Calling for just eight ingredients and 20 minutes of simmer time, this unfussy marinara is perfect for impromptu weeknight pasta. Or, use it as a dipping sauce!

Sauce pot of marinara garnished with fresh herbs and pepper flakes.

The simplicity is strong with this one. I’m talking eight unfussy ingredients and 30 minutes including prep and simmer time. I always thought that the best red sauces had to simmer all afternoon, but this marinara proves otherwise. It’s the perfect impromptu quick fix for weeknight pasta!

With the end of summer rolling out, we’re looking for ways to use up our summer bounty. In my garden, there’s always an abundance of zucchini and herbs. Since the Internet is thriving with zucchini recipes, I figured I’d take the road less travelled and offer up a solution for that boom of basil and oregano with this herbaceous marinara sauce.

One of the things I love most about a simple marinara is the flexibility. I made this particular batch to use as a dipper for zucchini fritters. The next day, we used some of it in the most uncomplicated yet satisfying pasta. It was then I knew that I had to share this good stuff with you.

Like any good tomato sauce, this one kicks things off with onions and garlic. Crushed tomatoes are then stirred into the pot along with fresh chopped oregano, basil, a bay leaf, salt, and a generous sprinkle of chili flakes. You can add more or less of the chili flakes depending on your preference for heat. But that’s all there is to it! Let it simmer for 20 minutes and enjoy.

This marinara pairs super well with turkey meatballs, meatball subs, and stuffed peppers!

Away from the table…

Christmas is already being shoved in our faces with the announcement of two festive-flavored colas: cinnamon and winter-spiced cranberry. I don’t drink soda often, but you can bet I’ll be trying that cinnamon shit at least once.

What are your thoughts on cell-cultured meat? AMPS Innovation is currently working on the framework for meat, poultry, and seafood that’s grown directly from animal cells, as opposed to it being harvested from the animals themselves. Science is wild, friends.

If your kids don’t want to eat their vegetables, just show them this article. A 17-year-old in the UK has developed blindness thanks to a diet of mostly fries, chips, and white bread. I don’t like to trash talk carbs, but dang. Eat some broccoli!

Bowl of penne tossed in marinara.

Two bowls of penne tossed in marinara.

If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you. Then snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme to be featured in our newsletter.

Sauce pot of marinara garnished with fresh herbs and pepper flakes.

Get the Recipe:

Quick and Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe

Calling for just eight ingredients and 20 minutes of simmer time, this unfussy marinara is perfect for impromptu weeknight pasta. Or, use it as a dipping sauce!

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
  • 3 TBSP chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp chili flakes—or more, to increase heat to your preference

Instructions 

  • Heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for about a minute. Stir in the garlic and sauté for another few minutes, or until the onions are tender.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and increase the heat to medium-high to bring to a simmer. Add the salt and stir in the oregano, basil, bay leaf, and chili flakes. Simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes.