clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
white bowl of marinara sauce with fresh basil leaves garnishing, on a white backdrop

Simple 20-Minute Marinara Sauce with Canned Tomatoes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: about 3.5 cups of sauce 1x
  • Category: sauces
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


This quick and easy marinara sauce is a staple recipe that pairs perfectly with spaghetti, eggplant parmesan, baked ziti, pizza, and more! This marinara sauce takes 20 minutes to make on the stovetop. You need just 7 simple ingredients, including canned crushed tomatoes, garlic, onion, and fresh herbs.


  • 23 tbsp olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan)
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried oregano)


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan or sauce pan with a lid.
  2. Add the diced onion and minced garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and onion is translucent. 
    onion and garlic cooking in a dark nonstick pan
  3. Add the canned tomatoes and salt. Stir to combine.
    crushed tomatoes from a can in a dark nonstick pan
  4. Bring the tomatoes to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. In the last five minutes of cooking, stir in the chopped basil and oregano.
    marinara sauce in a dark nonstick pan with fresh herbs
  6. Taste before serving and add more salt if desired, to taste.


How long does homemade marinara sauce last?

I recommend using this marinara sauce within one week of preparing it. Homemade sauce does not contain any preservatives that store bought sauce does, so it will not last as long. You should store this sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container, like a tupperware or glass jar.

Can you freeze marinara sauce?

Yes! You can certainly freeze this sauce. Put the sauce in an airtight, freezer-safe container, such as a silicone baggie. If freezing in glass, leave an inch of room at the top in case the sauce expands as it freezes.

Bring sauce to room temperature so it is cooled completely before freezing. Freeze for up to three months.

To safely defrost, put the sauce in the fridge 24 hours before you plan to use it. You can then heat it up or use it in a recipe.