Everyone should have a good marinara sauce in their culinary arsenal and this one is mine. It’s chock full of veggies, slow simmered and a blended into a delicious topping for pastas, baked vegetables and your favorite parmigiana. Homemade marinara sauce is also a great base for a meaty bolognese.
Start with a standard mix of vegetables, celery, carrots and onions, plus fresh fennel to sweeten and balance out the flavors.
Get the best canned tomatoes you can find. I like Italian San Marzano for richest, most flavorful sauce.
Add the tomatoes and their liquid to the vegetables and break the tomatoes apart with the back of a wooden spoon.
Then just simmer, simmer, simmer with the lid on or askew, stirring every once in a while.
After a few hours scoop the sauce into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth sauce.
If you’re a canner — this sauce works well for that. Canning is not my thing, so I generally package it in plastic storage containers to freeze.
More tips and recipes for homemade marinara sauce:
- 13 Tips To Make Jarred Sauce Taste Homemade
- Mushroom and Kale Stuffed Shells
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Marinara
- Healthy Italian Stuffed Vegetables
Table of Contents
Homemade Marinara Sauce
- 3 large carrots peeled and diced
- 4 stalks celery diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 bulbs fennel diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3- 32 oz cans best quality whole tomatoes in puree preferably San Marzano
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add vegetables and salt, stir, cover with the lid, reduce heat slightly and let the vegetables cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and they take on a translucent quality, about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- With clean hands, remove tomatoes 1 at a time from the can(s). Carefully (so they don’t squirt on you or the kitchen) squeeze them over your pot of vegetables, releasing their seeds and juice and squishing the tomato. Add the remaining tomato puree to the vegetables and stir.
- Add bay leaves, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Return the pot to medium high heat, with the cover offset. When the mixture starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat.
- Using a food processor or a blender and working in batches, process the sauce until smooth.
- It’s ready for your favorite recipe, or can be canned or frozen in batches as needed.
not one person who commented even made the sauce. lame. looks like the best recipe i could find on the internet so im actually going to try it…….
then ill comment so all the people who look at the comments have one comment to judge the recipe by.
gonna rate it a five and ill change it if i need to.
super sarcastic, sorry everyone
sue | theviewfromgreatisland says
I don’t even need the pasta, I could eat this luscious sauce all by itself! ~ But those mushroom and kale stuffed shells look pretty awesome 🙂
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche says
Such a classic! Looks absolutely perfect – a lovely simple dinner with tons of flavour 🙂
Ginny McMeans says
Everyone needs this beautiful recipe. I’m putting it in my arsenal!
Now you have me craving pasta 🙂 This sauce looks delicious!
Nicola @ Happy Healthy Motivated says
I love how you’ve added some veggies in there! My boyfriend loves marinara sauce and runs out the door as soon as any veggies come out, but I bet he’d eat this!
love love love all the veggies you’ve got in this sauce! I bet the fennel adds a real pop of flavor!
It’s subtle, but adds depth!
Neat thank you, how would you store, fridge or freezer and for how long?
JoAnn Behr says
I see an onion in the picture but not in the recipe. Should onion be included?
You’re right! Thanks for the heads up! Yes, definitely include one large onion, diced. I added it to the recipe!
Thanks for the recipe – now I no longer live in America I’ve been missing this; it is not really a thing you can get in jars in Europe!
Glad you liked it! BTW – your blog is beautiful! Love your photography!
Gabrielle Glatt says
I LOVE your photos and the “mise en place” you show for each recipe. It makes it look so easy. The step-by-step of how you prepare the recipes is missing from other online recipes. So you go girl! You rock!!!
You are too kind! Thanks — tell your friends!