Easy homemade marinara sauce is a must have recipe in my house! I don't eat a ton of pasta, but when I do, I want it to be full of flavor and a real treat! So in my eyes, marinara made at home is certainly worth my time invested. In 30 minutes, you can have a homemade sauce that is robust, with slightly sweet from the caramelizing of the sugars in the tomatoes and the sweet nutty flavor that roasted garlic takes on. Add some wilted spinach and you have a marinara that is perfect to serve to company or your family on a regular weeknight!
I think once you make this recipe, you will agree with me that the jarred marinara is only for last resorts! I discovered that many of the jarred marinara sauces I love are full of sugar and sodium. Other “healthy versions” I have tried, I am often let down by the flavor in the sauce or find that it's too expensive to have on hand for an everyday meal. I love the slightly sweet, savory roasted garlic and tomato flavor in this sauce and I like to further increase the amount of veggies in the sauce by adding spinach! You can't go wrong with spinach in my opinion!
I enjoyed this homemade marinara on spaghetti squash! I love using spaghetti squash over regular pasta, as I find I don't get that uncomfortable heavy feeling in my stomach after eating a big bowl! I do get just as full though! The best part is that I always have leftovers, which are even better the next day!
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Homemade Marinara Sauce Spotlight
Have you ever roasted garlic? It changes from the harsh, pungent flavor you are used to, to a almost sweet, creamy clove. Roasted garlic mashed into a paste and mixed with a little olive oil and fresh thyme spread over toast is the perfect easy appetizer.
Garlic is great to add to the everyday diet. It's packed with magnese and garlic has also been studied on it's ability to help the body absorb zinc and iron. Guess what fruit has zinc in it? Tomato! And guess what vegetable has iron in it? Spinach! Perfect combination here!
Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe Tips
To make roasted garlic, it's pretty simple. Just cut the top off of a garlic clove and wrap it in foil. Add just a little bit (maybe a teaspoon) of olive oil over the top and a small pinch of salt. Wrap the foil around the garlic and bake in the oven along side the tomatoes! That easy!
My favorite way to blend up the tomatoes once they are done is to use the immersion blender Dave's parents got me for Christmas. It's one of my favorite kitchen gadgets and it's so easy to clean, I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about the investment!
I look for grape tomatoes to go on sale to make this recipe. I often see them at buy one get one free, which ends up being about $3 for this recipe. I find this reasonable for an everyday meal. During the summer when tomatoes are in abundance, I make this same recipe with any kind of tomato I can get my hands on.
Feel free to load this up with veggies. This is the very basic version but I also love to saute mushrooms and onions to add to this. Roasted red pepper is also another great addition! Play with your food!!
Combine this homemade marinara sauce with spaghetti squash noodles for a delicious low carb gluten free dinner! Watch the video below to learn how to make spaghetti squash.
Easy Homemade Marinara
- Preheat oven to 400.
- While oven is preheating, cut the top off of the head of garlic, wrap the garlic in aluminum foil after adding 1 tsp. olive oil to the exposed garlic.
- Add aluminum wrapped garlic to the oven. It will need to bake for 30 minutes.
- Add parchment paper to a cookie sheet and spray lightly with coconut oil. Add tomatoes and salt.
- Place tomatoes in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until tomatoes are caramelized and starting to pop.
- Take tomatoes out of the oven and allow them to cool slightly.
- Once the garlic is done, take it out of the oven and unwrap the aluminum foil. Using oven mitts, squeeze the garlic cloves out of the top of the head of garlic by pressing from the bottom up inot a large glass bow or blender.
- To the garlic cloves, add the tomatoes and fresh thyme.
- Blend with immersion blender or blender until smooth. Taste for salt.
- Add 1/2 cup of water and and slowly blend until sauce is at your desired consistency. If you end up making it too thick, you can place it on the stove and allow some of the water to cook off.
- Serve over your favorite pasta or as a dipping sauce for your favorite bread.
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What About You?
- Do you have a homemade marinara recipe?
- Whats your favorite way to eat pasta?