Simple Basil Marinara Sauce.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups of sauce


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed (about 5 teaspoons)
  • 1 (28-oz) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste (I added 3/4 teaspoon of table salt)


  1. Add oil and garlic to a 12″ skillet and heat it over medium for a couple of minutes until it’s fragrant (but don’t let it brown). Stir in the sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano, and sugar and simmer until it has thickened (about 10 minutes). Take the skillet off the heat and stir in the basil and salt and pepper to taste.


This recipe comes from the sauce used in this Cook’s Illustrated baked ziti (which is also good!)

You can easily double the sauce if you have a bunch of basil to use up! Just use a large pot instead of a skillet.

I like to freeze the sauce in glass pint jars for later use (one batch of sauce fills 3 jars).