Homemade Carrabba’s Marinara Sauce

This is the real deal – Carrabba’s Marinara Sauce made at home. This Marinara Sauce is ideal for dipping all your favorite appetizers. It’s fast and easy, and ready in just 30 minutes!

A bowl of fresh marinara.


This sauce is no secret though, and after some digging, I secured this recipe directly from the Carrabba’s official blog – which is no longer available online.

Pretty cool of them to help out home cooks by providing us with some of their tastiest and most requested recipes. The recipe I most want to recreate at home, however, is their Fried Calamari. As their top-selling appetizer, that recipe remains closely guarded with no plans to release it to the public.

Unfortunately for me,  the price of their calamari has gone up significantly for roughly half as much calamari as the original portion, so it’s only on a very special occasion (read: craving) that we order that appetizer anymore.

I started with San Marzano tomatoes [paid link], fresh garlic, onions, and fresh basil. I then crushed the tomatoes for a chunky marinara sauce. For a smoother marinara, start with quality tomato puree or tomato sauce.

Ingredients for fresh marinara sauce.


This marinara is also especially good with Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Fried Ravioli, or any other place you’d typically use a marinara sauce.

Fresh marinara with Air Fryer Ravioli.

Save this Carrabba’s Marinara Sauce to your “Appetizers” Pinterest board!

And while we’re at it – let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty new recipes!

A collage of fresh marinara photos.
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This is the real deal - Carrabbas's Marinara Sauce made at home. This Marinara Sauce is ideal for dipping all your favorite appetizers. It’s fast and easy, and ready in just 30 minutes!

Copycat Carrabba’s Marinara Sauce

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
This is the real deal – Carrabbas’s Marinara Sauce. This Marinara Sauce is ideal for dipping all your favorite appetizers. It’s fast and easy, and ready in just minutes!
4.80 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 66 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small Yellow Onion , Finely chopped
  • 2 scallions or green onions (white & green part) chopped fine
  • 2 anchovy Fillets in oil , drained and finely chopped (Optional) [See Note 1]
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Red Wine
  • 1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1/4 cup basil , fresh (chopped or torn)
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed, Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper


  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan [paid link] over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions, anchovies (if using), garlic, and cook. Stir occasionally until garlic is fragrant for about 1 minute.
  • Add the wine. Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a bowl. Crush the tomatoes between your fingers, and pour the mixture into the saucepan [paid link]. Add the oregano, basil, hot pepper flakes, and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to med.-low. Simmer, stirring often, until the tomato juices have thickened and the sauce has reduced slightly, about 30 minutes.
  • The sauce can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Or freeze for up to 2 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.


  1. The anchovy paste [paid link] lends a salty background flavor note. If you omit the anchovy paste [paid link], you may need to increase the salt in the recipe.


Serving: 1serving (1/8th of recipe)Calories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 75mgPotassium: 200mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 221IUVitamin C: 7mgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 16µgCalcium: 33mgFolate: 13µgIron: 1mgZinc: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

24 thoughts on “Homemade Carrabba’s Marinara Sauce”

  1. I have a dish of Carrabbas sitting right next to me. Just made this sauce. It taste not anywhere near close to the restaurant sauce. It needs more salt bady. It’s ok but NOT Carrabbas.

    • Hi Joyce,
      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. I got the recipe straight from Johnny Carrabba when he used to have a recipe blog on the Carrabba’s website. Since the recipes are made fresh at each location, I imagine the chefs adjust the original recipes. Remember: any recipe is just a starting point and this one is no different. Go ahead and add more salt next time if that’s what you prefer. It’s what I would do. It doesn’t mean the recipe is bad, it just needed to be adjusted to meet your preferred salt level just as someone on a low sodium level has to adjust the salt level down to meet their health needs.

  2. Hello! Looking forward to making this- however, in the ingredients you list “2 anchovies” but in the notes, you mention anchovy paste. How much paste is equivalent to the 2 anchovies? Thanks!

  3. Thank you! I saw the original, but neglected to save it – so I’m very glad you have it. You note anchovy filets can be swapped with anchovy paste, but how much paste would be the equivalent of two anchovy filets? I don’t mind experimenting, but it never hurts to ask. Thanks, again.


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