Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce is a versatile and delicious Italian classic that you can make from scratch, including a canning method!

Marinara Sauce

You can easily multiply the recipe depending on how many tomatoes you have on hand. If you garden, in the summer, you might be overrun! And what a wonderful thing, too.

I like this recipe for its simplicity, and think it makes a great sauce for pizza or pasta. If you like you can always season it up when using with any ingredients or seasoning according to a specific recipe you wish to use it in. It’s very versatile!


  • 3 lbs ripe roma tomatoes or 3 lbs heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaf
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes (amount to taste)

Other equipment:

  • quart canning jars with lids and rings
  • jar lifter, water bath canner
  • citric acid (if needed)
  • pH testing strips or pH meter
  • food mill


  1. Rinse tomatoes and place a dutch oven or other large pot of water to boil.
  2. Cut core from tomato and with a sharp knife, thinly slice an x into the skin of the rounded side.
  3. Dip tomatoes in boiling water for one minute to blanch them, (do just a few at a time, not necessarily all of them at once), then lift tomato out of the water with a spider and drop into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
  4. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, easily remove the skins and either discard or save for another use (dehydrated, tomato skins make an excellent tomato powder to use as a seasoning or spice).
  5. Quarter peeled tomatoes and drop into another large pot along with the remaining ingredients.
  6. Bring mixture to a boil then cover and simmer until tomatoes are really soft.
  7. Run mixture through a food mill and discard the solids.
  8. Place pureed mix back into the pot and continue to cook until the mix is thickened.
  9. At this point you can use it as is, or place in freezer bags and freeze or can in a water bath.
  10. If you wish to water bath can the sauce, you will need to have a pH meter or pH strips to test the acidity of the sauce to make sure it will be safe.
  11. The sauce will need to be at the level of 4.6 or lower to be acidic enough to can. If it is not, adjust it by adding powdered citric acid in small amounts until it is acidic enough.
  12. Place sauce into sterilized prepared quart canning jars and process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes, plus 5 minutes for elevations of 1000-3000 feet, add 10 minutes for elevations of 3000-6000 feet, and 15 minutes for elevations of 6000-8000 feet.

You might also like:

Pizza Margherita

Mummy Meatballs with Spaghetti

Sauerkraut Pizza

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Marinara Sauce

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