Cheater’s Marinara Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Servings: Makes

    3 cups

Appears in

Love Your Leftovers

Love Your Leftovers

By Nick Evans

Published 2014

  • About

It’s not always the case that I have two hours to simmer a tomato sauce into something delicious. Sometimes I’m willing to sacrifice a bit of flavor in the name of expediency. This is the sauce I make in these moments of sacrifice. It’s not quite as deeply flavorful as the slow-cooked variety, but it’s still better than most jarred sauces.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it takes almost exactly as long to make as the pasta, so there’s really no reason not to make it.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Add olive oil to a medium pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add diced tomatoes along with garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes (if you’re using it), and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Mash the tomatoes lightly with a spoon or fork as sauce cooks to help speed up the process.
  3. When sauce is thick and cooked down slightly, serve over warm pasta and garnish with Parmesan cheese and/or fresh basil. Optionally, you can also add pasta straight from the water to the sauce and toss to mix together.
  4. Store the rest of the sauce for the other recipes in this chapter!