Simple Marinara Sauce

Forget pre-made marinara sauce and make your own in just 30 minutes. Not only does homemade sauce taste richer (and have way less sugar and salt), but it can be made using staple pantry ingredients.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Homemade, Sauce
Author: Kelli


  • 1 28- oz cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ – 1 tsp salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • Optional pinch red pepper flakes


  • Pour can of peeled tomatoes (with juices) into a medium-sized bowl. With your hands (or a fork) crush tomatoes. Pour 1 cup of water into empty tomato can, swish around to get the remaining tomato juice, and set aside.
  • In a large skillet (not a pot!) over medium heat, add olive oil. Once oil is hot, add garlic and cook until garlic starts to sizzle.
  • Add tomatoes, reserved water, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and optional red pepper flakes. Bring to a low simmer (you may need to reduce heat to medium-low). Allow to simmer at least 30 minutes – the oil on top should be orange and the sauce should be slightly thick. Stir and taste to adjust seasonings periodically. For a thicker sauce, continue to gently simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve immediately or rapidly cool to room temperature and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.