Let’s call it marinara sauce or chunky spaghetti sauce whichever, but one thing is for sure that we love it anyway. Why? Cause it is damn easy and quick. It is a perfect sauce to whip up in 10 minutes. Are you ready? We even included 15+ vegan and gluten-free recipes to use your hearty marinara sauce for.
What is a marinara sauce?
In our books, marinara sauce is a thick spaghetti sauce with chopped tomatoes and Italian seasoning. It tastes and looks more like a chunky tomato puree.
Okay, but you might ask now what is exactly the difference between marinara and spaghetti sauce then? Well, we can only speak for ourselves, but when we say spaghetti sauce we usually think of the classic tomato-based pasta sauce that is a smooth, velvety tomato sauce with the same Italian seasoning, but no chunks, no skins, no seeds like what we use in our Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese recipe.
Now, what do we think of when we hear tomato sauce? We think of the cooked and pureed tomato they sell in bottles. It is without seasoning and it is the perfect basis for a marinara sauce or for classic spaghetti sauce. Furthermore, we use the unseasoned tomato sauce also in our Chickpea Masala with Broccoli and Mushroom recipe.
How to make a marinara sauce?
Well, do you have 10-minutes? That is how long it takes to cook a homemade marinara sauce. In this recipe, we use the combination of finely chopped tomatoes and silky tomato sauce. We love to use Mutti’s canned tomato and Mutti’s tomato passata as they are vegan, gluten-free and has no added sugar or other funky ingredients. We cook the diced onions and the finely chopped garlic on olive oil (or if you follow WFPD diet, cook them in veggie broth or in water or directly in the tomato sauce). When ready, add the finely chopped tomatoes and the tomato sauce and spice it up with basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. That’s it. Now you know how to make your own spaghetti sauce.
Is it low fat, low sodium or low carb?
We calculated the nutritional value of our marinara sauce recipe by inputting it to Cronometer. 1 serving (the whole recipe is for 4 servings) has the total calories of 70 if you cook the onions without olive oil, 90 if you cook them with olive oil. Huge advantage for those who eat a WFPBNO diet. Furthermore, it is not only low fat but essentially zero fat. If the sodium content is important for you then you should choose Hunt’s diced tomatoes instead of Mutti’s as they have a canned product with only 15g sodium per serving. Finally, the recipe has approx. 8g of carbs per servings if you use Mutti’s products.
What is vegan marinara sauce used for?
No need to search further as we have already collected for you multiple recipes ideas. All of the below links are guiding you to recipes with hearty marinara sauce that are vegan AND gluten-free (or providing a gluten-free option).
Marinara sauce for pasta
As it is primarily a pasta sauce, there is no surprise that most of the recipes featuring it are pasta recipes. Here is some variety you can start with:
- Easy Vegan Eggplant Meatballs Spaghetti by My Pure Plants
- Gluten-free Stuffed Shells with Almond Ricotta by Strength and Sunshine
- Instant Pot Pasta Puttanesca by Veggies Saves the Day
- Vegan Pasta Alla Vodka by Erica’s Recipes
- The Best Easy Vegan Lasagna by Hummusapien
- One-Pot Pasta by Jolly Slice
Marinara sauce for pizza
Generally, we would use tomato paste as a basis for our pizza sauce, but you can’t really turn down a simple margarita pizza with marinara sauce and cheese. It just gives an extra zing to have all these chunks mixing with melted cheese. Here is some variety to start with:
- Deep Dish Pizza Pot Pie by Spabettie
- Mini Polenta Pizza by Veggies Saves the Day
- Vegan Greek Pizza by She Likes Food
- Quinoa Pizza Bites by Jessica in the Kitchen
- Vegan Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust by The Friendly Fig
Other unique ways to use marinara sauce
Not looking for either a pasta nor a pizza recipe? Then try these creative recipes using marinara sauce:
- Marinara Stuffed Roasted Eggplants by Foodal
- Vegan Mozzarella Stuffed Chickquin Burgers by Spabettie
- Quick Bolognese over Polenta Fries by Erica’s Recipes
- Avocado and Chickpea Shakshuka by Power Hungry
- Grilled Ratatouille by Hey Grill Hey
- Polenta Mash with Mushroom and Marinara by Veggie Lexi
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What more you need to try it? If you’re ready, watch this short video:
Hearty Marinara Sauce
- Peel and dice the onions. Peel, crush and then chop finely the garlic cloves.
- Heat frying pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and cook onions for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic. (If you follow WFPBNO diet, skip this step and cook the onion and garlic directly in the tomato sauce.)