Quick Marinara Sauce Recipe

Christina Lane | Dessert for Two

Quick marinara sauce based on Marcella Hazan's famous recipe. Don't skip the butter, we beg you!

Quick Marinara Sauce Photo

Some nights, it can seem impossible to get dinner on the table quickly. Even just a simple pasta dish can feel out of reach. But, if you’ve got a can of diced tomatoes and a relatively well-stocked spice pantry, you can make the easiest Marinara sauce recipe in no time! Serve with your favorite pasta, and you’ll have a full, happy belly in less than 30 minutes.

Lately, I’ve been reading the labels on my standard jar of go-to pasta sauce. I’m shocked to find sugar on the ingredient list. I just don’t think it’s necessary. And anytime sugar is added to a packaged product, they seem to double the salt to balance out the flavor. Something about that is just ‘off’ for me, so I have fully committed to making my own tomato sauce. Not only is this recipe easy (the hardest part may be opening the can), but it has ingredients that I feel good about.

Quick Marinara Sauce Image

I based this recipe off of Marcella Hazan’s famous tomato-butter sauce recipe. Marcella is no longer with us, but her simple, delicious pasta recipe lives on. She adds fresh tomatoes, a whole onion (cut in half), and 5 tablespoons of butter to a pot. After a 30-minute simmer, perfection is reached.

I make her sauce quite a bit in the summer months. But without fresh tomatoes in the winter, I turn to canned, diced tomatoes. Spices are my favorite way to warm up in the winter, so I added a pinch of dried oregano to the pot. Whenever you use dried spices, be sure to crush them in your hands to release the oils before adding them to the pot.

Quick Marinara Sauce Picture

This recipe seems so simple, but the flavors shine. Think beyond a bowl of pasta!—use it as a dipping sauce for fried ravioli, mozzarella sticks, or anything else in need of a tomato bath. It would also be spectacular in Urvashee's baked eggplant parmesan or Erin's homemade pizza rolls.

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Quick Marinara Sauce Recipe

    2 Servings


  • 14 1/2 ounces Canned Diced Tomatoes, no-salt added preferred
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt


  1. In a 4-quart sauce pan, add the diced tomatoes (with all of the juices from the can), the onion, unsalted butter, oregano, and salt.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, cover and maintain a bare simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the onion before serving.


Cooking Method:
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Related Recipes:
Cooking for Couples Recipes, Italian Recipes, Sauce Recipes, Tomato Recipes, Onion Recipes, Simmered Recipes, Easy Recipes, Easy Dinner Recipes
Recipe Yields:
2 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
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Author: Christina Lane
Recipe Yields: 2 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 2

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 132
Calories 206

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g
  Saturated Fat 11g
Sodium 295mg
Total Carbohydrate 12g
  Dietary Fiber 1g
  Sugars 0g
Protein 0g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Christina Lane

About Christina

Christina grew up in Texas, but now lives in Missouri.You may know her best for her Dessert for Two, but here on Food Fanatic, she’s famous for her fantastic Dinners for Two.

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