/ / Easy Homemade Marinara from Fresh Tomatoes

Easy Homemade Marinara from Fresh Tomatoes

Want to make an authentic marinara sauce from scratch? Here is a homemade recipe using tomatoes and basil straight from your garden. 

Nothing could be healthier than making this delicious marinara from scratch. All ingredients are fresh and not from a jar or can!

This is a great recipe for all of those tomatoes and basil you’ve been growing over the summer so nothing goes to waste.

Plus it’s authentic because my mother-in-law taught me how to make marinara sauce and she was just about 100% Italian!

My Italian Roots

The truth is, after some DNA testing, I don’t have any Italian blood in me. HOWEVER, my son is 35% Italian and his dad 85% Italian! Wow, right?

I’m an Italian wannabe. The first marinara recipe I learned is from my former mother-in-law over 20 years ago – God rest her soul.  It had never been recorded and she had 4 children!

I was the first person to scoop the ingredients right out of her hand and write down the measurements one day in her cozy kitchen. 


Now I never measure anything using my hands cupped as a guide and adjusting as the sauce cooks. Guess that is what happens with experience. 

Here is a rare picture of me cooking that my son snapped, as I made my “famous” sauce as his last supper before heading to college a couple of summers ago.

It’s the meal I’m asked to make by friends and family that usually includes meatballs. That recipe is staying a secret!

For this recipe, I made it with some AMAZING tomatoes that came from the PRIVATE garden of  the Van Wingerden family who founded state of the art Metrolina Greenhouses.


They fondly named the tomatoes, after the patriarch of the family that died about 10 years ago, “Dad’s Tomatoes”. Getting a bag of these is a true GIFT and really SPECIAL!

If the tomatoes look extra beautiful, that is because they were grown by professionals, but you can get the same results from ripe store bought tomatoes too!

You may just need a little extra salt or a pinch of real sugar to make the recipe perfect 🙂

Post contains hand selected products, with affiliate marketing links throughout {full disclosure here}

How-To Make Homemade Marinara from Scratch

If you’ve ever grown tomatoes or basil and had any success, they are both prolific! You can’t eat all that you grow, before they rot.

This is the perfect recipe to use some of those fresh vine ripe tomatoes and sprigs of fresh basil straight from your garden.

If your neighbor offers them, you can now say yes please! Or use the sweetest tomatoes you can find at your local grocery store.

You will need enough tomatoes to fill a 9″ x 13″ glass dish, which is around 10 large tomatoes or 5lbs. 

Easy Marinara Using Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Easy Homemade Marinara from Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Want to make an authentic marinara sauce from scratch?

Here is an authentic Italian homemade recipe using tomatoes and basil straight from your garden! 

Watch the video to see how easy this recipe is!


  • 5 lbs Fresh Ripe Tomatoes
  • 3 Full Stems Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 12 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 1:

Quarter all tomatoes and place a 9 in x 13 in glass baking dish. Yes, seeds and skin included! It's ok if they are piled taller than the dish edge.


Step 2:

Peel and cut onion into 1 inch slices. Add evenly over top of tomatoes.


Step 3:

Strip basil leaves from stems and distribute evenly over top of tomatoes and onions.


Step 4:

Measure salt and sprinkle over the top of the tomato, onion, and basil.


Try to keep it evenly spread.


Step 5:

Measure pepper and sprinkle over top of ingredients.



Keep it as even as possible

Step 6:

Peel 12 cloves of garlic and slice into smaller pieces, as shown. Spread evenly over top.


Step 7:

Measure 1/2 cup of EVOO and pour evenly over the top of the tomato mixture.


Stir all ingredients to cover in the oil.


Make sure to push the basil leaves under the tomatoes, so they don't burn while roasting.


It should look like this, before cooking!

Step 8:

Begin 4 rounds of cooking the mixture for 20 minutes each time!

Place in oven and set timer for 20 minutes.

When complete, stir ingredients very carefully while in the oven.


Here is what it looks like, after the 1st 20 minutes.

Place back in the oven for 20 minutes. When complete, stir.


Here is what it looks like, after the 2nd 20 minutes.

Place back in the oven for 20 minutes. When complete, stir.


Here is what it looks like, after the 3rd 20 minutes.

Place back in the oven for the final 20 minutes. When complete, stir.


Step 9:

Remove cooked ingredients from oven and cool for 30 minutes.


Here if the final mixture and what it should look like, before blending.

Step 10:

Once mixture is cool enough to handle. place in a 3 quart sauce pot.

If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender instead.


Using an immersion blender, liquify ingredients until smooth.


Step 11:

Place sauce pot on stovetop at medium high heat.

Cover top of sauce with grated parmesan cheese.


Stir in parmesan cheese until fully blended and melted.



Serve over your favorite pasta, spaghetti pasta, or favorite noodled vegetable if you are eating low-carb or Keto diet!


This recipe is simple at it's core and you will be shocked at how DELICIOUS it tastes!

If you prefer a chunky sauce, you can reduce the blending time.

Once you finish adding the parmesan, make sure to taste test. If you don't think it has enough flavor, try adding a little salt and pepper.

Like it spicy? You can alway add some red pepper flakes.

Tastes metallic? Add a pinch of sugar for sweetness.

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1.9g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Honestly, this really is the easiest recipe. The only commitment is stirring every 20 minutes.

Find a good Netflix show to binge watch in between, for a very relaxing couple of hours!

Pin It for Later!


Buon Appetito! Grazie.

Please tell me in the comments what you think or ask any questions.

Like this fun idea? I’m not food blogger, but am a foodie. You may like this post all about hosting a crab feast this summer!

Please consider signing up for my weekly email newsletter and following me on Pinterest and Instagram for daily inspiration.

Until next time…

Porch Daydreamer


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  1. I was looking for a garden tomato sauce recipe online and found your recipe. The roasting process gives the sauce a wonderful flavor! We jarred our first batch last week and made the second batch today. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  2. It was with doubt that I made this recipe. Even with great reviews most are not up to par. I had a lot of ripe tomatoes and am so happy I found your recipe. Omg so delicious! I bookmarked it so I will always have it. Will be making again and freezing for our Ohio winter. I made exactly as written except added two grated carrots. I loved putting all items in one pan and roasting, I think this added even more flavor! This will be a regular recipe every summer. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hey, Kat! That is SO nice to hear. The original recipe actually called for a carrot and I left it out for simplicity. NEXT TIME, I will add the grated carrots for sweetness vs. sugar – much healthier 🙂 My son is in college in Cleveland, so I know all about your winters.

  3. Maryland local tomatoes are just about in season and there are none better in the world, IMHO. Using those along with my own homegrown basil and your recipe will be fantastic. Thanks so much for posting this – perfectly timed to our tomato season. Ciao!

    PS – I’m booked for a Sicily & Malta trip in Sept of 2020. Can’t wait to make the comparison of sauces.

    1. Great! It’s so nice to use your own homegrown ingredients and local produce 🙂 I’m a little jealous of the trip you have booked! I’d love to visit that part of Italy.

  4. Just found out Aynor Maters will be at the Surfside Beach, SC Farmer’s Market tomorrow and planned on canning some of their delish tomatoes. I will be making this recipe instead! Thanks!

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