Homemade Marinara Sauce

Homemade marinara sauce is the very foundation of great Italian cooking. It goes into so many dishes from spaghetti and meatballs, to lasagna and chicken parmigiana. My Nana Lulu’s homemade marinara sauce was legendary, and my Dad has picked up the torch with his own incredible version. I’ve been working on my own version for years and this one completely hit all the right flavor notes! It was easy to put together.

First, I made a tidy bundle of lots of herbs and whole black peppercorns. Since I wrapped them all tightly in cheese cloth, the flavor went into the sauce as it cooked without making a big mess in the sauce. It was a classic way to infuse huge flavor into the sauce as it cooked.
Then I used my food processor to make prep a breeze. I pureed lots of aromatics like onions, carrots, and celery without having to take the time to chop them finely. It became the most amazing base for the homemade marinara sauce.
The homemade marinara sauce bubbling away and smelling incredible!
After that, everything went into the pot. I built layer upon layer of flavor, starting with the aromatic base and ending by submerging the herb bundle in it. The homemade marinara sauce simmered on low for two hours to really develop lots and lots of deep flavor.

While it was cooking I felt like I was back in my Nana Lulu’s kitchen. The aroma of the sauce was just filling the whole house deliciously and also made me so darn hungry! Once it was done, I removed the herb bundle and took the pot off the heat. Then I just portioned it out into pint containers. This way I knew that I had two cup portions ready to go. I knew I was going to use 4 of them quickly, but the other container went into the freezer to use when I needed it. Making this sauce is something I love to do on a Sunday afternoon to just portion out for the week of dinners ahead, like spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmesan. It is so versatile and fantastic! Enjoy my friends, and buon appetito.

Homemade Marinara Sauce
Homemade Marinara Sauce
Homemade Marinara Sauce
Homemade Marinara Sauce



4 from 1 vote
Homemade Marinara Sauce
Homemade Marinara Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 cups
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 whole carrots peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 stalks celery cut into quarters
  • 1 whole onion peeled and quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled
  • 12 whole cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 dash olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 dash worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes 28 ounce size
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. First, put together the herb bundle to really flavor the marinara sauce. Cut a big piece of cheesecloth and layer the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and peppercorns on it. Gather up the bundle tightly and tie it tightly with kitchen twine to hold it together. Then get out a food processor and add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes and parsley. Run the food processor until the mixture is a smooth puree.
  2. Now everything is ready to layer into the pot! Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a sturdy dutch oven or stock pot. Transfer the puree from the food processor bowl into the pot to let it get fragrant for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and let them meld in for another minute.
  3. Pour in the red wine and let it reduce for about 2 minutes. Then pour in the stock, crushed tomatoes and freshly grated parmesan. Add the herb bundle you made and submerge it into the sauce, then allow it to come to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer and let it gently bubble for 2 hours.
  4. Remove the herb bundle and take the pot off of the heat. Use it immediately or allow it to cool before portioning it out into containers. This recipe yields 6 cups, and 3 cups is usually the perfect amount for a pound of pasta.


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4 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)