This vegan marinara sauce recipe is easy to make and is so delicious. With only twelve ingredients, you can cook this in an hour in one pot!
There's nothing tastier than a homemade easy marinara sauce, am I right? This recipe takes 45 to 60 minutes to make, and it is worth every minute.
I have made many variations of marinara, with some recipes taking 20 or 30 minutes to make. For me, the best flavor comes in at 45 to 60 minutes. You cannot take shortcuts with this recipe! If you do, it will not develop that rich and satisfying flavor.
You are going to love this recipe! There's nothing better than making a batch of marinara with fresh and wholesome ingredients. This recipe is gluten-free, has no added sugar, and is vegan.
All you need to make this marinara is a large stockpot, a food processor, a knife to chop the vegetables, and a wooden spoon and spatula. This is a one-pot dish!
- large can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
- Roma tomatoes
- extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- four cloves of garlic
- red onion
- sea salt
- black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- tomato paste
- baking soda, to neutralize the acidity of the tomatoes
- fresh basil
History of marinara sauce
There are many stories about how marinara sauce came to be. I found this article interesting while researching this topic! The marinara sauce originated in Naples; one story says that it was invented by mariners returning from the Americas with a newly discovered fruit in the 1700s, the tomato. Another story says that marinara sauce was made for the sailors when they returned from the sea, by their Neapolitan wives.
The marinara sauce recipe is traditionally simple and usually calls for crushed San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil.
You can experiment and tweak the ingredients to your liking, as I did. This vegan marinara sauce is hearty, flavorful, and slightly chunky. You can also use it as a base for other tomato-based sauces, like spicy arrabbiata or puttanesca.
How to make the sauce
Refer to the recipe below for all the details. Here's a brief overview:
- briefly blanch the Roma tomatoes before removing the skins
- in the food processor, combine the fresh tomatoes with the canned tomatoes and pulse briefly
- saute the onion, carrot, garlic, salt and both types of pepper until softened
- add the tomato mixture and tomato sauce, simmer
- at the end of cooking, stir in baking soda and basil
- remember to taste for seasoning!
How to serve this vegan marinara sauce
I love to serve this simple vegan marinara with my favorite pasta or zoodles (zucchini noodles) during the summer. It pairs perfectly with my homemade Easy Vegan Meatballs.
You can also serve it on top of Vegan Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms.
How to store the sauce
Let the marinara cool, and then place it in a glass container and refrigerate for up to 3 to 4 days. I found this resource useful for storage tips.
To freeze it, let it cool first, place it in a glass container, and then in the freezer. You can either freeze a whole batch or split it into individual portions for up to 4 to 6 months.
To defrost, transfer the frozen marinara into the fridge the night before cooking. Reheat it in a saucepan.
I'd love to hear from you! If you make this Vegan Marinara Sauce, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes, so I don't miss it.
Vegan Marinara Sauce
- 2 1/4 pounds fresh Roma tomatoes peeled and roughly chopped, instructions are below for how to peel them
- 1 28-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes with juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 carrot shredded
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt divided
- 6 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoon basil leaves chopped
- Select a large stockpot and fill with enough water to cover the tomatoes. Set the water to boil. Place the tomatoes in the pot of boiling water for 2 minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon. Let cool briefly, cut an X in the bottom of the tomato with a knife. Peel the Roma tomatoes and chop them, keeping the liquid as well.
- In a food processor, combine the Roma tomatoes with the canned tomatoes, including the liquid. Pulse for a few moments until semi-smooth yet still chunky. Place in a medium bowl.
- Heat the same stockpot on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add olive oil. When shimmering, add red onion, carrot, garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Set heat to medium-low to avoid burning the vegetables.
- Add the tomato paste and reserved tomatoes, stir to combine, and bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, adding remaining salt, and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if desired. The sauce will have cooked down. Remove from heat, stir in baking soda until it dissolves, and stir in the basil.