Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe

No matter what you call tomato sauce — marinara sauce, spaghetti sauce, pasta sauce, etc. — there’s nothing better than the real thing. If you don’t know how to make homemade pasta sauce, you’ve come to the right place.

That’s a good thing, considering pasta is a go-to meal for many families, and luckily, it’s no longer the nutrition bomb it once was. While white pasta is still on the naughty list, healthier options like whole-wheat, brown rice and gluten-free pasta mean that noodles can be part of a balanced diet.

For pasta sauces, just make sure you skip the jarred ones. They’re often packed with loads of sugar and preservatives — plus, the price can quickly add up.

Instead, make your own homemade pasta sauce in minutes. Make one batch, or double it and freeze extras to always have some on hand.

This tomato sauce recipe tastes great and is so simple to make that you’ll never waste money on those store-bought jars again!

Key Ingredients

There’s nothing complicated about this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe. In addition to seasoning, it contains just a few main ingredients, including:

  • Tomatoes: Low in calories and high in vitamins C and K, tomatoes pack quite the punch, particularly when you consider their antioxidant content. For instance, lycopene is one fo the best antioxidants when it comes to immunity, and tomato can support the heart, eyes, skin and bones as well.
  • Olive oil: There’s no need to worry about what type of cooking oil to use when it comes to this recipe. Olive oil is the best option, both due to its traditional use in Italian cuisine and its remarkable health properties. Olive oil is as healthy as it gets, protecting the heart, weight, brain, blood sugar and more.
  • GarlicWhat’s pasta sauce without garlic? That’s a good thing, considering the many health benefits garlic provides. A true super-herb, garlic is an immune-boosting, heart-healthy spice that can support brain and hair health as well.
  • Basil: It may get overlooked often, but basil is also high in antioxidants and helps combat inflammation and disease.
  • Onion: Finally, onions are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, folate, potassium and phosphorus. As such, they help combat disease and support heart, bone, respiratory and brain health.
Homemade pasta sauce ingredients - Dr. Axe

How to Make Homemade Pasta Sauce

Let’s start by heating up the olive oil and adding your chopped nutritious onions. Roughly chopped or finely minced doesn’t matter.

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Add the onion, and stir until it softens up. Then add the minced garlic. You’ll want to keep your eye on this one, so the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the tomato paste, Italian seasoning and basil to the mix, then season with salt and pepper. If you like a bit of heat in your homemade pasta sauce, now’s a good time to add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.

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Be sure to taste while you season, and err on the side of caution. Remember, you can always add more seasoning, but you can’t take any away!

Homemade pasta sauce step 1 - Dr. Axe

Next, toss in your hand-crushed tomatoes. If you have a thriving tomato plant, you could also use fresh tomatoes in this step to make homemade pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes.

Stir the tomatoes to combine them with all the good ingredients already in the pot, and then bring the whole thing to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and let the flavors meld together for 20 minutes.

Homemade pasta sauce step 2 - Dr. Axe

While the sauce simmers, you can cook the pasta and assemble a side salad. Once the 20 minutes are up, your sauce is ready!

Top your favorite noodles with it and enjoy.

This made-from-scratch, easy homemade pasta sauce recipe takes just half hour from start to finish. If you choose to freeze some, be sure to use within three months.

Pro tip: Freeze the sauce flat in a zip bag. It’ll make thawing a breeze.

Just add it to a sink of warm water, and then continue heating in a sauce pan. No muss, no fuss.


Homemade pasta sauce - Dr. Axe

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe

  • Author:
    Dr. Josh Axe

  • Prep Time:
    10 min

  • Cook Time:
    20 min

  • Total Time:
    30 minutes

  • Yield:

  • Diet:
    Gluten Free
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Jarred pasta sauces are often packed with loads of sugar and preservatives. Instead, make your own homemade pasta sauce in minutes.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole tomatoes, crushed with hands
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, Italian seasoning and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add tomatoes, stir to combine and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.


  • Add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper to add a kick to your sauce.
  • You can use fresh tomatoes in place of canned tomatoes.
  • Category: Sauces & Dressings
  • Method: By hand
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Calories: 67
  • Sugar: 2.7g
  • Sodium: 61mg
  • Fat: 5.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4.4g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.9g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Protein: 0.9g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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