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Sweet Marinara Sauce for Meatballs and Pasta

I love homemade meatballs. But what I really love is a delicious sauce to go on top. To me, the sauce can take a meatball from good to out-of-this-world amazing. When I make meatballs, they’re savory and a little spicy. So, my marinara sauce needs to be sweet. This sweet marinara sauce fits the bill for any savory meatball or pasta dish (like our Easy Cavatini) you’d want to use it for.

sweet marinara sauce pin 1

Sweet Marinara Sauce for Meatballs and Pasta

Donella Crigger
This sweet sauce is perfect for savory meatballs or a flavorful pasta dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 6 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. Splenda or sugar


  • Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, herbs and spices to a food processor or blender. Pulse until mostly smooth.
  • In a large skillet, saute onions in olive oil for two minutes. Add the tomato mixture and chicken broth to the skillet.
  • Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add Splenda or sugar, simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

You  can garnish the sauce with parsley, basil or an herb of your choice. I would have used fresh parsley, but I was all out. So, you got dried basil leaves. Pour this sauce over some tasty meatballs, or serve it up with some pasta. It’s thick and hearty enough to stand on it’s own, but you can also add some meat to the sauce if you don’t feel like going to the trouble of meatballs.

Tomorrow I’ll post our favorite meatball recipe (they’re low carb…and they’re delicious as a breakfast meatball or for dinner)!

Try these Sweet and Spicy Korean Meatballs if you like your meatballs with a little heat!

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Recipe Rating

Stephanie Pass

Friday 6th of February 2015

I've never really made my own marinara sauce. This one sounds and looks fantastic. I can't wait to try it out!

Andie Conn

Friday 6th of February 2015

I didn't even know you could make your own sauce... duh! This looks so good. Thank you for sharing. I definitely want to try it (:


Friday 6th of February 2015

Yummm!!! I'm actually making sweedish meatballs tonight! I'll have to make this sauce next time I make meatballs!! :)


Friday 6th of February 2015

This sauce sounds delicious! I am a vegetarian so I will be substituting veg broth, but I can't wait to try it!! Homemade is the best!



Friday 6th of February 2015

Fire roasted tomatoes? Yes, please! Your marinara sauce looks easy and delicious. I could imagine this simmering away in the slow cooker for a few hours. I bet it smells heavenly.