Fresh Marinara

Fresh Marinara is the basis for so many awesome dishes – from pizza, to Italian meatballs, to shrimp marinara.   It’s perfect for a dipping sauce for golden mozzarella sticks, as well.   When you make this, your house will smell like a cook’s home in Tuscany!

Make a big batch and freeze what you don’t use for quick and easy future use!


Fresh homemade marina sauce in a jar

Use this marina when you are making a H2FaL classic: Authentic Italian Meatballs recipe!

Mama Mia, is that good!

Italian meatballs recipe

Find the best ingredients, and you can’t go wrong with making the best Fresh Marinara you’ve ever tasted! Incredible!

Fresh marinara ingredients

Now, let’s make this incredible Fresh Marina recipe!

Fresh Marinara recipe

Fresh Marinara

This recipe for Fresh Marinara is one I have been using for years. So flavorful, and perfect for all your Italian dishes!
4.34 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Italian
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Marinara, San Marzano
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 198kcal


  • Three 28 oz can of Italian whole tomatoes San Marzano are the best
  • 1/4 cup quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup garlic finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Drain the tomatoes in a colander set in a large bowl for 5 minutes. Reserve the tomato liquid.
  • In a large pot, heat the olive olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook it; stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until it is golden brown. It should turn golden brown, but don't let it burn!
  • Add the basil, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cook the mixture for 30 seconds.
  • Add just the tomatoes (not the juice...hold onto the juice). Break the tomatoes up with your hands as you add them to the pot.
  • Increase the heat to high, and cook them for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the reserved tomato liquid.
  • Increase the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil.
  • Boil if for 12 minutes, until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom to prevent burning.
  • Turn off the heat and let set for at least an hour.



Calories: 198kcal
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  • Hi! Been making my own sauce since I got married at 16….long time ago! ….and although I’m sure your marinara is wonderful, I have never known anyone….even among all my (italian) family who browns the garlic. It has always been to sauté until soft and fragrant. Really does make a difference. Please know that I’m enjoying reading your recipes and look forward to trying very many! Thank you for allowing me my input.

    • Hi Kim, I wish we could give you some good tips here, but honestly, we usually triple a batch and then freeze 2/3 in freezer-ready containers (Tupperware). We go through this marinara almost weekly!! Canning sounds great though (we could then sell it!!). Let us know if you make it and how it turns out, especially if you can it!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • This is such a great and easy marinade! I’ve made it today to use in your eggplant parmesan tomorrow! Thank you!

  • Hi Kris! I’m so excited to make your marinara sauce, especially to go into your Baked Ziti recipe! My question is, how much does this marinara recipe yield? I’m planning to make more than one Ziti recipe (one to serve, one to freeze & give as a gift w/ cooking directions) so I don’t know how many marinara sauce recipes this will yield. Thank you!

    • Hi Carla!

      That all sounds wonderful! You’re going to be up to your ears Ziti! (which isn’t a bad thing, at all!). I would make two batches of the marinara. One batch makes about 10 cups, but I like to be pretty liberal when adding the marinara to the ziti, so if you’re doing three batches of ziti, you’ll need two rounds of the marinara. Sounds so great! Let us know how it all works out!! And let us know if you have any other questions. Best, Kris & Wesley

  • Thank You!! I’ve been looking for a homemade marinara sauce. Every time I’ve found a recipe that uses marinara the instructions have said to buy it. Arghhh. I can’t wait to try this one. So glad I found you guys today!

    • Hi Cindi!

      Great question, and we’ve updated the post to reflect this. I love breaking the tomatoes up by hand as I add them to the pot. I’ve always heard this is the best way to break up your tomatoes (as opposed to cutting them with a knife or food processor), and after all the years, I have to agree. Also, the tomatoes really start to break down as they coo. Thanks again, and let us know how it turns out! Kris & Wesley

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