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5 from 4 votes

Hearty Marinara Sauce

This homemade slow simmered Hearty Marinara Sauce is the perfect cooking staple to batch prep and freeze. It is made with super simple ingredients, yet is full of flavor. It is delicious on pasta, in casseroles, as a dipping sauce, and everything in between. Loaded with whole San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, herbs, wine, and a parmesan rind, it is irresistible.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Sauce/Dip
Cuisine: Italian
Calories: 572kcal
Author: Brianna May


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic pressed or finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup red wine*
  • 1 28 ounce can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small parmesan rind*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon sugar*


  • Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the oregano, basil, thyme, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Sauté for a couple of minutes or until fragrant.
  • Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parmesan rind, bay leaf, and sugar.
  • Bring to a simmer and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 45 minutes or for up to 2 hours. Stir occasionally and use the back of the spoon to break up the tomatoes. Remove the bay leaf and rind before serving.


Red Wine: Omit if you do not want to cook with alcohol. 
Parmesan Rind: You can find these in the specialty cheese section of the grocery store. There is normally a bin with small pieces of cheese and rinds. If you can’t find a rind by itself, you can buy a wedge of parmesan reggiano and cut off the rind. 
Sugar: Depending on your preference you might like a little more sweetness to round out the acidity of the tomatoes. Sugar creates a balanced sauce. While it can be omitted, it helps bring out the other flavors.
Use high quality tomatoes. I highly recommend using whole San Marzano tomatoes. These are plum tomatoes which have a vibrant tomato flavor, without being too acidic. The whole tomatoes provide a nice texture when broken up.
Slow cook the sauce. The flavors will continue to develop and deepen as the sauce is cooked. I recommend simmering it for at least 45 minutes, but if you have time you can simmer this sauce for a few hours. Just be sure to keep an eye on it and the heat on low.
For a smooth sauce, blend. After you have removed the bay leaf & the rind, pour the sauce into a blender. Blend until smooth or the desired consistency.
The sauce can be prepared ahead of time. It will last for 4 days in the refrigerator.  Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Sodium: 2216mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 35g