Easy Scratch Marinara Sauce


This recipe is surprisingly easy for being “scratch made,” this sauce is a real people-pleaser. Great on spaghetti, rotini or ziti, or blended extra smooth for a pizza sauce.

Easy Scratch-Made Marinara Sauce

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: entree


  • 8-12 Roma or Vine-Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1 Small Green Pepper
  • 1-2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • Dried Oregano, Basil, and (Otional) Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Halve tomatoes and use a teaspoon to remove seeds. Reserve them in a bowl. Place seeded tomato halves on a baking sheet cut side down, and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until tomato skins are browning and wrinkly. While the tomatoes are cooking, dice the onion and green pepper and mince or press the garlic cloves. Sautee these ingredients in a 2 quart
  3. sauce pan with a little olive oil.
  4. OPTIONAL: Using a fine strainer and the back of a spoon, strain the reserved seeds from the tomatoes and use that juice to sautee the vegetables, too.
  5. When the tomato skins are wrinkled and peeling, remove the tomatoes from the oven and peel off the skins. Use a fork to help you with the tougher ones, you can let the tomatoes cool a bit, but the skins come off easier the warmer the tomatoes are. Tongs also help when they’re hot. Basically you’re just squishing the tomatoes out of their skins, it doesn’t have to be neat, have fun!
  6. Now you have a big pan of beautiful tomato flesh. For pizza sauce or smoother sauce, transfer all of the tomatoes to a blender and pulse until just smooth, pushing down with a spoon a few times as you go. For chunkier sauce, I keep about 1/3 of the tomatoes on the baking sheet, and instead of blending I cut those reserved pieces into about 1/2 inch chunks. Bonus Hint: I cut these tomatoes with a pizza cutter. It makes it easy and fast.
  7. Transfer blended and cut tomatoes to the saucepan with the sauteed vegetables. Add the herbs including the bay leaves and simmer the sauce at medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste, and taste it liberally. The color will get deeper as it
  8. cooks, you’re going to want to simmer this one as much as two hours, but at least 30 minutes to let everything combine. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

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