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Quick Marinara Sauce


I have been making this quick sauce for years, since I saw Tyler Florence making it on How to Boil Water. I'm creating this recipe card to give to my young son, who is learning to live on his own and how to cook meals on this own. It's very simple, and beats bottled spaghetti sauce that has all kinds of crazy ingredients I wouldn't normally use! One day, I'll photograph a more "finished" shot, but this one is part of a recipe for Pasta Lasagna that I will be uploading onto my blog very soon.

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Rate this recipe 4.5/5 (25 Votes)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (buy San Marzano if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, dried*
  • 1 teaspoons basil, dried* or 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 whole bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Servings 4
Preparation time 5mins
Cooking time 38mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Over medium heat, heat oil in a large pot until hot. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions begin to appear translucent.

Add the tomatoes, stir to mingle the flavors. Add in the herbs and bay leaves.

Sprinkle in sugar, salt and pepper.

Lower the heat and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally.

Serving ideas:

Add a ladle full of marinara sauce to a bowl of pasta and meatballs. Top with Parmesan cheese and basil.

In a piece of halved french bread, add meatballs, sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Put under broiler to toast bread and melt cheese.

Chicken Parmigiana: In an oven-proof dish, put a layer of marinara sauce. Add a layer of frozen breaded chicken tenders. Add another layer of sauce, followed by parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with chopped parsley. Put in the oven long enough to cook the chicken fingers appropriately, making sure not to burn the cheeses.

Store in an air-tight container, or freeze for future use.

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