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Homemade Marinara sauce is quiet simple and easy to make. This flavorsome sauce is made with fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, some fresh herbs, and extra virgin olive oil. Simmered to perfection, this sauce is great for pastas, soups, as a dipping sauce. Try this easy homemade Marinara sauce that is better than any store bought. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, low-carb.
Marinara sauce is a savory blend of tomatoes, onions, garlic, fresh herbs, and extra virgin olive oil. It’s a versatile sauce, that can be served over pasta, as a dipping sauce, or use it in your favorite recipe. I use this homemade Marinara sauce to make my family’s favorite Minestrone Soup, and Chicken Parmesan… Yum!!
Homemade Marinara sauce, is easy to make and with just few basic ingredients you can make this delicious Marinara sauce at home. There are few variations to this Marinara sauce that include capers, olives, spices, and some wine, occasionally. I am sharing a simple recipe, that can be made with just a few basic ingredient. However, the recipe can be adapted to suit your taste.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MARINARA AND SPAGHETTI SAUCE
Marinara sauce is a base for pretty much all the sauces – spaghetti, pizza, pasta sauce, etc. Marinara sauce is mainly tomatoes, fresh herbs and seasonings, wheres spaghetti sauce has other ingredients such as meat or other vegetables, cheese.
Marinara sauce is comparatively thin and runny, while spaghetti sauce is quite thick, due to added meat, veggies and cheese.
INGREDIENTS FOR MARINARA SAUCE
2 lbs fresh, ripe tomatoes, diced
1 medium carrot, grated
1 large onion, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon DRIED BASIL
1 teaspoon DRIED OREGANO
1/2 teaspoon GARLIC POWDER
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 – 2 teaspoon sugar or preferred sweetener (optional)
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, adjust to taste
Pic Shown: Marinara Sauce
HOW TO MAKE MARINARA SAUCE
This Marinara Sauce is easy to make, and in less than 30 minutes you have the best, homemade sauce, packed with fresh and flavorsome ingredients. The best part about this homemade Marinara sauce is that it only uses fresh ingredients, no canned tomatoes, and sugar.
PREP FOR MARINARA SAUCE
Dice the tomatoes and onions. Peel and mince the garlic.
INSTANT POT MARINARA SAUCE
Turn ON saute (more), when it displays “HOT”, add oil.
Add garlic and onions, saute for 30-60 seconds.
Add dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, saute for 30-60 seconds. Turn OFF saute mode.
Add tomatoes, carrots, fresh basil, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Close the IP lid, turn ON Manual / Pressure cook (high) for 10 minutes. Let pressure release naturally, around 10 minutes.
Open the IP lid, using a hand blender, carefully blend the sauce to a desired consistency.
OPTIONAL: Turn ON saute (less), and cook the sauce for 3-5 minutes to a desired consistency. Add sugar, or preferred sweetener to balance the tartness in the sauce.
Let the sauce cool down, transfer it into a clean, air-tight glass container.
This recipe yields around 16 ounces of Marinara sauce. The sauce stays fresh for up to a week in the refrigerator.
STOVE TOP MARINARA SAUCE
In a heavy bottom pot or a dutch oven, follow the recipe as discussed earlier. Saute onions, garlic, spices.
Add tomatoes, carrots, fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Cook the tomatoes, stirring occasionally, until almost all the moisture has evaporated. This will take around 25-30 minutes. Rest of the recipe is same as Instant Pot.
Adjust the heat, to prevent any splattering of the sauce. You can also use a lid, or a splatter screen.
Pic Shown: Instant Pot Marinara Sauce
PRO TIPS FOR BEST MARINARA SAUCE
Star ingredient of this recipe is tomatoes. Tomatoes that are low in water content are ideal for making sauce. They also have less seeds as compared to other varieties of tomatoes.
Roma, also known as plum tomatoes, have firm texture, are relatively low in water content, have fewer seeds, and have sweet-tart flavor, which makes them ideal candidate for making sauce. Due to the low in water content, they cook relatively quicker than the other variety of tomatoes.
Use extra virgin olive oil to saute the onions, and garlic. Olive oil adds a nice flavor to the sauce.
Use combination of dried and fresh herbs, for a balanced flavor.
Carrots are optional, but they add a nice sweet flavor and texture to the sauce. They also help balance the tart flavor of the tomatoes. You can use other root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, or beet roots, instead of carrots.
The sauce can be enhanced with different veggies such as zucchini, celery, mushrooms for added flavor and nutrient value. I think adding veggies to the sauce is a great way of incorporating veggies into our diet.
Depending upon the moisture in the tomatoes, the sauce may be a bit runny. Simmer the sauce for couple of minutes to a desired consistency.
Before canning the sauce, cool completely before transferring it in to a glass jar. Follow the canning instructions, that come with the canning jars.
FAQ ABOUT MARINARA SAUCE
WHAT TOMATOES TO USE
Tomatoes that are low in moisture, and less acidic, are the best for sauces. Roma tomatoes, fall in this category and have fewer seeds as compared to other tomatoes. They add a great flavor and texture, when cooked down into a sauce.
I prefer Roma tomatoes, for these reasons. However, feel free to use the tomatoes available. Depending upon the moisture in the tomatoes, you may have to cook the sauce little longer.
HOW MANY TOMATOES IN A POUND
Around 5-6 Roma tomatoes make a pound. I have used around 10 medium to large tomatoes, which equals to 2 pounds for this recipe.
CAN I PEEL TOMATOES
When using the fresh tomatoes, the sauce does have some tomato peel. If you prefer sauce without the tomato peel, you can either peel the tomatoes, before chopping or blanch the tomatoes and discard the skin.
Once you have peeled the tomatoes, follow the recipe as suggested.
WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR CARROT
Carrots help cut back on the acidity in the sauce. Thus, help balance the flavors overall. They also help give sauce a nice consistency.
You can use any root vegetable, that is sweet, such as sweet potato, beet or beetroots, can also be used instead of carrots.
However, please note, that depending upon the vegetables used, the color and taste may vary. If using beets, use very small piece, around 2-3 tablespoons.
WHY DO I NEED SUGAR
Depending upon the variety of tomatoes used, they can be acidic, at times. Adding carrots, help balance the tart flavor, and also impart some sweetness to the sauce. However, you may need little extra sweetness to balance the flavor, and to mellow down the tart flavor of the tomatoes. You can use sugar or sweetener of your choice.
CAN I ADD OTHER VEGETABLES
Yes, you can add vegetables of your choice. I sometimes also like to add some mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers in my marinara sauce. Feel free to use veggies of your choice.
CAN I USE WINE
I have not used wine in my recipe. However, if you prefer, feel free to use some red or white cooking wine. Make sure to cook the wine down, before pressure cooking.
I DON’T LIKE TOMATO SEEDS
Fresh tomatoes, will have some seeds, unlike canned tomatoes. You can blend the sauce to a fine puree, so the seeds get blended too. If you prefer you can also deseed the tomatoes, before chopping them, and then use it as suggested in the recipe.
WHY IS MY SAUCE REDDISH ORANGE
The main reason is fresh verses canned tomatoes. Most of the recipes use canned tomatoes to make marinara sauce. I use fresh tomatoes to make this sauce.
The color of the sauce depends upon the color of the tomatoes. Also, addition of carrots, imparts some orangish color to the sauce.
Typically, homemade marinara sauce is slight reddish orange in color instead of bright red, like the store bought ones, that use canned tomatoes.
If you prefer red bright colored marinara sauce, you can add couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, or couple of canned whole tomatoes. This will give bright red color to the sauce.
MY MARINA SAUCE IS TOO RUNNY
Depends upon the moisture in the tomatoes, the sauce may turn out a bit runny. Cook the sauce on saute mode (less), until desired consistency.
WHILE PRESSURE COOKING DO I NEED TO ADD WATER
No, you don’t need to add any water while pressure cooking, since tomatoes have lot of moisture and is enough to build the pressure and cook the tomatoes.
HOW TO PRESERVE MARINARA SAUCE
You can, can the marinara sauce. Follow the instructions on the canning jars, and can the marinara sauce.
Alternatively, marinara sauce can also be frozen for couple of months. Divide the sauce into freezer safe containers, and freeze it.
I make a huge batch and freeze some for later, so convenient.
HOW TO SERVE MARINARA SAUCE
Marinara sauce can be served in many ways. Some of the ways my family enjoys marinara sauce is:
On a bowl of spaghetti, on pizza, bagel bites
As a dipping with some bread sticks, chicken tenders
I love to use the marinara sauce in soups, Minestrone soup is my go to recipe.
CAN I DOUBLE THE RECIPE
Yes, absolutely, you can double or even triple the recipe depending upon the size of Instant Pot.
Make sure NOT to fill the inner pot of the Instant pot more than two-third of it’s size.
TRIED THIS RECIPE ?
★ If you tried this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback. Please rate the recipe and/or leave a comment below.
SOME MORE RECIPES FROM BLOG!!
Marinara Sauce With Fresh Tomatoes
INGREDIENTS FOR MARINARA SAUCE
- 2 lbs fresh, ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon DRIED BASIL
- 1 teaspoon DRIED OREGANO
- 1/2 teaspoon GARLIC POWDER
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1– 2 teaspoon sugar or preferred sweetener (optional)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, adjust to taste
PREP FOR MARINARA SAUCE
- Dice the tomatoes and onions. Peel and mince the garlic.
INSTANT POT MARINARA SAUCE
- You will need INSTANT POTTurn ON saute (more), when it displays “HOT”, add oil.
- Add garlic and onions, saute for 30-60 seconds.
- Add dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, saute for 30-60 seconds. Turn OFF saute mode.
- Add tomatoes, carrots, fresh basil, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
- Close the IP lid, turn ON Manual / Pressure cook (high) for 10 minutes. Let pressure release naturally, around 10 minutes.
- Open the IP lid, using a hand blender, carefully blend the sauce to a desired consistency.
- OPTIONAL: Turn ON saute (less), and cook the sauce for 3-5 minutes to a desired consistency. Add sugar, or preferred sweetener to balance the tartness in the sauce.
- Let the sauce cool down, transfer it into a clean, air-tight glass container.
- This recipe yields around 16 ounces of Marinara sauce. The sauce stays fresh for up to a week in the refrigerator.
STOVE TOP MARINARA SAUCE
- In a heavy bottom pot or a dutch oven, follow the recipe as discussed earlier. Saute onions, garlic, spices.
- Add tomatoes, carrots, fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
- Cook the tomatoes, stirring occasionally, until almost all the moisture has evaporated. This will take around 25-30 minutes. Rest of the recipe is same as Instant Pot.
- Adjust the heat, to prevent any splattering of the sauce. You can also use a lid, or a splatter screen.
- PRO TIPS FOR BEST MARINARA SAUCE
- FAQ ABOUT MARINARA SAUCE