Marinara Dipping Sauce

This Marinara Dipping sauce is so incredibly simple to make. Use it for dipping breadsticks, calamari, fried cheese or even just plonk it on top of some garlic bread! – Hungry now?  Jump to Recipe

A homemade marinara dipping sauce recipe is always a good thing to have up your sleeve, in a very none-literal sense. It’s just perfect for every darn occasion! But in this instance, no better occasion than breadsticks…

Marinara Dipping Sauce with breadsticks and olive oil

And that’s really how this recipe came about!

I stumbled past some breadsticks that happened to be on offer at the store. Was I throwing a dinner party? No. Dip I need the breadsticks? Nope. Realistically, did I even want the damn breadsticks!? I mean no, not really. But you know, an offer’s an offer.

Anywho, you can’t have breadsticks without dip. It’s just the rule. And really you can’t have another other dip with breadsticks other than a marinara dip. Again, just the rule.

But I couldn’t find anything! Firstly, none in the store. Then no recipe that really tickled my fancy online.

So, off to the kitchen I went.

Dang, let me tell you, homemade marinara dipping sauce > life itself.

Marinara Dipping Sauce with breadsticks dipping in

And like I said, this marinara dip is incredibly simple to make.

How to make a Marinara Dipping Sauce

  1. Fry up some onion and garlic in a pan until soft.
  2. Chuck in a can of chopped tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinegar and some dried basil/oregano.
  3. Keep on a simmer until thickened. Serve hot or cold, chunky or smooth!

And it’s literally as easy as that. I also chuck in a pinch of chilli flakes and a sprinkle of sugar, but that’s completely to preference. Now, most importantly, how to use your homemade marinara sauce.

Fried cheese ball anyone?

Marinara Dipping sauce with Fried Cheese Balls dipping in

Sure this dip is perfect for dipping cheesy objects in to, just like the crispy halloumi fries you’re about to see in a just a sec, but it’s also great at not being a dip too. Does that even make sense? Meh, lemme explain.

I also use this marinara dip as a sauce. It was only the other day I had half a tub stored in the fridge and turned it into a pasta sauce. Works perfectly for pizzas bases too!

However for now, cheese dunking it shall remain. Oh hey there Halloumi Fries!

Marinara Dipping Sauce with crispy halloumi fries dipping in

A marinara dipping sauce is way too easy and delicious not to make when you need something to dunk in! From breadsticks and cheese to pizzas and pasta, get ready for this recipe to be your go-to dip for just about everything!

Marinara Dipping Sauce (Full Recipe & Video)

5 from 4 votes
Marinara Dipping Sauce with breadsticks and olive oil
Marinara Dipping Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

This Marinara Dipping sauce is so incredibly simple to make. Use it for dipping breadsticks, calamari, fried cheese or even just plonk it on top of some garlic bread!

Course: Appetizer, Dip, Starter
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Marinara Dipping Sauce
Servings: 6
Calories: 47 kcal
Author: Chris
  • 1 can (14oz/400g) Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/4 Onion, finely diced
  • 1 cloves Garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil, for frying
  • Chilli Flakes (optional)
  • Pinch of Sugar (optional)
  1. Heat up a little oil in a suitably sized pot or pan, and fry your onions over medium heat until they just begin to brown. Add your garlic and fry for couple more minutes until it begins to brown.

  2. Pour in your tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer.

  3. Add in your basil, oregano, seasoning (& chilli flakes/sugar) and stir to combine.

  4. Simmer for a good 10-15 mins until the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally.

Watch how to make it!

Recipe Notes

a) Thickening - It's really important to make sure the sauce fully thickens before serving. I know it's tempting to serve as soon as it's hot, but to avoid serving a pot of watery dip, ensure you give it time to simmer. That will also give time for the flavours to develop.


b) Chunky or Smooth - Personally I love this dip chunky, but blitz it after it's cooked with a hand blender it you want it smooth!


c) Hot or cold - Delicious hot or cold! Store in the fridge in an air tight container for up to a couple of days.


d) Calories - based on a division of 6, using 1 tsp olive oil and no sugar.

Nutrition Facts
Marinara Dipping Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 47 Calories from Fat 23
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.5g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.3g 2%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7g
Sodium 132mg 6%
Potassium 223mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 6.2g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1.5g 6%
Sugars 3.8g
Protein 1.3g 3%
Vitamin A 7%
Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 3%
Iron 5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

For another delicious dip idea, check out my Homemade Fresh Salsa!

Homemade Fresh Salsa with tortilla chips

If you loved this Homemade Marinara Dip recipe then be sure to pin it for later! Already made it or got a question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    May 3, 2018 at 12:39 am

    I love how this is so simple to make and so versatile! It looks very tasty!

    • Reply
      May 3, 2018 at 10:57 pm

      Super versatile! Thanks Hope 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica Levinson
    May 3, 2018 at 2:53 am

    Love how easy it is to make this marinara! Perfect for dipping, on pasta, or pizza! So versatile!

    • Reply
      May 3, 2018 at 10:57 pm

      Yep, sure is easy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Bryan
    May 3, 2018 at 3:08 am

    Love this! And homemade marinara sauce always has so much more flavor than anything store bought.

    • Reply
      May 3, 2018 at 10:58 pm

      I so agree with you, Lisa!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Haley D Williams
    May 3, 2018 at 3:39 am

    Marinara sauce can be hard to master but you appear to have done it! The marinara sauce is so important when it comes to a dipping sauce! Cannot wait to try it!

    • Reply
      May 3, 2018 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks, Hayley! Enjoy 🙂

  • Reply
    May 3, 2018 at 4:00 am

    On board with all of it – pinch of sugar is a must 🙂 Now I’m waiting for those crispy halloumi fries – way to throw in a teaser!

    • Reply
      May 3, 2018 at 10:58 pm

      Haha, recipe coming reaaaaal soon!!!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.