An easy marinara sauce recipe packed with Italian flavor.

marinara sauce recipe

Homemade sauces are so much tastier than jarred. Homemade sauce is fabulous with boxed tomatoes (I don’t use canned because of bpa concerns), but during tomato season when our vines are dripping with tomatoes, it’s fun to use them up in sauce. It’s an amazing cycle to plant tiny tomato seeds and months later have a beautiful tomato sauce simmering on the stove. This recipe is incredibly easy. I don’t peel the skins anymore, and have found I don’t need to. I hate to waste any little bit anyway.

A platter of beautiful fresh garden tomatoes.
Roma (or San Marzano) tomatoes are most commonly used for making tomato sauce. But I use any combination of tomatoes I have. Here I used what was growing in our backyard: San Marzano, Costoluto Genovese, and cherry tomatoes.

Fresh tomatoes in a red pot
I simply sauteed an onion, then added roughly chopped tomatoes to simmer down with some herbs. I went on with my day at home, checking and stirring occasionally.

Fresh tomatoes simmering on the stove
The tomatoes break down and the juices reduce and sweeten. I added dried oregano and fresh basil.

Perfect pot of marinara sauce made with fresh tomatoes.
Then I used my immersion blender to puree the tomatoes. You can also puree the basil, or leave big leaves in the sauce to flavor.

marinara ravioli
That’s it! Making homemade marinara sauce does take a couple of hours, but it’s mostly inactive simmer time. And really, who doesn’t want their house smelling like homemade sauce all day? When tomato season is over, be sure to grab my recipe for easy Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

Other Favorite Sauces and Salsas:

Easy Authentic Pizza Sauce
Easy Enchilada Sauce 
How to Make Salsa with Fresh Tomatoes 
Traditional Tomato Bruschetta 
How to Make Pesto

Yield: about 6 cups

Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

An easy recipe for making marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes.

Marinara sauce made with fresh garden tomatoes.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 8 cups tomato chunks
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • small bunch of fresh basil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large sauce pan, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Add wine and simmer until liquid has evaporated, making sure garlic doesn't burn. Stir in tomatoes and a pinch of sea salt.
  2. Add oregano and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes. Covering will help the tomatoes to "sweat" and break down more quickly. Uncover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for about an hour.
  3. Use an immersion blender to carefully puree the sauce. Add basil the basil and blend it in with the blender or leave whole. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can let the sauce cool and then very carefully puree in a regular blender.
  4. Continue to simmer another 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Optional additions: sometimes I like to stir in a small handful of grated Parmesan cheese or a drizzle of balsamic for more flavor. Delicious!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g