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Homemade Basil Marinara Sauce

I learned something new recently that blew. my. mind. Did you know that store-bought marinara sauce has sugar? Now, I don’t cook for any sort of diet or meal plan; I’m not gluten-free or paleo or whole 30 (although some of my recipes technically are), but I can’t sit here and say that sugar in marinara sauce sounds even remotely okay. I mean, it’s nuts right? If you don’t believe me, take a look at the label on your favorite sauce the next time you make a trip to the store.

Marinara | Easy | Homemade | Basil | Basil Marinara Sauce | Pasta Sauce

Unfortunately, the only real way around it is to make your own at home. And notice we don’t add sugar to ours. Because sugar has no place in a marinara sauce. So there.

Die hard foodies may criticize me for calling this a marinara when it has basil in it, as most marinara sauces don’t, but I like basil. And it tastes great. If this offends you, or you don’t want the basil taste, by all means leave it out. I wont cry. I promise.

And as if I haven’t talked about it enough lately… This is another great use for my new favorite kitchen gadget: the immersion blender. Having one of these things can seriously save so much time. Instead of simmering, then waiting for everything to cool (because it is a really bad idea to mix hot foods in cold glass blenders), all you have to do is pop this bad boy in your pot and blend away.

I personally use San Marzano tomatoes (the ones from Italy with their stamp of approval), but use your preferred brand. One of my favorite parts of cooking is taking something and making it my own. Now you don’t want to screw too much with the components of the dish, but my recipes are always at least partially adaptable to your own personal tastes. I just can’t vouch you will like yours as much as I like mine.

Anyway, before I ramble on too much longer, try making this recipe in bulk, then freezing more for later. It’s always great to have on hand for future recipes. (HINT HINT, there may be one coming soon…)

Until next time. X

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Homemade Basil Marinara Sauce

Marinara | Easy | Homemade | Basil | Basil Marinara Sauce | Pasta Sauce

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Marinara | Easy | Homemade | Basil | Basil Marinara Sauce | Pasta Sauce

Homemade Basil Marinara Sauce

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  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and sauté, gently, until soft and translucent – about 5 minutes.
  3. Toss in the garlic, oregano, bay leaf, red pepper, and basil.
  4. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes while the herbs sweat.
  5. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste and continue simmering on low for another 25 minutes.
  6. If using an immersion blender, blend it on low straight in the pot until smooth.
  7. If using a blender or food processor, turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature before transferring and blending until smooth.
  8. To freeze for future use: let sauce cool completely, then transfer to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Freezing in airtight bags and flattening makes for easier thawing. This will freeze for up to 3 – 4 months.



  • medium stockpot or dutch oven
  • immersion blender or blender or food processor
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Italian American
  • Diet: Vegan
Marinara | Easy | Homemade | Basil | Basil Marinara Sauce | Pasta Sauce

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  1. Hi there! Just wanted to say that a lot of store bought sauces (and homemade ones too) have a little bit of sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. I think that store-bought of course has more sugar, and you’re likely getting sugars from those sautéed onions, and from using higher-quality tomatoes (i.e. the sweeter ones that are good for sauce). Just wanted to let you know because you sound quite surprised haha!

    Also, totally approve of the basil 🙂

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