Simple weeknight marinara sauce is a quick dinner hero. Perfect for pizza, pasta, and more!

Simple Weeknight Marinara Sauce

Simple marinara sauce is a hero for busy weeknights. Six ingredients, 20 minutes, and you'll feel like a kitchen champion for making this classic seasoned tomato sauce from scratch.
Course Sauce
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword marinara sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 200kcal
Author Monica | Nourish + Fete


  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves - finely minced
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 28 ounce (800 grams) can crushed or “pulped” tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt and black pepper - to taste


  • Place oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a cold medium saucepan and warm over medium heat until the garlic becomes fragrant and just starts to sizzle, about 1 minute. Be careful not to let the garlic brown.
  • Pour the tomatoes into the pan, then add oregano, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If sauce begins to bubble rapidly, reduce heat further.) Remove from heat, and remove bay leaves before serving.


  1. Sauce can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or frozen.
  2. Lightly adapted from Fox and Briar.


Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 525mg | Potassium: 1186mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 855IU | Vitamin C: 38.4mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 5.6mg