This easy homemade San Marzano marinara sauce is a simple and delicious homemade sauce that tastes great and it's really easy to make. This San Marzano sauce is made with simple ingredients and can be used in any recipe that needs a delicious marinara. This sauce will take you less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish.
Why I Love This Easy Marinara Sauce
Making a delicious homemade tomato sauce (homemade marinara) does not need to be complicated. This has been my tried and true red sauce for years and it doesn't disappoint.
It is made with simple ingredients and is so full of flavor.
You can use this San Marzano marinara sauce on pasta, pizza, as a dip, or in any recipe that needs a marinara sauce. Customize this sauce to make it your own.
Some people will swear that a homemade marinara needs to be cooked for at least an hour (my Italian family included). When you follow the steps in making this homemade San Marzano sauce, you will see that 30 minutes is all you need.
San Marzano Sauce Ingredients
All simple ingredients to make this quick sauce. Here is what you need (full recipe below):
- San Marzano whole canned tomatoes: Any brand of San Marzano tomatoes will work. 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.
- Red pepper flakes: You do not get any heat from the red pepper flakes, it just adds depth of flavor.
- Olive Oil: I prefer extra virgin olive oil for its fruity flavor.
- Dried Oregano AND Fresh Basil: 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 blends in better with the sauce versus fresh oregano which would be clumpy.
How To Make This Quick San Marzano Marinara
- Saute Aromatics: 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.
- Add Tomatoes: 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 has been mashed.
- Add herbs and simmer: Let it simmer for 15 minutes without a lid.
- Taste: 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.
How To Use This Easy Marinara Sauce
- This is the marinara sauce I use to dip garlic crostini in.
- I also use this sauce on top of Italian Baked Zucchini, my Italian baked meatballs or my Olive Oil and Garlic Pasta. I actually freeze this sauce with my Italian meatballs for an easy meal later on.
- Use it as a side to zucchini pancakes.
If you like the idea of freezing some of this sauce with meatballs, you can read my post on how to cook frozen meatballs.
This easy San Marzano sauce can be used in any recipe that calls for a marinara sauce.
- Use a good brand of Italian tomatoes like San Marzano DOP 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.
- If. the sauce is too acidic, add a pinch of sugar.
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
- Pasta with Pancetta and Mushrooms
- Pasta Genovese
- Pork Chops in Tomato Sauce
- Pork Bolognese
- Bolognese (Ragu)
- Pizzelle Recipe
- Ham Pasta
- White Wine Garlic Butter Sauce for Pasta
- Ravioli and Asparagus
Authentic Italian San Marzano Sauce (Quick Recipe)
- 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.1 ½ tablespoon Extra Virgin 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.⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ yellow onion
- Now add your garlic and cook for one more minute.2 cloves garlic
- Add your whole canned tomatoes to the pan.28 ounces san marzano tomatoes
- 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.2 fresh basil leaves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon dried oregano
- 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
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