Classic Tomato Marinara Sauce Recipe

According to a 1995 Harvard study, eating just 10 or more servings of tomatoes a week (including in sauces and on pizza) reduced menís risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent. And just because fresh tomatoes arenít in season these days doesnít mean we canít enjoy their sunny taste and health benefits. In fact, canning and cooking releases the cancer-busting lycopene, so weíre glad this easy-to-make sauce uses canned tomatoes (look for a good organic brand).

Just dump a few ingredients in a saucepan and let the sauce cook for an hour while you do other things. It smells and tastes so heavenly, and we include lots of add-in ideas. Our trusty marinara will help you throw together dozens of tasty meals–and you can freeze it, too. No wonder tomatoes were known as “love apples”–we’re passionate about them!


6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 32-ounce cans whole tomatoes in juice
salt to taste

1. In a heavy saucepan over medium low heat, cook garlic and onions in olive oil until softened, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add tomatoes and juice, along with a little salt, if desired. You may mash the tomatoes with a fork (although some of us prefer to squash them with our bare hands before adding them to the pot) and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 1 hour.

Makes about 5 cups plain sauce.

Possible add-ins:

Add to garlic and onions as they soften:

1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped

Add to tomatoes:

Dried or fresh basil
Reconstituted dried mushrooms, or fresh ones, chopped

Add during the final five minutes of cooking:

Oil-cured olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
Red wine
Grated cheeses
Sugar (just a touch, if your sauce is too acidic)

By Cait Johnson, Assistant Producer, Care2 Healthy Living Channels.


Edith B.
Edith Babout a year ago

Thanks for the recipe.

Viki V.
Viki A5 years ago

thank you.

Jeannine C.
jeannine a6 years ago

Not the sugar, grate carrots and add to sauce, (Italian trick) will sweeten sauce right up.

Suze O.
Suze Q6 years ago

nice, thanks

Judy Emerson
Judith Emerson7 years ago