Whenever you see an online recipe labeled as “easy,” it’s often an exaggeration. For many people looking for a simple recipe, a dish that involves chopping half a dozen different veggies is an automatic turn-off. Not to mention dishes and utensils that have to be washed afterwards!
This recipe for vegan marinara sauce, on the other hand, could not get any easier. It’s much healthier than any store-bought brand, ready in 20 minutes, and exceptionally budget-friendly. Best of all, you may already have the ingredients in your pantry!
The tomatoes are really the star of this marinara recipe, highlighted and uplifted by herbs and spices. I know there’s a million recipes for marinara sauce on the internet, but I wanted to add my contribution! The result is a simple and versatile tomato sauce you can use to make your favorite pizza, Vegan Eggplant Parm, or Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs!
Table of Contents
What is Marinara?
Along with pesto and carbonara, marinara is a classic Italian pasta sauce. With tomatoes as its main ingredient, the sauce is elevated with the use of garlic, herbs, and onions. Some recipes may venture a little further with extras such as olives and capers.
In the interest of making this vegan marinara recipe as easy as possible, it’s made using garlic and onion in powder form, canned tomatoes, dried herbs, and salt. Presto e facile!
- Tomatoes. Even though we’re not using fresh produce, you’d be surprised at the amount of nutrients in canned tomatoes! They are still an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. In fact, canned tomatoes contain larger amounts of calcium and iron compared to their fresh counterparts.
- Herbs. This recipe uses classic herbs common for Italian cooking: dried basil, parsley, and oregano.
- Aromatics. Instead of using fresh garlic and onion, this sauce contains garlic and onion powder. It’s quicker, more accessible, and removes the necessity to add oil to your dish.
How to Make Super Easy Vegan Marinara Sauce
This recipe is so simple, there’s pretty much no progress aside from opening a can or two and twisting the lids off some spices. Here’s how you make this delicious sauce:
1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
2. Bring the contents to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce to low and cook for at least 20 minutes. Ideally, your sauce cooks for 20-60 minutes.
3. It’s ready! Enjoy.
Recipe Tips, Variations and Substitutions
- Use crushed tomatoes only. This recipe calls for crushed and diced tomatoes. Although technically you don’t even need the diced tomatoes, unless you like a chunky texture to your marinara sauce.
- Add baking soda. Tomatoes are naturally high in vitamin C, which often results in sharp, tart flavor. This may sound a little crazy, but if you need to cut through the acidity of the sauce, you can add a small pinch of baking soda.
- Synchronize the cooking process. If you’re serving this marinara over pasta, my suggestion is to start this sauce when you start the water boiling for the noodles. This way, the sauce simmers for a good 20-30 minutes for the best result.
- Get creative. The herbs and spices I used for this recipe aren’t set in stone! Feel free to toggle the recipe slightly depending on what you have on your spice shelf. Try it with rosemary, marjoram, sage, smoked paprika, or allspice.
- Use canned garlic. Another alternative to chopping garlic yourself is to use minced garlic that comes in a jar. It’s all about ease and accessibility!
- Make a large batch! The beauty of a pantry recipe such as this one is that making double the amount takes the same effort.
Storing Vegan Marinara Sauce
If you’re not serving the sauce straight away, this is one of the easiest leftovers to store. For short-term storage, transfer marinara into an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-5 days. For a longer solution, you can split the sauce into portions and freeze it.
Alternatively, you can pour the sauce into a sanitized jar while it’s still hot. Close the lid and allow it to cool down at its natural pace. This will create a vacuum, sealing the jar. You will know that the process was successful if the jar lid is slightly concaved. Store in the fridge for up to a month.
The grand appeal of marinara is its versatility. A good tomato sauce will take a dish to a whole new level!
- Stuffed Zucchini Boats. A delicious and picturesque vegan meal.
- Vegan Eggplant Parmesan. A vegan twist on a classic chicken parm dish.
- Vegan Pizza. Every good pizza starts with a good sauce.
- Vegan Meatballs. Serve with spaghetti or in a sub sandwich!
- Spaghetti Squash. A lighter, fiber-rich alternative to pasta.
Super Easy Vegan Marinara Sauce
- 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 15 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder feel free to use 2-3 cloves fresh
- ½ tsp onion powder feel free to use 1/2 a fresh onion, minced
- Pinch red pepper flakes add a few pinches if you like your sauce to have a little heat
- Pinch black pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes, up to an hour.
- This recipe calls for crushed and diced tomatoes, but you can use crushed tomatoes only if you don’t care for a chunky texture.
- To cut through the acidity of the sauce, you can add a small pinch of baking soda.
- Feel free to toggle the recipe slightly depending on what you have on your spice shelf. Try it with rosemary, marjoram, sage, smoked paprika, or allspice.
- For short-term storage, transfer marinara into an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-5 days. For a longer solution, you can split the sauce into portions and freeze it.
About the Author
Hi, I’m a content creator with many outlets. In addition to writing and translation work, I’m a yoga teacher, recipe creator, and food photographer with a keen interest in wellness and sustainability. Originally from a small town in Lithuania, I’ve spent 11 years living in Birmingham, UK, before moving back to her home country and settling there with her partner. My time in the UK took place during formative adult years which shaped my multifaceted career path. I’ve always been fascinated with languages and their structure. At the university, I completed a joint honors degree in English and Media, which fueled my interest in writing and creating visual content. Later, I applied my experience to become a freelance translator and continue learning other languages. In 2016, I completed training as a yoga teacher and also became a certified rock climbing instructor, further expanding my career to include many hobbies. The result was a wealth of personal and professional experiences that contributed to where she is now. My commitment to veganism and sustainability is not purely on paper either. Living on a semi-off-grid homestead in rural Lithuania, I spend time growing and preserving food and caring for rescue animals, including goats, rabbits, and farm birds. In my free time, I loves to craft using textiles and yarn, read, and run local trails. Not that this type of lifestyle affords a lot of free time! That said, being able to share my various experiences through writing and photography is essentially a dream job, because it allows me to do what I love and expand my horizons even further.