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Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce (Without Vegetables)

There are a few things that you can always find in our freezer and one of them is Homemade Marinara Sauce. I love to make a huge batch to freeze and use later. I’ll use some while it’s fresh, with any type of pasta that the family wants and then freeze the other half. This Marinara is made without vegetables – no carrots or celery – which makes it great for picky eaters and versatile for so many Italian dishes.

The BEST homemade marinara sauce -with no carrots or celery! Make a big batch and freeze half for later.

I didn’t grow up in an Italian family, but I grew up Catholic. I went to so many church dinners while growing up and I can still remember the church ladies stirring the big sauce pot that was full of marinara. Some people eat fish on Fridays, during Lent, but our family had Italian food – tons of meatless pasta!

This is a traditional marinara sauce because it’s just tomato and herbs. There’s no meat in the sauce, but you can certainly add your own meat later on (which is something I do regularly). The fresh basil adds a ton of flavor and you won’t end up with huge chunks of vegetables, which my kids hate.

It’s also much more budget-friendly to make your own homemade marinara, instead of going for the canned versions. You’re going to save money and you can control the ingredients. If you want less sugar or salt, adjust the recipe to your family’s needs. Freeze some for later and you’ve got a no-additive sauce that’s versatile for pasta dishes or casseroles.

Looking for other great Italian Dishes? Here are some of our family’s favorite picks:

How To Make Homemade Marinara Without Vegetables

If you want to make a big batch, or double the recipe, you’ll want to use a large stock pot. It’s a great investment to have in your kitchen if you’re constantly making soups, sauces and chili. My family know that whenever I pull out the big pot that we’re eating that recipe for the next 3-4 days!

Best homemade marinara recipe

Great Recipe Ideas That Require Marinara Sauce

Once you’ve got your sauce made, the possibilities are endless. From tortellini to cannelloni, you can have so many great dinners easily prepped with your sauce. Check out these 50 Things To Make With Pasta Sauce. If you want to add meat to your sauce, you can reheat it in the stock pot. In the meantime, brown off your meat in a skillet and drain the fat. Gently add the meat to the sauce. I love adding Italian sausage to ours!

How To Freeze Your Marinara Sauce

If you want to freeze some of your sauce, use an air-tight food storage container that you don’t mind keeping in the freezer. It will protect the sauce from freezer burn. The sauce will last in the freezer for up to six months. You can let it thaw again in the refrigerator before heating over the stove top.

Bread dipped in marinara sauce

Marinara Sauce Recipe Substitutions You Can Make

So many great sauces are put together by taste. Don’t be afraid to taste test your marinara sauce to see what it needs more of. You can omit the sugar if you want. The sugar just enhances the rest of the flavors. Overall, there isn’t that much either.

If you don’t have any fresh basil, you can use dried basil. I just really love this marinara with fresh basil and it really makes the sauce more flavorful. Either works, but your flavor depth will be more intense with the fresh basil.

What You Need From The Grocery Store:

  • Olive Oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Crushed Tomato
  • Oregano
  • Fresh Basil
  • Bay Leaves
  • Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper

Step-By-Step Directions To Make Homemade Marinara Sauce Without Vegetables

In a large stock pot, over medium heat, heat oil until hot. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions begin to appear translucent and “sweat” a bit.

Onions and Garlic Cooking Together

Add the tomatoes, stir to mingle the flavors. Add in the herbs and bay leaves. Sprinkle in sugar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Adding Fresh Herbs To Sauce

Yield: 8 Servings

Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce (Without Vegetables)

Best homemade marinara recipe

Easy homemade marinara recipe made with no carrots or celery. Make a big batch and freeze half for later.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 2 (28-ounce) Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Teaspoons Oregano, dried
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil (Chopped)
  • 2 Whole Bay Leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper, To Taste


  1. Over medium heat, heat oil in a large pot until hot. Add onion and garlic, saute for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions begin to appear translucent. Add the tomatoes, stir to mingle the flavors.
  2. Add in the herbs and bay leaves. Sprinkle in sugar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally.


Store any leftovers in an air-tight container. Sauce can be frozen for up to six months.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 44Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 66mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

**Nutrition is calculated by a third party. Actual values may vary.

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