Homemade Marinara Sauce with Fresh Roasted Tomatoes

I have found many recipes for home made marinara sauce on the internet, but when I look at them, they ask for canned tomatoes. Sorry…but that is not my idea of home made.  I call that “Semi home made”, and while there is a place for this in the kitchen, it doesn’t extend to sauces.

 I have a garden full of fresh ripe tomatoes that I want to use and homemade marinara sauce is one thing I want to use them in.

Homemade Marinara sauce with Fresh Roasted Tomatoes

Home Made Marinara Sauce

This recipe is delicious, uses home grown tomatoes and has a splash of wine as well as freshly cut herbs.  What could be better?

The version of home made marinara sauce is my most often viewed recipe on the site for a very good reason. It tastes amazing.

Most home vegetable gardens are producing ripe tomatoes now and they are perfect for using in this recipe. If you don’t grow your own tomatoes, large vine ripened grocery store tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes also works well.Fresh tomatoes

For this recipe I used roasted tomatoes.   Here is a photo tutorial showing how to roast them for perfect sauces.  Roasting the tomatoes really is the key to the flavor of this sauce.  It brings out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and makes a perfect sauce.Roasted tomatoes

Once you have this basic marinara sauce, the sky is the limit as to what you can add to it.  Our family loves green peppers,  as well as ground beef.  Add some corn kernels and a bit of chili for a Mexican flavor. And for vegetarians, or just when you want a meatless meal try a mushroom marinara sauce  version.

Spaghetti bologneseWith my basic marinara sauce as a base, your spaghetti bolognese will be a huge hit.  You will never buy store bought again!

This recipe freezes well too.  I just put it into wide mouth mason jars and freeze it.  (affiliate link)They take the cold of a freezer well and the sauce is just as good when thawed as when I first make it.

marinara sauce

If you would like to be reminded of this recipe later, just pin this image to one of your cooking boards on Pinterest.

Home made marinara sauce with freshly roasted tomatoes gives you a taste that bottled sauces can't complete with.

Yield: 6

Home Made Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

Home Made Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

This recipe for home made marinara sauce beats any bottled sauce hands down. It is made with freshly roasted tomatoes for a full bodied flavor that is amazing.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes


  • 6 medium sized fresh beefsteak or other large tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of good quality dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup of beef stock
  • 2 tbsp of fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp of fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp of fresh oregano
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp of cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut the tomatoes into half (or thick slices) and place cut side down on a greased baking sheet.
  3. Roast for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly and peel the outside skins. (Mine came right off with a pair of tongs quite easily.)
  4. Crush the tomatoes well. (I use my hands but you can use a potato masher or whatever you like.)
  5. While the tomatoes are roasting, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions until translucent - about 5 minutes. Add the diced garlic and cook another minute.
  6. Chop all the herbs together. Pour the wine and stock into the onion mixture, still well and add the spices. Cook over medium heat until the liquid has cooked down to about half.
  7. Add the roasted tomatoes, making sure that any really big chunks are chopped up.
  8. Simmer over a low heat for about 2 hours. Serve with pasta or use in any dish that asks for marinara sauce.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 11g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  58 comments for “Homemade Marinara Sauce with Fresh Roasted Tomatoes

  1. Lora
    08/18/2013 at 10:47 am

    I don’t use or drink wine so what is a good wine?

    • Me
      09/21/2013 at 4:25 pm

      Chianti tastes WONDERFUL in Marinara sauce!

  2. admin
    08/18/2013 at 11:16 am

    Hi Lora,

    I used chardonnay for this recipe. It is fairly dry. The alcohol evaporates during cooking leaving just the flavor.

    Any white wine will do. Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would all give a similar flavor to the sauce.


  3. Faith
    08/19/2013 at 11:45 am

    Do you remove the seeds? Any good tips on a quick and easy way to remove seeds?

    • admin
      08/19/2013 at 12:54 pm

      I did not remove the seeds nor were they noticeable in the sauce.

      The only way I can think to do it would be to strain the sauce afterwards, or to cut out the seeds before roasting.


  4. Liz
    08/20/2013 at 7:50 pm

    I just finished making this marinara sauce with our fresh tomatoes, basil and spicy jalepeno’s that I added because we have too many and I wanted to use them from our garden. It is the best recipe I have ever tried! Thank you so much!! I am utterly impressed!

    • admin
      08/21/2013 at 6:42 am

      Hi Liz….nothing like home made is there? I’m glad you liked it. Carol

  5. beth
    08/21/2013 at 11:19 am

    I would like to make a large batch to can…have you ever cooked it in the crock pot instead of the stove top? Any suggestions for canning?

    • admin
      08/21/2013 at 1:24 pm

      I don’t can at all, so I can’t help you there. But many recipes are easily adapted to a crock pot. I have not done this one but if I did, I’d up the spices a bit and cook it for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 on low.


    • Anonymous
      08/23/2013 at 8:30 am

      I’m looking to do the same thing with about 30 cups of tomato purée from garden fresh tomatoes. I guess I’ll improvise with this recipe. Have you found anything else?

      • admin
        08/23/2013 at 10:14 am

        Not sure what you mean by “anything else”?


  6. Angie
    08/28/2013 at 3:13 pm

    Do you cover while simmering for two hours? First timer making marinara here!!!! 😉

    • admin
      08/28/2013 at 3:33 pm

      Hi Angie,

      You can do it both ways. Normally, I turn it very low and cover. If it is too thin, I cook it uncovered so that it reduces and thickens.


      • Angie
        08/28/2013 at 3:59 pm

        Awesome!!! Thanks! I’m very much looking forward to it!

  7. Evie
    09/08/2013 at 7:39 pm

    Hey! Can i leave the white wine out? Will it drastically alter the taste? Any substitute?

    • admin
      09/09/2013 at 6:07 am

      You can always omit wine in a recipe and substitute chicken broth or beef broth, but it does affect the taste considerably.


  8. Mary S.
    09/15/2013 at 10:59 am

    I had some rotini but no sauce at home and didn’t want to run to the store. I DID have 2 1/2 tomatoes on the vine, some fresh basil, a bit of onion and plenty of garlic. I used your recipe as a base for making a small batch of marinara. I left out the wine (I don’t drink and so I never have it on hand) but roasted two small red peppers to throw in for fun. It’s simmering now and I’m so looking forward to having it with my pasta!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe and showing me a way to make a sauce that didn’t start with canned tomatoes.

    • admin
      09/15/2013 at 11:18 am

      My pleasure Mary. This is the most shared recipe on my site. Hope you like it!

  9. M.e.
    09/30/2013 at 11:08 am

    Does it work freezing the sauce or canning it?

    • admin
      09/30/2013 at 2:15 pm

      I have not tried this one but have successfully canned other sauces and frozen them so it should work fine.


  10. Bert
    09/30/2013 at 6:48 pm

    We had a couple dozen just picked tomatoes and found your recipe and thought I would give it a try. Turned out great. Used a cup of 2 Buck-Chuck Cab which was opened yesterday and then added some ground turkey which was browned up with cumin/sage/cracked red pepper. Turned out great!!

    • admin
      09/30/2013 at 7:34 pm

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it Bert. This is my most popular recipe by far.


  11. tricia
    10/10/2013 at 12:13 pm

    How many servings does this make?

    • admin
      10/10/2013 at 1:41 pm

      I got the equivalent of two retail sized jars of sauce out of the recipe.


  12. Pingback: Tips for Homemade Marinara Sauce | Casserole Queens
  13. misty
    07/21/2014 at 4:56 pm

    can marinara be frozen?

    • admin
      07/21/2014 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Misty. Yes, it can. I freeze sauces all the time. Carol

  14. brandy
    08/01/2014 at 2:12 pm

    Do you know about how many pounds of tomatoes? I have some roma tomatoes I want to use and am thinking I will need more since they are smaller than beefsteak. Thanks.

    • admin
      08/01/2014 at 2:28 pm

      HI Brandy, I did not weigh them when I wrote the article and made the recipe. My guess is that it would be about 2 pounds perhaps. Carol

  15. Dena
    08/06/2014 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Carol,

    This sounds amazing and I’ve always wanted to make homemade marinara. My husband doesn’t like chunks of tomato in a marinara. Does this cook down to be smooth? Would it hurt or change the flavor to process the roasted tomatoes or the sauce after it is complete? Thanks so much!

    • admin
      08/06/2014 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Dena. It is not exactly smooth but not really chunky either. You could blend it to make it smoother and it would be just fine. Carol

  16. Sharon
    08/10/2014 at 1:53 pm

    Can i use white cooking wine in exchange for the wine or will it make a difference?

    • admin
      08/10/2014 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Sharon. The red wine gives the sauce a rich flavor but I have often cooked with white wine too and it’s just a slightly milder taste. It will be fine. I do recommend using drinking wine rather than cooking wine though for the best flavor. Carol

    • Harry Chapman
      08/14/2014 at 10:13 am

      Sharon , cooking wine is very salty, alcohol cooks out of drinking wine pretty fast.

  17. Harry Chapman
    08/14/2014 at 10:10 am

    You can also turn the tomatoes the other way with seeds up and brush with olive oil and salt and turn your oven on the lowest temperature, and in about 9 hrs you will have delicious dried tomatoes. I use them in a dish with chicken or shrimp or plain, with garlic ,olive oil sun (oven) dried tomatoes with broccoli and whole wheat angel hair pasta.

    • admin
      08/14/2014 at 10:59 am

      Hi Harry. That sounds wonderful. Must try it soon. Carol

      • Harry Chapman
        08/14/2014 at 5:14 pm

        I failed to mention that when I make the oven dried tomatoes, i line my sheet pans with foil, then put parchment paper over that as you don’t want the acid in the tomatoes reacting with the pan.

  18. Marlee
    08/14/2014 at 1:45 pm

    Hi Carol!

    I’m not the best cook, so please excuse my ignorance, but I have some questions and f/u questions to comments above:
    1. How do you freeze sauces like this?
    2. I’m going to use the crockpot (I love that thing!)…how much is “up the spices a bit?”
    3. I have these varieties of tomatoes out back: a lg. heirloom, med. heirloom, early girl, and “sugar sweet” cherry
    How many should I use? Which ones should I use? Could I do a mix of all the varieties?
    4. One of the above ladies said she added green chilies…I have LOTS of “much nacho” variety and don’t know
    how and how many to add? I’d like to use them, but I’m nervous about ruining your recipe. Anyone give me SPECIFICS on using them with this recipe and the crockpot? Seeded, chopped, whole…What? I want the flavor with mild to medium “heat.”

    I’m really concerned about getting the quantity right because that matters to the “spice ratio,” right?

    I really wasn’t kidding when I said I’m not the best cook! Though I recently tried “America’s Test Kitchen, Slow Cooker Revolution” recipe for “Farm Stand Tomato Sauce.” It was flavorful, but a little plain. I’m really eager to try your variety with the tomatoes roasted, etc.!

    • admin
      08/14/2014 at 5:37 pm

      Hi Marlee.

      You can just dump it in zip lock gallon freezer safe bags. I’ve also frozen it in mason jars. For the crock pot, I normally double the spices. It really is hard to say how many tomatoes. My guess is that it would be about 2-3 pounds. Just depends on the size of them. I’ve never made it with chili peppers since I like a savory marinara sauce, so I can’t advise you on that.

      You really will love the flavor of this one. It is super good. Carol

  19. Harry Chapman
    08/14/2014 at 5:16 pm

    I failed to mention that when I make the oven dried tomatoes, i line my sheet pans with foil, then put parchment paper over that as you don’t want the acid in the tomatoes reacting with the pan.I also use a paper towel and a wooden spoon to blot the tomatoes several times to remove excess moisture.

  20. Harry Chapman
    08/15/2014 at 4:41 pm

    I made the sauce today, I didn’t peal the tomatoes after roasting, I ran them through my food mill with the largest holes, when the sauce was done I rand it through the smaller holes and it seemed to work OK.

    • admin
      08/15/2014 at 11:06 pm

      Good to know Harry. I find it easy to peel mine after roasting but glad to know the food mill worked. Carol

  21. Alexa
    08/17/2014 at 1:37 pm

    just make sure to cook before freezing!

  22. Alexa
    08/17/2014 at 1:38 pm

    Just make sure to *cool* before freezing.

  23. Esmé
    11/07/2014 at 3:11 am

    Wow, this looks delicious! I can’t get (and haven’t grown) any of the fresh herbs. except for parsley, but do have dried herbs. Would you recommend substituting a tablespoon of fresh herbs with a teaspoon of dried? How much dried thyme would you recommend instead of the fresh sprigs? Can’t wait to try this!

    • admin
      11/07/2014 at 10:11 am

      Hi Harris. You will love the marinara sauce. I’ve made it with both dried herbs and also fresh. Both taste nice. Just use 1/3 of any measurements for the fresh to subsitute dry, so a tsp instead of a tablespoon of oregano and parsley and 2/3 tsp of basil. For the thyme, I’d use 1/2 tsp. I never measure my spices and you could use more. (I just go by the way it looks in my hand when I pour it out but these measurements should do fine.) Carol

      • Esmé
        11/12/2014 at 2:25 pm

        This sauce turned out beautifully with your recommendations, thanks Carol!

        • admin
          11/12/2014 at 3:38 pm

          So glad the marinara sauce worked out well for you, Esmé. Carol

  24. 05/07/2015 at 12:27 pm

    Someone wanted to know if there was a substitute for the wine. I made this yesterday using about 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette and a 1/2 cup water. It was wonderful! Thanks!

    • admin
      05/07/2015 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks for the tip Susan! Carol

  25. Jackie
    08/23/2015 at 6:26 pm

    I have been looking for a homemade, fresh tomato marinara. Most are too bland, so I was excited to see one with fresh herbs. I have a bumper crop of tomatoes of all varieties, both cherry and traditional, so will try a mixture of what I have. I’ll report back with how many pounds I use and the results. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

    I made gazpacho using the mixture of tomatoes I have, and it was amazing! I have Sungold, Oregon, Brandywine, Red Grape, Yellow Pear, Black Cherry, and Sweet 100s. The different varieties added such an interesting flavor profile.

    • admin
      08/23/2015 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Jackie. It sounds as though you have been busy growing this year. What a bumper crop! Carol

  26. Jackie
    08/27/2015 at 6:54 pm

    As promised, I’m reporting back on the marinara I made with the variety of tomatoes I had from my garden. It is amazing! So very flavorful! For the cherry tomatoes, I used a food mill to remove the skin. That was much easier than trying to hand peel the large number of cherry tomatoes I had, although it did make that part of the sauce very smooth. However, for the regular-sized tomatoes I just peeled them by hand and crushed them as per the recipe instructions, which added the chunkiness to the sauce that I wanted. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

    • admin
      08/27/2015 at 8:03 pm

      Hi Jackie Thanks so much for getting back with your results. I am really glad it worked out well for you. There is nothing quite like a home made sauce, especially when compared to store bought is there? Carol

  27. Sandra
    09/08/2015 at 2:14 pm

    I’m making this now. I had an open bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon so red wine it is…Can’t wait to see what my husband thinks! It smells fantastic!

    • admin
      09/08/2015 at 2:33 pm

      HI Sandra. Let me know how he likes it. My husband loves this recipe. Carol

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