Easy Homemade Red Sauce
5 (1)

Easy Homemade Red Sauce<div class="yasr-vv-stars-title-container"><div class='yasr-stars-title yasr-rater-stars'
></div><span class='yasr-stars-title-average'>5 (1)</span></div>

Nothing beats a delicious, rich, Red Sauce on the side when you’re tucking into some delicious carbs. It’s the perfect combination to have alongside carb heavy food as it saturates that delicious food with Tomato-rich goodness. So, after thousands of Red Sauces consumed in our extensive road testing (ie: eating at restaurants and cooking it at home) we’ve nailed what we believe to be the best Easy Homemade Red Sauce you can make!

A good Red Sauce or Marinara Sauce doesn’t need to be complicated with loads of ingredients to be a great sauce. In fact, the key to a great Homemade Red Sauce is just thing, and that is patience. You need to slow cook the ingredients to concentrate that delicious Tomato flavor. The slow cooking process draws out the excess moisture in the sauce and leaves nothing but delicious flavor

Key ingredients to create this Easy Homemade Red Sauce

The good news is you only need 5 ingredients to make this delicious Sauce. Tomatoes, Onions, Garlic, Olive Oil, and Salt. With these three ingredients you’ve got a phenomenal sauce ready to be smothered all over some delicious carbs (Garlic Knots anyone?) recipe coming soon


The critical ingredient to a Red Sauce is Tomatoes. Canned Tomatoes are the best choice here as their flavor is much more concentrated already from the canning process than fresh tomatoes. We prefer San Marzano Tomatoes if you can find them. They are the Tomatoes that all the top Italian chefs from all around the world use and we couldn’t agree more. Delicious and rich, they are the perfect Tomato choice for maximum flavor

For some extra Tomato flavor, try adding 2 tbsps. of Tomato Paste for an even more concentrated Tomato taste


We love cooking down Onions in our recipes here at Dinnertime Somewhere. If you’ve read enough of our recipes you’d probably notice that by now too! The natural sweetness of the Onion when cooked is phenomenal, and pairs beautifully with the Tomatoes again, for maximum richness in the sauce. Any Onions will work fine, just ensure that you fry them up nicely

Quality Olive Oil

Good quality Olive Oil is a must for this recipe. Don’t skimp on the Oil if you can and you’ll be rewarded. Olive Oil is the fat element of the dish which brings so much flavor to the Red Sauce. So, aim for a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil in this dish


For those who know, know. The holy trinity of flavor is frying up diced Onions and Garlic in a pan with Olive Oil. The aromas that fill the kitchen are phenomenal and the taste is even better! It’s the cornerstone to any delicious European meal and tastes amazing

Homemade Red Sauce closer
Be patient, cook this sauce slowly and you’ll be rewarded with unbelievable flavor

Now, if you like you can apply these additional ingredients which are not necessary, but we would highly recommend them to amplify the flavor. These are of course optional to your Homemade Red Sauce. However, we love our sauces a little richer. If you like your Red Sauce on the richer side, add the following!

Red Wine

Reduce the Red Wine down to burn off the alcohol and all that is remaining is a deliciously rich Red Wine reduction. Caramelized, sweet and bursting with flavor. Word of advice on using Red Wine in cooking: Always use Wine that you would drink yourself. It’ll taste better, plus any leftovers you get to drink!

Parmesan Cheese Rind

This is a little trick we picked up along our journeys. Freeze any leftover Parmesan Cheese rind that you have and add it to your Red Sauce during cooking. It brings a beautiful creaminess to the dish and adds that famous sharpness you expect from Parmesan

Recipe Details


4 – 6 people

Prep time

10 minutes

Cooking time

1 hour, 15 minutes

Total time

1 hour, 25 minutes

Homemade Red Sauce Recipe


  • 800g / 28oz Can of Tomatoes
  • 1 Medium Onion, finely diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Red Wine (optional)
  • 1 Parmesan Rind (optional)
  • Salt


  1. Heat the Olive Oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, then add the Onions. Cook for 7-8 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown, then add the Garlic
  2. Cook for 2 more minutes then add the Tomato Paste. Cook for an additional 2 minutes while stirring constantly then add the Red Wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by about ½ in volume, about another 5-6 minutes
  3. Add the Canned Tomatoes, Parmesan Rind, and 2 tsp. of Salt. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Cook for 1 hour stirring constantly to allow the sauce to reduce and the flavor to concentrate
  4. Check the sauce for seasoning and consistency and adjust if required. You can continue to cook the sauce until you reach a thick consistency
  5. You can serve immediately or leave in the pan on a low temperature to remain warm. You can also just re-heat if you’ve prepared the dish earlier

This recipe will yield about 2 ½ cups of beautiful Homemade Red Sauce. Any leftovers we highly recommend freezing as you can use this sauce in a load of dishes, such as our amazing Chicken Parmesan recipe

Feel free to check out some of our other delicious Sauces here which we hope you’ll love. Happy Cooking!

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