This Vegan Mushroom Marinara Sauce is packed with hearty mushrooms and savory flavor from garlic, red wine, and fresh herbs. Load up your stock pot and let it simmer to delicious perfection.
As a self-proclaimed pasta expert, I've tried more than my share of pasta sauces. In fact, making homemade pasta sauce is kind of my jam.
And as a vegetarian, I love sauces that incorporate lots of fresh veggies and herbs for maximum flavor.
Mushroom sauces are my favorite because I like the "meaty" texture that the mushrooms add to a pasta dish. But usually store-bought sauces either have a few token slices in each jar or tiny little diced mushrooms that you can't even taste. Sad!
So I decided to make my own mushroom marinara. Yes, it takes more time than opening up a jar, but this recipe makes a lot of sauce. So you can whip up a batch on the weekend, then freeze it in small portions to use throughout the week.
Not only is this tastier than buying pasta sauce, it's much cheaper too. Trust me, it's totally worth the effort.
Tips, Tricks, and Variations
Crimini mushrooms (also known as baby bella mushrooms) are ideal for this mushroom marinara sauce. They have the perfect texture and a nice, earthy flavor that works really well. But if you can't get your hands on any, regular white mushrooms will work as well.
This recipe calls for red wine. You don't need anything too fancy, but you should use a wine that you would be happy to drink. No two buck chuck please! I used a cabernet sauvignon - but merlot or pinot noir are also good choices.
Feel free to experiment with your own favorite combination of herbs and spices. You can use an Italian spice blend to make this even more simple, swap the dried herbs or fresh ones, or add some minced jalapeno for spice.
While you're here, be sure to grab our FREE 5-Day Meatless Meal Plan. It's packed with tasty recipes to make vegetarian cooking easy and delicious!
If you love this recipe, be sure to check out these other delicious ideas:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb cremini or white mushrooms sliced
- ½ cup red wine
- 56 oz crushed tomatoes canned variety with basil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- a pinch or two of red pepper flakes optional
- 1-2 tsp white sugar (organic for vegan-friendly) optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the garlic. Cook about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms; cook until their juices are released and then cooked off, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the wine and raise the heat to high. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid has almost evaporated.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and pepper flakes (if using). Reduce heat to low, and simmer for an hour, or until the sauce has thickened.
- If needed, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to cut the acidity, and season with salt and pepper to taste.