Everyday Marinara Sauce

This versatile robust sauce is a great staple to have on hand in your fridge or freezer. And feel free to jazz up our recipe with your favorite herbs and spices for varied flavor every day of the week.
Marinara sauce recipe clean eating

Photo: Gregory James

By Joanne Lusted

Serves: 6 cups
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes


  • 12 medium Roma tomatoes or 5 cups jarred diced or strained plum tomatoes (no salt or sugar added)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano, stems removed (about 2 tbsp leaves)
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 1/8 tsp red chile flakes, optional
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

If using jarred diced or strained tomatoes, begin instructions at Step Three.


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Using a small knife, remove each tomato core and cut a tiny X into the bottom end of each tomato. In a large bowl, prepare an ice bath. Immerse tomatoes into boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes or until skins begins to come off. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and immerse into ice bath for about 1 minute or until cooled.
  2. Once cooled, remove tomatoes from ice bath and remove skin by peeling it back from X in the bottom. Slice tomatoes in half, scoop out and discard seeds. Coarsely chop tomatoes and place into a bowl.
  3. In a medium saucepot, heat oil on medium-high. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery and sauté until onion becomes translucent and vegetables are softened. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil and chile flakes, if desired, and cook, stirring frequently, until sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove saucepot from heat and carefully purée mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. Add honey and season with salt and pepper; mix well.
  5. Ladle mixture into resealable containers, let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate until needed. Sauce can be kept, refrigerated, for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Nutrients per 1-cup serving: Calories: 70, Total Fat: 2.5 g, Sat. Fat: 0.25 g, Carbs: 12 g, Fiber: 2.5 g, Sugars: 8 g, Protein: 2.5 g, Sodium: 49 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Make a few simple additions and updates to our Everyday Marinara Sauce for a completely different flavor every time you cook it up.

  • Minced chipotle peppers and ground cumin. Finish with chopped cilantro.
  • Purée with diced roasted red peppers and cooked black beans.
  • Roasted garlic, sautéed mushrooms.
  • Sauté onions with curry powder.
  • Cumin, cinnamon and chile powder for a Moroccan-spiced treat.
  • Stir in nonfat plain Greek yogurt before serving to make a rosé sauce.
  • Jarred clams.
  • Minced leftover roasted vegetables.
Nutritional Bonus: By sneaking a few carrots into our Everyday Marinara, we’ve boosted the vitamin A in 1 cup from 24% to 92% of your daily recommended intake. Carrots are the richest vegetable source of vitamin A, which is especially important for retaining healthy vision.



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