Skip the tartness of jarred pasta sauces and make your own homemade marinara sauce with some basic pantry ingredients. Use it with your favorite pasta recipes or freeze it for another day.
Here’s a quick recipe for a marinara sauce that’s a staple in my kitchen. I’m not a fan of the tartness and acidity that typically comes from the jarred pasta sauces you get from the grocery stores, so I tend to make my own. This homemade marinara sauce has a hint of sweetness, a beefy base and a touch of heat. Adjust the amount of sugar accordingly to balance and bind the acidity from the tomatoes. And make sure to have an apron on because this sauce spits!
If you’re looking for pasta ideas on what to pair it with, try this meatball pasta bake, cheesy hot Italian sausage pasta bake, chicken Parmesan, Italian baked chicken, or this spinach and three cheese manicotti. Let’s start cooking.
HOMEMADE MARINARA SAUCE RECIPE TIPS
Garlic – I used fresh garlic but you can substitute it with some garlic powder.
San Marzano tomatoes – San Marzano tomatoes are said to be sweeter than others so you’ll end up with a marinara sauce that isn’t too tart. I use a meat smasher to smash these whole peeled tomatoes but you can also use a wooden spoon.
Beef bouillon cubes – These give the sauce a beefy base. It’s like adding some beef broth but skipping the simmering time to cook it down.
Sugar – I like adding sugar to balance the tartness of the tomatoes. Feel free to adjust or leave out if needed.
Simmering – The recipe calls for 15 minutes of simmering but you can simmer the sauce in a covered pot for up to a few hours. If you would like to simmer it even longer, it’s probably a better idea to make the sauce in a slow cooker instead.
RECIPES TO PAIR WITH MARINARA SAUCE
- Meatball Pasta Bake
- Cheesy Hot Italian Sausage Pasta Bake
- Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs
- Italian Baked Chicken
- Spinach and Three Cheese Manicotti