How to Make and Freeze Marinara Sauce

How to Make and Freeze Marinara Sauce

This basic marinara sauce recipe will become your new favorite addition to any Italian meal! It makes a large batch, perfect for freezing. Plus, this quick marinara sauce can be used in a limitless number of different ways. Prepare a batch on Sunday night, and use some for lasagna or a baked pasta casserole. Freeze the rest and thaw for an easy marinara sauce-covered spaghetti dinner later in the month. The possibilities are limitless!

Use this quick marinara sauce recipe on our Skinny Spaghetti, Baked Chicken Parmesan, or Super Veggie Lasagna.

How to Make and Freeze Marinara Sauce

How to Make and Freeze Marinara Sauce

Nutrition Information (for 1/20th of total yield) | Calories: 50 | Total Fat: 1.5 g | Saturated Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 130 mg | Total Carbohydrates: 8 g | Dietary Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 4 g | Protein: 1 g


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 (28 oz) cans no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (or substitute 1 tablespoon dried basil)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or substitute 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional


  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, 6 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds.
  4. Add vinegar, and cook 1 minute.
  5. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
  6. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour, or until thickened.

Freezing Instructions:

Cool sauce to room temperature, and ladle into plastic containers or zip-top freezer bags. We recommend freezing in 3-cup portions, which is equivalent to 6 servings of sauce, or in 1-cup portions for a smaller household. Store in freezer up to 4 months.

Thawing and Reheating Instructions:

Thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, place frozen sauce in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir occasionally until sauce comes to a simmer. Sauce can also be thawed in microwave until heated through.

Mix-Ins and Variations:

  • Add chopped, roasted vegetables or sautéed mushrooms for a chunkier sauce.
  • Stir nonfat plain Greek yogurt in warm sauce to create a creamy texture and add a boost of protein.
  • Puree sauce with roasted red peppers.

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