Homemade Marinara Sauce

Easy, delicious homemade marinara sauce. Packed with fresh tomatoes, herbs, and spices. This recipe has been my go-to recipe for Italian night at my house. It’s super easy to make, and so tasty! I have been doubling the recipe to make sure we always have enough sauce on-hand, we love our sauces over here. Plus, this sauces makes for really great leftovers.

tomato sauce

I have been buying so much more fresh tomatoes lately, making homemade salsa and marinara sauce. The fresh salsa definitely adds a bunch of flavor to my dishes. Plus, when I make homemade condiments and sauces, it allows me to cutdown on the sodium in my meals. As much store bought marinara is convenient, it’s loaded with sodium. I also prefer oil free marinara, not because I think all fat is bad—I just prefer that my sources of fat come from whole food sources, like nuts, seeds, nut/ seed butters, and avocado. Oil just contains fat, it’s a processed form of healthier fats. There is no fiber or protein in oil, but there is in its whole food form. Calorie to calorie, you get more of a nutritional bang when you eat food in its whole food form vs. when it’s processed into an oil.  There may also be some be some negative implications of olive oil on heart health, and you can learn more about that on NutritionFacts.org.

When you cook from scratch, though a little bit of extra work, you get the advantage of deciding how much of various ingredients you add to the dishes, sauces, condiments—and that advantage can have serious long term health benefits!

To learn more about impact of too much sodium, check out these videos on Nutritionfacts.org. While you are at it, also check out the videos on tomatoes to see their benefits. 

tomato sauce

Pictured here is one of my favorite, quick go-to pasta meals. It’s lentil noodles (I have been a long-time fan of Tolerant Pasta, it holds it’s texture really nice compared to others on the market) served with a bunch of sautéed veggies, like broccoli, onion, zucchini, cauliflower, and mushrooms. I usually top it off with nutritional yeast (Sari Foods Nutritional Yeast is my favorite) to add a cheesy, parmesan-like taste. So good! 

Homemade Marinara Sauce
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  1. 1 small onion, minced
  2. 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  3. 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  4. 1 tablespoon salt-free Italian seasoning blend*
  5. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
  6. 1 ½ cups water
  7. 1 (6-7 oz) can or jar of tomato paste
  8. Black pepper, to taste
  9. Crushed red pepper, to taste
  1. Wash and prep all the veggies. Roughly chop the onion and add to a food processor. Pulse the food processor to mince the onion.*
  2. Mince the garlic. Add both the garlic and the onion to a pot or large pan. Sauté the mixture with 1-2 Tablespoons of water until the onions start to soften.
  3. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pot. Sauté until the tomatoes start to soften.
  4. Add the Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, and water to the pot. Stir until everything is well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, then allow to boil for a few minutes. Reduce the heat.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste, black pepper, crushed red pepper and simmer for about 10-15 minutes (or longer if desired). Stir often to keep from burning. Add more water and spice to the sauce, to reach desired texture and taste. Makes about 3½ -4 cups. Serve with your favorite pasta dishes.
  1. *If your Italian blend does not have basil in it, feel free to add some dried or fresh basil to taste.
  2. *You can also mince the onion by hand, I personally prefer the food processor to get it fine.
Kristina DeMuth https://kristinademuth.com/