10-Minute Homemade Marinara Sauce

from 25 votes

This easy 10-Minute Homemade Marinara Sauce recipe is the answer to all of your pizza, pasta and garlic bread dipping sauce dilemmas.

A top-down view of two bowls containing 10-Minute Homemade Marinara Sauce atop rotini pasta

There’s just something about the simplicity of my homemade marinara sauce that inspires my inner poet: 

How do I love thee, homemade marinara sauce? Let me count the ways. 

I love thee spooned atop pizza and beside my garlic bread.

I love thee served with pasta and a big ol’ glass of red.

Don’t worry. I’m not quitting my day job. 

While I’m all for tomato sauces that have to simmer longer than my latest House Hunters marathon (cough … 6 hours… cough), sometimes, 10 minutes is all we’ve got. Thus, this easy four-ingredient homemade marinara is the answer to all of your pizza, pasta and garlic bread dipping sauce dilemmas.

A can of Cento San Marzano crushed tomatoes next to a head of garlic and small bowls containing olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper

How to Make Quick Marinara Sauce

What could be better than a quick, homemade marinara sauce that tastes like it simmered all day? The fact that this sauce only needs four ingredients. You read that right. This sauce is also the perfect canvas for whatever ingredients you might want to add to it. I love to add fresh basil, or sautéed onions and pancetta (for that all’Amatriciana spin.)

Quick homemade pasta sauce in a light blue stockpot next to a bowl with rotini noodles

How to Make Marinara Sauce with Crushed Tomatoes

The crushed tomatoes you choose are key here, allowing that lush yet fresh-fruity tomato flavor to really shine through. My personal favorites are Cento San Marzano crushed tomatoes. Cento’s San Marzano crushed tomatoes are the best bang for your buck while still delivering that authentic, sun-ripened tomato flavor.

How Long Does Marinara Sauce Last?

That is to say, if you don’t eat it all on day one. If properly sealed, this marinara sauce (without meat added) will last between 5-7 days. If you do go the meat sauce route, be sure to use it up within 3-4 days.

A top-down view of two bowls containing pasta topped with easy homemade marinara sauce garnished with Parmesan cheese

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Main Course

10-Minute Homemade Marinara Sauce

This easy 10-Minute Homemade Marinara Sauce recipe is the answer to all of your pizza, pasta and garlic bread dipping sauce dilemmas.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.92 from 25 votes
A top-down view of two bowls containing 10-Minute Homemade Marinara Sauce atop rotini pasta
Prep Time 0 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3 ½ cups


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil to the pan, allowing it to warm for 1 minute, then add the garlic and sauté it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it’s golden brown and fragrant.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes (optional), stirring to combine. Simmer the sauce for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season it with additional salt, pepper or sugar, to taste.

Kelly’s Notes:

  • The strongest flavor of the marinara sauce will depend on what variety of crushed tomatoes you use. My preferred brand is San Marzano Crushed Tomatoes.
  • This recipe can serve as the starting point for many other sauce variations. Feel free to add fresh basil, sautéed onions and any other preferred add-ins.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 91kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 391mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 50IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 4mg


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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

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  1. 5 stars
    I made it exactly as written with no add-ons or subs and it is very good, fast and easy. ( I had Cento crushed tomatoes instead of San Marzano, but otherwise no substitutions)
    Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    Quick & easy, yet delicious marinara!! Perfect for busy moms! I paired it with rigatoni noodles and a sprinkle of parm cheese!

  3. 5 stars
    Wanted a quick, no-fuss marinara a vegan eggplant lasagne made with tofu ricotta: I’d already fussed enough. This was just what I was looking to use. Thanks.

  4. 5 stars
    This was so easy and delicious! I doubled the garlic, and was the perfect quick sauce for pasta to go with the pre-made chicken parmesan I had. I shared the link with my dad, and he can’t wait to try it!

  5. 5 stars
    Made it! Yum! I didn’t have crushed maters so I had to work with what I had and just gave diced and stewed a pass through my mini processor. If this is good, I bet the actual recipe is even better!!! Thanks!

    A la salsa le agregue un cuatro cucharadas de hojas de hinojo silvestre fresco, lo licue con un poco de aceite de oliva y cuatro aceitunas verdes sin carozo , lo incorpore a la receta tuya y quedo de maravilla, prueben es especial de exquisita.
    4 aceitunas verdes
    4 cucharadas de hinojo silvestre
    2 cucharadas de aceite de oliva
    2 dientes de ajo, picados
    1 lata (28 oz.) de tomates triturados
    1/2 cucharadita de sal fina
    1 cucharadita de azúcar blanca
    1/8 de cucharadita de pimienta negra fresca
    1/4 cucharadita de hojas de pimiento rojo triturado (opcional)

  7. 5 stars
    Used it last week. Was great! Happened to have a can of San Marzano Cento crushed tomatoes on hand. And only thing I added different was my homegrown basil. Shared my eggplant dish with my neighbor and she was crazy about this sauce. She’s still talking about it.

  8. 5 stars
    This was perfect! Used it for rice balls and it was delicious. My new go-to for marinara sauce. Thank you!

      1. Hi Lisa – No, every recipe in The Secret Ingredient Cookbook is brand-new! :)

  9. Awesum Sauce. Made for sausage sandwich’s with fried onions and fried dice potatoes. Will use again..!!! Thanx

  10. 5 stars
    My granddaughter wanted mozzarella sticks (frozen) and I remembered I didn’t have sauce for them. I got lucky I had some crushed tomatoes and garlic I googled a recipe for marinara and yours caught my eye. I added some fresh basil too. It was quick and delicious, my picky granddaughter loved it also. Thank you

  11. 5 stars
    I was craving angel hair pasta with marinara tonight but didn’t have any sauce in the freezer and I never buy jarred sauce because it’s usually way to sweet for my taste. I made this and cut the sugar to 1/2 tsp. and added some more herbs, otherwise I followed the recipe as is. It was delicious and satisfied that craving! I can see using this as a pizza sauce as well as in other recipes. Thanks for a great one!

  12. 5 stars
    Perfect quick recipe! I forgot to make marinara for my garlic knots and only had diced tomatoes. Followed this exactly and pureed the tomatoes in a processor and its do delicious. Thank you!

  13. 5 stars
    Wow! This was so good! I added a bit more pepper and garlic than the recipe called for (just because I really like those flavours), and it turned out great! I made the original recipe, no changes, for my family, and they loved it. Thank you so much, I don’t think I’ll be using store-bought sauce anymore!

  14. 5 stars
    I needed a quick marinara when struck with the sudden urge to make Italian Baked eggs this morning for breakfast for my wife. It made an excellent sauce that I layered over diced green onion and mushroom slices. The eggs poached perfectly nestled atop of the sauce and under a layer of parmesan and gruyere. Thanks for making this recipe available. I will be using it again!

  15. 5 stars
    This is now my go to when I need spaghetti sauce. I love that there is so little sugar, and no preservatives apart from what is in the tomatoes. Plus, it tastes great!

  16. 5 stars
    I 4got marina at the store and was in a fix. I followed this recipe outline, except I used some spiced tomato sauce I’d bought at a prior time by mistake and had been wondering what I was going to do with it. I substituted dry herbs for fresh (including subbing Stevia for sudar), added a touch of basil, crushed red pepper and some fresh onion and it was great. This was so fast and easy, I’ll probably never buy store bought with all the added sugar again.

  17. Just what I’m looking for. While social distancing. Can’t wait to give some of these recipes a whirl, esp bread,no yeast.

  18. 5 stars
    This was so easy and it turned out great! I had crushed tomatoes so once I simmered everything for a while I put it in a blender to make it smoother. It made it the perfect consistency for us. I made it as written and just added more salt. I will make this anytime I need marinara!!

  19. 5 stars
    So simple, fast, and delicious. I used Cento crushed tomatoes and 1/4 tsp garlic powder in lieu of fresh garlic. Doubled the sugar. Thank you!

    1. Hi Allie! This recipe yields 3.5 cups. An average ratio of marinara sauce to pasta is 1.5 cups of sauce to 1 pound of pasta. I hope that helps!

    1. Hi Katie! This recipe yields 3.5 cups. An average ratio of tomato sauce to pasta is 1 1/2 cups of sauce to 1 pound of pasta.

  20. 5 stars
    I’ve been trying to find a recipe like what my Mom use to make, and this hit the mark perfectly! Thank you for this recipe!

  21. Looks so delicious. Making this instead of adding it to the spaghetti sauce for my party nxt week. Thanks a lot. Me too, love & only use san Mariano tomatoes, it’s really good.

  22. I love this recipe sooooooooooo much! Just a question. why add sugar? how does it taste without sugar?

    1. Hi Celia – You’re welcome to use fresh tomatoes. I really like the taste and texture of the San Marzano tomatoes, so that’s why I use those.

  23. It could be the tomatoes.

    You could balance the flavor sauteeing onions first, then adding the garlic after the onion becomes glossy (no browning!) when you cook the tomatoes, make sure you taste it before adding the sugar and salt (as well as the spices) the sugar balances the acidity, and bring out the flavor with the salt. There are many herbs and spices that could add that final touch, like basil, rosemary, and cilantro or thyme if you want something italian, cumin, cayenne, paprika, and dried chiles for a spicy bite, and other many many combinations. For one, you could try, also, buying tomatoes and crush/chop them yourself, and try a bit of tomato paste, see how that works for you. Id like experimenting with a fee drops of lemon/lime juice or zest, see how that works.

  24. You could also go for some cayenne for the extra flame. I love using cayenne and paprika, or you could even use dried chiles for a real kick in the tongue.

  25. I really can’t say enough about how good this sauce is. Thank you. I probably add a bit more red pepper flake than you & some Mrs. Dash Italian seasoning, but other than that keep in the same. I swear I’ve been making this sauce twice a week.

  26. Nope. Back to the drawing board, this tasted like slightly sweetened tomatoes, not even close to a Marinara sauce. When I was reading the ingredients I was concerned there would be no flavor… and I was right. I went ahead and used it on my Chicken Parm against my better judgement and no one finished their plate. Oh well.

  27. I’ve been looking for a quick, easy and yummy marinara sauce for a week or so and I think this might be the one! I’m using it for the dip with fried polenta. I’d never had polenta before and we fell in love with it, but all I had at the time was jarred something and it didn’t really work well, but it could have been just me, I don’t use jarred spaghetti sauce (I think my hubby snuck it in the house while I was gone!). Can’t wait to try it!

  28. Hi Kelly: Recipe sounds easy and delicious. I am having company and would like to make it for manicotti or stuffed pasta. Would this be o.k. ?

  29. I just made this tonight and it’s DELISH!!! Perfect blending of flavors in just the basic recipe – and I didn’t even add onions or more garlic powder. We find that the bottled pasta sauces have too much salt in them and we can’t eat them. So, I got Pomi crushed tomatoes, which have only 30 mg in the whole thing, and added a dash of salt to this. Perfect!! Now we can have pasta sauce again – thank you so much for this recipe!

  30. Hi Kelly, I just made this last night to serve with mozzarella sticks and it was so good! It was so easy and delicious and I will be using it for everything from now on. Thanks for the great recipe, I love your website.

  31. I love anything that is super simple to make, and doesn’t take forever to make…and this pasta sauce totally fits the bill :) will definitely have to try out!

  32. Being unable to digest onions, peppers and sensitive to garlic, I immediately move on when they are in a recipe. I am beginning to use powder instead, as there is nothing to digest…but, this has NO ONIONS, happy day!!! Thank you so much, Kelly…just what I need for my Dreamfield’s (to cut carbs).


    1. Definitely, Lucy! In the recipe I list crushed red pepper flakes, which adds the heat that’s usually found in arrabiata.

  33. House hunters is soooo damn addictive!! Great option to have a soooo easy marinara sauce!!

  34. I’ve been looking for a quick marinara because the jarred stuff has so much sugar in it! Will the sauce freeze well if I make a double batch? I’ll definitely be trying out the recipe!

  35. Hi! I made homemade marinara sauce for the first time a month or so back and it was like a revelation … I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t made it before. Mine was 20-minute though so I’d be interested to try this quicker version. :-)

  36. I learned to make quick sauce this way a few years ago and it’s the best! SO light an fresh, especially for summer. I make it almost every week :)

  37. I really need to get into a habit of making marinara sauce more, rather than buying it. I love that this doesn’t have much oil either!

  38. Love marinara sauce. Like I could just drink it, inhale it, I don’t need pasta, bread or lasagna (although those things are nice.)

    And fresh garlic….leaves me speechless….in more ways than one!! =)