Freezer Friendly Fresh Marinara Sauce Recipe
Freezer cooking is definitely convenient, and it is great to have a one dish meal in your freezer that you can just pull out and stick in your oven. But it is also really great to have components of a meal frozen so that you can add other fresh ingredients but save yourself a bunch of time with the main part of the meal. Homemade marinara sauce has got to be one of the yummiest, most versatile of foods right? The thing with a good marinara sauce though is that it has to simmer for a long time to let the flavors blend and really become delicious. This is what makes it a perfect freezer food. When you have some extra time (yeah right, what is that??) then you can whip up a big double batch of this and freeze it for later. I love this sauce because you can pack in the veggies making it chuck full of nutrients, but it is blended and so it helps with texture issues kids might have. This also gives it a lot of flavor and depth. Yum.
This Freezer Friendly Fresh Marinara Sauce Recipe can be used for so many different meals! Some of our favorites:
Baked Spaghetti Pie
This sauce does need to simmer for a while, but the actual hands-on time really isn’t too bad at all! When I made this sauce I was also canning peaches at the same time……..lets just say my kitchen was a bit of a disaster. But what I’m telling you is that you will have no problems whipping this up!
Begin with your veggies. I used onion, garlic, green bell pepper and red bell pepper. I was also going to add some carrot because I like the sweetness it provides, but I totally spaced it. Saute your veggies until they are tender.
Next combine your sauteed veggies with 1 can crushed tomatoes in your food processor. If you like your sauce super chunky you can skip this step, but it will make it thick and some kids don’t like chunky veggies in their marinara sauce.
Throw in a handful of fresh basil.
Pour your sauce into a pot and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low for 1 hour. Then remove your sauce from the heat and let it cool. This step can take a while! I like to freeze my sauces and soups in ziplock bags because they flatten and take up way less space in your freezer! Once your sauce has cool, pour into bags. You will want to remove as much air as possible from your bags. Label and date the bag.
Then place in your freezer – this should stay good for up to 3 months. Then when you want to use your sauce, place it in the fridge the day before you want to use it to thaw. You will then have delicious homemade marinara sauce to use on so many different meals!
Freezer Friendly Fresh Marinara Sauce
- 2 medium onion
- 1 medium bell pepper, green
- 1 medium bell pepper, red
- 4 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 can crushed tomatoes, canned
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1 teaspoon oregano, dried
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
- 2 medium bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vinegar, balsamic
- 1/4 cup cooking wine, white
- 1 cup chicken broth, low-sodium
- Chop onion and bell peppers; mince garlic.
- Saute veggies in olive oil until tender.
- Combine with 5 (14 oz) cans crushed tomatoes in a food processor. Pulse until well blended.
- Pour into a large stockpot and combine with the remaining ingredients.
- Simmer on low for 1 hour.
- Place in freezer bags removing air, and lay flat.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
What a great way to save time and money! Thanks for sharing
It’s tomato harvest time, how can I make this with fresh tomatoes instead of canned crushed tomatoes?
I’m glad you asked! I love to make mine with fresh tomatoes when they are available. To substitute fresh tomatoes for canned, you will need about 6-8 medium tomatoes for each 14 ounce can of crushed tomatoes.
This is an amazing tip! I always add a teaspoon of garlic to my sauces to keep them naturally fresh and aromatic!
That’s a great way to make use of the tomatoes I’ve got at home, rather than just making boring old tomato sauce! Clever idea with storing them in ziplock bags, I’ve always just used the big yogurt containers.
Hey – thanks for the great recipe. For the fresh tomatoes, do you just chop them and throw them in the blender or do you blanch and remove skins first? Do you cook longer?
I have done both ways, and usually just throw them in with the skins on. You will probably need to simmer a bit longer because fresh tomatoes seem to have a higher water content. I would just simmer until it is thickened to your preferred consistency. Good luck!
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Just wondering how much this would make? I like to bag all mine up to equal quantities….OCD I know Thanxs
Good question Jessica- It seems like I fill two gallon size bags with it, but I’ve never measure how much is going in. I will next time!
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The recipe says 5 can of tomatoes but then the directions read add one can?
The remaining cans of tomatoes (along with the rest of the ingredients) are just mixed in- rather than pulsed in the food processor.
Can I just leave the wine out, or can I sub something else? I don’t think I have any and don’t want to buy some just for this if possible.
I make my own sauce very similar to this, but I add 2 grated carrots and a grated zucchini as well. They get blended so the kids never notice 🙂
The recipe calls for 14ounces of canned tomatoes and that’s it for tomatoes… is that really enough? I feel like there should be more. Am I missing something?
So sorry about that! It is actually 5 (14 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes. Typo. The recipes is fixed. Thank you so much for your feedback!