Recipe: Ridiculously Easy Marinara Sauce

I found this recipe on an online cooking site, and I was amazed at how easy and delicious it is — and I’m all about easy and delicious. While this sauce could be the star of the show in a pasta meal, this variation is mainly as a tomato-y base sauce for meals like lasagna or eggplant parm. I plan on using it as the sauce base for my turkey chili later this week. Feel free to use whatever veggies you like in this recipe (green bell pepper is one idea) — this is nowhere near etched in stone! It’s ridiculously easy, and for a recipe that has so few ingredients, it’s amazingly tasty! Here’s how it’s done.


– Olive oil
– 5-6 cloves garlic, diced small
– 1 small onion, diced small
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– Fresh basil
– Balsamic vinegar
– 2 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes

The Process:
– Heat olive oil in a large pot.
– Add diced garlic and let cook, stirring often, over medium-high heat.
– Tear up for or five basil leaves and toss them in the pot and allow to wilt slightly.
– Pour in crushed tomatoes.
– Add sugar, salt, pepper and herbs of your choice (oregano and thyme work well).
– Let mixture come to a slight boil, reduce to low and let simmer for 45 minutes.
– Drizzle in a teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar about ten minutes before removing from heat.

This will keep in the fridge for a week, and about six months in the freezer. Go ahead and make a big batch and freeze it for later — easy-squeasy, baby!!!

About Stephen Kelly Creative

Hi, I'm Stephen Kelly, a writer, editor, photographer and graphic designer living in beautiful San Francisco, CA, USA. Amongst the things I love are writing, photography, movies, music, fitness, travel, Batman, all things Australian, food and fun, all of which I hope to reflect in this here blog. Welcome aboard ... now let's get busy!
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11 Responses to Recipe: Ridiculously Easy Marinara Sauce

  1. drewpan says:

    Mmm mmm mmm… remember that scene in the Godfather where they prepare some kind of tomato-based pasta sauce (probably bolognese or marinara)? That always makes me crave some good chunky tomato sauce… and your post reminded me of that scene.

    • One of my favorite movies, mate, and this sauce is totally in that classic Italian spirit.
      Have you ever seen Goodfellas? There’s a great scene where a few of the mobsters are preparing dinner, and one of the guys uses a razor blade to sliver the garlic ultra-thin. This way it almost completely disintegrates as soon as it hits the hot oil! Dang! My mouth is watering even as I write this!!!

  2. Faithrises says:

    Yum. Sounds delicious! I just started my own herb garden and I love being able to just go out and pick fresh basil and add it while I’m cooking. Fresh tastes so amazing! Gotta try this recipe. Thanks. 🙂

  3. Fergiemoto says:

    Mmmmmm…I love marinara!

  4. womanmomprofessional says:

    Looks very yummy and simple… wondering how to incorporate fresh tomatoes into this?


    • Hi there … and thanks for checking this recipe out. I supposed you could make the tomato base from fresh tomatoes instead of canned. I’ve done that in the past and while it can be time-consuming, it really ups the freshness (and taste) factor. I made this again last week, and I had some tomatoes I needed to use or lose, so I diced them and threw them in along with garlic and they gave the sauce added flavor and a nice consistency. Give it a whirl.

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