D.I.Y Marinara Sauce: Kick-Start the Week

I recently read that if you want to make better decisions, decide before you have to. I believe that to be true. I notice when I plan what to eat for dinner ahead of time, I save time and eat better meals.

D.I.Y Marinara Sauce: Kick-Start the Week

Take last Sunday. I included spaghetti on my weekly meal plan, and set aside time in the afternoon to prepare a marinara sauce.

These two decisions made my following Thursday night spaghetti dinner a cinch to pull together.

Homemad Marinara Sauce with Oregano and Thyme

Now I could have just as easily bought a jarred sauce for my spaghetti dinner. But by making it from scratch I learned a valuable nugget of cooking knowledge about how to choose herbs for a marinara sauce.

It was the first time I used dried thyme in a pasta sauce and noticed it gave it a distinct flavor that would taste excellent on chicken Parmesan or lasagna rolls. With that said, I would have preferred dried basil, rather than thyme, for my spaghetti dinner.

A new piece of culinary knowledge for the cooking toolbox going forward, and a homemade marinara sauce for the week ahead – not bad for 30 minutes of cooking on the weekend!

D.I.Y Marinara Sauce to Kick-Star the cooking week ahead.

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Printable Recipe


1 can (28 oz / 786 ml) diced or whole tomatoes / $1.17
11/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil / $0.12
1/2 small onion, finely chopped / $0.25
1 clove garlic, minced / $0.01
1 dried bay leaf (optional) / $0.01
1/2 tsp dried oregano / $0.03
1/4 tsp dried thyme or dried basil / $0.02
Pinch or two red pepper flakes / $0.01
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional) / $0.10
salt and pepper / $0.01


  1. Pour canned tomatoes with liquid in a blender or food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 4 or 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, to allow flavors to combine, about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf before storing, serving on pasta or chicken parmesan.

D.I.Y Marinara Sauce: Step by step pictures

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