How to Make Homemade Marinara Sauce

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Air Fryer Fried Ravioli Dipped in Homemade Marinara Sauce
Air Fryer Fried Ravioli Dipped in Homemade Marinara Sauce

Have an abundance of tomatoes right now? Use them to make an easy, 7-ingredient, freezer-friendly, Homemade Marinara Sauce! Roasting is the “secret sauce”!

If you have an abundance of garden tomatoes, look no further for a way to use them up! This homemade marinara sauce is a great way to use lots of tomatoes before they go bad. And, it’s is especially delicious with garden fresh tomatoes. To use up all the tomatoes you have on hand, feel free to double or triple the recipe.

One of the reasons I love this recipe so much is because of the intense flavor you get from roasting the tomatoes and garlic in the oven. Plus, it requires very little prep work since the oven does all the cooking! There’s no need to stand over the stove and simmer the tomatoes for hours and hours.

The rest of the marinara ingredients are easy to find and will add delicious flavor to the sauce. Furthermore, this is a no sugar added marinara sauce. So, it is low-carb friendly. For ideas on ways to use the sauce, scroll to the bottom of the post.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Equipment

The equipment needed for this homemade marinara sauce is very minimal. This is great because it means fast clean up. You will need:

When storing tomato-based products, I prefer to store them in glass containers. When you use plastic storage containers, you also run the risk of the acid breaking down the plastic and leaching into your food. The tomatoes can also stain plastic. So, if you can, stick with glass storage containers.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Ingredients and Prep

Homemade Marinara Sauce Process

The key to making homemade marinara sauce is using quality ingredients–especially because this recipe only uses 7 ingredients (including salt and pepper). Since summer produce is readily available right now, this sauce is especially delicious using fresh, ripe, garden tomatoes.

Ingredient Preparation

Before prepping any ingredients, line a half-sized baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside for later use.

Fresh Tomatoes

If you haven’t guessed it by now, the main ingredient in this homemade marinara sauce is tomatoes. Any size of tomato will work for this recipe. Although, I prefer to use larger tomatoes since smaller tomatoes will take longer to peel.

However, I have made this sauce with roma and cherry tomatoes with great success. Plus, they can cook even faster than larger tomatoes. Use what you have!

Because the tomatoes will be roasted, I find additional sweetener is not needed. When cooked with this method, their natural sugars are released and intensified. However, if your marinara sauce is bland, feel free to add a few teaspoons of your choice of sweetener (maple syrup, agave, granulated sweetener). This brings out the natural sweetness in the tomatoes even more.

To prepare the tomatoes, gently wash the outside of the tomatoes with water. Then, dry the tomatoes well. Using a chef’s knife and cutting board, cut the tomatoes in half and place on the baking sheet face up. Next, drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Fresh Garlic

If you have never tried roasted garlic before, now is the time to try it! When garlic is roasted, long and slow, the intense garlic flavor is mellowed. What you are left with is a rich and deep flavor that is so delicious! I love adding roasted garlic to so many dishes as an affordable way to add amazing flavor!

As a starting point, I recommend using 8-10 cloves of garlic. However, I’ve used up to 20! There’s never too much in my opinion! You can get away with using more garlic because it’s roasted and the flavor is not as intense as raw garlic. After you make the homemade marinara sauce for the first time, you can add more or less garlic on your next batch. Or, feel free to roast more than you think you’ll need and add them to taste.

To prevent the garlic from burning as it cooks, we will be preparing a garlic-foil packet. First, peel the skin off the garlic cloves and place them on a small square of aluminium foil. Then, drizzle the tops of the garlic with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Next, wrap the aluminum foil around the garlic and place garlic packet on the baking sheet.

Roasting

Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic for Homemade Marinara Sauce

To roast the tomatoes and garlic, we will be cooking them at a high temperature. So, you will need to preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

While the cooking time can be long, it is hands off time since it cooks in the oven. If you made this on the stove, you would need to occasionally stir the tomatoes to keep it from burning. By roasting, you get the same robust flavor without all the work.

Roast the tomatoes and garlic packet, for 35-45 minutes, until the tomatoes start to caramelize and release their juices. Next, remove the pan from the oven, and allow the tomatoes to cool for about 5-10 minutes until they can be handled easily.

Basil

While the tomatoes are cooling, I prepare my basil. For this recipe, you will need about 20 basil leaves. Although, add more or less to taste.

I often grow basil in my garden during the summer. Or, I will buy a basil plant from the produce section at my grocery store and keep it on my window sill in my kitchen. Alternatively, I have also found basil prepacked in the refrigerated section of my grocery store.

Tip: For instructions on how to prune your basil, check out this 2-minute video from Daisy Creek Farms with Jag Singh.

Blending

After your tomatoes have cooled enough to handle, peel the skin from the tomatoes and add into a blender. To the blender, also add the roasted garlic, basil leaves, and apple cider vinegar. Blend until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

The homemade marinara sauce can be used immediately or stored for later use.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Usage and Storage

Homemade Marinara Sauce with Plate of Air Fryer Fried Ravioli

Storage

Because there are no preservatives in this homemade marinara sauce, it will last in your fridge for about 4-5 days. Store the sauce in a mason jar or other glass container.

By freezing your sauce, it will stay good for a longer time. When frozen, the homemade marinara sauce will last for 3-6 months. Or it can also be canned for even longer storage.

Meal Ideas

The uses for this homemade marinara sauce are endless! For example, you could use it in:

  • Lasagna
  • Spaghetti or other pastas (like Zoodles!)
  • Chicken Parmesan or Eggplant Parmesan
  • Dipping sauces (for veggies or breadsticks)
  • Sandwiches (as a spread)
  • …and more!

The other day, I made Air Fryer Fried Ravioli with this marinara sauce. It was so yummy! If you want to the recipe for the Air Fryer Fried Ravioli, check out my post on Instagram! While you are there, feel free to give me a follow too!

Or it would be delicious in my Instant Pot Italian Marinara Pasta recipe!

Want More Recipes?

My recipe for Easy Mexican Ranch Dressing is also made in the blender, and it so delicious on burritos, salads, chicken, and so much more!

You might also love this quick and easy recipe for One Bowl Banana Bread. It’s a great recipe to use up overripe bananas, and it tastes better than Starbucks!

I LOVE reading your comments and seeing your interpretations of the recipes I share! If you make this homemade marinara sauce, send me a picture on Instagram, or leave me a comment below!

Be sure to save this homemade marinara sauce recipe for later on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest or your other favorite social media site! I would be so appreciative if you would rate the recipe if you love it as much as I do.

Roasted Tomato Marinara

Have an abundance of tomatoes right now? Use them to make an easy, 7-ingredient, freezer-friendly, Homemade Marinara Sauce! Roasting is the "secret sauce"!

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Meatless
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Calories 83kcal
Author Clean Fingers Laynie

Ingredients

  • 8-10 medium Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8-10 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Salt Plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp Pepper Plus more to taste
  • 20 leaves Fresh Basil
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line a half-sized baking sheet (13 x 18 x 1 inch) with aluminum foil.
  • Gently wash the outside of the tomatoes with water, and then dry the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in half and place on the baking sheet face up. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Peel the skin off the garlic cloves, place on a small square of aluminium foil, and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the aluminum foil around the garlic and place garlic packet on the baking sheet.
  • Roast the tomatoes and garlic packet, for 35-45 minutes, until the tomatoes start to caramelize and release their juices.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the tomatoes to cool for 5-10 minutes until they can be handled easily. Peel the skin from the tomatoes and add into a blender.
  • To the blender, also add the roasted garlic, basil, and apple cider vinegar. Blend until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Store in a mason jar, in the fridge for 3-4 days, or use immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

Estimated Nutrition, Per Serving (1/2 cup): Calories 83, Fat 5 g, Carbohydrate 9 g, Dietary Fiber g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 415 mg

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