The Best Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe
This easy homemade marinara sauce, and crushed tomato sauce recipe for canning, is super easy and full of flavor! Once you’ve had a good Italian tomato sauce, you won’t want to use the store bought stuff from the jar again! This homemade marinara crushed tomato sauce recipe goes perfectly on pasta, in soups, and on pizza!
This recipe can be made with canned crushed tomatoes and with HOMEMADE CRUSHED TOMATO SAUCE recipe below!
My Dad is 1/2 Italian… My Grandmothers family is from Sicily, so I grew up eating fresh Italian recipes like homemade spaghetti sauce at least once a week!
My Mom and Dad would cook a huge pot of this sauce (I have seven siblings) adding goodies like fresh mushrooms, fresh ground Italian sausage, fresh bell peppers, onions, and garlic. So this homemade marinara or crushed tomato sauce is like coming home to me!
I never ate store-bought tomato sauce growing up… Ever! I didn’t even know what Prego tasted like till I was an adult.
The recipe I’m sharing today is not as fancy as my parents’, but it is the base! So you can add mushrooms, sausage, and whatever your heart desires to it!
Homemade marinara sauce can be used as pizza sauce, in soups, or you can add to it for some knock your socks off spaghetti or pasta sauce!
All you need for this homemade sauce recipe is a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time. This easy recipe uses basic ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garlic cloves, and fresh herbs. You cook it over medium-high heat and use an immersion blender. potato masher, or food processor. You can always add parmesan cheese, ground beef, Italian Sausage, mushrooms, or yellow onion according to your desires!
This recipe calls for crushed tomatoes, you can use fresh tomatoes, but the process will take longer as their skins need to be removed and they need to cook down.
Crushed tomatoes are the base for this homemade marinara sauce. You can use diced tomatoes, but the texture will be different.
Start cooking your crushed tomatoes and add 3 tablespoons of water, If your sauce seems too thick, add another tablespoon of water.
Onions and Garlic
Fresh garlic and onions give a lot of flavor to this sauce! I use one large onion and two garlic cloves. I’m a garlic lover, but you can add more or less garlic if you like… Two is good for me! I actually enjoy the onion flavor better than the garlic, so I use an entire large onion!
(If you don’t have fresh onions and garlic, you can use dried, it will make the recipe taste and texture a little different, but it will still be good!)
Chunky or Smooth Sauce?
This is a slightly chunky homemade marinara sauce. The main ingredient creating chunks is onions…Crushed tomatoes are a bit chunky too, but not like the onions… If you want a smoother pasta sauce, you can cut onions really small in a food processor, or puree your sauce after cooking it!
Fresh basil leaves are an Italian Sauce Signature herb! The flavor or fresh basil compliments tomato perfectly! If you don’t have fresh basil, use dried! (Just make sure it’s not too old, because if it’s too old, if won’t have much flavor.)
Salt and black pepper for the sauce to taste! You can also add a little Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes for heat, a bay leaf while cooking (then remove), parmesan cheese, or oregano!
I like to add garlic and onion powder on top of the fresh onions and garlic, for an extra kick of flavor!
How Long For Cook Time?
Simmer this sauce for at least 30 minutes, for a richer flavor simmer an hour. As this homemade marinara sauce cooks it will get thicker, so just add water as needed!
Using Fresh Tomatoes
To use fresh tomatoes you will need to make the crushed tomato sauce first
If you love tomatoes or Italian food then you have probably cooked with crushed tomatoes! Those crushed tomatoes were probably store-bought in a metal can… Unless you’re old school and make everything from scratch. I’ve used commercially canned crushed tomatoes too… They’re easy and work great!
Home Canned Crushed Tomatoes Are Better!
Homemade crushed tomatoes are the freshest, and so they taste the best! That’s because you pick tomatoes frsh from your garden at the peak of ripeness and they go straight into your jar! It just doesn’t get any better than that!
Crushed Tomatoes Recipe For Canning
Home-canned crushed tomatoes are easy to make, recipe & instructions for 6 quarts:
Recipe for 6-quart jars:
You will need: 18 lbs whole tomatoes, 12 Tbsp bottled lemon juice for each quart jar, and 12 tsp salt
- First, wash your tomatoes and then dip them boiling water for 60 seconds.
- Then, Immediately remove them from boiling water and right away dip them in cold water.
- Remove skins, they should slip right off.
- Trim away any green areas and cut out core.
- Cut up about 2 cups of tomatoes.
- Places all skinless and cut tomatoes into a large stainless pot.
- Bring tomatoes to a boil over medium heat.
- Use the hand potato masher to crush tomatoes.
- Stirring often to avoid scorching.
- Gently boil tomatoes for 5 minutes.
- Then, add two tablespoons of lemon juice to each quart jar.
- Fill jars with hot tomatoes and leave ½ inch headspace at top of the jar.
- Remove air pockets by pressing tomatoes down into jars til the any spaces between tomatoes fill with tomato juice.
- Be sure to leave a half inch headspace.
- Wipe rims with a clean cloth.
- Place lids and adjust until finger tight. Don’t over-tighten lids.
- Process filled jars in boiling water-bath canner for 45 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
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I love to use the Berky Water Filter! It filters out the most chemicals, pathogens, and nitrates, and arsenic (which we have a lot of in our well water)!
How TO MAKE MARINARA SAUCE
- First, put a medium sized saucepan on the stove at medium heat.
- Add 2-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- Dice onions and add to oil, and saute for five minutes till soft soft.
- Next add garlic, and saute for about 1 minute till you smell the fragrance.
- Add your canned or homemade crushed tomatoes, salt and black pepper, oregano and seasonings.
- Place the lid on pan with a 1 inch gap on one side Simmer partially covered for 15 minutes.
- Stir in chopped fresh basil and remove from heat.
Add Ins For Knock Your Socks Off Spaghetti Sauce
This marinara sauce is good on its own…. But add in these ingredients for a special Italian spaghetti sauce that will please all pasta & spaghetti lovers!
- Fresh sliced mushrooms… We use button mushrooms, but you can use your favorite type!
- Fresh ground sweet or hot Italian Sausage…. I LOVE sweet Italian sausage by Johnson Farms. They flavor is just amazing. But my Dad uses BOTH types of italian sausage in her spaghetti sauce, and it is amazing!
- Fresh sliced bell peppers! These fresh sliced bell peppers give your sauce a distinct flavor that compliments the tomatoes, onions and garlic perfectly!
How To Store Leftovers
If you have any leftover sauce, store it for later use in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week. You can also freeze the homemade marinara sauce in an airtight plastic container with a lid, freezer-safe jar, or freezer-safe ziplock bag.
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