and add some mozzarella and extra parmesan cheese, making for a tasty dinner your family will love.

Baked Mostaccioli goes well with marinara sauce

Chefs Tips

Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for you when cooking up this super tasty marinara sauce.


This sauce cooks up quickly, so I do suggest to get the best flavor possible, always use quality ingredients, even down to your can of crushed tomatoes and spices.

Never let this sauce turn into a boil. It can and will burn quickly and ruin the flavor entirely.

Always remember to bring any sauce you make to room temperature before storing it in a container and placing it in your fridge or freezer.


I make this sauce often, sometimes when I am not even planning on eating it that same day. This is just one of the many recipes I like to use when meal prepping because of the simplicity and versatility.

To freeze this sauce, you can go about it one of two ways. I like to use freezer-safe containers and just jot the date and contents on the top lid, or you could use freezer-safe ziplock bags. Either way, ensure your sauce has completely cooled before placing it into your freezer.

When you want to cook your frozen sauce, you can just place it in your fridge the morning of to defrost, put it in a saucepan to heat back up, and serve over noodles of your choice.

Storing Leftovers

When storing leftovers, it’s always best to use a container with an air-tight seal to preserve the freshness. Once your meal has cooled down and you’re ready to clean up, just add the leftovers to your containers and pop them into your fridge. This stays perfectly fresh for up to four days when adequately sealed and chilled.

Wrapping up the Best Ever Marinara Recipe

No matter how you choose to serve your marinara sauce, this is the only recipe you need. It’s excellent as a quick dinner for those busy evenings, or you can even meal prep with this sauce making those whats for dinner nights even easier.

For even more information on what tomatoes would be best when making fresh marinara sauce, you can check out our articles for everything there is to know about the different varieties of tomatoes.

Want more mouthwatering recipes? Make sure to check out all of our handcrafted and delicious recipes!

Excited for more tomato content? Then visit our tomato page for growing tips, comprehensive guides, and tasty recipes!

Marinara recipe

Marinara Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This quick-and-easy marinara recipe is delicious and simple at the same time. You'll enjoy this quick prep and the tasty results!


  • -Two Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • -Twenty-Eight Ounce Can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • -One Medium Yellow Onion
  • -Two Tablespoons of Chopped Garlic
  • -Two Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • -Two Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
  • -One Teaspoon Sugar
  • -Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • -Fresh Basil (Optional)


  1. Dice onion.
  2. Heat oil in saucepan and add chopped garlic.
  3. After 2 minutes, add diced onion and simmer 2 more minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to saucepan.
  5. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  6. Add basil if desired and serve.

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