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Katie's Cucina

Simple Marinara Sauce

Thanks to Viva Italia Days at Publix: Hunts Tomatoes, Progresso™ Brand Products, Kraft Parmesan Cheese, Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Breads, Betty Crocker™ Cookies for sponsoring today’s blog post.

Simple Marinara Sauce #PublixVivaItalia #Ad

I feel like every well-rounded cook needs a simple marinara sauce recipe in there arsenal of go-to recipes. It dawned on me recently that I’ve been holding back quite a few go-to recipes from my readers. Over the next month I’ll be sharing all my favorite tried and true go-to recipes. Today, we will start with the classic simple marinara sauce recipe. I like to make a very large batch of this sauce. Serve it for dinner and then with the leftovers I freeze it so I always have sauce on hand at all times.

Simple Marinara Sauce #PublixVivaItalia #Ad

This simple marinara recipe is very easy to make and takes just 30 minutes. Of course there is nothing wrong with letting it sit on the stove top and simmer for hours. But when I’m in a crunch for time the sauce taste just fine after 30 minutes of cooking. What makes this sauce is using Hunts Crushed Tomatoes. I use 4 large cans to be exact and one 16 ounce can of Hunts Tomato Paste.

Simple Marinara Sauce #PublixVivaItalia #Ad

A good sauce needs lots of seasoning. I use the basic salt and pepper. I like crushed garlic in my sauce verse garlic powder. However if you don’t have fresh garlic on hand don’t sweat it use the garlic powder. I just prefer the texture of the pieces if garlic. I also like onion in my sauce. It adds to flavors as well as Italian seasoning and a secret ingredient… Sugar! Yes… I learned from my Great Aunt Theresa that sugar brings out the sweetness in the sauce. Just a few ingredients and best of all I always have them on hand. I make sure I always have a few extra cans of crushed tomatoes on hand! It’s a standard go-to in my house.

Simple Marinara Sauce #PublixVivaItalia #Ad

If you live in the South and shop at Publix Supermarkets you’ll be excited to learn that the Viva Italian sale is going on until March 4. All of your favorite brands on sale plus additional coupons you can print out and bring with you to the store. So whether your a novice chef or an experienced one I hope you enjoy my recipe for simple marinara sauce during the next pasta night at your house!

Simple Marinara Sauce #PublixVivaItalia #Ad

Print Recipe

Simple Marinara Sauce

Yield: 10 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 28 oz. cans of Hunts Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz. can of Hunts Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 12 oz. can of Hunts Tomato Paste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar


  1. Pour olive oil in a large stock pot. Heat to high and add the minced garlic and diced onions. Cook for 1 minute until lions begin to turn translucent (stir often).
  2. Then add in the crushed tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Reduce heat to medium-low and mix well. Sprinkle in the Italian seasoning, dried basil, salt, black pepper, and sugar. Mix well again and place the lid on the stock pot. Reduce to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir often to ensure the sauce doesn't stick or burn to the bottom. Serve with your favorite pasta.

*Have leftover sauce? Bring the sauce to room temperature and place in a freezer safe bag.

Katie Original Recipe


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18 Responses to “Simple Marinara Sauce”

  1. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted on February 20, 2015 at 8:55 am (#)

    I love a good pasta sauce and this marinara is such a classic!

    • Katie replied on February 21st, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Thanks Kayle!

  2. Cookin Canuck posted on February 20, 2015 at 11:05 am (#)

    There is nothing better than a really good tomato sauce. It’s one of those staples that just never gets old.  Yours looks wonderful!

    • Katie replied on February 21st, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Thanks! I agree. Everyone needs to know how to make tomato sauce!!

  3. The Food Hunter posted on February 20, 2015 at 12:30 pm (#)

    a good simple sauce is all pasta really needs.

    • Katie replied on February 21st, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Yes! Couldn’t agree more!

  4. Angie posted on February 20, 2015 at 12:32 pm (#)

    This pasta dish looks so good right now. Now you’ve got me hungry for lunch. I’m going to print those coupons too. I love shopping the sales at Public, they have the best prices! 

    • Katie replied on February 21st, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Angie–this is the time to stock up on all your Italian ingredients! I saved so much the other day at Publix!!! I love the Viva Italia Sale.

  5. Martha @ A Family Feast posted on February 21, 2015 at 7:57 am (#)

    Everyone needs a good marinara recipe in their collection! Thanks for sharing!

    • Katie replied on February 21st, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Agree Martha, and I can’t believe I’ve never shared this recipe!!!

  6. Kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox posted on February 21, 2015 at 9:54 am (#)

    I love an easy marinara sauce, there’s nothing better than a home cooked sauce.  This looks fantastic.

    • Katie replied on February 21st, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Thanks Kellie!

  7. Heather | girlichef posted on February 21, 2015 at 8:47 pm (#)

    I love having go-to recipes like this in my back pocket – it sounds like it would be wonderful with so many things!

    • Katie replied on February 22nd, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      Heather I couldn’t agree more! So many dishes pair with marinara sauce!

  8. Nutmeg Nanny posted on February 23, 2015 at 8:13 am (#)

    Simple homemade sauce is the best thing ever! I love making my own because then I can control all the flavors. This is such a great recipe!

    • Katie replied on February 25th, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Agree Brandy! Nothing like knowing exactly what is in your food!

  9. Peter posted on March 12, 2015 at 8:13 am (#)

    Hi Katie I was wondering If i could use as a pizza sauce as well because it does look fabulous

    • Katie replied on March 12th, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Hi Peter–I think you could–just go very light on it when using it on pizza. A little goes a long way.

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