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Homemade Marinara Sauce (Quick + Easy)

Homemade vegan Marinara Sauce is an easy to make tomato sauce perfect for topping on your favorite pasta or using in any recipe calling for jarred pasta sauce!

side angle view of jar of homemade marinara sauce with spoonful.

Meet my new favorite vegan pasta sauce – it’s a simple base of crushed tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano, and takes less than 30 minutes!

This easy, back-to-basics, homemade marinara sauce will be your new favorite go-to recipe for everything – from pasta, pizza and spaghetti squash!

It’s quick and easy, and ready in as little as 20 minutes using pantry staples that you probably have on hand for a delicious sauce everyone will love!

top down view of ingredients used to make the best homemade marinara sauce.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe, garlic is sauteed and simmered with tomatoes and spices for a hearty and flavorful vegan pasta sauce.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Tomatoes – Use crushed or whole, peeled tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes are perfect for me, but if you like a little chunkier sauce use whole peeled tomatoes and break them down during cooking.
  • Garlic – 3 cloves of garlic works for us, but you can use as much as you like.
  • Basil – I’ve used fresh, but dried works too, as noted in the recipe card.
  • Oregano – Use dried or fresh.
  • Olive oil – Use just enough to saute the garlic. You can make this oil-free using a water saute.
  • Red pepper flakes – Adds a little kick of heat, optional.
  • Salt + pepper – Season to taste.
top down view of showing the process of making homemade marinara sauce recipe.

How To Make Homemade Marinara Sauce

(Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)

  • Saute the garlic.
  • Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, pinch of red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, and bring to a gentle boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 15 – 40 minutes.

And that’s it – easy, peasy! And now your marinara sauce is ready to use.

Top Tips

  • Let it simmer. If you have time, let it simmer for 40 minutes!
  • Make ahead. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled and stored for later use in the refrigerator or freezer.

top down view of freshly made batch of homemade marinara sauce in a pan with wooden spoon.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator in a covered container.
  • Freezer: This homemade marinara sauce is freezer-friendly and can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let cool completely and store in freezer-safe containers (affiliate link), leaving 1/2-inch head space for expansion. Let thaw before reheating. You can also freeze larger portions in large freezer ziploc bags.
  • Reheat: Simply re-warm on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. Alternately, reheat in the microwave using 30 – 60 second intervals, stirring after each, until warm.

Serving Suggestions

This savory sauce can be used anywhere pasta sauce or tomato sauce is called for. Here are some of my favorite ways to use this vegan pasta sauce:

side angle view of wooden spoon in pan with homemade vegan marinara sauce.

More Easy Sauce Recipes!

If you try this easy marinara sauce recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



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5 from 3 reviews

This vegan Marinara Sauce is an easy to make tomato sauce perfect for topping on your favorite pasta or using in any recipe calling for jarred pasta sauce, and takes less than 30 minutes!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Condiment, Sauce
  • Method: stovetop, simmer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Italian


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28oz.) tomatoes (crushed or whole, peeled)
  • 3 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 1 heaping teaspoon oregano
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • salt + pepper, to taste


In a medium pot, add oil or water, and saute garlic for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, optional red pepper flakes and salt + pepper, bring to a gentle boil, turn down heat to low and simmer 15 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes about 3 cups.

Serves 4 – 6


For a chunky marinara sauce, use whole peeled tomatoes, breaking them up as you cook.

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  1. Mark Newton says:

    Thank you for such a simple quick recipe Julie! My sauce was a touch acidic for my taste so I added a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses; perfect! Looking forward to more of your magic! Mark, Melbourne Australia

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much, Julie! You mention pureeing; I don’t see that in the recipe; can you point me to it? Just use an immersion blender?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, you are correct! Since the recipe calls for crushed tomatoes and doesn’t need to be pureed, you will want to puree your mixture a bit. An immersion blender should be fine if the pan used to cook the mixture has high enough walls so you can tilt the pot to puree if needed, while being careful to burn yourself or spill the sauce. A regular blender will do fine too.

  3. My kids and I really like this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  4. What is the serving size or is the nutritional facts based on all 3 cups? I’m going to try it this weekend!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Ali! A serving size is 1/2 cup, and the nutritional information shown is per serving size. I updated the nutrition card with the serving size. Enjoy the sauce!

      1. I tried this recipe today and love it. Super simple and tasty. Thank you for including the dry herb options and info about freezing leftover sauce.

  5. Hi!
    Do you drain the water from the can of tomatoes or just put it all in together?
    Thank you I love your stuff!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      No need to drain. You can use the whole can – tomatoes and juices. Enjoy!

  6. Can I use dried basil if fresh is not available during off season?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, you can sub fresh basil with dried, use 1 – 2 teaspoons of dried basil. Add more to taste.

  7. Does this amount work best with 8 oz. or 16 oz. of spaghetti?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      It depends on how you like it. If you prefer it to be very saucy, use 8 ounces of pasta. Using 16 ounces of pasta will yield a lightly coated pasta. For in between, I recommend using 12 ounces. Hope that helps!

  8. Can I use fresh tomatoes? If so how many, and would I have to dice them up?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, use can dice up and use 10 – 12 fresh tomatoes for this recipe. Do let us know how it goes!

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Hi, Julie! How many/what weight do you recommend for substituting cherry tomatoes (vs. regular tomatoes)? We have a bumper crop this year, and I don’t want them to go to waste! If you have other recipes I could use then in, do tell! Thank you!

        1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

          Great question, Elizabeth! I suggest using 28oz. of tomatoes, no matter the size, in this recipe if you’d like to substitute using canned tomatoes for fresh. I love the idea of using fresh tomatoes. They may take a bit longer to cook compared to canned, but it can be done. Here are all my recipes that use tomatoes, in varying amounts.Enjoy your harvest! :)

          1. Elizabeth says:

            Thanks so much, Julie! Great to know about your other recipes with fresh tomatoes; you are a dear for pointing me in their direction! I just realized with the marinara recipe: Would I need to peel the cherry tomatoes? That might just be my breaking point for patience with from-scratch recipes! ;-)

          2. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

            No need to peel the tomatoes. They should soften enough and break down when pureeing the mixture at the end. Enjoy!

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