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Easy Marinara Sauce

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Easy Marinara Sauce Recipe

Last week we were making baked pasta for dinner and Josh asked if he could get started on the sauce. I told him he could get out the ingredients, but I would make the sauce. I am the sauce maker in our house. I trust Josh with a lot of things, but not with my marinara sauce:)

Josh went to look the recipe up on Two Peas and Their Pod and couldn’t find it. I guess I’ve never posted my Easy Marinara recipe. Oops! I am so sorry I have been keeping my favorite marinara sauce a secret. I didn’t mean too!

Well, today the secret that wasn’t supposed to be a secret is out, I am sharing my recipe for Easy Marinara Sauce.

Easy Marinara Sauce is perfect with pasta or any Italian meal


I make this recipe all of the time. It is a staple in our kitchen. It goes well with pasta, lasagna, polenta, chicken or eggplant parmesan, and anything else you can think of. It’s my favorite marinara sauce. And good news-it is easy to make!

Easy Marinara Sauce is the best pasta sauce

Get out your aprons and let’s get to work. It’s going to get saucy in here!

The sauce is made up of basic ingredients-olive oil, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, tomatoes,crushed red pepper, and basil. A few of my special touches include a pinch of fennel seed. I learned this trick from my dad. Make sure you just add a pinch because a little fennel goes a long way. I also add in a bay leaf for flavor and a little sugar to cut the acidity in the tomatoes. Oh, and you have to use fresh basil. Fresh is always best.

I let the sauce simmer on the stove for about 30 minutes and that’s it! This sauce freezes well and I am sure it can be canned, but I am not a canner. It’s on my to do list, maybe this year will be the year!

So there you have it, my Easy Marinara Sauce recipe is no longer a secret. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Oh, and come back on Friday for the baked pasta recipe. You don’t want to miss this recipe!

Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce that freezes well and goes great with any pasta

Easy Marinara Sauce

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This is my favorite marinara sauce. We make it all of the time! It goes great with pasta, lasagna, polenta, and any other Italian dish you can think of!

Yield: About 4 cups sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • Pinch of fennel seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup freshly chopped basil


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the carrots and celery. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add in the fennel seed, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes. Add the sugar, salt and pepper, and basil. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.

Note-I like to make big batches of this sauce and freeze it. You can also can this sauce. Serve with pasta, lasagna, polenta, chicken or eggplant parmesan, etc.

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Categories: Kid Friendly Maria's Favorites Pasta Sauces/Condiments