I learned to make my own marinara sauce a couple years ago and I haven’t bought a jar of pasta sauce since – and this was before I was even worried about eating all that healthy! It’s just as quick and so much fresher tasting to make your own, and you can customize it however you like.
First, just dump a can of crushed tomatoes in a pot and start that simmering over medium-low heat. While it’s warming up you can chop up whatever other veggies you’d like – for this particular recipe I used zucchini, mushrooms, onions, some fresh tomatoes, spinach and garlic. Throw the chopped tomatoes in with the crushed ones to let them get their groove on, and then if you are using spinach just let it wilt in a medium saucepan over medium heat for a couple minutes. Once it’s nice and wilted, throw all the other veggies together in that same medium saucepan over medium heat until they are soft and just slightly browned.
Chop up your wilted spinach and throw it in with the tomatoes. Once the veggies are softened, throw them in with the tomatoes too. Add some oregano, thyme, basil, salt and pepper to the mix and let simmer for a few more minutes. Then if you want to be the valedictorian of vegetables you can serve it over zucchini noodles with a side of steamed broccoli. That’s a big plate of delicious food with half a dozen different veggies and goodness knows how many vitamins for about 200 calories and no fat. Of course, you could also serve this sauce over regular noodles but then you’re on your own with the calorie counting.
Quick & Easy Veggie Marinara Sauce
Note: feel free to add your own favorite vegetables and spices – this is a very basic sauce recipe that can be customized in a ton of ways.
- 1 (24 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 white mushrooms, chopped
- 1 zucchini (or two if you are making zucchini noodles)
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh)
- 1 tsp dried basil (or 2 Tbsp fresh)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat crushed tomatoes and chopped tomatoes in a medium pot over medium heat. While that is heating, heat spinach in a medium saucepan over medium heat until wilted (usually 2-3 minutes), stirring regularly. Once spinach is wilted, transfer to a cutting board and chop fine. In the same saucepan over medium heat, cook onion, zucchini, garlic, and mushrooms until softened and the mushrooms have lost their moisture. Add spinach and vegetable mixture into tomato sauce. Add oregano, basil, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Heat for about 5 more minutes, stirring regularly. Serve immediately.