Quick Pasta Sauce

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This is the best quick pasta sauce recipe to make a flavorful all-purpose marinara sauce for your favorite pasta dishes with crushed tomatoes, garlic and a bit of spice. 

red pot with quick marinara sauce and fresh basil on top

❤️ Why You’ll Love this Recipe: This is an easy and simple marinara sauce recipe that uses pantry staple ingredients. You can whip this sauce together in minutes for a fast pasta dinner any night of the week. 

I make this quick pasta sauce recipe all the time at home. I first developed this recipe to serve with baked spaghetti squash for a low-carb weeknight dinner. But these days, I use it whenever I need a savory and flavorful tomato sauce. 

pinterest button for homemade tomato sauce

How to Make Quick Pasta Sauce

If you have a can of crushed tomatoes in your pantry, you’re just a few minutes from a fresh pot of piping hot homemade tomato sauce. 

Using crushed tomatoes in your sauce means it only has to simmer for about 5 minutes. However, if you like a smoother pasta sauce, you can easily puree the sauce after cooking. Do so with an immersion blender or in a standing blender. 

Note: let the sauce cool a bit before you blend the sauce in a standing blender to prevent explosions. 

ingredients to make quick pasta sauce with canned crushed tomatoes in a pot on the stove

Can I Use Whole Tomatoes?

It’s important to use crushed tomatoes in this recipe. That’s because they already have a saucy consistency and don’t need to be simmered long to create an easy and flavorful sauce. 

We like S&W brand crushed tomatoes in a rich puree. If your crushed tomatoes are not saucy enough, you can also blend them with an immersion blender. 

red pot of quick pasta sauce with fresh basil on top

Can I Use Garlic Powder?

You can make this pasta sauce recipe with fresh garlic or garlic powder. 

If you’re using fresh garlic, quickly saute the garlic in olive oil as a first step to building your sauce. Stir it frequently while cooking so it doesn’t burn and make sure to use low heat. 

Once you can smell the cooked garlic and red pepper flakes, you’ll want to immediately add the crushed tomatoes. So be sure to have the can opened and ready to use before you start cooking.

On the other hand, if you’re in a hurry and want to use garlic powder, that works well. Simply add the garlic powder with the dried basil and salt.

pasta with quick tomato sauce on top

Recipes to Use Quick Marinara Sauce

Go ahead and make a big batch of this easy pasta sauce, you can use it in dozens of dishes! Here are some I love:

red pot with quick marinara sauce and fresh basil on top
Yield: 4 Servings

Quick Pasta Sauce

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

This Quick Pasta sauce starts with a can of crushed tomatoes and takes less than 10 minutes to make a savory and versatile sauce. 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced*
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a saucepan, heat oil over low heat for 1 minute. Add garlic and red pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring frequently.
  2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, basil and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.


*You can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder but add it with the basil and salt.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 502mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

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