Easy 25 Minute Marinara Sauce

by jerseygirl on March 20, 2014 · 7 comments


Did I ever tell you I’m a red sauce snob? Sorry, I’m admitting it now.

When it comes to food, I can be a real pain in the you- know- what sometimes. If I go to an Italian restaurant I hardly ever order red sauce. Because I am picky and like my own. I keep batches of red sauce or gravy, as some call it, in my freezer. I can heat it up anytime and I don’t want to pay $15 for a plate of pasta with red sauce.

As a teenager, I did go through my rebellious stage of “I would rather have Ragu then my mother’s homemade sauce” for a short time. Jarred sauce was something different and it was nice to go to a friend’s house on a Saturday night and have spaghetti with Ragu sauce while my friends parents were out to dinner. Those days are over. You will hardly ever see jarred sauce in my pantry.

Don’t get me wrong . I am not judging anyone if they use jarred sauce. I have my own short cuts such as jarred pesto and already made pie crusts.  I wouldn’t want the pie crust making Gods looking down on me. But I figure, why use jarred marinara when I can make my own in 20 minutes?


Try making this simple sauce. It is a little different than my all day slow cooked red gravy but works great especially in recipes where a quick marinara or simple spaghetti sauce is needed.

Here are some easy dinners that I use this sauce in:

Mini Lasagna Cups or 12 Minute Lasagna

Italian Chili via Food Fanatic

Ravioli Bake via Dizzy Busy and Hungry

Asiago and Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Mixed Mushroom and Gorgonzola Pizza via Cookin Canuck

Baked Gnocchi with Ricotta via Taste and Tell

Classic Chicken Parmesan

marinara pot.jpg

5.0 from 3 reviews
Easy 25 Minute Marinara Sauce
Recipe type: sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
You will use this simple sauce recipe over and over again.
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I use the kind with basil)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil or a small handful of chopped fresh basil
  • Dried or fresh herbs for garnish (I use basil or parsley)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Add garlic and saute until lightly golden.
  2. Add tomatoes, onion powder, sugar, parsley and basil to the pot and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Garnish with dried herbs.
  4. Place in an airtight container if not using right away. Can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for a few months.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Terry March 21, 2014 at 9:36 am

I have always made the same sauce but with adding a little crushed red pepper. Yes, everyone raves over it and so simple and fast. I too was a Jersey girl but left 20 years ago to become a Georgia girl. However, my Georgia friends love this sauce.


Biz March 21, 2014 at 11:06 am

I didn’t become a “gravy” snob until my husband made me his homemade sauce. Holy shizz it’s delicious! And back in the day, when I was a pour single Momma, a giant can of Hunt’s cost .50 cents. But I used that as a base and added garlic, oregano, etc.

For some reason after my husbands colon cancer, he’s not much of a fan of red sauce – just butter and Parmesan cheese for his pasta.

Have a great weekend!


Pam March 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Who wants to buy jarred sauce when this is so much better? Quick, simple, and tasty… my kind of red sauce.


Kristin @ Dizzy Busy and Hungry! March 23, 2014 at 8:22 am

Thanks for linking to my Ravioli Bake! I personally have always use jarred sauce, BUT, now that I see how easy this would be, I am going to try it. It looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing! Pinning!


vanillasugarblog March 23, 2014 at 1:06 pm

when those san marzano tomatoes go on sale at whole foods, I stock up!
way better than jarred!


leslie March 24, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Im glad your Ragu stage only lasted a short time!


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