5-Minute Quick Pasta Sauce

Ah, homemade marinara sauce. Can’t you just picture the pot simmering on the stove, bubbling away for hours while all the lovingly prepared ingredients meld together into a fragrant epiphany? I know I can… and then I picture myself finishing up a long day of work and wanting to just eat my dinner and not have to wait hours to do so. And that’s why we have the 5-minute pasta (or pizza) sauce. This super quick pasta sauce will give you a lot of flavor for not a lot of effort.

quick pasta sauce
No one will know you didn’t spend hours stirring sauce on a hot stove.
Well, you’ll know, and you’re someone, so I guess that’s not a true statement at all.

Also, I say “pasta sauce,” but this also works for making homemade pizza or lasagna or any other dish that needs marinara sauce.

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Pasta Sauce Trivia

Who doesn’t love a bit of trivia? I admit I have a weakness for it. I also freely admit I have a veritable ton of useless information stored in my head.

With that being said, let’s add a bit more!

Pasta, gnocchi, and sauce, oh my

Pasta Sauce Trivia #1: Italian food didn’t include tomatoes until the late 1600’s

If you say “Italian food” to someone, odds are they’ll picture some dishes that include tomatoes or tomato sauce. However, that’s a pretty recent development in the big scheme of things.

Tomatoes originated in the Americas, so they didn’t arrive in Italy until colonizers brought them back in the mid-1500’s. Even then, they weren’t immediately adopted into the local cuisine, with many people thinking they were dangerous.

In fact, tomato sauce didn’t show up in any Italian recipe books until 150 years later – and it was 100 years after that before there was a “pasta + sauce” recipe!

Pasta Sauce Trivia #2: No One Knows Exactly Where It Came From

It’s pretty much accepted that it was first made in Southern Italy, but as far as what inventive cook or chef first made the saucy deliciousness, nobody knows.

Whoever you are, sir or madam, I salute you and your tasty contribution to the world of food.

Pasta Sauce Trivia #3: The Name “Marinara” Means “Sailor-style”

It could also be translated as “sea-faring.” This doesn’t mean “sauce the way sailors make it,” by the way. It means “sauce that sailors really liked.”

Now let’s see about making some quick and tasty sea-faring sauce of your own.

Equipment You’ll Need to Make Your Quick Pasta Sauce

To make this recipe you will need a can opener, a blender and… (double checks recipe) …nope, that’s it.

A can opener and a blender.

Here’s a picture of a blender in case you’re having a hard time visualizing it 😉

If you’re using fresh tomatoes, you don’t even need the can opener.

All you need to do is add all your ingredients to the blender, let the blender do its thing, and you’re done. Honestly, calling it a 5-minute pasta sauce is selling it short, since even a slow-poke cook like me can pour ingredients into a blender in less than 5 minutes.

A few pulses and voila! Nearly instant marinara sauce.

Someone once asked if a food processor would be a good substitute. I haven’t personally tried it, but I’m going to say “no.” I think it would take your sauce from “lightly textured” to “pureed baby food”. Personally, I don’t find that idea very appetizing.

Allergen Information

This is a very allergen-free recipe. It’s gluten free, vegan, dairy free, egg free, nut free, shellfish free, and soy free. That’s a lot of free.

The major food intolerance here isn’t actually one that we have a category for on the site: nightshades. Nightshade vegetables include peppers/spices from peppers, bell peppers, potatoes, eggplants, and, you guessed it, tomatoes.

This is a tomato-based sauce, so if that’s your allergy or intolerance we’re squarely in “do not eat” territory.

quick pasta sauce

Storing Leftovers

This sauce freezes remarkably well. Personally, I don’t usually need the full 32 ounces when I make it, so I like setting aside portions that are just the right size for a pasta lunch (my current fave is red lentil pasta – all the fun of pasta with a ton of extra protein and nutrients).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Reditainer 8 oz and 16 oz Food Containers I purchased years ago are the perfect size and still going strong. The 8 oz size is just right for my pasta sauce single servings (I probably put about 5 or 6 ounces in it). I then label them all with Sharpie on Scotch Freezer Tape and pop them in the freezer for later.

While it is possible to reheat the sauce in a covered dish in the microwave, putting it in a small sauce pan on low while your pasta cooks is even better.

If you put it in the refrigerator to thaw, it will separate into what looks like tomato paste and water. That is natural, and you can stir it to recombine.

The Recipe

And here’s the recipe! If you’re using this sauce for lasagna or pasta, here’s a recipe for some delicious mini muffins that’ll go great with it.

5 Minute Pasta Sauce

A quick and flavorful pasta/pizza/marinara sauce for when you're short on time. This recipe makes approximately 32 ounces of sauce.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Cuisine Italian


  • Blender


  • 1 28 oz can Whole peeled tomatoes (I prefer Muir Glen Organic Fire-Roasted Crushed Tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Red wine vinegar (optional, but it's nice to have)
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced (can be substituted with equivalent minced dried garlic or garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper


  • Add all the ingredients to the blender. Do not drain the tomatoes before adding them.
  • Blend on high until all the ingredients are completely combined (about 30 seconds)
  • Enjoy!
Keyword dairy free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Soy free, Vegan

If you’d like more recipes for these same specific dietary issues, head to these pages for all our gluten free recipes, dairy free recipes, soy free recipes, nut free recipes, egg free recipes, and shellfish free recipes. For our full list of recipes, please visit our complete recipe list. For our full list of reviews of allergen free food and related products, please visit our review page.

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