hearty marinara sauce

Hearty Marinara Sauce

Hearty Marinara Sauce

There are two ends of the spectrum when it comes to tomato sauce: perfectly smooth or imperfectly chunky. This hearty marinara sauce is on the chunky end. The chunks give a little burst of tomato flavor when you bite them and no two spoonfuls of the sauce are going to be exactly the same.

Hearty Marinara Ingredients

Making the Chunky Marinara Sauce

Making this chunky marinara sauce is super easy and only requires a few ingredients. I am using one can of diced tomatoes and one can of whole tomatoes here to mix up the texture a bit (up to you, you can use all whole tomatoes if you want). I break up the whole tomatoes as I am stirring the sauce.

Cooking the Chunky Marinara Sauce

To make the hearty marinara sauce, first sweat the onions in some olive oil. Add garlic after onions are translucent. Make sure not to brown anything here. Cook garlic for a few minutes, then add tomatoes and a handful of basil. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. And that’s it!

How to Use

This basic marinara sauce is very versatile. You can use this sauce for pasta, rice, or really any grain you want. It is great with seafood, such as a shrimp marinara. You can easily spice it up a bit with some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to turn it into a “fra Diavolo” sauce. A chunky marinara sauce is particularly suited for use with other vegetables, such as this eggplant marinara recipe. This hearty marinara sauce can also be used as a dipping sauce, like for these breaded zucchini fries.

dipping a zucchini fry in basial marinara sauce
Chunky Marinara Sauce for Dipping
hearty marinara sauce

Hearty Marinara Sauce

This hearty marinara sauce is simple, versatile, and delicious. Serve with pasta, vegetables, or use this chunky marinara sauce for dipping.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian


  • Stove


  • 28 oz whole peeled canned tomatoes
  • 28 oz diced peeled canned tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced into thin cross sections
  • 2 each onions, chopped into 0.5 inch pieces
  • 8 leaves basil
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste


  • Heat oil in saucepan. Add onions to pan. Add some salt and mix with onions (this will help the onions sweat). Cook gently until translucent. Do not get any color on the onions. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes. Do not get any color on garlic. Add tomatoes and basil. Break up the whole tomatoes as you stir the sauce. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste.
    cooking chunky marinara sauce with basil
Keyword basil marinara sauce, basil tomato sauce, chunky marinara sauce, chunky tomato sauce, easy marinara sauce, hearty marinara sauce, hearty tomato sauce, simple marinara sauce, tomato sauce


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