Embracing a vegan diet is like embarking on a journey of discovery. It’s label time every time you go to the supermarket. You’re always checking ingredient labels to see if there’s any trace of animal-derived ingredients.
Marinara sauce is an all-time top choice, and also many vegans wonder if they must give up this original when first transitioning to an animal-free diet.
Let’s find out to see if the marinara sauce is vegan or not along with a vegan marinara sauce recipe and alternatives.
What is Marinara Sauce?
Marinara sauce is a type of tomato sauce that is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and onions. Its many variations may include the addition of capers, olives, spices, and a dash of wine as possible ingredients.
This sauce is popular in Italian-American cuisine that has strayed from its European origins. Alla marinara is an Italian sauce made with tomatoes, basil, and oregano, but also occasionally olives, capers, and salted anchovies; it is served with pasta and spaghetti, as well as with meat or fish.
Is Marinara Sauce Vegan?
Yes, the traditional marinara sauce recipe is indeed vegan. It’s just tomatoes, plant oils, garlic, onions, and a few spices in its most basic form. However, there are variations, as with most food products, and many are not vegan-friendly. Before purchasing a particular sauce, always examine the label.
Other ingredients, such as preservatives, can also be used. However, these are usually vegan. Citric acid, for example, is a natural organic acid found in fruits and vegetables. Hydrolyzed soy and yeast extract are two other vegan-friendly additives and ingredients found in marinara sauce.
Marinara Sauce Controversial Ingredients
It is never possible to claim that marinara sauce contains non-vegan ingredients. Even within the vegan community, what is classified as a controversial ingredient can differ widely. As a result, a few of the ingredients listed below are completely non-vegan, while some are conditionally vegan, or vegan with disclaimers.
1. Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum is a type of food additive. It gets its name from the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris.
It’s being used as a thickening agent and to keep packaged foods secured. It keeps the ingredients in soups, soups, and broths pleasant and dispersed by preventing separation.
While it is commonly manufactured from simple sugars such as sucrose and glucose, it can also be developed on lactose, another type of sugar found in milk. Not all vegans avoid xanthan gum, owing to the fact that it is often impossible to tell which convenient sugar has been used.
Vegan ingredients such as monosodium glutamate are sometimes used to mimic the flavor of meat (MSG). These compounds have the umami flavor of meat and are often not obtained from it.
Umami is basically glutamate, an amino acid reputed for boosting flavor in a way that tastes similar to beef stock. Even so, many marinara sauces actually contain meat flavors, so those that do are clearly off-limits to vegans.
Cheese is an ingredient in many marinara sauces. Great Value, for eg, released an Organic Parmesan Romano Pasta Sauce that includes pasteurized milk cheese styles. Vegans do not consume milk products. So, if your marinara sauce contains parmesan cheese, it is definitely not vegan.
4. Prego Spicy Sausage Meat Sauce
Prego Spicy Sausage Meat Sauce is another meat-based option. Tomato puree, diced tomatoes, tomato juice, Italian sausage, salt, seasonings, dehydrated garlic, water, onions, sugar, canola oil, and citric acid are all ingredients of this product.
It not only has a meat flavor, but it also contains Italian sausage. When this ingredient is added to the sauce, it becomes non-vegan by nature.
5. Hunt’s Meat Pasta Sauce
Lastly, Hunts has had a meat variant of their traditional sauce for a long time.
Tomato puree, water, meat, HFCS, salt, standard corn syrup, soybean oil, carrot fiber, sugar, dried onion, hydrolyzed soy, corn and wheat compounds, seasonings, citric acid, natural flavors, yeast extract, garlic juice, and animal fat are all contained in this item.
As you can see from the ingredients list, it contains meat, sugar, and beef fat, so it is obviously not suitable for vegans.
Vegan Marinara Sauce Brands
Yo Mama’s Spicy Marinara is a vegan marinara sauce brand with a spicy twist on Mama’s classic recipe! Yo Mama’s marinara is made with California-grown tomatoes, garlic, onions, and olive oil.
Unlike most brands, which load their ingredients with refined sugar and sodium, the recipe contains no added sugars, is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and Paleo and Keto certified. Use this delectable sauce on your favorite pasta, cooked vegetables, lasagna, or to top your homemade pizza.
Carbone Marinara Sauce is created by Michelin-starred chefs Mario Carbone as well as Rich Torrisi of New York’s Carbone Restaurant, as well as Carbone Restaurants in Hong Kong and Las Vegas. Italian-grown tomatoes picked at their ripest, organic whole onions, garlic, and basil are among the ingredients.
There are no sugars, fillers, or additives in this recipe; only fresh, all-natural vegetables, herbs, and spices. Unlike other sugar-filled jarred and canned spaghetti sauces, the former has no added sugar and only 5 g of carbohydrates per serving, making it a diet-friendly sauce for topping pasta, pizza, meats, casseroles, and more.
Everyday Value 365 Organic Marinara Pasta Sauce has a great nutritive value, little to no processing, and is expected to have a lower environmental impact as well as a low water footprint. It’s among the best vegan marinara sauces.
Organic Diced Tomato; Organic Tomato Puree; Organic Garlic Puree (Organic Garlic, Water); Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Organic Onions; Salt; Organic Garlic; Organic Basil; Organic Oregano; Organic Black Pepper are the ingredients in the marinara sauce. There are no added sugars, fillers, or additives, just fresh, all-natural vegetables, herbs, and spices. A great option for vegans.
Hoboken Farms’ marinara sauce is made in the United States. Even the tomatoes are grown and harvested in the United States and produce the best plant-based marinara sauce.
Surprisingly, the ingredient label indicates that it is either pure or fresh. The gourmet sauce is a low-carb delight that goes great with pasta, lasagna, cooked vegetables, or homemade pizza. There are no fillers, preservatives, or flavorings that are artificial. The marinara sauce has nothing that could endanger your health or the lives of animals.
The Vine’s Vegan Marinara is made in small batches using Eve’s signature recipe and is sweetened with extra onions and carrots. It is 100% plant-based and Certified Vegan, and can be used as a sauce for your favorite pasta dishes or as a topping for zoodles and roasted vegetables.
All of the ingredients are organic, and the lower sodium content is something to always look for in products. The taste was not affected by reducing the amount of salt.
Vegan Marinara Sauce Recipe
If you like tomato sauce, you’ll love this healthy marinara sauce! It will truly transform your dishes, and you can experiment with a variety of recipes.
Marinara sauce vegan recipe can be made in less than 30 minutes with only 9 ingredients. It only takes one pot and is incredibly simple to prepare: garlic, fresh basil, oregano, red pepper flake, and sea salt.
Coconut sugar naturally sweetens things and may appear to be an unusual addition. However, tomatoes can be bitter and unpleasant at times, but because this marinara sauce is rather salty, the sweetness balances and boosts the sauce’s flavors.
Homemade Vegan Marinara Sauce Recipe
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (check vegan status)
- ½ onion (chopped)
- 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 800 grams crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- Warm-up a large pot on medium-low heat. When the oil (or water) is hot, add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally until the mixture is just golden brown. After that add the tomatoes, oregano, coconut sugar, salt, and pepper flake to taste.
- Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce to low heat and continue to cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring every now and again. Then stir in the basil. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as required, adding more salt for saltiness, oregano or basil for the wholesomeness of freshness and herb flavor, pepper flake for spiciness, or coconut sugar for sweetness. You can also add nutritional yeast and/or tomato paste at this point to add depth of flavor and richness (optional, but I usually add both).
- Thin with a little water if the sauce has thickened too much at this point. But if you prefer thicker leave it on the thicker/chunkier side.
- Serve with your personal favorite Italian dishes, such as Eggplant Roll-Ups, Eggplant Lasagna, Chickpea Bolognese, Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, or Veggie Meatballs. Alternatively, serve over your favorite cooked pasta or spaghetti squash.
- Cooked leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to a month.
- Using fresh tomatoes is also acceptable, but you’ll need to add a little more water.
- Try experimenting with different vegetables, dried or fresh herbs, and seasonings.
- You could use garlic and onion powder instead if you want to save time, but I’ll fresh garlic and onion work much better for this sauce.
- Tomato paste and nutritional yeast come to the attention (for a little “umami” effect and more flavor depth)
- Is Eel Sauce Vegan?
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- Is Soy Sauce Vegan?
The majority of marinara sauces are vegan. Even if you buy it at a grocery store or eat it at a restaurant, the majority of it will be free of animal compounds.
Even so, you should not buy or eat whatever is in front of you without thinking. Always read the ingredient list and make inquiries with wait staff about the sauce’s ingredients.
Also, there are hundreds of recipes of vegan marinara sauce that you can easily make at home. And if you are too lazy for that, you can simply grab one from the above list.