This is my favorite marinara sauce to make, and I usually make it in big batches because it freezes so well. Honestly, nothing beats a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs with homemade sauce. With August well under way, I'm cooking big batches of freezer friendly meals so we can start this school year right.
Zero Point Marinara Weight Watchers & Low Calorie Marinara
This marinara is zero points on Weight Watchers for all plans for 1/2 cup and 1 smart point for 1-2 cups. You can cut the 1 tbsp. of olive oil out and use cooking spray to make this fully zero, but that is up to you. Life's too short to worry about 1 tbsp of olive oil divided by 12, in my opinion.
This easy weeknight marinara sauce is only 70 calories for 1/2 cup of sauce. My personal favorite jarred sauce is only 100 calories for 1/2 cup and 3 WW sp.
Homemade sauce with crushed tomatoes
I love using crushed tomatoes for my homemade marinara. I grew up with tomato sauce + paste, but using whole tomatoes is "best" because they are the freshest according to some on the internet. Crushed tomatoes, in my opinion, is a happy medium and you don't need to crush the tomatoes by hand. You can easily sub whole tomatoes and crush them yourself for this recipe.
I use an immersion blender for my sauce. This step is totally optional, but my kids like a smooth sauce. I prefer the tomato chunks so if I made this just for myself, I would leave them crushed.
No immersion blender sauce prep
If you don't have an immersion blender, you can still make this sauce. It will require some chopping. You'll see in the recipe, I halve my onions and just peel and smash my garlic. If you don't want to blend your sauce, simply dice your onions and mince your garlic before hand. The recipe requires no extra prep.
Slow Simmering Sauce
This recipe was made with a quick, easy weeknight marinara sauce in mind. If I make this as Sunday gravy and simmer my meatballs in there, I add an extra 2 cups of beef stock to make up for evaporation. Again, completely optional but that's how I like it.
By the way, this goes great with my healthy beef meatballs and you should totally pair them together. I also have a killer turkey meatball recipe.
Easy Weeknight Marinara Sauce
A quick and delicious marinara sauce is an essential recipe to be able to pull out at a moment’s notice. Everyone loves pasta, and it is an easy way to feed a crowd. My wife’s family grew up with their grandmother’s sauce, and getting the family approval is a big deal in my book. This marinara tastes like it was cooked low and slow all Sunday long thanks to a few key spices. This is easily doubled, freezes well, and is great on pizzas too.
All WW Plans 0sp 1/2 cup, 1 sp 1-2 cups
- Two 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes with basil
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dry oregano
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp dry parsley
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Drizzle olive oil in a pot, and heat the pot on medium heat.
- Add the onions with a big pinch of kosher salt once the pot is hot.
- Add onions, garlic, and spices and cook for about 1 minute. This will help the spices bloom.
- Add the tomatoes and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer for at least 30 minutes. In my opinion, the longer you simmer the better it tastes. If you are simmering for an hour+, add 2/3 cup water, beef/chicken/veg stock, or wine.
- Optional step: blend with an immersion blender for a smoother sauce. Once blended, taste and adjust seasoning. I tend to add a little more salt, fresh basil, and oregano here but that's just my preference.
- If freezing, let cool to room temperature before freezing.
Recipe yields 6 cups of marinara.
Serving Size:1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 70Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 437mgNet Carbohydrates: 9gFiber: 13gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g
This is the best, and seriously easiest sauce to make. I always triple the recipe and freeze. My picky toddler loves it, even with the chunks of onions and tomatoes!!