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Twenty Minute Keto Marinara Sauce

The rich and vibrant tomato flavour of this twenty minute keto marinara sauce is perfect for low carb pastas, pizzas, keto chicken parmesan, or lasagna.   

20 Minute Keto Marinara on a spoon over a pot

A favourite low carb recipe to whip up when I need to get dinner on the table fast. Or to make ahead of time and use throughout the week as needed. 

A homemade low carb tomato marinara with just 4g of net carbs per 1/2 cup.




Versatile, quick, and easy to prepare, this stove top keto marinara sauce recipe uses common ingredients and can be ready in just 20 minutes!

Perfect for a last minute sauce for zoodles, spaghetti squash, keto pizzas, low carb lasagna, or for topping a batch of park rind crusted chicken parmesan. 

Keto Marinara sauce in a dish topped with parsley, marble background

A Quick and Simple Marinara Tomato Sauce

Now this isn’t your Nonna’s authentic sauce recipe or anything like that, it is intended as a convenient and straightforward low sugar alternative to a pricey, store bought jars of pasta sauce.   

More of a weekday low carb tomato sauce you can prepare after work when you need to get some dinner on the table, top a pizza, add something to zucchini lasagna, coat some zoodles, or to make in advance for use throughout the week like you would any jar of tomato sauce.

Why You'll Love this Quick Low Carb Sauce

When the decision to start keto is made, it is often done at the cost of convenience.

It is accepting that most of what you eat will need to be prepared by yourself since there aren’t always low carb options easily available. 

A quick and simple recipe like this keto marinara, is the next most convenient option to grabbing a jar of sauce from the grocery store shelf (and cheaper!) especially if you make it ahead of time and have it in the fridge ready to go. 

Though this sauce is quick, it is no slough in the flavour department. I think you’ll be impressed at just how much flavour you can achieve in so little time, with such simple ingredients.

Is Tomato Marinara Sauce Low Carb?

Many affordable store-bought pasta sauces are full of unnecessary sugars and additives which can easily stack up to 10g of net carbs in a half cup serving. 

Forget whatever pasta you are using, that’s a huge amount of unnecessary starches and sugar that you don’t need to be consuming in order to enjoy a flavourful and convenient tomato sauce.

Quick Keto Tomato Sauce in a bowl on brown paper

A Keto Friendly Marinara Sauce

This quick and easy keto marinara, uses completely ordinary ingredients, and has only 4g of net carb per half a cup. Which by the way, is plenty for most servings. That is enough sauce to top an entire low carb pizza crust.  

Less than half the amount of carbs of a store-bought sauce has and you don’t have to sacrifice convenience, affordability, or flavour.

Canned Tomatoes, and Simple Pantry Ingredients

A quick keto tomato sauce is only convenient if it uses common pantry staples already on hand. A well stocked pantry means you may not even need to make a trip to the store to make this marinara. 

Ingredients for Low Carb Marinara

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Canned crushed tomatoes (low sugar/no sugar added)
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dried basil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley (optional garnish)
Simple Tomato Sauce in a dish

Which Canned Tomatoes for Keto Marinara Sauce?

To find a canned tomato suitable for keto marinara sauce, spend some time in the canned goods aisle at your grocer and figure out which one works for you.

Although crushed tomatoes have more net carbs per serving than whole, stewed, or diced, they also provide the strongest tomato flavour, important for a quick simmering sauce. 

If you choose to use diced, whole, stewed, halved, or other non-crushed tomatoes, break them down in a food processor or an immersion blender first, and reduce the amount of water added to this recipe to avoid a bland sauce.

How To Make Quick Keto Marinara Sauce

20 Minute Keto Marinara Sauce

Keto Marinara on a spoon over a pot
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Calories 125 kcal
Net Carbs 4 g
Rate this Recipe
A quick stove top keto friendly tomato marinara sauce for use in low carb pasta dishes, dips, pizza sauce, and toppings for recipes like low carb chicken parmesan, and steak marinara. A simple low carb alternative to expensive store-bought sauces.

IMPORTANT – There are often Frequently Asked Questions within the blog post that you may find helpful. Simply scroll back up to read them!



  • Knife and Cutting Board
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Large saucepan/pot


  • cup butter
  • cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 28 oz canned tomatoes crushed
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper


  • In a sauce pan heat butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted, add in the finely chopped garlic and cook the garlic in the sizzling butter and oil for around 1 - 1½ minutes until is just starts to brown.
  • Add in a full can of crushed tomatoes, and use the water to clean out the can and pour that into the sauce. Adding Italian seasoning, dried basil, chili flakes, and red wine vinegar. Reduce heat to a steady simmer and allow the vinegar to cook off for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in heavy cream, and season liberally with salt and pepper, stir to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer, and cover the pot with a lid, leaving it to simmer for 10-12 minutes. It may appear oily before simmering but everything should combine well once simmered.
  • Season to taste and serve as a sauce for low carb pasta, pizza sauce, dipping sauce, or any place you would use a tomato or marinara sauce.


Canned Tomatoes: Check the labels at your grocer as some canned crushed tomatoes contain fewer net carbs per serving. 
Stewed, whole, or chopped canned tomatoes can be used but should be blended smooth with a food processor, blender, or immersion blender before hand. Keep in mind that the tomato flavour is less intense in other types of tomatoes so less water may be required and a lower yield may be expected. 
This sauce can of course be simmered longer, however it is a perfectly delicious 20 minute low carb sauce recipe or use in place of expensive store bought options.  
A 20 minute #keto marinara sauce recipe! Just 4g net carbs per 1/2 cup! Share on X


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 5.3gProtein: 0.5gFat: 11.6gSaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 140mgPotassium: 100mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 3.1gSugar Alcohols: 0.01gNet Carbs: 4g

Nutritional information is calculated using the recipe calculator and verified database available from Cronometer. Although every reasonable effort is made to provide accurate information this estimate is provided as courteously and convenience only. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe.

Try the free recipe calculator at Cronometer
Did you give this a try?Mention @yummyforadam or use #yummyforadam on instagram!
Looking for a different low carb recipe?Something you don't see here or looking for a low carb version of your favourite recipe? Let me know so I can get working on it! Contact me directly or leave a comment!
Keywords: 20 minutes, dippables, marinara, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, quick, tomato sauce

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Low Carb Tomato Sauce garnished with parsley ni a black pot

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Make Ahead, Leftovers, and Storage

This recipe yields about 6 cups (2 very large mason jars worth) of tomato sauce. Generally a serving is no larger than 1/2 a cup. This recipe is a great choice as a make ahead sauce that can be stored in the fridge for use when you need it. 

When properly stored, and sealed in mason jars for instance, this sauce can last in the fridge for two weeks. 

Use good canning lids with rubber gaskets on them for a proper seal which will keep your sauce fresher longer. 

Alternatively this sauce can be frozen in portions or as a whole and thawed when needed. 

Keto tomato mariniara in a white dish on a brown paper background


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