The perfect go-to marinara sauce recipe! You'll love its garden-style, slightly chunky texture with fresh vegetables blended perfectly for amazing flavor. A healthy recipe - gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb keto spaghetti sauce!
Why You'll ❤️ This Marinara Sauce
"There is something so comforting about a plate of spaghetti. I love that this sauce is hearty and full of fresh vegetables and herbs. Serve over traditional pasta or, better yet - over zucchini noodles to keep it low-carb! "
Everyone needs a basic go-to recipe for marinara, and this is IT.
Homemade marinara sauce is super simple to make, and you know exactly what is in it. Store-bought marinara is packed full of added sugar, sodium, and preservatives! Yuck!
Once you make this recipe, it will become your new favorite go-to for homemade garden-style marinara.
This marinara sauce is super easy to make, and you can use it for multiple different recipes. Use it for traditional spaghetti, lasagna, stuffed peppers, ravioli, or any of your favorite Italian dishes!
Low Carb Keto Spaghetti Sauce
Unlike your traditional store-bought spaghetti sauce or marinara, this recipe has no added sugar. That makes this recipe keto-friendly, low-carb, and gluten-free!
🥘 What You'll Need
Here are the ingredients you will need to make the marinara sauce:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - you can substitute with your favorite cooking oil if preferred. I find that extra virgin olive oil has the best flavor and is a healthier oil to use.
- Onion - medium-sized, any variety you prefer.
- Garlic - use store-bought minced garlic for ease or finely chopped fresh garlic for more flavor.
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Canned Crushed Tomatoes - you can use fresh tomatoes if you prefer, or just add some diced fresh tomatoes to your sauce for extra texture.
- Bay Leaves - are used as aromatic in the sauce. You will remove them from your sauce when it is all done.
- Dried Oregano - you can use fresh or dried in this recipe, whichever you prefer.
- Basil - you can use fresh or dried in this recipe. Using chopped fresh basil will give a brighter, fresher flavor but dried works well also!
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
🔪 How To Make It
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making this marinara sauce:
Start by heating olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions first and saute until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add the celery and carrots and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add Remaining Ingredients
Next, add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat if needed.
Continue to simmer (uncovered) for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Remove Bay leaves
When ready, remove the bay leaves and discard them.
Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!
🥗 How To Serve It
Here are a few ways to serve this marinara sauce:
Traditionally, I serve this hearty marinara sauce with pasta for spaghetti! You can substitute with zucchini noodles or your preferred noodle alternative to keep this low-carb.
You can use this sauce in any of your favorite Italian dishes as well! I have used it on eggplant parmesan, lasagna, meatballs, stuffed peppers, and so many more.
Don't forget the french bread(that is if you are ok with the extra carbs)! Make homemade and then slather with garlic, butter, and herbs for the best garlic bread.
Meal idea! One of my favorite keto meals is these Lasagna Stuffed Peppers. Use this homemade marinara sauce in the recipe to make them even more delicious! Serve with this simple fresh green salad with Italian Dressing.
Here are a few ways you can customize this recipe:
- Add a protein to your marinara sauce if you'd like to. Some suggestions would be meatballs, ground beef, ground turkey, sliced or diced sausage, or keep it vegetarian with diced tofu.
- Feel free to omit or replace any of the items in this recipe.
- If you don't want a rustic or "chunky" marinara sauce, you can use an immersion blender at the end to make the sauce smooth or to your desired consistency.
- Kick up the heat by adding some crushed red pepper flakes to your sauce. Start light-handed and add more as you like.
💭 Top Tips
- Remember to watch the heat when cooking your marinara and stir frequently. Tomatoes contain sugars that can caramelize and eventually burn on high heat.
- If your spaghetti sauce is too acidic offset with a little sugar or sugar substitute.
- For ease, buy already prepared carrots, celery, and onion at the grocery store! They are normally sold together in a clear, plastic, two-pound container found in the produce section.
- If you prefer a thicker marinara sauce, feel free to add some tomato paste to help thicken your sauce to the desired thickness!
How To Store
To store leftovers, let the roast cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. See reheating and freezing instructions below.
How To Reheat
Put your marinara into a microwave-safe dish, cover, and heat, stirring every 35 seconds until you have reached your desired temperature. A small saucepan on the stove works just as well over medium heat. Bring the marinara to a simmer, stirring frequently or until the desired temperature has been reached!
How To Freeze
Cool your marinara uncovered and transfer it to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Portion your marinara into 2-cup portions and freeze for easy single-meal portions!
How To Store
Allow your marinara to cool uncovered in the refrigerator. Then transfer it to an airtight container and store it for up to 4 days.
The main difference between the two is the broadness of flavor. Spaghetti sauce is more rich and more complex, usually made with a larger list of ingredients, including beef. Marinara, on the other hand, normally does not include meat.
Yes, they sure do! This simple tomato sauce is used to dip into and onto pasta and as a base for pizzas as well.
The best substitutions for marinara are pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, or canned tomatoes (stewed tomatoes work the best).
✔️ Recipes With Marinara Sauce
Here are recipes that use marinara sauce:
- Italian Crockpot Sausage and Peppers
- Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
- Low Carb Eggplant Lasagna Recipe
- Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes
- Air Fryer Cheese Curds
- Keto Chicken Parmesan Recipe
- Parmesan Chicken Casserole
- Stuffed Italian Meatloaf Recipe
Homemade Marinara Sauce
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion (finely chopped)(
- 2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
- 2 stalks of celery (finely chopped)
- 2 carrots (peeled and finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add celery and carrots and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat if needed. Continue to simmer (uncovered) for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the sauce is thickened.
- Remove bay leaves and discard. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- NOTES: If your sauce is too acidity you can add small amounts of sugar (or a sugar substitute) to counteract that. Adjust any seasoning to taste.
- VARIATIONS: Brown ground beef or Italian sausage and add to sauce. Meatballs can also be added.
© 2023 Seeking Good Eats™