This easy homemade San Marzano sauce is a simple and delicious homemade marinara sauce that tastes great and it's really easy to make. Make this easy from scratch San Marzano tomato sauce to use in any recipe that needs a delicious marinara. This simple homemade sauce will take you less than 30 minutes to make from to start to finish making it perfect for a quick meal.
About this Easy Marinara Sauce
Making a delicious homemade tomato sauce (homemade marinara) does not need to be complicated. Anyone can pull off making this delicious Italian sauce at home and it is ready in under 30 minutes.
Some people will swear that a homemade red sauce needs to cook for at least an hour (my Italian family included). When you follow the steps in making this homemade tomato sauce with good quality San Marzano tomatoes, you will see that 30 minutes is all you need.
- San Marzano whole canned tomatoes. I use this brand of San Marzano tomatoes but any brand will work.
- Red pepper flakes.
- Olive Oil
- Dried Oregano
- Fresh basil
- Sugar (only if neceessary if your tomatoes are overly acidic).
Notes about the Ingredients
- This recipe is a San Marzano tomato sauce made from canned San Marzano tomatoes and it is so delicious. San Marzano tomatoes are a slightly sweeter tomato grown in Italy. If you cannot find them, there is a new variety of San Marzano tomatoes grown in the U.S. called San Merican that uses the same SM abbreviation as San Marzano. They are a great substitute.
- The ingredients for this marinara sauce call for fresh basil and dried oregano. Fresh basil is very important to make a great tasting sauce and you do not need much of it. Try to find this if you can. The dried oregano in the recipe is fine and it blends in better with the sauce versus fresh oregano which would be clumpy.
- Red pepper flakes are an important part of any good tomato (marinara) sauce. You do not get any heat from the red pepper flakes, just added depth of flavor.
How to make homemade tomato sauce with canned San Marzano tomatoes
- Step 1: Add your olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once heated, add your onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and cook until the onions are translucent.
- Step 2: Add your whole canned tomatoes to the pan and with a tomato masher or the bottom of a mug or cup, gently press down on the tomatoes until they burst and the pulp of the tomatoes have been mashed.
- Step 3: Let it simmer for 15 minutes without a lid.
- Step 4: Taste for seasoning. This is when you add more salt if needed. This is also where you add a pinch of sugar if you find your tomatoes are too acidic.
Why this is the best San Marzano Sauce
This San Marzano sauce in my opinion makes the best homemade spaghetti sauce because it cooks up quickly, tastes amazing and is ready in just 30 minutes. I also love using this as a simple spaghetti sauce but it can be used in so many other dishes.
This is the marinara sauce I use to dip garlic crostini and fried mozzarella, to top pasta and as a sauce for pizza. This is also the sauce I use to make many of my Italian dishes, like my Italian Baked Zucchini and my garlic bread pizza.
I also love using this sauce for Italian baked meatballs. I love freezing some of the meatballs for an easy dinner at a later time and just adding them to this easy red sauce.
If you want to do this too, you can read up on my post of how to cook frozen meatballs.
This easy San Marzano sauce can be used in any recipe that calls for a marinara sauce.
How to freeze
Now even though this San Marzano sauce is really easy to make, I do love making a double batch when I have time and freezing some of it. By having sauce already made in the freezer, it is like having a meal ready to be cooked without any fuss.
To freeze the marinara just let it come to room temperature on the counter. Once it is at room temperature, pour the marinara into a freezer bag or freezer container and place it in the freezer.
To thaw the frozen marinara all you have to do is place it in a bowl, in the fridge the night before you need it. It will thaw gently overnight.
Honestly, this is my favorite quick marinara sauce recipe and one I think you will enjoy too.
- Use a good brand of Italian tomatoes like San Marzano tomatoes.
- Try to only use fresh basil.
- For the smoothest sauce, try to make sure you mash the tomatoes down well when you add them to the pan.
- Tomato sauce freezes well. You can read below in the recipe section for the best way to freeze it.
Absolutely. If you have a freezer safe plastic bag or container you can put it in that and freeze for up to 2 months.
Yes. This is the preferred type of sauce to use for dipping.
Yes, this is the classic style sauce you use on pizza.
Absolutely! This marinara sauce over pasta is wonderful, especially when you add lots of freshly grated Parmesan on top.
More Italian Recipes
- Italian Baked Zucchini
- Olive Oil and Garlic Pasta
- Pasta with Pancetta and Mushrooms
- Pasta Genovese
- Italian Sunday Gravy Sicilian Style
- Italian Meatballs
- Pork Bolognese
- Authentic Bolognese (Ragu)
- Authentic Carbonara
- Pizzelle Recipe
- Ham and Cheese Pasta
- White Wine Garlic Butter Sauce for Pasta
Quick San Marzano Sauce - Homemade Marinara
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
- 28 ounces san marzano tomatoes canned whole
- ½ yellow onion diced very fine
- 2 cloves garlic diced very fine
- 1 ½ tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 fresh basil leaves
- ⅛ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- sugar (optional) a pinch at a time if your sauce tastes too acidic
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add your olive oil.
- Now add your red pepper flakes, onion and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Now add your garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Add your whole canned tomatoes to the pan.
- With a potato masher (or bottom of a mug) mash down the tomatoes gently. It can get a little messy so do this part slowly.
- Keep mashing down the tomatoes until they are mostly broken down.
- Stir the tomatoes into the olive oil mixture well.
- Add your salt, oregano and basil and stir.
- Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low and let simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Taste the sauce for any additional salt.
- Serve over pasta, as a marinara dipping sauce or on pizza.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here
Delicious and so easy!
Hi Greta. I'm so glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Was very good and very easy to make!
Glad you enjoyed it!
A really great quick red sauce!
This red sauce was delicious and very easy to make. My new go to marina recipe!
I am so glad to hear that 🙂
So simple and really tasty!