Homemade Marinara Sauce (Easy Vegan Pasta Sauce) - The Simple Veganista

How to make Easy vegan Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is a staple in Italian cooking, known for its simple yet robust flavor derived from a handful of key ingredients. An easy vegan marinara sauce embraces the classic qualities of traditional marinara while ensuring that all components are plant-based and suitable for vegan diets.

The base of any good marinara is tomatoes. High-quality canned plum tomatoes or fresh ripe tomatoes are ideal for creating the rich, tangy taste that marinara is famous for. Garlic and onions are sautéed in olive oil to start off the sauce, providing a fragrant and flavorful foundation. Herbs like oregano, basil, and possibly a bay leaf, add depth and an aromatic profile distinctive to Italian cuisine.

To maintain the vegan integrity of the sauce, any sweeteners added to balance the acidity of the tomatoes—such as sugar—should be vegan-friendly (for example, organic sugar that hasn’t been processed with animal bone char). Some chefs may also add a touch of red pepper flakes for a mild heat or a splash of balsamic vinegar or red wine for complexity, both of which should be checked for vegan compliance if strict adherence is required.

Cooking easy vegan marinara sauce typically involves simmering the ingredients to allow the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken to a desirable consistency. The relatively quick and straightforward preparation means that it can be readily used for a variety of dishes, from pasta and pizza to dipping sauces for bread.

Vegan marinara is not only appealing for its flavors but also for the simplicity and accessibility of its ingredients. This makes it an excellent choice for home cooks looking to whip up a versatile sauce that aligns with ethical eating practices and dietary restrictions. Moreover, its homemade nature assures that no preservatives or unwanted additives find their way into the sauce, offering a fresh and wholesome alternative to store-bought varieties.

Easy vegan Marinara Sauce recipe

Homemade Marinara Sauce (Easy Vegan Pasta Sauce) - The Simple Veganista

Easy vegan Marinara Sauce

Easy Vegan Marinara Sauce is a classic Italian sauce that's both simple to make and packed with flavor, utilizing plant-based ingredients suitable for vegan diets. The sauce starts with a base of tomatoes—using either high-quality canned plum tomatoes or fresh ripe tomatoes—to create the rich, tangy foundation that marinara is known for.
The sauce is built upon by sautéing aromatic ingredients like garlic and onions in olive oil, forming a flavorful base. Herbs such as oregano and basil, along with a bay leaf, are added to infuse the sauce with traditional Italian aromatics. Vegan-friendly sweeteners, if necessary, can balance the acidity from the tomatoes; options include organic sugar or natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey (if one does not strictly avoid all animal byproducts).
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 14 serving
Calories 37 kcal


  • 1 large pot
  • 1 air tight container


  • 1/2 cup clean water
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp stevia
  • 2 28- oz cans peeled crushed tomatoes without salt or diced
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakeor to taste


  • Place a large pot over medium heat, add water and garlic and let it cook for a minutes, stir often. Add tomatoes, coconut sugar, oregano, salt, and pepper flake to the pot and let it boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low heat and let it simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes, sir but not often.
  • Add the basil, stir and let it cook for more 5 minutes.
  • Taste and make adjustment as needed. Add the tomato paste and nutritional yeast and stir well. You can thin with little water if it is too thick.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite Italian dishes and enjoy!
  • Store leftover in an air tight container and keep in the fridge and use within a week or in freezer and use within a month
Keyword cloves garlic, stevia, tomatoes

Cooking Tips about Easy vegan Marinara Sauce

Easy 1-Pot Marinara Sauce | Minimalist Baker Recipes

  • Prioritize Tomatoes: Start with high-quality canned plum tomatoes or ripe fresh tomatoes to get the rich, authentic marinara flavor. If using canned, go for whole peeled tomatoes that you can crush by hand or with a potato masher for a better texture.
  • Sauté Aromatics: Begin with a base of finely chopped onions and minced garlic sautéed in good quality olive oil until translucent but not browned. This will provide depth of flavor without overpowering the sauce.
  • Use Fresh Herbs: Incorporate fresh basil and oregano if available. Fresh herbs can lift the flavor of the sauce significantly compared to their dried counterparts. If using dried herbs, remember they are more potent, so use them sparingly.
  • Low and Slow: Let your sauce simmer on a low heat to allow the flavors to develop fully. A slow cook helps meld the herbs and tomatoes into a more cohesive flavor profile.
  • Season Thoughtfully: Balance the acidity of the tomatoes with a pinch of sugar or a splash of balsamic vinegar. To ensure the sauce is vegan-friendly, use organic sugar or an alternative like maple syrup.
  • Add Extra Flavor Boosters: Consider adding a splash of red wine, some red pepper flakes for heat, or a bit of vegan butter at the end of cooking for richness.
  • Stir Occasionally: While simmering, stir the sauce occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot and to ensure even cooking.
  • Taste and Adjust: Always taste your sauce before considering it done. Adjust the seasoning with salt and consider any additional spices to suit your palate.
  • Control Consistency: For a thicker sauce, simmer uncovered to allow evaporation. If it’s too thick, add a splash of vegetable broth or water to reach your desired consistency.
  • Consider the Texture: Decide whether you prefer a chunky sauce, which is ready as soon as it’s cooked, or a smooth sauce, where blending with an immersion blender will give you the desired consistency.

Serving suggestions about Easy vegan Marinara Sauce

Homemade Marinara Sauce (Easy Vegan Pasta Sauce) - The Simple Veganista

  • Pasta: Toss with your favorite pasta for a quick and satisfying meal. Top with fresh basil leaves and nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan for added flavor.
  • Vegan Meatballs: Serve as the traditional accompaniment to spaghetti and vegan meatballs for a plant-based take on the classic Italian-American dish.
  • Pizza: Use it as a pizza sauce base before adding your choice of vegan cheese and vegetable toppings.
  • Lasagna: Layer into a vegan lasagna with plant-based ricotta, spinach, and sliced vegetables such as zucchini and eggplant.
  • Stuffed Vegetables: Spoon into hollowed-out vegetables like bell peppers or mushrooms, top with breadcrumbs or vegan cheese, and bake until golden.
  • Dipping Sauce: Offer as a dip for breadsticks, vegan mozzarella sticks, or crispy tofu bites.
  • Soups: Swirl into vegetable soups for added richness and tomato flavor, such as minestrone or lentil soup.
  • Sloppy Joes: Mix with lentils or textured vegetable protein for a vegan sloppy joe filling.
  • Ratatouille: Include a few spoonfuls in a ratatouille to provide a more intense tomato base to the vegetable stew.
  • Shakshuka: Create a vegan version of the dish by simmering the sauce and adding tofu scramble instead of eggs.

Top 5 FAQs about Easy vegan Marinara Sauce

Raw Marinara Sauce (Healthy + Vegan) - The Simple Veganista

  • What tomatoes are best for making Easy Vegan Marinara Sauce? The best tomatoes for making Easy Vegan Marinara Sauce are either high-quality canned plum tomatoes or ripe fresh tomatoes. If using canned, choose whole peeled tomatoes that can be crushed by hand to achieve a better texture.
  • Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh in Vegan Marinara Sauce? Yes, you can use dried herbs in place of fresh when making vegan marinara sauce. Remember that dried herbs are more potent than fresh, so use them in smaller amounts—typically, the ratio is one-third dried herbs to fresh.
  • How can I sweeten my Vegan Marinara Sauce without using sugar? To sweeten the sauce without traditional sugar and maintain its vegan quality, you can use natural sweeteners like maple syrup or agave nectar, as honey is not considered vegan. Organic sugar that is confirmed to be processed without animal bone char can also be used.
  • Is it necessary to simmer Vegan Marinara Sauce, and if so, for how long? Yes, simmering is an important step in making vegan marinara sauce as it allows the flavors to develop fully and the sauce to reach the right consistency. It is suggested to let the sauce simmer on low heat; this can take anywhere from 15 minutes for a quick sauce to an hour or more for a richer flavor.
  • Can Easy Vegan Marinara Sauce be used for dishes other than pasta? Absolutely, Easy Vegan Marinara Sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used in various dishes such as pizza, lasagna, as a dip for breadsticks or vegan mozzarella sticks, or even added to soups like minestrone for extra flavor.

In conclusion, Easy Vegan Marinara Sauce is a foundational recipe that can enhance numerous dishes within the vegan diet. It balances simplicity and depth of flavor using high-quality tomatoes and aromatic herbs, aligning with the ethos of cruelty-free cooking. Ideal for both novice cooks and seasoned chefs, it allows for versatile use across various culinary applications.

Whether served atop your favorite pasta, used as a base for a rich pizza topping, or incorporated into other Italian-inspired vegan dishes, this marinara sauce is quintessentially heartwarming. Its ease of preparation makes it accessible for everyday cooking, providing a wholesome alternative to store-bought sauces that may contain non-vegan ingredients or unwanted additives.


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