Sugar-Free, Homemade Marinara Sauce & Ketchup

Sugar-Free, Homemade Marinara Sauce & Ketchup

Sugar-Free, Homemade Marinara Sauce & Ketchup

When ditching sugar, it is beyond frustrating trying to find sauces and condiments in the grocery store that are void of sweeteners. Two of the most difficult ones to find just happen to be tomato-based: marinara sauce and ketchup. A hamburger sans ketchup and lasagna without marinara sauce can add insult to injury when you are already making a big dietary change like avoiding sugar. But the good news is both of these can easily be created at home without sweeteners. To support our 28-Day Sugar Savvy Challenge, Kimberly and I held a cooking class demonstrating how both recipes can be made with minimal ingredients and in minimal time. Try them out on your own and let us know what you think!

Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce

Traditional Italian Marinara Sauce - InDependent Original

This recipe has been in my family for generations, and was the star of the show when my great-grandparents owned an Italian restaurant in New York City. Even back in the early 1900s, there was no sugar added to this recipe, and the sweetener only made its appearance in this recipe after the 1960s. Going back to the original recipe shows that sugar isn’t needed for a delicious and simple marinara sauce.


  • 1 broiled beef soup bone (**optional for vegetarians/vegans**)

  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 5 boxes or BPA-free cans of crushed or chopped tomatoes

  • 1 7-ounce tube of tomato paste

  • handful fresh parsley, chopped

  • handful fresh basil, chopped

  • 1 small/medium carrot

  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)


  1. Broil beef soup bone in oven for 5-10 minutes on a baking sheet.

  2. Heat olive oil over medium-low to medium heat. Place bone and garlic in stock pot. Baste bone with oil and garlic. Remove garlic and bone once garlic begins browning and becoming fragrant.

  3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and herbs to pot. Stir to combine.

  4. Using a microplane grater or the fine edge of a cheese grater, grate your carrot into the sauce. Taste as you go, adjusting along the way to suite your taste. The sauce gets its sweetness from the carrot.

  5. Add red wine if desired. Simmer on low for 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

  6. Will last up to a week in the refrigerator. If freezing, wait until cool, then place in zipper freezer bags. Will last 6 months in freezer.

marinara embed1

marinara embed1

Homemade Ketchup - via Holistically Engineered

What are your favorite sugar-free recipes?