Spicy Marinara Dipping Sauce

by Steph Sunshine at StephSunshine.com

Yield6 servings

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time20 minutes

Total Time30 minutes


  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced (2 cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. salt


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add chopped onion. Cook until the onion is just beginning to turn golden, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the pan and mix well. Cook for 30 seconds, then add crushed tomatoes, maple syrup, and salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and serve with mozzarella sticks, breadsticks, or anything else you'd like!

Notes & Hints

Leave out the red pepper flakes for a heat-free version. Or, add more pepper to increase the heat.

Use a high-quality brand of crushed tomatoes for the best flavor. (I like San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy.)