Basic Marinara Sauce

Author Notes:

This sauce is perfect to have on hand for quick weeknight dinners. Make a double or even triple batch and keep some in the freezer and fridge at all times.

Lindsay Howerton-Hastings

Makes: about 4 cups


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
In This Recipe


  1. This recipe originally appeared at
  2. Add the olive oil and onion to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook while stirring for about 5 minutes until the onion softens but doesn’t brown.
  3. Add the garlic and salt and stir for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add the sugar, tomatoes, and water. Stir every few minutes while the sauce comes to a simmer.
  5. Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes until reduced and thickened. Taste as you go and add more sugar and salt to your preference. Use as you’d like. Enjoy!

More Great Recipes:
Condiment/Spread|Sauce|Italian|Vegetable|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd|Vegetarian|Vegan