What to do with a can of tomatoes? If you over stocked on this pantry basic during the Covid-19 lockdown then this recipe is for you.

The best thing you can do with a can of tomatoes is nutrient nuke it and turn it into the ultimate marinara sauce that can altered in so many ways to create healthier versions of a tomato condiment, pasta, pizza or vegetable bake sauce.

This marinara sauce recipe is a freezer essential. Whilst using fresh tomatoes would give you a gold star rating for ultimate nutrition, sometimes we just have to get real and to use the odd can of tomatoes with some added nutrient power is better than buying ready made sauces from the store.

If you are moving towards a wholefoods diet and cutting out on store brought ready made food and takeaways, or looking to reduce the sugar in your diet, then one area often overlooked to make from scratch is the sauces, condiments and dips.

It’s so easy to buy a jar of spaghetti or pizza sauce, bottled dressing for salads and tomato sauce, but these are often laden with sugar, preservatives and additives.

I understand the thought of making a condiment is unappealing for the time poor, I too feel this way, but honestly it’s more of the “thought” of homemade that causes the procrastination, because it actually takes seconds and when you taste the difference of adding in some homemade sauce or dressing, it can make an otherwise bland meal into a chef showcase! 

Batch cook in advance

There are smart ways to get the basics sorted, like this one pot wonder to freeze in portions of ½ cup, full cup sizes and defrost when ready to use.

Once this pot of tomato goodness is made and portions sizes are frozen, then you have a range of condiments ready in 2 seconds to whip up, such as tomato sauce, pizza sauce and a replacement for tomato sauce in other recipes; such as vegetable Parmesan, quick vegetable bake, sweet and sour sauce, beef patties etc.

See my other blogs for more tomato based recipes using Coach T Marinara Sauce or if you are really short of time, just use a can of tomatoes.


Tomato Ketchup

Gourmet Spaghetti Sauce

Quick Ratatouille


Gourmet Spaghetti Sauce and Quick Ratatouille are very versatile recipes, so get creative by adding different spices to alter the cuisine. Ratatouille is Mediterranean but add in turmeric, curry and chilli to become an Indian curry.

Using your previous home-made Coach T Marinara Sauce gives these quick tomato based dishes a greater depth of flavour than just using a can of tomatoes and why these dishes are quick to make but have the flavour of a longer braised meal that your guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen making!

Got lot’s of leftover cooked vegetables?

Then throw them all in with some marinara sauce and heat.

Sprinkle some grated cheese on top and within minutes you have a meal.

Coach T Marinara Sauce Recipe


1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 x large onion, finely chopped

4 x garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 x celery stalks, finely chopped

2 x carrots, peeled and finely chopped or grated

½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 x tablespoon Savoury Yeast Flakes

3 x cans chopped tomatoes (and extra water from rinse of the cans)

2 dried bay leaves

1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs

2 shakes dried chilli flakes (optional)

½ – 1 cup of water



  1. In a large stock pot, heat oil on medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic and salt. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 mins.
  3. Add a touch of water to avoid ingredients sticking to the pan.
  4. Add the celery, carrots, salt and pepper and savoury yeast flakes. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the cans of tomatoes, bay leaves, herbs and (optional chilli flakes), cover pot with lid and simmer over low heat for about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Swish the cans with a little water to ensure no waste and pour into the sauce while cooking.
  7. Stir often to avoid sticking and add more water if you wish to thin the mixture.
  8. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper as desired.
  9. Once cool blend in a blender or food processor. Fill freezer safe containers of various portions sizes, 1/3, ½ and full cup and use as needed.