I’m showing you how to make a pasta sauce recipe FAST with simple pantry ingredients you might already have on hand. Homemade tomato sauce tastes so much better than store bought and it doesn’t have to take all day!
You will love this easy Italian tomato sauce with all of your favorite pasta dishes – I make this at least once a week!
Yes, store bought marinara sauce is convenient, but making it yourself doesn’t have to be a big pain. Homemade tomato sauce is actually pretty easy to make – almost as easy as opening a jar of premade sauce. It might take a little more effort but knowing exactly what’s in it and the great flavor makes up for it!
My sauce is so, so easy. There’s a small amount of prep and most of the work is just adding all the ingredients to your saucepan. It doesn’t have to simmer for hours on end, but it tastes like it did. This is our go-to red sauce for all the pasta dishes at our house.
Table of Contents
Quick and Easy Ingredients
The ingredients for this sauce are what you’d expect for a pasta sauce recipe, but I add one ingredient specifically to give it that all day taste.
- Olive oil
- Onion and garlic
- Crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Chicken stock
- Salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes
Whenever you’re making a 30 minute meal you want to taste like it cooked for hours, adding extra flavor is key.
I like to add chicken stock because it gives the sauce a deeper flavor, like it’s been cooking all day.
The honey adds a touch of sweetness that balances out the acidity from the tomatoes. My mom always added honey to her tomato sauce so I do too!
Use a saucepan that is at least 3-quarts or bigger to make your sauce. Tip: use a wide skillet instead of a pot and your sauce will cook faster (that whole volume:surface area thing from math, remember?)
Heat the olive oil in it over medium-high heat. Cook the onion in it for a few minutes and then add the garlic.
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato, sauce, chicken stock, honey and all of the spices and stir. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the sauce for 15 minutes so it can reduce and thicken.
Before you serve it, check for seasoning. If needed, add additional salt and pepper, to taste.
How Long Does a Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe Keep?
If you want to make the sauce ahead it will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. Or, you can freeze it for up to one month.
Can I Use Fresh Tomatoes to Make Tomato Sauce?
You can, but it takes longer and requires more steps. If you use fresh tomatoes you will need to score the bottoms and boil them (also known as blanching) for a few minutes to loosen the skins. Then you will need to peel them and crush them before adding them to the sauce.
Using canned crushed tomatoes is just so much easier and taste great because they are canned at their peak.
Plus – this is 30 minute sauce for a quick meal – you probably don’t want to spend all that time. If you really want to go from scratch and spend the day making gravy, check out my crockpot tomato sauce recipe!
Different Ways to Use Homemade Marinara Sauce
Of course, you can just toss the sauce with hot pasta for a super easy dinner, but here are other ways to use it, too!
- Simmer meatballs in it for the ultimate spaghetti and meatballs dinner.
- Use it for homemade pizza.
- Make a pizza pasta or pizza chicken (other 30 minute meals).
- It’s a great sauce for homemade lasagna or unstuffed shells.
- Make a batch of garlic breadsticks and use it as a dipping sauce.
Once you try this fast, simple pasta sauce recipe you won’t go back to jarred ones. It’s so easy you can make it on a weeknight – I hope you love this 30-minute sauce!
Have you made this recipe?
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30 Minute Pasta Sauce Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium onion diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 8 ounce tomato sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Add olive oil to a large frying pan (3 quart or larger saucepan can also be used). Heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 2 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken stock. Stir.
- Add the honey and spices to the tomato sauce, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, lower the temperature to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Easy Pasta Sauce in 30 minutes! This simple weeknight meal is perfect for pasta or meatballs or anytime you need an easy tomato sauce recipe for dinner.
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: April 14, 2020