A bowl of vegan tomato marinara sauce on a wooden chopping board next to fresh ingredients

Marinara Sauce

When it comes to cooking, there are a few recipes everyone should have a go-to for. I’ve always felt that having an authentic marinara sauce in your back pocket is a must.

This San Marzano marinara sauce is a classic you’ll want to memorize, or at the very least, bookmark as a favorite. The ingredients are simple and the preparation is rustic – making it the perfect complement to flavorful Italian dishes.

The Only Marinara Sauce You’ll Ever Need

Good marinara sauce can take you beyond Italian cuisine, and can carry you into the territory of other dishes. This recipe is so versatile and easy to prepare, I find myself using it in a lot of my favorite recipes, including:

  • The sauce base for my Hearty Vegan Meatloaf recipe
  • A mellow tomato flavor in Shakshuka Sauce
  • An authentic red sauce for vegan pasta dishes
  • The perfect base for stews and soups like this Stewed Butter Beans dish

All you need is 8 ingredients to create this rich and hearty marinara sauce. What I love most about this easy marinara sauce recipe is that it’s a no-fuss recipe that can be adjusted to your taste preferences. Like things a little spicier? Turn up the heat. Want a richer tomato taste? Omit the addition of flavored stock. The options are endless.

How To Make Marinara Sauce

To cook the marinara sauce, place a large pot on the stove at medium heat. Pour enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot and let it heat up. When hot, add the onions and cook until translucent. Next, add the fresh garlic and mix with the onions. Then add the San Marzano tomatoes and stir.

At this time, add the fresh basil, season with salt and pepper and mix everything together. Allow to stew for 15 minutes. You’ll notice the tomatoes will start to release a rich aroma as it begins to break down. To speed up the process, mash the tomatoes with a wooden spatula.

After the tomatoes have stewed, add the 16 oz. of flavored stock or water to the pot. Lower the heat to a low setting. This will give the sauce time to simmer and develop serious flavor. Stir occasionally for the next 25-30 so that the sauce does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.

When the sauce is finished, remove off the heat and use an emulsion hand blender to create a smooth marinara sauce. If you prefer a chunky and rustic sauce then skip this step altogether.

If you’re looking for authentic San Marzano Tomatoes look for “Pomodoro San Marzano Dell’Agro Sarnese Nocerino” on the label.

Make this versatile marinara sauce when you want to add authentic Italian flavors to any meal. Some of my favorites include Zucchini Parmigiana and this Meatball Sub Recipe.

If you recreate this recipe, leave a rating below and don’t forget to tag @PlantBasedDogGuy on Instagram!

Artistic photo of a bowl of tomato marinara sauce with an onion and a wooden spoon on a wooden chopping board
Yield: 8 Cups

Easy Italian Marinara Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Follow my simple 8 Ingredient marinara sauce recipe for a delicious sauce served over pasta or as the base for a variety of soups and stews. This recipe is so versatile and effortless you'll come back to it time and time again!

Ingredients

  • 56 oz. / 2 Cans San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 15 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper (To Taste)
  • 2 Teaspoons Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base or other flavored base (optional) + 16 oz. Hot Water

Instructions

CHOP

  1. Evenly chop the yellow onion. As the final step of the recipe you can choose to blend with an immersion blender for a smoother sauce or leave chunky for a heartier marinara. Keep these options in mind when chopping the ingredients.
  2. Peel and then chop the fresh garlic cloves.
  3. Wash and then chop the fresh basil leaves.
  4. Place all ingredients on your chopping board so they're easy to get to during cooking.

PREPARE

  1. Open the 2 cans of San Marzano tomatoes and set aside.
  2. Boil 16 oz of water. If you are using Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base, mix 2 teaspoons with the hot water and stir. If you are omitting the flavored stock then set aside 16 oz of hot water.

COOK

  1. Place a large pot on the stove at medium heat. Add enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot.
  2. When heated, add the onions and cook until translucent
  3. Add the fresh garlic to the pot and mix with the onions, cooking for only 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Add the San Marzano tomatoes to the pot and stir. At this time, add the fresh basil and season with salt and pepper and mix everything together. Allow to stew for 15 minutes. You'll notice the tomatoes will start to release a rich aroma as it begins to break down. To speed up the process, mash the tomatoes with a wooden spatula.
  5. After the tomatoes have stewed, add the 16 oz. of flavored stock or water to the pot. Lower the heat to a low setting. This will give the sauce time to simmer and develop serious flavor. Stir occasionally for the next 25-30 so that the sauce does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. When the sauce is finished, remove off the heat and use an emulsion hand blender to create a smooth marinara sauce. If you prefer a chunky and rustic sauce then skip this step altogether.

HOW TO USE

  1. Now that you have a batch or authentic marinara sauce, feel free to serve over pasta, use as a base for soups and stews, or my favorite, slather over vegan meatballs.
  2. Need recipe ideas? I use this marinara sauce in a few of my favorite recipes: Stewed Butter Beans, Hearty Vegan Meatloaf, Vegan Meatball Subs.

Notes

When cooled, store the marinara sauce in an air tight container. When stored in the fridge, use within 7 days. You can even freeze the sauce for several months. Simply thaw to use.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1 Cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 90Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat .1gSodium 268mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 4gSugar 12gProtein 4g

Did You Make This Recipe?

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