A bowl is piled high with pasta tossed in a red homemade marinara sauce. The pasta is topped with shredded Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. There is also a small bowl of sauce on the table and a glass of red wine.

Easy 5-Ingredient Marinara

  • Author: This Mess is Ours
  • Prep Time: 2 min
  • Cook Time: 28 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 5 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


This recipe easily doubles or triples and the sauce while brilliant for pasta can be used for pizza sauce, thinned with broth for a simple tomato soup, or it can even be used to replace half the water when cooking Basmati rice to make the base of a pretty darn incredible Spanish Rice!



1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 red onion, halved and peeled

4 tablespoons butter, divided into quarters

1 bouillon cube, we use vegan “beef” flavored, but any will work

1/4 cup soaked, drained raw cashews, optional. *** See note***

coarse kosher salt and pepper to taste

To serve: your favorite pasta cooked to perfection! We use Pamela’s Gluten Free Spaghetti!


In a medium sized saucepan with a tight fitting lid combine the tomatoes, butter, bouillon cube, cashews, and the onion halves cut side down. Season well with salt and pepper. Place the lid on the pan and turn to medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir, replace the lid and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir, replace the lid and cook for 8 minutes more. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before removing the onion halves, discard or chop and serve as a side,  then blend the sauce with either a high speed blender or an immersion blender. 

Serve over pasta or however you would typically use jarred tomato sauce. 


***Raw cashews || These are used to thicken the sauce when you blend it. If you don’t have them or have an allergy it is ok to not use them. Simply omit thermal together. The sauce will be thinner, but will still be delicious.

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