Friday, May 31, 2013

All-Purpose Marinara Sauce

All-Purpose Marinara Sauce

I have really, really learned to love the lighting in our new house.  We have an amazing sun porch with white walls and windows all around which makes the perfect condition for photographing food.  The downside?  We have an amazing sun porch with windows ALL around.  It is hottttt in there, you guys!

I’m not complaining…I’m really ready for this weather.  Barring a few thunderstorms here and there, the weather right now is beautiful.  We have beautiful sunrises and even more beautiful sunsets.  The problem I’m facing happens because of those beautiful sunsets.  By the time I get home from work, get dinner or dessert made and am ready to photograph, the hot evening sun is beating in and by the time I’m done photographing, I am literally drenched in sweat.

All-Purpose Marinara Sauce

But this marinara sauce – totally worth the effort!  And partially so because it only takes 15 minutes to make and tastes like it’s been simmering all day long.  I have shared a few pasta sauces along the way but felt the need to create and share an all-purpose marinara sauce because everyone needs quick, go-to recipe for simple weeknight dinners.  Use this for pasta, for dipping mozzarella sticks, chicken parmesan, meatballs (hint, hint!) and the list goes on.

All-Purpose Marinara Sauce

PrintPrint Recipe

Quick All-Purpose Marinara Sauce

Yield: 3 cups

Total Time: 15 min

A quick and simple recipe for a flavorful, multi-purpose marinara sauce.


2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly until very fragrant and golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar and red pepper flakes and stir well. When the sauce starts bubbling, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cassie's Notes:
Do all that you can to use fresh herbs in this recipe. But if you can't find them, use dried - 1 tablespoon of each: basil and oregano.

All-Purpose Marinara Sauce


34 Responses to “All-Purpose Marinara Sauce”

  1. #
    Rachel Cooks — May 31, 2013 @ 6:56 am

    This looks wonderful, I love the bright green fresh herbs in there!

    PS: I’ll take your porch if you don’t want it. 😉

  2. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — May 31, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    I love this simple and fast recipe. I never plant fresh oregano and I don’t know why?? But you better believe I have fresh basil out my window all summer long!!

  3. #
    Tieghan — May 31, 2013 @ 7:43 am

    This looks perfect! Such a pretty color!
    Enjoy that warm weather for me this weekend cause it is cold and snowy/rainy here!

  4. #
    Kari@Loaves n Dishes — May 31, 2013 @ 7:53 am

    It cooks so quick, yet the sauce looks so yummy and so rich!

  5. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — May 31, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    Mmmmm nothing better than a good marinara sauce! I love yours!

  6. #
    Deborah — May 31, 2013 @ 9:22 am

    First of all, this sounds absolutely perfect! And I can imagine how hot a sunroom gets, but I think I’d die for the sunlight. I struggle with the light every single day!!

  7. #
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — May 31, 2013 @ 9:37 am

    Looks great, Cassie! 🙂

  8. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — May 31, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    Gorgeous lighting indeed! I love how vibrant this looks, and you’re convincing us all that we don’t need the premade stuff in jars–I’ll take this fab 15-min sauce any day instead!

  9. #
    Cookbook Queen — May 31, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    Gorgeous photos!! I’m in need of a great and easy Marinara recipe…this looks perfect!!

  10. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — May 31, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    Mmm, it looks delicious! The perfect way to use all the herbs I’ve got growing!

  11. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — May 31, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    I just love marinara!

  12. #
    Rachel @ Bakerita — May 31, 2013 @ 10:27 am

    This sauce looks amazing! I rarely make my tomato sauce at home, but with a recipe like this there is no reason not to! Pinned 🙂

  13. #
    Amy @Very Culinary — May 31, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    Can never go wrong with a classic homemade marinara on hand when you need it!

  14. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 31, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    I love how EASY your marinara is, Cassie! It looks so fresh and perfect for tossing with pasta or scooping up mozzarella sticks. Love it!

  15. #
    Kathryn — May 31, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    Love this quick and delicious sauce. I bet it’s great on pizza too!

  16. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 31, 2013 @ 11:06 am

    There’s nothing better than homemade marinara, love!

  17. #
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — May 31, 2013 @ 11:38 am

    Homemade marinara sauce is the best! Love that yours only takes 15 minutes to make!

  18. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — May 31, 2013 @ 11:57 am

    I could eat this just with a spoon! Nothing beats fresh marinara, it is perfect with just about anything!

  19. #
    Heidi Larsen (@foodiecrush) — May 31, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

    Looks like your marinara would be great on anything and everything!

  20. #
    Rosey — May 31, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

    This sounds delicious! ALSO, where did you get your jars?

    • Cassie replied: — May 31st, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

      Hi Rosey, these are just Weck canning jars that you can buy at almost any craft or hardware store…I bought these at a local kitchen store. You can find them online on their website: or sites like They come in lots of different shapes and sizes.

  21. #
    angela @ another bite please — May 31, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

    15 minutes! no reason for store bought marinara…i will be looking forward to making this with my tomato and herb garden 🙂

  22. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 31, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

    15-minute marinara?! I’m there! And dude, loving the lighting on these photos! I’m kind of jealous of all your windows man.

  23. #
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — May 31, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

    whoa, 15 minutes is super quick for a yummy sauce! perfect 🙂

  24. #
    Jackie @ The Beeroness — May 31, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

    This goes so well with the post I did today, we need to get together for a pizza party. P.s. I’m totally excited to see you again next week!

  25. #
    ashley - baker by nature — May 31, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

    This sauce looks so perfect for pasta… or pizza… or um, anything! Love it (and the lighting!), Cassie! Happy weekend! xx

  26. #
    Liz — June 1, 2013 @ 10:16 am

    Perfect marinara! And this is the perfect size batch for so many of my recipes. Thanks, Cassie!

  27. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — June 1, 2013 @ 11:14 am

    Everyone needs a basic tomato sauce in their back pocket! This looks great Cassie!

  28. #
    Tracey — June 2, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

    I feel your pain, we have a similarly hot situation in the room where I take my photos. Who knew food blogging was such a sweaty job 🙂 I love this marinara sauce, homemade is the way to go, especially when it’s this simple!

  29. #
    Jess — June 2, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

    Maybe you should start calling it a sauna instead of a sun porch, Cassie. That could have been a selling point on the house. 😉 The lighting really does look beautiful though – it’s worth braving the heat!

  30. #
    Joanne — June 2, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

    Our apartment is FULL of windows also and it is SCORCHING. Every time I saute an onion, I sweat. This summer is going to be interesting….

    I love a quick and easy tomato sauce! This is perfect for summer meals.

  31. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — June 6, 2013 @ 8:00 pm

    Wow this sounds so perfect! I love making my own sauce 🙂


  1. Pingback: Vegetable Lasagna with Local Produce | the fat foodie

  2. Pingback: Chicken Parmesan Meatballs | Bake Your Day

Leave a Comment