Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Quick Winter Marinara ~ #SundaySupper

Homemade marinara that comes together in less than 25 minutes. This post is sponsored by Gourmet Garden.

Quick Winter Marinara from

The holidays are right around the corner. There’s stockings to stuff, presents to wrap, last minute shopping to finish, and baking to complete.

Gourmet Garden is here to help make holiday cooking easier with there tubes of fresh herbs. The holidays are a time to relax and spend quality time with family and friends, not standing over the stove tending to steaming pots and a hot oven.

Every year, I make my homemade meatballs with marinara. I make up the meatballs a few days ahead. On Christmas morning, I dump the balls into the slow cooker and slather them with sauce and let them simmer until we’re ready to chow down.

To ensure that I get to spend more time enjoying my family and less time in the kitchen, I made a quick winter marinara sauce that takes less than 25 minutes. Since fresh herbs are hard to come by during the cold months, I grabbed a few bottles of fresh Gourmet Garden herbs to mix in.

Quick Winter Marinara from

Believe it or not, Squirrel introduced me to Garden Gourmet when he went grocery shopping for me and couldn’t locate fresh basil; instead, he brought home a tube of basil.

Me: What the heck is this?
Squirrel: Basil.
Me: What’s it doing in a tube?
Squirrel: It’s all they had.
Me: *rolls eyes

Basil in a tube…Psht!

Quick Winter Marinara from

That tube of basil surprised the heck out of me. It was just as fresh as the real deal. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Don’t tell Squirrel I said this, but I have him to thank. Seriously, it’ll go to his head if you tell him, so let’s just keep it our little secret.

Quick Winter Marinara from

This quick marinara may only take 25 minutes to whip up, but it tastes like it simmered all day.

I start by sautéing some onion, green pepper, and garlic. Add two cans of crushed tomatoes, a few squirts of Gourmet Garden herbs, sugar, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes. You can leave it chunky or blend until smooth with an immersion blender. Stir in some freshly grated parmesan cheese at the end. It’s that simple. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.

The tubes of Gourmet Garden herbs are used just like fresh herbs. When I replace dried herbs for my tube of Gourmet Garden herbs, I use a 2 to 1 ratio. For example, 1 teaspoon of dried herbs equals 2 teaspoons of fresh Gourmet Garden herbs from the tube.

Quick Winter Marinara from

A few years ago, I bottled up my marinara into cute little mason jars and gave them as gifts. My friends and family LOVED them. It’s a simple way to show someone you care. Besides, who doesn’t love the gift of food?

Just recently, I used the tube of basil to top my margherita pizza. For Thanksgiving, I used the tube of parsley, Italian herb blend, chunky garlic, and oregano to make an herb injection for my turkey. I added a squirt of cilantro to some homemade salsa and a squirt of parsley to finish off a pot of soup I made for dinner last week. You can find Gourmet Garden products in the refrigerated section of the produce isle in your local grocery store.

Quick Winter Marinara

A delicious homemade marinara sauce that comes together in under 25 minutes.

Yield: 6 cups

Total Time: 25 minutes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced green pepper
1 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons chopped basil (such as Gourmet Garden), or 1 teaspoon dry
1 teaspoon chopped parsley (such as Gourmet Garden), or 1 teaspoon dry
1 teaspoon fresh Italian herb seasoning (such as Gourmet Garden), or 1/2 teaspoon dry
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté green pepper, onion, and garlic, and red pepper flakes for 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, spices, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Leave the sauce chunky or blend with an immersion blender until smooth (alternatively, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth). Stir in the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, refrigerate for up to 7 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

All images and text ©.
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Check out the other #SundaySupper recipes:

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You can Pin these recipes from our Easy Holiday Entertaining Pinterest Board.

Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

This post is sponsored by Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices. All opinions are my own.

26 Responses to “Quick Winter Marinara ~ #SundaySupper”

  1. #
    Renee — December 8, 2013 at 7:08 am

    What lucky people to have received your marinara as a gift. I’m thinking about making a big batch and freezing it in smaller portions for even quicker meals during the week.


  2. #
    Family Foodie — December 8, 2013 at 9:20 am

    That Squirrel is a pretty smart guy… but I won’t tell him. We wouldn’t wait it going straight to his head… would we?


  3. #
    Marjory @ Dinner-Mom — December 8, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Love your marinara! I too was so pleasantly surprised about how easy and fresh the Garden Gourmet herbs were. I have been using them on everything from recipes to sandwiches!


  4. #
    Liz — December 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

    You’ve given me inspiration for one of our meals this week! So glad I have a stash of Gourmet Garden herbs in my fridge!


  5. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — December 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

    What a great idea! Your marinara looks just amazing and love the flavors you have going on in it!


  6. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — December 8, 2013 at 10:44 am

    YUM! Mama wants pasta for breakfast now :)


  7. #
    Heather // girlichef — December 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Oh, this sounds so good, Jennie. I can definitely see myself making a big batch and using it all week long for pasta, pizza, and dipping sauce. Love how quick it is!


  8. #
    Tara — December 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I really enjoy a fresh homemade marinara sauce like this, so much better than jarred any day. Yours looks fantastic!!


  9. #
    Constance Smith (@FoodieArmyWife) — December 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Mmmmmm….marinara is the BEST sauce in the world. Seriously!


  10. #
    Jen @ Juanita's Cocina — December 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I’m snowed in. I need these to dip things in.


  11. #
    Cindys Recipes and Writings — December 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Marinara is so handy to have around yours looks so tempting!


  12. #
    Soni — December 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    We love Marinara over here and I typically make a jar every now and then and use it in various dishes.Your recipe sounds delicious and I cannot wait to try it Jennie!!Pinned!


  13. #
    Alice // Hip Foodie Mom — December 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Omg, I love that your husband discovered Gourmet Garden!! This marinara looks perfect!! Love this!


  14. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — December 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Hahha Michael is the same way, can’t tell em anything or they get all cocky :P

    I so wanna try those herbs, they look amazing!

    and omgeeee I am adoring this marinara sauce, so warm and comforting mmmmmmm


  15. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — December 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I need more of these quick (but delicious!) recipes for this busy time of year! I’m going to have to add this to my menu for the week!


  16. #
    Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere — December 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Love how quick this marinara is. It sounds delicious!


  17. #
    Lane @ Supper for a Steal — December 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Homemade marinara is the best! Love this easy recipe.


  18. #
    Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) — December 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    What a great a great gift idea! Also, lovely photos!


  19. #
    Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons — December 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    This would be such a great gift for family and friends this time of year. And, I’ve somehow accumulated like 30 mason jars this year…so, I have a few to spare. I bet this sauce freezes really great, too!


  20. #
    Susan — December 12, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Jennie, I love your marinara! The color, the flavors, just everything about it is perfect and seriously I could eat this standing over the pot with a big wooden spoon.


    • Jennie replied December 12th, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Thank you so much, Susan. I’m so happy you liked it. I’m always sticking a spoon in the pot as I’m cooking it. I’m impatient.


  21. #
    Traci — January 1, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I’ve ALMOST gotten those tubes of herbs many times, but I think you just inspired me to do it next time I see them. Don’t know what I was waiting for. Also, the marinara looks delicious! Happy 2014! :]


    • Jennie replied January 3rd, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Traci, I’m a gourmet garden addict. They are so convenient. No washing, chopping, or storing. And, they last up to 3 months refrigerated and 6 months frozen. Love them!



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