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overview of easy marinara sauce in yellow le creuset with wooden spoon

Homemade Marinara Sauce

This marinara sauce recipe with tomatoes, pancetta, onion, garlic and herbs is not your grandma's marinara sauce, but better!
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 326kcal
Author Ryan Beck


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • lb diced pancetta
  • 2 large sweet onions, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 (28 oz cans) San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 Parmesan rind
  • salt to taste


  • Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes Add onion and cook for about 7 minutes or until translucent, stirring frequently. Toss in garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Add oregano, basil, thyme and Parmesan rind. Cover and reduce to low and cook for 2 to 3 hours. Taste throughout to see if you need to add more salt or herbs. Remove Parmesan rind and use immediately or freeze.


  • Do not skip cooking the pancetta, as it gives the sauce added flavor.
  • If you can’t find tomato puree, San Marzano tomatoes will work as well.
  • You can use fresh herbs, but will have to triple the amount for each herb used as dried herbs are much stronger.
  • Don't skip the Parmesan rind. I always save the rinds and put in the freezer to be able to use for recipes just like this. It adds a little nutty flavor that can't be topped.
  • Cook this marinara sauce for at least 2 hours so you can develop the flavors.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 385mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 1350IU | Vitamin C: 30.5mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 4.1mg