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How to Make Marinara Sauce

Learn how to make a tasty marinara sauce using fresh or canned tomatoes. This recipe is perfect for spaghetti marinara, and it is versatile enough to use for many other recipes, including chicken parmigiana, a base for minestrone or other soup, a dipping sauce for breaded and fried cheese sticks, and much more!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Marinara, Marinara Sauce, Tomato Sauce
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Mary's Nest


  • Large saucepan, Dutch oven, or stockpot


  • 12 pounds Italian plum tomatoes You can also use four 28 ounce cans of Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano.
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 head Garlic, all cloves peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Oregano, dried Or 1 tsp. dried basil or a combination of dried basil and oregano. If you prefer, you can also use a sprig of fresh basil or fresh oregano.
  • 1 tsp Red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 whole Bay leaves, optional
  • 1 cup Water


  • If using fresh tomatoes, first blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Once the tomato skins "burst" and begin to peel away from the flesh of the tomato, remove the blanched tomatoes from the boiling water and submerge them into an ice water bath to remove the skins. Transfer the skinned tomatoes to a large bowl and crush with clean hands. (See video.)
  • Add olive oil to a large saucepan, Dutch oven, or stockpot. Heat to medium and add garlic.
  • Sauté garlic until golden and fragrant, but do not allow the garlic to brown. This process takes approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes to your pan along with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes (if using), oregano (or basil), bay leaves (if using). Stir well.
  • Bring tomatoes up to a medium-high simmer where you see a bit of bubbling. Be sure to stir the tomatoes to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom.
  • Turn heat to medium-low, cover pan, and allow the mixture to simmer for one hour. If you are using canned tomatoes, you can reduce the simmering time by 15 minutes, bringing the simmering time down to 45 minutes.
  • After the simmering time has finished, your marinara sauce is ready to be served.
  • If refrigerated in an airtight container, your marinara should stay fresh for approximately 7-10 days.
  • If frozen in an airtight container or freezer-proof bag, your marinara should stay fresh for approximately 3 months. When ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator.



Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-marinara-sauce-with-fresh-or-canned-tomatoes/
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