Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce – no sugar added & low carb

Skip the store-bought jarred pasta sauce and make this Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce instead -- it's just perfect for pasta, zoodles, pizza, veggies and more!

If you love marinara sauce, you will love this Easy Marinara Sauce Recipe.  It is guaranteed to make you never again feel the need to purchase store-bought, bottled spaghetti sauce again.

This sauce comes together so quickly, it's perfect for any of those “Yikes!  What's for Dinner?!?” days, when it's just about dinner time and you forgot to plan anything.

It saved us many a night.

We love pasta, and though we went gluten free years ago, and lean grain free now, we still love it.

Years ago, I would eat regular refined flour pasta, and a lot of it.

Then, when I got a little healthier, we moved to whole wheat pasta.

Then came the move to gluten free.

Instead of the discount bin white flour pasta, we moved to gluten-free pasta, as inexpensively as we could get them, which typically meant Brown Rice Pasta.

And we loved it.

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These days, we have gone grain free to some extent, but we don't adhere to that diet all the time, so we do eat Brown Rice Pasta occasionally.

For the most part, after moving more towards going grain free, we didn't eat much pasta, but in recent months we found some lovely Black Bean Pasta that we were introduced to at Costco.  If you haven't had it, you should check it out.

We got a great deal on this pasta and stocked up.  We have been enjoying pasta more over the past few months than we have in a long time.

And my family is loving it.

One problem, however, is what goes on top.

There are all kinds of sauces that are great on pasta, and even salad dressings taste great on pasta.  In fact, this Ranch Dressing / Dip tastes amazing on just about everything and I have been known to put a little bit on my pasta from time to time.  Yum.

However, there is something special about Marinara Sauce.

Pasta and Marinara Sauce just go together.

The Problem with Store-Bought Pasta Sauce

Of course, if you are hankering for spaghetti, you can grab a box and cook it up quickly and using not that much water.  See this post on Saving Time and Money when Cooking Pasta for the details on that.

And the easiest path is to get Store-Bought Pasta Sauce and have it on hand for when you need it.

Just open a jar, pop it in a pan, heat it up, and you're done.

But the ingredients in Jarred Pasta Sauce aren't always the best for you, and if you are on a low carb diet or are eliminating refined sugar, then you might be hard pressed to find a suitable sauce.  And if you are prioritizing organic for your food, then the price of these sauces really do add up.

This Organic Marinara Sauce is a case in point.  $12.87 for just 23.5 ounces.

That's a lot of money for not a lot of sauce.  Our family easily goes through almost 2 of those jars for one meal, so we're talking more than $25 for a stay at home pasta meal?

I don't think so.

In any case, look at the ingredients in Ragu Old World Style Traditional Sauce.

Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Vegetable Oil (Contains One Or More of the Following: Soybean Oil, Corn Oil), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Dried Onions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Romano Cheese (Cow's Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Spices, Natural Flavor.

First of all, there are vegetable oils that are almost for sure sourced from GMO soy and corn.  Then there is, of course, corn syrup.  Which is just plain not a good thing, regardless of the fact that it is likely derived from GMO corn.  And we would have to do research on the Natural Flavors to know what is really in there, for it might not be ingredients that you want to be eating.

And even if you source out a quality Pasta Sauce, you are likely going to end up with added sugar.  Even if it's cane juice crystals, many of us are trying to avoid added sugars (see my post on Candida and the Beginning of my Sugar-Free Life).

So it gets hard to buy a sauce that has quality ingredients, fits the bill for those of us who are avoiding added sugars, and that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Enter every busy pasta-loving mom's solution —

My Easy Marinara Sauce.

About this Easy Marinara Sauce

But most Homemade Pasta Sauce takes a lot of time.

I have very fond memories of my mother simmering Homemade Pasta Sauce for hours, and hours, and hours at home.

The house smelled wonderful and it was such a treat to get to sample the pasta sauce ladled on a piece of bread (yikes – it was seriously white bread, as in VERY white bread).  Yum.

It was lovely.

But hours and hours this busy mom doesn't have.

Instead of slaving over a hot stove for hours, you can have delicious Homemade Marinara Sauce in minutes.

And it tastes great.

And if you can memorize the ingredients, it's easy peasy to recreate this easy marinara sauce because I made the measurements the same for the spices across the board.

One Tablespoon of each spice.

Easy Peasy Marinara Sauce Squeasy.

Just one thing — as I mentioned, you can easily memorize this recipe, so it's easy to remember, but just don't put something like cinnamon or ginger in there.  ‘Cause then I'm not responsible for the outcome :).  Just sayin'.

And also please promise me that you won't sample it on white bread, ‘mkay?

I think you will love this sauce.

You will love that it's easy, you will love that it is a great frugal option, and you will love that it tastes great.

And if you want meatballs with your pasta, you can try these Grain-Free Meatballs that actually hold together without eggs.

How to Use This Marinara Sauce

Of course you should use this on pasta, and I know you will be doing that and loving it.

But it's also a great topping for pizza on this Grain-Free Pizza Crust, or in this Grain-Free Zucchini Lasagna, and it's great as a dip for all kind of breads including this Flax Bread.

Personally, I love Marinara on veggies too.  And on chicken.

In fact, this sauce would be the perfect thing to dip these Gluten-free Chicken Nuggets into.

This sauce tastes great on just about anything — including a spoon.

Skip the store-bought jarred pasta sauce and make this Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce instead -- it's just perfect for pasta, zoodles, pizza, veggies and more!

You won't believe how easy this Marinara Sauce is.

Depending on how long you simmer it for, it can be ready in as little as 10 minutes from start to finish.

Easy Marinara Sauce - no sugar added & low carb
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Low-Carb, Vegan, Paleo
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place oil in pan.
  2. Heat over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic. If using minced dried onion, add about ⅓ cup water to rehydrate.
  4. After well heated and onions start to brown, add remaining ingredients and cook 'til slightly darkened in color.
  5. Serve over pasta.

So that's it.

Easy enough, right?

So from now on, you can skip the overpriced, sugar-laden store-bought jarred pasta sauces and whip this up in no time!

Do you usually make your own marinara sauce?

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

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  1. Monica Phillips-rees says:

    How much does this recipe make? And instead of containers of tomatoes – can I just crush some up myself? Trying to avoid everything pre bought 🙂

  2. We have a simple pasta sauce we make all the time to great reviews by all the kiddos. It is my husband’s invention from his days when he lived in Italy. We start by sautéing a few chopped garlic cloves in olive oil, then we dump in whatever meat we have on hand (chopped nitrate free ham, or hot dogs, or chicken sausage, or ground beef), then we add 2 cans of tomato sauce and 1 diced, some oregano and let is simmer a few min. It tastes amazing over pasta with parmesan on top and it takes a very short time to make. This is our emergency pasta sauce. The garlic is key for flavor.

  3. Do you ever freeze this sauce in the mason jar? How long does it last in the refrigerator?

    • Hello. I have never frozen it – we just eat it. I would think you could freeze it, making sure to leave some room for expansion. I can’t say about shelf life but I would be conservative with it. The shelf life in the fridge of a tomato base sauce is 5-10 days, but of course homemade could have more potential contamination issues so would err on the side of caution. I hope you enjoy it!

    • If you want to freeze something in a mason jar you need to use ones without “shoulders” so that they don’t burst when the liquid freezes and expands. The style pictured has shoulders – see how it gets narrower at top? Do an internet search on “freeze or can mason jars” to see what kind to use.

      • Thanks for the tip! Can you freeze in a jar w/ shoulders if you leave enough room for expansion at the top?

        • I wouldn’t freeze a liquid in a jar w/shoulders. You would have to leave quite a bit of space just to be sure, then you have a half full jar of frozen pasta sauce. And you have to thaw it entirely to get it out of the jar because of the shoulders! With the freeze or can jars you can defrost slightly and just pour the contents out into a bowl or saucepan to finish thawing quicker. I would choose a freezer bag if I didn’t have a shoulderless jar.