It only takes 2 minutes and a few simple ingredients to make homemade marinara sauce that tastes even better than anything you can buy in a jar.
If I had to claim one meal as my go-to dinner recipe, this 2 minute marinara sauce would be it. Whenever I’ve failed to prep a recipe for dinner, or forgotten to take something out of the freezer for the night, I almost always make this. It’s been a life saver and a belly filler for many years.
I can even remember the first time I made it. I had just moved to Texas to be with Marc (almost ten years ago now), and I had no idea how to make my own pasta sauce so I called my mom to ask her what to do. Her recipe wasn’t as exact, and it was basically just her saying, “Cook some garlic in oil and then add tomatoes and basil.”
We all start somewhere, right? Since then, I’ve nailed down an actual recipe (a.k.a. my formula) for making this simple marinara sauce, and it turns out perfect every single time – as opposed to the overly garlicky accidents I used to make. It goes like this: 1 can of tomatoes + 2 garlic cloves + 2 teaspoons dried basil + 1 teaspoon dried parsley = miracle marinara sauce.
A pinch of salt is optional, but since we’ve been dairy free, we usually opt for the extra salt because without the added cheese we like a little extra flavor-enhancer. I’ve even started using pre-minced garlic, and you should do the same. It will save you about 5 minutes, which could be the difference between you actually making the recipe instead of choosing to order takeout.
And, yes. We choose this meal over takeout all the time. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve begged Marc to get takeout because I was tired, or lazy, or just didn’t want to cook, and by the time we sit down to order it, I change my mind. Because, you can literally have this meal on the table in half the amount of time for a fraction of the cost of that takeout. If you make a pound of pasta with this marinara sauce, you can actually feed a family of four for under five dollars. Five dollars. You can probably even stretch the sauce to cover 1.5 pounds of pasta if you’re really hungry.
If you’re feeling fancy or trying to impress someone, try adding fresh basil when you serve your pasta. It’s a game changer, I promise. Or try it with some giant baked meatballs.
2 Minute Marinara Sauce
Yield 3.5 cups
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 1 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- In a saucepan, heat olive oil and minced garlic over medium heat.
- Once garlic is fragrant, allow it to cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.
- Continue cooking until tomatoes are heated through. Simmer until ready to use.