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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 6 cups

Myrna is Forks Over Knives founder and president Brian Wendel’s mom. Her crowd-pleasing marinara sauce requires minimal prep: You just throw all the ingredients into a pot, bring it all to a simmer, and, half an hour later, your thick, rich tomato sauce is ready. Use this oil-free marinara sauce in Spaghetti Marinara with Lentil “Meatballs,” in Polenta Lasagna with Kale and Lentils, on pizza, or with your favorite whole grain pasta.

From Forks Over Knives: Flavor!

myrna's homemade marinara sauce


  • 2¼ lb. ripe red tomatoes, seeded and chopped (5¼ cups)
  • 1½ 28-oz. cans no-salt-added or low-sodium crushed tomatoes
  • 12 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 6 pitted dates, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  1. In a large pot combine the first five ingredients (through pepper). Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree tomato mixture into a smooth sauce. (If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer tomato mixture to a blender in batches. Cover and blend into a smooth sauce.) Stir in salt and basil. Transfer to an airtight container. Chill up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

Comments (7)

(5 from 3 votes)
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Alka Agrawal1 week ago
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I am in india
Can I use fresh one type of tomatoes for crushed and diced both ?
If yes Can u advice the wt.quantity

Ella2 days ago
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Alka, I too was curious about using all fresh tomatoes, so I googled the conversion. It appears they are using equal quantities of fresh and canned tomatoes, so you could just double the amount of fresh tomatoes. The texture will be a little different – canned tomatoes do not break down as quickly and remain more chunky. You may wish to add half of the tomatoes later during cooking so they don’t disintegrate. Or, if you are in the practice of canning your own tomatoes at home, you could open up some jars of your own home-canned tomatoes.

Barre9 months ago
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Is it one and one half 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes? So 28 oz plus 14 oz of crushed tomatoes? Sounds like a great recipe. Please let me know about the canned tomatoes.

Liz Turner2 months ago
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Yes, 28 + 14 oz., which is 42 oz. total.
—FOK editors

douglas9 months ago
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1 1/2 = 28+14

Christine Swanson9 months ago
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I saw this recipe in your magazine. We love it! I use it wherever marinara sauce is used.

Ellen3 weeks ago
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Can you use canned tomatoes for the 2-1/4 lbs of fresh tomatoes? How much, do you think? Drained?

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about the author

Darshana Thacker

Darshana Thacker is chef and culinary project manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit for more.

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