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Main Course

5-Minute Marinara Sauce

If you have five minutes to spare, then you have all the time you need to make this no-stir, no-simmer, über-healthy marinara sauce.

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There’s a whole lot to love about Mediterranean eating. Exhibit A: marinara sauce. This underappreciated staple of Italian cuisine is actually one of the most nutritious sauces you can put on your food, and it’s one of the reasons pizza, when it’s made with the right ingredients, can be a health food. After all, what’s not to like about tomatoes, vegetables, garlic, olive oil, and fresh seasonings? You almost feel healthier just reading the list of ingredients! Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories abound, topped off by my personal choice for the ultimate medicinal food—olive oil!

Now here’s the beauty part. Ordinarily, the only downside of homemade marinara sauce is the amount of time it takes to make. Usually, you have to simmer it for hours. But not with this recipe. Chef Jeannette has opted for blending the ingredients in a high-power blender or food processor, which cuts the prep time from hours to minutes and produces an incredibly nutrient-rich blended sauce. It’s worth noting that the sauce is essentially raw as opposed to cooked. While a slow-cooked sauce is also wonderfully healthy, most of us don’t get enough raw foods in our diets, and this is a great way to correct that omission!

Notes from the Clean Food Coach

Seeding the tomatoes reduces the total liquid content, which is important because puréed fresh veggies tend to release a lot of water, and you don’t want a runny sauce. You can quarter the tomatoes and push the seeds out with clean hands or scoop them out with a teaspoon.

Toss this fresh, flavor-rich sauce with hot pasta. For a low-carb, nutrient-dense “pasta” meal, pour sauce over lightly steamed veggie “noodles” such as hearts of palm pasta, spiralized zucchini, or roasted spaghetti squash.

5-Minute Marinara Sauce

Servings
4

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups chopped and seeded heirloom tomatoes
  • ½ cup loosely packed sundried tomato strips in oil, drained
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ¹/3 cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped shallot
  • ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. sea salt, or more, to taste
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in the order listed in high-speed blender and purée until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 90
  • Carbohydrate Content 11 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 6 g
  • Fiber Content 3 g
  • Protein Content 2 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 1 g
  • Sodium Content 340 mg
  • Sugar Content 4 g