Marinara Pasta with Grilled Vegetables Recipe

Who says no to a warm plate of marinara pasta? This easy red sauce pasta recipe features penne noodles tossed in a homemade marinara sauce. It’s topped with broiled peppers and zucchini for an added fresh and smoky flavor. With just a handful of basic ingredients that you probably already have at home, you can make this hearty and authentic-tasting pasta marinara. Pair it with garlic bread and raspberry iced tea and your meal is complete.

Tips on Making Marinara Pasta

Compared to the puree-like sauce of pasta pomodoro, marinara is more liquid and chunkier. It’s the slow cooking of tomatoes combined with aromatics that makes this marinara pasta rich. Aside from that, we’ve come up with the best tips on how to make marinara sauce from scratch so you can perfect it at home every time.

  • We’re making penne pasta using San Marzano tomatoes. Their balanced sweetness and acidity is the secret to making the best marinara sauce. But you can also use crushed tomatoes, whole canned tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, or whatever variety of fresh tomatoes is available.
  • Aside from penne pasta, you can use any strand pasta like spaghetti or vermicelli. As different types of pasta go well with different sauces, go well with thin sauces like marinara sauce. 
  • Add other delicious ingredients to this simple pasta recipe. For instance, add heavy cream to make a creamy sauce. You can also switch the toppings to meatballs, mushrooms, or seafood. But if you want it vegan, top it with cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, and drizzles of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  • Freeze the pasta sauce for later. You can make a big batch, portion it by cups into Ziplocs, freeze it, and thaw it whenever. Use it as a pizza sauce or a dip for tortilla chips or popovers
Marinara Pasta with Grilled Vegetables Recipe

How To Make Marinara Pasta with Grilled Vegetables

Toss your pasta in a herby, rich, and aromatic sauce and top it with some smoky broiled veggies. This marinara pasta is simple, yet stunningly delicious.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 55 mins


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 lb San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar, or sugar substitute
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 red peppers, sliced into chunks
  • 1 yellow summer squash, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced into ¼-inch wide portions
  • 8 oz dry penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions


  1. Brush the red peppers, zucchini, squash, and sweet onion with oil. Set aside.

  2. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet.

  3. Saute the garlic and onions for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and saute for another 2 minutes.

  4. Add in the tomatoes, wine, salt, basil, sugar, oregano, and black pepper. Slowly cook the ingredients uncovered for 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

  5. Place the vegetables under a broiler and cook, turning frequently until they become brown and tender.

  6. Cover the fusilli with equal amounts of sauce. Then, top it with equal amounts of vegetables. Serve immediately and enjoy!


  • Sugar: 20g
  • :
  • Calcium: 75mg
  • Calories: 444kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 69g
  • Fat: 12g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Iron: 3mg
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Potassium: 1149mg
  • Protein: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 671mg
  • Vitamin A: 4004IU
  • Vitamin C: 122mg
Nutrition Disclaimer

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make marinara pasta better?

The marinara flavor in pasta shines best when it’s simply sauteed with wine and a few herbs and spices just like what we did in this recipe. On another note, it is also a great canvas to build other flavors into. Give it a deeper taste by tossing in garlic puree and more chopped garlic as you saute. Cheese in pasta will always be a good idea, as well as a dash of chilli flakes for extra heat. You can also add veggie chicken patties as an upgraded version of chicken marinara pasta.

Do you add sauce to pasta or pasta to sauce?

It’s better to add pasta to the hot sauce, give it a toss, and let it simmer for about a minute. Doing so will give you a more evenly coated pasta. The heat will also help the pasta absorb the flavor of the sauce more as compared to adding the sauce to an already cooled down pasta on a plate. Try it and taste the difference once you make this pasta recipe.

Pasta Recipes


It’s always the classics, such as this marinara pasta, that we always like to go back to. Bookmark this easy recipe so you can make this flavorful homemade pasta sauce from scratch any day you like.
Chat Bubble Icon Share your own special recipe
Submit Your Own Recipe

Have your own special recipe to share? Submit Your Recipe Today!