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Homemade Marinara made from scratch with simple ingredients
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4.04 from 126 votes

The Best Marinara Sauce

 Marinara Sauce from scratch is a homemade marinara sauce recipe made with caramelized onions, fresh garlic and tomatoes. It's made with simple ingredients but it's the process that makes all the difference. This is the best pasta marinara sauce recipe.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 20 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 116kcal


  • 3 Large Onions, diced small
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 28-oz Cans Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 14.5-oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • ¼ Cup Italian Seasoning (or Parsley, Oregano, Basil)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • ½ Tablespoon Salt
  • ½ Tablespoon Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda


  • You will start by peeling and chopping the onions.  
  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or enough to coat the bottom of your pan. Heat the oil till it shimmers and add the onions.
  • Stir the onions so they are all coated in the oil. To get the deep, rich, golden hue, it will take about 20 minutes to saute' the onions. Turn the heat to medium low and stir the onions occasionally so they don't stick or burn on the bottom of the pan
  • Once the onions are caramelized, add the garlic.  Saute until the garlic is golden too.  
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low for a couple hours.  Enjoy! Makes about 8 cups of incredible Marinara Sauce!



Tips for Making the Most Amazing Homemade Marinara Sauce:

  • Be sure to take the time to caramelize the onions before you add the other ingredients. They should reach a golden brown, transparent, VERY soft consistency. This is the secret to this simple marinara sauce recipe!
  • After you add the garlic, make sure it's golden too. Then you can add all your other ingredients.
  • When it comes to this recipe, cooking it
  • The longer, the better on this recipe. It can take some time to cook out the raw, tinny flavor of canned tomatoes, and to really develop that rustic depth of flavor.
  • Frozen Diced Onions will suffice in a pinch if you don't have time to chop onions. In my desperation, I have also used Minced Dried Onions and Minced Garlic in a jar. And you know what? No one tasted the difference.
  • San Marzano Tomatoes are STRONGLY recommended, but not necessary.
  • Freezes very well.
  • May be served with Spaghetti & Meatballs, Chicken Cutlets, Chicken Parmigiana, Lasagna, Ravioli or Tortellini, Manicotti or Stuffed Shells, Meatball Subs or as a dipping sauce for your favorite appetizers.  


Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1420mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 9.3mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1.3mg