5 Minute Marinara Sauce

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This is my favorite marinara sauce. It is incredibly flavorful and delicious and amazingly comes together in only 5 minutes!! It is perfect over pasta and sauteed veggies or leftover grilled chicken for a quick dinner. It is also perfect for dunking calzones, or pizza rolls or stromboli in. We love this easy and delicious sauce. Hope you do too!
Need some FOOD for THOUGHT? I got so many sweet emails (thank you!) requesting the notes from the class I taught about the importance of family dinner and how to make them as stress-free as possible–that I promised to share. Well, I finally got it posted. If you are interested go here.
5 Minute Marinara

Submitted by Melanie ~ The Sisters Cafe

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I use less)
3 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (crush in palm before throwing them in to release flavor)
1TB tomato paste (I usually leave this out, and it still works great)
1 32-ounce can chunky-style crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Italian dried seasoning
1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (I normally don’t have this)

Add the olive oil to a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed pepper. When the pepper snaps and the garlic sizzles, add the tomato paste, cook for a minute, then stir in the crushed tomatoes. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook for five minutes and stir in parsley.

Recipe Source: Rachel Ray–I wrote it down years ago from a 30 minute meals episode and have LOVED it ever since!


  1. Melanie Anne says

    Sorry Adele,
    I just fixed it. I usually don't add any tomato paste–because when I wrote it down from the show years ago, Rachel Ray didn't add it (or maybe I just missed it:). When I went to post this I tried to find the recipe to make sure I had it right and there was the paste.

  2. Amber says

    This is the same recipe I use for pizza sauce! I add a few frozen cubes of basil from Trader Joe's, and a pinch of sugar. Love the sauce!!

  3. Jessica says

    I love quick tomato sauces, and all of the ideas you give for them. Would love to put that over chicken for a quick snack…my kids would LOVE that. Oh, and add some cheese.

  4. Mindy says

    How funny… Griff and I made this for a quick spaghetti dinner just two nights ago. We added some sausage and mushrooms. I love how easy it is… and SO good!

  5. Melissa says

    Melanie, I have made this recipe many times, since I got it from Amy (who obviously got it from you), but it always turns out so runny, almost watery. My version of the recipe didn't call for the tomato paste. Maybe that's the difference, but then again you said you don't usually put it in. Is this sauce supposed to have such a watery consistency, or am I just doing something wrong? Thanks by the way, for always sharing such yummy things.

  6. Anonymous says

    I actually have a question about the homemade granola bars. I want to try them, but I'm not sure if I just throw in the quinoa raw or not. I have heard several different things about having to rinse it, or cook it – I'm not familiar with it and any advice would be so appreciated! I bought some in the bulk food section at a health food store, but I don't know if there are different types or how to use it. And thank you so much for your recipes. I have used tons of them!

  7. Erin @ The Sisters Cafe says

    Melanie, I love this recipe! I've used it for years, ever since you gave it to me when I got married. :) It is absolutely delicious.

    To answer Melissa, although it is chunky with the tomato pieces, the liquid part is runny and thin. But I don't mind that. Sometimes I let it simmer down until some of the liquid is gone. But I only do that sometimes. Hope that helps a little…

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