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Marinara dipping sauce with mozzarella sticks in a red basket.

Marinara Dipping Sauce

This homemade Marinara Dipping Sauce pairs perfectly with all your favorite appetizers. It's fast and easy, made with just 5 pantry ingredients and ready in minutes! Perfect for mozzarella sticks, pizza bites, zucchini fries, crispy artichokes, breadsticks, and more!
Course Main Course, Pantry
Cuisine American, Italian
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings (1/4 cup each)
Calories 30kcal



  • Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic cloves and sauté until browned, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove garlic and discard.
  • Stir in basil and oregano until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium, stir in tomato sauce and salt to taste (I like 1/4 teaspoon), and simmer until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Keep warm over low-heat until serving time, or cool completely and store covered in the refrigerator.



  1. Garlic: For the smoothest sauce, try this low FODMAP trick which infuses olive oil with garlic flavor: Heat peeled, smashed cloves of garlic in olive oil until browned, then remove from the pan and discard. Be careful not to scorch the garlic.
  2. Spices: Blooming spices in olive oil (or any fat) releases fat-soluble flavor compounds and allows for the best distribution of flavor (through the fat). For the best possible flavor, cook the spices in olive oil for about 30 seconds before adding the tomato sauce.
  3. Yield: This Marinara Dipping Sauce recipe makes about 2 cups of sauce, enough for 8 servings, 1/4 cup each.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5. Make ahead: The sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator.
  6. Freezer: Package the sauce into freezer-safe containers (I like Mason jars; leave 1/2-inch headspace). Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 30kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 233IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg