Marinara with Red Wine
Nina Herndon
May 17, 2022
August 16, 2023

‍This recipe is perfect for days when you want to make something at home without spending too much time standing over the stove. This is also a great recipe that you can put together in the morning or mid-day and let simmer in an Instant Pot or slow cooker.

If you haven't been saving your leftover red wine for cooking, it's time you start now – this is an excellent recipe for putting it to good use. Reducing the wine in a separate pan is a small step that really brings out the flavors of this easy marinara sauce. But, if you're in a hurry, you can skip that step and simply add the wine to your onion and garlic mixture and reduce there.

We're serving this homemade marinara with pasta, lemon-basil chicken, sautéed mushrooms and zucchini, parmesan cheese, and toasted rustic bread from KC's Kitchen on Saturday evenings through the end of Spring.


  • 2 TBSP olive oil 
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz) of crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh oregano 
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup (20 g) roughly chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving

How to Prepare

  • In a soup pot over medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil. You will want it to cook until translucent. 
  • While waiting on the onion to cook, add red wine to a small saucepan over medium heat and gently simmer until reduced to half. Remove wine from heat and set aside.
  • To your onions, add garlic and continue cooking for three minutes. 
  • Follow with tomatoes, reduced wine, water, tomato paste, basil, seasonings, and salt.
  • Let simmer for 1 hour on low heat (or the "Slow Cook>Normal" function on your Instant Pot). 
  • Stir in fresh basil and serve.

Tip to Reduce Food Waste

If you don't end up eating all of your marinara sauce, try using it on a homemade pizza. You can also freeze the leftover and add it to your next batch, but just make sure you eat all of it. I don't recommend freezing your second batch that has used repurposed marinara.

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Nina Herndon

Nina believes women have an incredible ability to help one another, and is driven to cultivate safe spaces for them to do so. Over the years she has helped her mom to grow Retreat in the Pines to reach as many women as possible.

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