This Easy Arrabiata Sauce recipe is made with simple pantry ingredients like diced tomatoes and red pepper flakes for a spicy kick! Great on pasta, meatballs, pizza and pretty much anything bread-y.
Today I’m sharing my homemade arrabiata sauce recipe!
Arrabiata sauce is essentially a tomato sauce made with garlic, olive oil, and most importantly, red pepper flakes. It’s traditionally used as a pasta sauce but I’ve also used it on homemade pizza, on meatballs and even in a red chile stew.
What makes this Arrabiata Sauce so great
- It’s made with a combination of real ingredients – no fillers needed!
- You can make it a day ahead of time and have it ready and waiting in your fridge!
- It’s spicy but overly hot – your tongue won’t be on fire after eating this sauce!
Though garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes are a wonderful combination, I added some fresh garden herbs and sautéed onions to give the sauce a bit more depth, especially since I used canned tomatoes and tomato paste.
The amount of red pepper flakes I used was perfect – spicy enough for my taste but not overwhelmingly hot.
What’s the difference between marinara sauce and arrabiata sauce?
While both sauces use tomatoes as a base, arrabiata sauce includes red chile peppers (in this case I’m using red pepper flakes) to make it spicy. Arrabiata is Italian for angry, meaning you’re making angry (or spicy) sauce!
How to make Spicy Arrabiata Sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a medium pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When it starts shimmering, add the onion and saute for 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook it for a short 30 seconds so it doesn’t burn.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, herbs, red pepper flakes, and salt. Simmer until reduced slightly, about 1 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender (or regular blender) to break up the chunks of diced tomatoes but without making the consistency overly smooth.
- Season the sauce with more salt to taste, if needed. Serve immediately or let it cool down completely before placing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Tips and Tricks
- If you have trouble telling when your oil is hot, simply pick the pan up and try coating the bottom with the oil. If it moves quickly and smoothly, it’s hot. If it moves slowly and in drips, it’s not hot yet.
- Chop your onion and garlic in a food processor to quickly mince them.
- If you can’t find fresh basil or parsley you can use dried herbs instead. Use a 1 1/2 teaspoons of each to replace the 1 tablespoon of fresh.
- This sauce is easily made vegan by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
- Try using fire roasted canned tomatoes to give another depth of flavor to this arrabiata sauce!
- All out of onions? Try using shallots instead! Shallots have less bite than onions and will lend a slight sweetness to the sauce. Use 2 large or 3 small shallots to replace the small onion.
- Toss it together with some Grilled Garlic Herb Shrimp
- Mix it with some Easy Shredded Chicken and cooked pasta
- Use it on pizza or as a dipping sauce for breadsticks or these Mexican Arancini Rice Balls
- Use it in any recipe that calls for tomato sauce
I hope you love this recipe – be sure to give it a review below! To get more easy Mexican recipes delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for my email newsletter. You can also follow Isabel Eats on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Heat olive oil in a medium pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, basil, parsley, red pepper flakes and salt. Simmer until reduced slightly, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Use an immersion blender (or regular blender) to blend the sauce to your desired consistency. I like my sauce fairly blended, but I know some others like it chunky.
- Taste and season with more salt, if needed. Serve immediately or let it cool down completely before placing it in an airtight container to store in the refrigerator.