Chunky Marinara Sauce

Every kitchen needs a basic, go-to, homemade marinara sauce. It’s cheaper, and has so much more flavor than jarred sauces. If you think you don’t have time to make a sauce from scratch, think again. Prep time is maybe 15 minutes, then you can leave it simmering and forget about it.  It’s also good to freeze and keep on hand for later.


  • Olive oil, to sautee with.
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c red wine ( I used a cabernet)
  • 1 tsp each of dried oregano, basil, and parsley *
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 6 cups of crushed tomatoes ( I used fresh, you can use canned if you like)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce (approx. 1/2 c)

*If you’d rather use fresh herbs, double the amount and add towards the end of cooking. Since dried herbs hold their flavor longer, I tend to use half dried and then add half fresh later on.

Get some olive oil going in a soup pot. Make sure it’s nice and hot before adding the onions. Once the onions are in, reduce heat to medium and allow the onions to carmelize slowly.

Add in the garlic and herbs (if using dried herbs),  and cook for another 5 minutes.

Now the fun part! Wine! Add in the 1/2 c of wine to deglaze the pan, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Next add in the tomatoes and sauce. Let it boil for about a minute, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover, stirring occasionally for 1-2 hours. The longer it simmers, the better it tastes!

As the name of the recipe states, this marinara is chunky. If that doesn’t suit you, wait until it cools down and pop it into a blender or food processor until it’s smooth.

The great thing about this sauce is that it’s a great base. You can add whatever things  you like.

Carnivore? Toss in some sausage or ground beef with the onions. Vegetarian? Throw in some bell peppers or mushrooms.

Moms: This is a great way to hide veggies from the kiddos! They’ll never know they’re in there!

Serve up over pasta and top with cheese, or spread some on a hoagie roll and add some pepperoni or meatballs for a nice sub.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first recipe! More to come!

Currently dancing to: Norah Jones, “Shoot the Moon.”