This simple, homemade oil-free marinara sauce is perfect for spooning over your favorite pasta, lasagna, or as a tasty dipping sauce for garlic bread. Plus it is customizable!
This easy Italian-inspired marinara sauce comes together quick on the stovetop with just a few simple pantry ingredients.
This is by no means an authentic Italian marinara sauce, but simply my own easy version that I enjoy.
Store-bought jarred marinara sauce (while delicious and convenient) typically has added sugar and oil. So you have the option of omitting those ingredients by making your own right at home.
I enjoy making homemade versions of store-bought staples (like Enchilada Sauce and Taco Seasoning) because you can control the ingredients. But also because you can cater it directly to your own taste.
Ingredients for Oil-Free Marinara
This recipe requires just a few simple ingredients:
- Canned crushed tomatoes: Be sure to use good quality.
- Yellow onion
- Garlic cloves
- Dried basil
- Dried oregano
For a chunkier sauce: Use a 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes, and break them down with a spoon as they cook.
This recipe is customizable with your own favorite flavors.
- Fresh herbs: Herbs such as fresh basil or fresh parsley are wonderful stirred in at the end of cooking.
- Give it a kick: Add 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes for a little spice.
- Vinegar: Deepen the flavor with 1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar.
- Sweeten it: Add 1/2 teaspoon cane sugar or 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup to sweeten it to your taste.
This recipe yields about 3 to 3.5 cups marinara sauce. We find this pairs well with about 12 to 16 ounces of pasta.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. We find they keep for about 3-4 days.
Easy Marinara Sauce (Oil-Free)
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (use good quality)
- 1/2 small onion
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp. dried basil
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. salt (more/less to taste)
- Fresh basil (to stir in at end), 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1-2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp. cane sugar (or 1 Tbsp. maple syrup)
- Finely dice onion.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion for 7-8 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for no-oil sauté method, adding more as needed.)
- Meanwhile, mince garlic.
- When onion is translucent, add garlic, basil, and oregano. Stir and sauté 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add tomatoes and salt. Stir, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasonings/flavors as desired. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days or freeze.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
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