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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!

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Pasta sauce with noodles

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.

30 minute tomato sauce

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
  • Honey
  • 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!

Easy pasta sauce process

Cooking Tips

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.

30 minute easy pasta sauce

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!

Simple pasta sauce

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!

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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Pasta sauce with noodles

30 Minute Pasta Sauce Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Make 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.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 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.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 568mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Easy pasta sauce

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.

Last Updated on April 14, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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1 Comment

  1. Love love love this quick and easy pasta sauce recipe. It taste like I cooked it all day ! My husband loves meat in his pasta sauce so I added 1 lb of lean ground beef to it. It was very good as well.

    Love all your recipes! They come out perfect the first time. 👍👍