How to use marinara sauce in recipes?
Marinara sauce is a tomato based sauce that takes very little time to make, and is great on it’s own or used as part of a recipe.
You can either buy a ready made sauce, like the one on the right (available from Amazon) or make your own. (Recipe further down the page)
3 Ways to use marinara sauce in recipes
There are 3 main ways you can use marinara sauce.
- Either as a base sauce in pasta – with added ingredients.
- Or as a meat flavouring.
- Or as the base for more complex dishes
These are described in more detail below.
However it is very important to note that there are different varieties of marinara sauce. The standard one is very much a tomato flavour sauce, but you can also get slightly different flavours or spice levels. The usage is the same, but it will generate different tastes,
Option 1 – Marinara as a base sauce in pasta – with added ingredients
Marinara sauce, Bolognese or Passata?
If you are adding a sauce to pasta dishes there is a real difference in which sauce you will use:
- Bolognese is often the thicker sauce, containing more ingredients including meat (example recipe).
- Marinara sauce is often thinner and will also contain more herbs – but has no meat.
- Passata is the simplest sauce, only containing tomatoes and water (example recipe)
When combining marinara sauce with pasta there are 3 main options:
Option 1a – Simple and Quick
Marinara sauce has a lovely flavour – easiest option is to simply cook the pasta as per instructions. At the same time gently warm the marina sauce in a saucepan and then combine the 2.
Option 1b – Meatballs or Frankfurters
A lightly more complex method is to use the basic method above and add the meatballs..
All you do is
- Cook the pasta and marinara sauce as above.
- At the same time fry the meatballs in a frying pan or air fryer.
- Put the pasta & meatballs on a plate and cover with marinara sauce.
Or instead of meatballs you can always use Frankfurter sausages.
Option 1c – More complex pasta dishes
Because you can use marinara sauce as an ingredient it’s great when combined with other recipes:
For example :
- Lasagna stuffed chicken,
- Chicken Parmesan casserole,
- Seafood Spaghetti Marinara,
- Florentine Spaghetti Bake,
- etc. etc.
The easy option is that if a recipe includes passata or canned tomatoes then you can replace these with the marinara sauce.
Option 2 – Marinara sauce as a meat flavouring
If you go into any Subway shop you might have seen their iconic Subway meatball marinara,
This is a great example of how you can combine different meat types with marinara sauce to get a unique great flavour.
Similar to the picture on the right the sauce is great for use in sandwiches or baguette
- Mushroom marinara sandwich,
- Marinara salami sandwich,
- Marinara grilled cheese sandwich,
- Sausage marinara baguette, etc.
Option 3 – Marinara as a base in more complex dishes
Finally marinara sauce is great as a use in more complex dishes.
Similar to the comment above about pasta dishes, if a recipe includes passata or canned tomatoes then you can replace these with the marinara sauce. But the extra flavour in marinara will make these dishes unique.
Typical examples are:
- Baked chicken marinara,
- Chicken in marinara sauce,
- Smoked-Pork-Stuffed Pasta Shells,
- Chicken Parmesan Slider Bake.
- Cheesy Baked Rice Casserole, etc.
The beauty of marinara sauce is that you can add it to virtually any dish and it will provide extra flavour.
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Marinara Sauce with Minette Basil
- Large pan
- 800 g Chopped tomatoes (2 Cans)
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 Onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Paprika (Optional)
- 1/2 cup Minette Basil
- 1 tsp Sugar (Optional)
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 200 ml Water
- Prepare ingredients– Chop Onion and Garlic into small pieces– Remove basil leaves from stem and also cut into small pieces.
- Ingredients into saucepan– Heat the olive oil in the saucepan and add the garlic and onion, fry until soft (about 3 to 5 mins)– Add the tomatoes, and use a bit of water (about 100 ml) to get the last bits from each can.– Add the remaining ingredients
- Simmer sauce for 20 minutes
- Run through the food mill if you want a smooth sauce