With no added sugar and a few simple ingredients, you can prepare this healthy homemade marinara sauce in no time at all. It’s easy to make ahead and will keep for days in a jar in the fridge.

Healthy homemade marinara sauce in an open jar with a spoon above it dripping sauce.

Marinara sauce is a staple in our house.  We almost always have at least one bottle of it in here.  

The problem with the store bought marinara sauces is the amount of sugar that are in them, along with some ingredients that you can’t pronounce.  

Spoonful of homemade marinara sauce in a jar.  Make it ahead of time to keep in the fridge.

I love making this marinara sauce ahead of time, so that I can use it anytime I want.  And because it’s homemade, I know exactly what is in it.

Ingredients For Homemade Marina Sauce

Ingredients for homemade marinara sauce including bay leaves, pepper, garlic, basil, crushed tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil,  salt and pepper.

To me, marinara sauce should only have tomatoes, garlic, basil, and some yummy extra virgin olive oil.  This sauce contains only those ingredients – plus a little bit of salt and pepper to taste.  And it is delicious.

This sauce can be used with so many dishes including this cheesy sausage pasta skillet or this skillet Italian chicken casserole.

Healthy Homemade Marinara Sauce

Dash of Herbs
What is better than sliced bread?  This healthy make-ahead marinara sauce.  I love this recipe because it has no added sugars in it and tastes amazing.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 servings
Calories 51 kcal


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3 leaves bay
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper


  • Heat the oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it's fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, crushing with a wooden spoon as you stir. Cook about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the bay leaves, thyme, basil and cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Keep crushing the tomatoes as the sauce is cooking.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in the refrigerator in your favorite jar.


Calories: 51kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 233mgPotassium: 9mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 21IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @dashofherbs or tag #dashofherbsrecipes!


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  5. Thank you so much Christine. And yes, it can definitely be tweaked to use your fresh tomatoes. 🙂

  6. This sounds like the perfect recipe to tweak for the tomatoes in my garden!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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