Homemade Marinara Sauce + Homemade Everything Else

Condiments, sauces, syrups, coffee creamers, and a host of other, bottled pantry items line our grocery store shelves.  I am fascinated by how many different kinds of brands there are. Up until about 2 years ago, I would have thought nothing about purchasing a bottle of store bought barbeque sauce for my BBQ brisket sandwiches. As I was looking at which one was the most economical, I decided to read the ingredients.  I was scared.

I have always been a home cook and love mastering marinara sauces, bolognese sauces, salad dressings, marinades, and simple cookie doughs.  I adore my freezer and at all times, one can find sauces, doughs, stocks, breads, and desserts shoved into the freezer.  So, after reading the ingredients in the bottle of BBQ sauce, I started experimenting with making my own.  Once I mastered that, I went on to jams, marmalades, ketchup, pickled veggies, fresh fruit sodas, caramel sauce, dulce de leche, and countless others.  I have yet to attempt to make mustard, but it is on my list.

Along with discovering that the taste of homemade condiments are far superior to the ones found in your local grocery store, they cost pennies to make. Three quarts of my marinara sauce costs approximately $7.00(4 ingredients).  This does not include my time, but what I have found with making stocks, sauces, and condiments is that they are a one pot dish. Basically, you throw your ingredients into a pot and let time do the work.  Making three quarts of sauce for under $7.00 beats a jar of Raos any day of the week.  And I am basically making three quarts for what it would cost me to buy one!

I have found a host of homemade everything, all of which have inspired me to continue on my journey of eliminating the additives, save money, and create food that is healthy, good for you, and tastes great.

Almond Butter – The Little Red House


Homemade Nutella – Georgia Pellegrini


Homemade Coffee Creamer – Deliciously Organic


Salted Butter Caramel – The Urban Baker


Apple Chutney – Panini Happy

Ketchup, Relish, + Mustard – Hedonia

Mint Simple Syrup – Heather Cristo

Blackberry Honey Butter – Gourmande in the Kitchen

Homemade Marinara Sauce


1 large, yellow onion-rough chopped
2 cloves garlic-rough chopped
5 Tbsp. organic, unsalted butter
1 can crushed tomatoes
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper


• in a heavy duty stock pot, melt butter.
• add onions. saute until soft, about 10 minutes.
• add garlic, saute 1 minute.
• add crushed tomatoes, simmer for 30 minutes.
• add kosher salt and pepper to taste.
• puree in your blender.
• serve right away or pack in one quart freezer containers.  let cool completely before freezing.
• make a triple batch, you won’t be sorry!

The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com

More Homemade Recipes:
Homemade 24 hour Beef Stock – Organic Spark
Banana Jam – The Urban Baker
Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter – Two Peas & Their Pod
Chimichurri Sauce – Closet Cooking
Homemade Cocktail Sauce – Coconut and Lime

Showing 25 comments
  • Georgia Pellegrini

    I so love your drive to do everything homemade! It is so important that people do more of it and I’m glad you’re leading the way : )

    • Susan

      I think we are all leading the way, inspiring one another to be mindful of how we cook and what we put in our bodies. You are quite the inspiration, G and I am so happy to be getting ot know you via your recipes and stories!

  • Maria

    Homemade is always best!

  • Kim

    I agree with you… When we take time to read on the bottles, it’s kind of scary beacause of all of the things on the list… I’m trying to make everything homemade too, even my yogourts! This mirinara sauce is a keeper!

  • Reply

    The ingredient list on a majority of foods freaks me out. Scientific terms, high fructose corn syrup (which I think it completely pointless in foods) and a host of other things like color B7. Ick. Thanks for the post!

  • Lucy Lean

    Any ideas for good storage of homemade items – this is often what holds me back.

    • Susan

      Lucy, I freeze pretty much everything. Pizza sauce, pesto, fresh squeezed citrus, and left over stocks, I freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I remove from the trays and throw in containers or ziplocs. I flash freeze meat balls, berries, cookie doughs, chicken tenders, etc. and then when frozen I store in plastic storage containers that I get at Surfas. For sauces, stocks, and soups, I let them cool completely and then transfer to one quart plastic containers that I also get at Surfas. I mark the lid with the name of the product and the date and then freeze. For the liquid items, I don’t fill them to the top as they expand in the freezer. I leave about an inch of space. If you want to meet one day at Surfas, I would love the field trip! Hope this helps!

  • aida mollenkamp

    So many great ideas. Thanks, Susan!

  • Brooke @ Food Woolf

    What a great round up. I’ll be sure to bookmark this page for when I’m feeling up for cooking myself up my basic larder ingredients!

  • Reply

    I like to experiment with making staples at home myself for the same reasons, it’s cheaper and I know what goes in it! Thanks for the mention!

  • Reply

    Love this list of homemade everything – especially that honey butter!

  • Anita Menon

    Such a great idea. It takes some time and a little effort but it is so worth it. Moreover you know exactly what goes into making it so it is really the best that you can do for your family.

  • Anne Besser

    I made your homemade marinara sauce. In fact, I tripled it to have some in the freezer so that I don’t have to grab my favorite $9 Rao jar sauce when I need some quick marinara sauce. This recipe tastes better than the Rao sauce. It is one of the best marinara sauces I’ve ever had! Thank you for sharing such a great recipe.

    • Susan

      Thanks, Anne! I love sharing recipes and especially love sharing them with those that I love. Try the turkey/quinoa meatballs to go with this. You will love them!!! xx

  • Courtney Wolff

    Hi Susan! Lisa made this for our Shabbat group and it was absolutely divine. Planning to treat my mom tomorrow but griffin is lactose intolerant. Can I use olive oil instead? Also I have three cans of San Marzano whole tomatoes. Can I crush them myself?? Xxoo happy Mother’s Day!!

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