Are you tired of bland and tasteless marinara sauce?
Look no further! In this article, we will unlock the secrets to creating a flavourful marinara sauce that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned chef, these 5 must-try recipes will take your marinara sauce game to the next level.

Using the freshest ingredients and simple cooking techniques, we’ll show you how to achieve that perfect balance of tangy, sweet, and savoury flavours that will elevate your pasta dishes, pizzas, and more.

From classic marinara with a twist of roasted garlic to a spicy arrabbiata sauce that will set your palate on fire, these recipes are sure to impress your family and friends.

So, roll up your sleeves, grab your apron, and get ready to dive into the world of delicious marinara sauce. Get ready to unlock the secrets and elevate your culinary skills to new heights. Let’s get cooking!

What is Marinara sauce?

Marinara sauce is a tomato sauce that is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and onions.
It is a popular sauce in Italian cuisine and is used in a variety of dishes, such as pasta, chicken parmesan, and lasagna.

Traditional marinara sauce is a simple sauce with a few basic ingredients.
However, there are many variations that include different ingredients and flavours.
For example, some recipes call for adding meat, vegetables, or seafood to the sauce.
Others add spices such as red pepper flakes or oregano.

It can also be made ahead of time and frozen for later use.

Here are some ideas for how to use marinara sauce:

  • Serve over pasta with meatballs, sausage, or vegetables.
  • Use as a topping for pizza or lasagna.
  • Dip bread or crackers in the sauce.
  • Use as a base for a soup or stew.
  • Add to a grilled cheese sandwich or quesadilla.
  • Use as a glaze for chicken, fish, or vegetables.

No matter how you choose to use it, marinara sauce is a delicious and versatile sauce that can add flavour to many different dishes.

The key ingredients for a flavourful marinara sauce.

The secret to a flavourful marinara sauce lies in the quality and combination of ingredients.

Start with the freshest tomatoes you can find. Whether you opt for ripe Roma tomatoes or juicy San Marzano tomatoes, their natural sweetness and acidity will form the base of your sauce. Don’t forget to remove the seeds and skin for a smoother texture.

You can use canned whole peeled tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or passata.

I prefer to use canned crushed Italian tomatoes as they are less messy and saves time.

Olive oil;
Next, you’ll need a good-quality olive oil to Saute your aromatics.

Choose an extra virgin olive oil with a robust flavour to add depth to your sauce.

Garlic, onions, and herbs like basil and oregano are essential for building layers of flavour.

Don’t be shy with the herbs – they add a fragrant and aromatic touch to your marinara sauce.

To add a touch of sweetness, a pinch of sugar or a splash of red wine can work wonders.

Finish off your marinara sauce with a generous sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Now that you know the key ingredients, let’s go through some tips for making the perfect marinara sauce!

Tips for making the perfect marinara sauce.

Now that you’ve explored the different marinara sauce ingredients, let’s dive into some tips for making the perfect sauce every time.

Use high-quality ingredients:
Fresh and ripe tomatoes, good-quality olive oil, and aromatic herbs will make a world of difference in your marinara sauce.
Sauté your aromatics:
Sautéing garlic and onions in olive oil before adding the tomatoes helps to release their flavours and adds depth to the sauce.
Simmer low and slow:
Allow your marinara sauce to simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together and develop a rich taste.
Adjust seasonings to taste:
Taste your marinara sauce as it cooks and adjust the seasonings, such as salt, pepper, and herbs, according to your preference.
Experiment with different ingredients:
Don’t be afraid to get creative and add your own twist to the marinara sauce.
Try adding roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, or a splash of wine for added complexity.

Now that you read the tips and know the key ingredients, let’s dive into the recipes!

Traditional marinara sauce recipe

Traditional marinara sauce recipe.

Shane Lowry
This traditional marinara sauce recipe is quick and easy to make, using simple ingredients.
Learn how to make a delicious homemade marinara sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes.

The traditional marinara sauce is a classic that never goes out of style. It's simple, yet packed with flavour.

Here's what you'll need:
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Sauce Recipes: Unleashing the Flavours in Your Kitchen
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 cups
Calories 91 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 800 grams 28-ounces canned whole peeled Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand or with a potato masher
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Start by heating the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, being careful not to burn it.
  • Next, add finely chopped onions and cook until they turn translucent.
  • Once the onions are cooked, add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Give it a good stir and let the sauce simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together.
  • If you like a chunkier sauce, you can leave it as is.

    However, if you prefer a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.
  • Once the sauce has reached your desired consistency, taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  • Serve the traditional marinara sauce over your favourite pasta or use it as a base for pizza.

    You can also add cooked meatballs or sautéed vegetables or serve over chicken, or fish for a heartier meal.
    The possibilities are endless!


Spicy marinara sauce recipe.

If you like a little heat in your sauce, this spicy marinara recipe is for you.
  1. Begin by following the steps for the traditional marinara sauce.
  2. Once the onions have turned translucent, add a teaspoon or more of red pepper flakes, depending on your spice tolerance.
  3. Sauté the pepper flakes with the onions and garlic to infuse the sauce with a fiery kick.
  4. Continue with the remaining steps of the traditional marinara sauce recipe.
  5. The longer you simmer the spicy marinara sauce, the more intense the heat will become. If you prefer a milder spice, you can reduce the amount of red pepper flakes or remove them altogether.
    The choice is yours!
The spicy marinara sauce pairs perfectly with pasta dishes like penne arrabbiata or spicy shrimp linguine.
It also adds a punch of flavour to homemade pizzas or as a dipping sauce for breadsticks.
Get ready to ignite your taste buds with this fiery marinara sauce!

Creamy marinara sauce recipe.

For a velvety and indulgent twist on the classic marinara sauce, try this creamy marinara recipe.
  1. Begin by making the traditional marinara sauce as instructed.
  2. Once the sauce has simmered and the flavours have melded together, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  3. In a separate saucepan, melt a few tablespoons of butter over low heat. Gradually whisk in flour to create a roux. Cook the roux for a couple of minutes until it turns golden brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  4. Slowly pour in milk, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens.
  5. Next, add the traditional marinara sauce to the creamy base and stir well to combine.
  6. Return the saucepan to low heat and let the creamy marinara sauce simmer for a few more minutes, allowing the flavours to meld together.
  7. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings.
The creamy marinara sauce is perfect for coating pasta dishes like fettuccine Alfredo or chicken Parmesan.
It adds a luxurious touch to baked ziti or lasagna as well.
Indulge in the richness of this creamy twist on a classic marinara sauce!

Roasted vegetable marinara sauce recipe.

If you're a fan of roasted vegetables, this recipe will take your marinara sauce to a whole new level.
  1. Start by preheating your oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Cut your favourite vegetables into bite-sized pieces – think bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes.
  3. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread them out on a baking sheet.
  4. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and slightly caramelised.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the traditional marinara sauce as instructed.
  6. Once the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly.
  7. In a blender or food processor, combine the roasted vegetables and the traditional marinara sauce. Blend until smooth or leave it slightly chunky if desired.
  8. Return the sauce to the saucepan and let it simmer for a few more minutes to allow the flavours to meld together.
The roasted vegetable marinara sauce adds a depth of flavour and a hint of smokiness to your dishes.
Serve it over pasta, use it as a dipping sauce for bread, or incorporate it into your favourite casserole recipes.
Say goodbye to boring marinara sauce and hello to a burst of roasted goodness!

Unique twists on marinara sauce - pesto marinara and vodka marinara.

Looking to add a creative twist to your marinara sauce?
Try these two unique variations – pesto marinara and vodka marinara.
  • Pesto marinara:
    For the pesto marinara, follow the traditional marinara sauce recipe, but add a few tablespoons of your favourite pesto sauce to the mixture. The combination of the tangy tomato sauce with the fragrant basil and pine nut pesto creates a harmonious and delicious flavour profile.
    Serve the pesto marinara sauce over pasta, grilled chicken, or as a dipping sauce for crusty bread.
  • Vodka marinara:
    For the vodka marinara, follow the traditional marinara sauce recipe until the sauce has simmered for 30 minutes. Then, stir in a splash of vodka and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. The vodka adds a subtle depth and richness to the sauce, enhancing the flavours of the tomatoes and herbs.
    Enjoy the vodka marinara sauce over penne alla vodka or as a sauce for homemade meatballs.

Serving suggestions and pairings for marinara sauce.

Marinara sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.
Here are some serving suggestions and pairings to inspire your culinary creations:
  • Classic spaghetti and meatballs:
    Serve your marinara sauce over al dente spaghetti, topped with homemade meatballs, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  • Margherita pizza:
    Spread marinara sauce over a thin pizza crust, top with fresh mozzarella cheese, and garnish with basil leaves for a simple and delicious Margherita pizza.
  • Baked eggplant Parmesan:
    Layer marinara sauce, crumbed (breaded) and fried eggplant slices, and mozzarella cheese in a baking dish.
    Bake until bubbly and golden brown for a comforting and satisfying meal.
  • Caprese salad:
    Drizzle marinara sauce over fresh tomato slices, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves for a twist on the classic Caprese salad.
  • Stuffed capsicum (bell peppers):
    Fill halved capsicum (bell peppers) with a mixture of cooked rice, minced (ground) beef, and marinara sauce.
    Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is cooked through for a tasty and filling meal.
  • Bruschetta:
    Top grilled bread slices with marinara sauce, fresh tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a flavourful Appetiser or snack.

Conclusion: Get creative with your marinara sauce recipes.

Now that you've unlocked the secrets to creating a flavourful marinara sauce, it's time to get creative in the kitchen.
Experiment with different ingredients, spices, and cooking techniques to develop your own signature marinara sauce recipes.
Whether you prefer a classic marinara, a spicy arrabbiata, or a creamy twist, there's no limit to the delicious possibilities.
So, gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and let your culinary skills shine. With these 5 must-try recipes and a little creativity, you'll be able to whip up mouthwatering marinara sauces that will impress even the toughest food critics.
Get ready to elevate your pasta dishes, pizzas, and more to new heights of flavour.
Happy cooking!
Keyword marinara sauce, marinara sauce recipes

Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry is the author of Good Food To Eat, a website that provides recipes and cooking help.He is a home cook who enjoys sharing his passion for food with others. Lowry’s mother is a chef, and she taught him the basics of cooking and baking when he was young.He also has experience running a catering business with his wife, specializing in finger foods and full meals for people with dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegan, and low-carb.Through his various cooking experiences, Lowry has learned what makes a great recipe: simple to follow, yet delicious and satisfying. That’s why he focuses on creating step-by-step recipes that are easy for anyone to make, regardless of their cooking skills.

1 Comment

Clifton Kennerson · 07/10/2023 at 1:10 am

5 stars
I always wondered how to make a creamy marinara sauce. Thank you for this simple and tasty recipe. I will be trying the roast vegie one next.

Comments are closed.