Marinara sauce is a basic recipe that everyone should know how to make. It only requires at least 5 simple ingredients to make and they should all be in your pantry. After making this at home, you will probably never want to buy a jar of store-bought marinara.
Olive oil is a common ingredient found in the marinara sauce but that can also add on a lot of points, so I left it out and used cooking spray instead. This marinara sauce is zero points for ¾ cup. Some recipes can call for a whole 28zoz jar of marinara sauce that can easily add on 14 points to a recipe.
If a recipe you see online calls for store-bought marinara, make this zero point recipe at home instead and that will also help drastically save on points.
I like to use a dutch oven for cooking marinara sauce. It comes together in under 20 minutes and I prefer this method over an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker.
Difference between spaghetti sauce and marinara sauce?
Spaghetti sauce is any sauce you put on top of pasta. It can be a marinara, alfredo, puttanesca, arrabbiata, bolognese, Milanese, you name it, it’s spaghetti sauce.
A marinara sauce is a specific type of pasta sauce that is tomato based.
Want to know why I used a certain ingredient or looking for substitutions? Check out this section.
Tomatoes – There are many different varieties of tomatoes out there such as stewed, crushed, and whole tomatoes. It all depends on how you like the consistency of your tomatoes. Do you like them chunky, well pureed, or whole? I prefer mine crushed.
Onions and Garlic – These 2 vegetables are great to store in your pantry at all times. When I get onions from the store I will set them in the fridge right away and they will keep longer. Plus, if you store onions in the fridge, you won’t cry at all when chopping them. For Garlic, I buy it already minced in the jar. (Don’t like stinky garlic hands!)
Seasonings – Oregano and Thyme are classic spices found in a lot of marinara sauce recipes. If you like basil use fresh basil leaves. It almost acts like a bay leaf and the bay leaf can sit there and flavor the sauce while it is boiling away!
Variations of Marinara Sauce
If you aren’t on a diet add butter or oil to the sauce. It will give it even more flavor!
Spicier: Add more crushed red pepper flakes to make it an Arrabiata Sauce.
Creamy: Add some cream or milk to make it creamier.
How to make Marinara Sauce
Spray a large dutch oven over medium heat with Cooking Spray. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
Pour in tomatoes.
Season with oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and stir in basil. Bring mixture to simmer.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid has reduced slightly. Add in 1/2 to 1 cup of extra water and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Discard basil before serving. Check for taste and season with more salt if needed.
Serve with 1 cup of prepared pasta. Serving size: ¾ cup
Can be easily doubled or tripled to make more
Other Easy Recipes
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- 1/2 medium onion, minced
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/8th teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt to taste
2 large sprigs fresh basil
- Spray a large dutch oven over medium heat with Cooking Spray. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
- Pour in tomatoes.
- Season with oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and stir in basil. Bring mixture to simmer.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid has reduced slightly. Add in 1/2 to 1 cup of extra water and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Discard basil before serving. Check for taste and season with more salt if needed.
- Serve with 1 cup of prepared pasta. Serving size: ¾ cup
- Can be easily doubled or tripled to make more
myWW points: 0 (all 3 plans)
- Category: Easy
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Keywords: basic marinara sauce recipe