Easy homemade marinara dipping sauce! This step-by-step recipe shows you how to make the best marinara sauce ever. This dipping sauce is versatile, great with my homemade baked mini meatballs, halloumi fries, puff pastry cheese straw, and oh, it can be used on pasta too.
Let me show you how to make it in simple steps.
Marinara dipping sauce recipe
Ever wondered what makes the best marinara sauce, well, the simple answer is homemade marinara sauce!!! This sauce is easy to make and takes about 5 minutes preps. In fact, all the recipes you will need are likely in your pantry.
Yes, no judgment here, but you need to stop buying store-bought red sauce and start making your own. Not only will you be saving money, but you will also be in control of what goes into the sauce.
What you will need
Crushed tomatoes also referred to as chopped tomatoes. When serving as a dipping sauce I prefere to use crushed tomatoes for a bit of texture. If you prefer the sauce smoother then substitute chopped tomatoes for tomato sauce known as passata in the UK.
Extra virgin olive oil: substitute for olive oil or any other flavourless oil of choice.
Shallots: this can be substituted with white onions
Italian seasoning: substitute with herbs de Provence or oregano and basil.
Sugar: trust me on this, you only need a little to balance out the acidity in the tomatoes. You can easily leave it out if you prefer.
Red pepper flakes: this is optional but I like to add it for a little bit of kick.
Salt and black pepper
How to make marinara sauce
Heat up olive oil on medium heat, add finely chopped onions and saute until soft, add chopped garlic and cook for another minutes until fragrant.
Add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt, and black pepper and stir to combine. Simmer the sauce on medium-low heat until it thickened and reduced in size (say 15 to 20 minutes). Taste and adjust seasoning to preference. You will know the marinara sauce is cooked when it goes from bright red to a darker shade of red.
Remove the sauce from the stove and serve warm or cold.
What to serve with marinara dipping sauce
Warm breads or crostini
Pizza bites and many more.
How to store
In the fridge: make sure the sauce is completely cooled, transfer into an airtight container, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
In the freezer: make sure it is labeled correctly and store for up 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
To reheat: simply warm in the microwave or serve at a room temperature.
Can I make this ahead
Yes, you can make marinara sauce 3 days ahead of time, it keeps well in the fridge too.
Is marinara sauce the same as passata
No, passata is pureed tomato (also known as tomato sauce) while marinara sauce is an Italian-American tomato based sauce made with herbs.
Marinara Dipping Sauce
- 400 g Crushed tomatoes substitute chopped tomatoes for tomato sauce known as passata for a smooter sauce.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup shallots finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning substitute with herbs de Provence or oregano and basil.
- 1 tsp sugar optional
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes optional
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat up olive oil on medium heat, add finely chopped onions and sauté until soft, add chopped garlic and cook for another minutes until fragrant.
- Add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt and black pepper and stir to combine. Simmer the sauce on medium low heat until it thickened and reduced in size. Taste and adjust seasoning to preference. You will know the marinara sauce is cooked when it goes from bright red to a darker shade of red.
- Remove the sauce from the stove and serve warm or cold.