Is marinara sauce vegan? Most of the time! When in doubt, read the label or ask. Marinara sauce is usually pretty simple, and this easy vegan marinara sauce recipe stays true to that ethos.
Because marinara sauce uses few ingredients, it’s important to pick quality ones. If using canned tomatoes, try brands like Pomi, Mutti or Cento San Marzano. Or if you’re making your own tomato puree completely from scratch try to use tomato varieties like Roma, San Marzano, or Big Mama.
This recipe for vegan marinara sauce makes ~4½ cups. It is thick without being too thick, and loves clinging to pasta or gnocchi. It’s also the perfect sauce for a vegan meatball sub or Zucchini and Tofu Ricotta Calzones. Let alone how great it would be as a dipping sauce for breadsticks. Yum!
Vegan Marinara Sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1½ cup finely chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
3 cups tomato puree (OR a 26.46 ounce can of tomato puree)
2 cups tomato sauce (OR a 17.64 ounce can of tomato sauce)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp red miso
1½ tsp agave, or your favorite sweetener
½ tsp salt
1. Add olive oil, onions, and a dash of salt to a large heavy pot or dutch oven. Sauté over medium-high heat for ~5 minutes or until the onions are transparent and somewhat golden.
2. Add the garlic, basil, oregano and crushed red pepper, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, tomato puree, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and red miso. Cover with a lid, and simmer for 45 minutes over low heat.
4. Stir in the agave and salt. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed (more salt? more agave? more red pepper flakes?). Serve with your favorite pasta, gnocchi, calzones, on a vegan meatball sub sandwich, or as a dipping sauce for breadsticks!