This delicious Spicy Marinara Sauce comes together in just 10 minutes with 8 pantry staples and results in a thick sauce with a perfectly balanced flavor.
Marinara Sauce is the quintessential tomato-based sauce that makes up the base for many classic Italian dishes. Learn more about the history and origins of Marinara Sauce here.
I like my homemade marinara thick and chunky plus a little spicy with a touch of sweetness. I used to add diced onion to my sauce, but my kids are NOT fans of chunks of onion in their marinara so this recipe reflects the more family-friendly approach I'm currently using.
This Spicy Marinara Sauce recipe is ideal to use in recipes for homemade pizza, pasta, or Pizza Bowls or as a dipping sauce for Mozzarella Sticks or Baked Cheese Crisps. You could even use it to replace the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce in my Healthy Lasagna Soup recipe.
Here's what you need to make this easy Spicy Marinara Sauce:
- crushed tomatoes
- tomato paste
- extra virgin olive oil
- dried Italian seasoning
- freshly ground black pepper
- garlic powder
- red pepper flakes
See recipe card for quantities.
Here's how to make Spicy Marinara Sauce:
1. Add all of the ingredients to a small pot over medium heat.
2. Stir and simmer the marinara sauce for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently. Serve immediately or keep warm until serving with your favorite Italian-inspired meals.
Want to substitute one of the ingredients for Spicy Marinara? Here's how:
- Crushed tomatoes - use 29 ounces of canned tomato sauce instead of crushed tomatoes for a smoother Marinara Sauce. Or, use 2 lbs of chopped fresh tomatoes in place of the canned tomatoes and add an extra 20 minutes to the simmer time.
- Italian seasoning - use 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon crushed rosemary, ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram and ¼ teaspoon dried parsley in place of the Italian Seasoning. Or, use 1 tablespoon each of chopped fresh basil leaves and oregano leaves in place of the dried herbs.
Try one of these variations of Spicy Marinara Sauce:
- Mild - omit the red pepper flakes to eliminate the heat from the Marinara Sauce.
- Garlic - saute some minced fresh garlic before adding the rest of the sauce ingredients.
- Onion - saute ½ diced white or yellow onion before adding the sauce ingredients to the pot.
Store Spicy Marinara in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
Make Spicy Marinara Sauce 8-24 hours before you plan to serve it and store it in the fridge because the flavor gets better as it sits.
That's a matter of personal preference! Add red pepper flakes to turn a basic marina into Spicy Marinara Sauce or leave them out if you prefer your marinara without spice.
Looking for other sauce recipes? Try these:
Serve Spicy Marinara Sauce with one of these healthy Italian recipes for a balanced meal the whole family will love:
Spicy Marinara Sauce
- Add all ingredients to a small pot and stir to combine.
- Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring internittently.
- Serve this Spicy Marinara Sauce with your favorite pasta or use it as the base for a variety of classic Italian dishes.
Remember these food safety rules when making Marinara Sauce:
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended