Basic Marinara

I’ve found a few whole 30 compliant marinara sauces at the store and use them occasionally when I am in a hurry to make a meal. One really has to study the ingredients on the jar because a ton of them are full of added sugar. If I have time, or have meal plan then l I try to make my own sauce. Here is the basic recipe I have been making.



2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 large cloves garlic – minced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2- 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6-8 large fresh basil leaves cut into a chiffonade

Kitchen equipment needed:
1 large sauce pan
1 large splatter guard
Wooden spoon for stirring

  1. Heat the sauce pan over medium-heat. Add the olive oil and once warmed add in the minced garlic. Sautee the garlic for about a minute. You want the garlic to soften but not really browned.
  2. Add the vinegar around to coat the garlic and scrape off any bits that have stuck to the pan. Continue to cook the simmer the vinegar until it is mostly thickened and reduced by at least half.
  3. Add in the crushed tomatoes, kosher salt, and oregano and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover then pan with the splatter guard.
  4. Simmer the sauce for 45 minutes stirring occasionally. The sauce will be thickened and the volume of the sauce will be reduced quite a bit.
  5. Once sauce is at the desired consistency stir in the basil leaves. Adjust the salt if necessary.


I’ve used this basic marinara on top of spaghetti squash, zoodles, chicken pieces, or Italian sausages. It’s simple and versatile. Many times I add a variety of vegetables to the finished marinara before serving to make it a bit heartier.  Here I added some spinach, kale, mushrooms, and onions.




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