Go Back
+ servings
bowl full of homemade marinara sauce

Best Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe

Course: Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 215kcal
This Homemade Marinara Sauce is rich, delicious and easy to make! It's so versatile, use it on pasta, pizzas, fish and so much more!
Print Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 28 ounce cans Certified San Marzano tomatoes (Cento work well)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large sprigs basil with leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
  • 2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes


  • Place olive oil, 1-tablespoon butter and onions in a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook the onions, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
  • While the onions cook, pull or cut off the tough stem end of each tomato and crush the tomatoes with a potato masher. Pour all the tomatoes and their juices into the pan with the onion/garlic mixture.
  • Add bay leaf, basil, 5 tablespoons butter, kosher salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir well.
  • Bring sauce to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and basil stem. If desired, puree the sauce with a stick blender or in a stand blender.
  • Enjoy!


The sauce can be kept refrigerated, in an airtight container, up to 1 week or frozen up to 3 months.
Yields 3 cups sauce.
Use only fresh garlic, not bottled, for best flavor.
Use San Marzano tomatoes for best flavor. If you can’t find them, canned Cento tomatoes work too.
Fresh basil is highly recommended here. Dried basil has quite a different flavor and it won’t be as good.
For more flavor, simmer it with a parmesan rind.
Add red pepper flakes if you like a little heat.


Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 643mg | Potassium: 802mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 929IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg