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overhead shot of spoon of brown butter marinara sauce

Brown Butter Marinara Sauce

This brown butter marinara sauce is a unique take on an Italian sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and butter instead of olive oil.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 138kcal
Author Ryan Beck


  • 8 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 oz jar) sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained (1 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (29 oz) cans tomato puree (Use puree as it has less salt than tomato sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves, julienned


  • Heat 2 tablespoon butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 7 minutes or until translucent, stirring frequently. Toss in sun-dried tomatoes and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the canned tomato puree.
  • Season generously with salt and taste. Tomatoes need a lot of salt but you need to taste periodically to see if it's how you want. Add oregano, basil, parsley, thyme and crushed red pepper. 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. 
  • When sauce is ready, heat medium skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 6 tablespoon butter and cook until browned and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add butter to sauce and stir in fresh basil. Use immediately or freeze.


  • Do not skip browning the butter, as it gives this marinara sauce its unique 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.
  • Cook the brown butter marinara sauce for at least 2 hours so you can develop the flavors.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 224mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 13.2mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.8mg