Out of jarred marinara sauce? You’ll never need to buy it again when you make this easy recipe using canned tomato paste plus a few pantry ingredients. It’s not only economical, it’s incredibly delicious.

Plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce garnished with Italian parsley


Labeled ingredients needed to make this recipe

Balsamic vinegar: While it may sound contradictory, balsamic vinegar balances out the acidity of the tomatoes. If you don’t have any on hand, you can leave it out.

You are watching: How To Make Marinara Sauce With Tomato Paste

Or add a pinch of organic sugar if the sauce tastes sour. You can also substitute a splash of your favorite red wine.

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Italian parsley: Fresh herbs like parsley or basil compliment the flavors of this sauce. But if unavailable, simply omit them. You do not need to add extra dried herbs.

For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.


Collage of 4 process shots demonstrating the steps for how to make this recipe
  1. Saute the garlic in olive oil.
  2. Add the tomato paste, water, Italian seasoning, and bay leaf.
  3. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in a splash of balsamic vinegar.


To change the flavors of the sauce, try stirring in sliced olives, capers, and/or crushed red chili flakes during the last few minutes of cooking. This will transform it to a variation of a vegan Puttanesca sauce.

Serving suggestions

Refer: How To Cook Broccoli With Pasta | Guide to the Kitchen – Coral

This easy meatless spaghetti sauce pairs well with any of your favorite pasta shapes. In addition, you can serve it tossed with noodles made from wheat, rice, corn, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, or a blend. For a complete meal, try it with a vegetable side dish or salad like one of these favorites:

Close up of plate of spaghetti in tomato paste pasta sauce garnished with fresh herbs

Storing and freezing

Any unused sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, leave a little room at the top of a glass container before adding the lid. When you’re ready to use it, defrost the container in the refrigerator overnight or until thawed.

For tips on freezing, refer to USDA Freezing and Food Safety.


More easy pasta sauce recipes

If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★

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