Easy Arrabbiata Sauce

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With the colder months in full swing, it’s all about warm and cozy meals. Of course, when talking about warm and cozy meals, Pasta is at the top of the list. A good bowl of pasta is all about the sauce. And for me, arrabbiata sauce is that girl!

If you’re not familiar, Arrabbiata sauce or sugo all’arrabbiata in Italian, it is pretty much spicy marinara. It’s made with sweet San Marzano tomatoes, a shit ton of garlic, and red pepper flakes add the extra kick to take this sauce from basic to boujee.

In my opinion, it’s an upgrade from marinara. And the only real difference is the addition of crushed red pepper flakes. But damn, does it add so much depth of flavor. You can certainly adjust how much pepper flakes you add to the sauce depending on your spice tolerance. Or, if you’re not a spice girl (see what I did there, lol), you can still use this recipe to make marinara. Just omit the red pepper flakes. But whatever you do, make this right now, easy half, and store the rest in the freezer.

How to store Arrabbiata Sauce:

During the colder months, I always think it’s necessary to have easy meals on hand. I will make a big batch of sauce, store some in the fridge for immediate use, and then put the rest in the freezer to have on hand. To store the sauce, I love using Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Twist & Seal food storage containers. With the improved leakproof lids, it’s perfect for packing/storing soups, sauces, and other liquids without worry.

I like to use larger containers to freeze soups and sauces. The smaller containers are great for snacks or meal prepping your breakfasts and lunches. Some sizes come with a removable tray so you can wet and dry foods like salads and dressings or yogurt and granola separated. So trust me, you need Rubbermaid’s TakeAlongs Twist & Seal food storage containers in your life. CLICK HERE to grab yours now.

What you need to make The Best Arrabbiata

  • Canned tomatoes – I like to use one can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes and one can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes because I like the smoky flavor the fire-roasted add to the sauce.
  • Onions
  • Garlic – seriously, unless you’re allergic or have an intolerance to garlic if you see a sauce recipe without garlic, please run.
  • Crush red pepper flakes – This is the star of the show, what makes this sauce different from marinara. You can adjust the amount to your liking.
  • Fish Sauce – no, you will not taste it. It simply adds flavor
  • Coconut aminos – Again, adds flavor, and the slight sweetness cuts through the acidity of the tomatoes

If you want to enjoy your arrabbiata sauce guilt-free, try serving it over roasted spaghetti squash.

Let’s get cooking

Let’s get cooking

The Best Arrabbiata Sauce

This deliciously spicy sauce is made with a few simple ingredients and will knock your socks off. Fire roasted and sweet San Marzano tomatoes, lots of garlic and red pepper flakes add the extra kick to take this sauce from basic to boujee.
5 based on 1 reviews
This deliciously spicy sauce is made with a few simple ingredients and will knock your socks off. Fire roasted and sweet San Marzano tomatoes, lots of garlic and red pepper flakes add the extra kick to take this sauce from basic to boujee.
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:40 mins
Total Time:45 mins
Yields:8 (Makes about 6 cups)


  • 3

    tbsp olive oil

  • 6

    cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 2-4

    tbsp crushed red pepper flakes*

  • 1

    onion, diced

  • 2

    tbsp tomato paste

  • 1

    28-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes 

  • 1

    28-ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes

  • 1

    tsp sea salt

  • 1

    tsp fish sauce

  • 1

    tbsp coconut aminos

  • 1/2

    tsp cracked black pepper

  • 8

    -10 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped


  1. To begin, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to the oil and cook for a couple minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the onion to the pot and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Now, add the tomato paste, stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add all the tomato products, salt, fish sauce, coconut aminos and black pepper to the pot, stir and bring the sauce to a simmer. Once the sauce comes to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and use a fork or a potato masher to break up the whole tomatoes. Let the sauce continue to simmer for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the basil to the sauce  around the last 10 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Add more salt, pepper or crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
  5. Serve immediately or let the sauce cool completely and transfer it to freezer friendly containers like Rubbermaid’s TakeAlongs Twist & Seal Containers. Store in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


*I like to use about 4 tablespoons of pepper flakes in my sauce because I love the extra kick. But, if you’re feeding kids or if you’re not a fan of spice, you can use 1-2 tablespoons of pepper flakes. Or, omit the pepper flakes all together.

Nutrition Facts

Serves 8


Spicy arrabbiata sauce, homemade arrabbiata sauce

5 based on 1 reviews

What do you think of this recipe?

This is the best sauce I have ever made!
The fish sauce seems to be the secret in the sauce; I could not find aminos at my market, but now I will be on the lookout for it.
I followed the recipe to the letter but because garlic burns so quickly, it went in after the onions were done and then allowed to cook only until I could smell it (a lesson hard learned).
I love this website and I’ll be back!
Teri in Montana

Yay! Thank you Teri! It is a gem of a recipe to have in your back pocket. And I’m really glad you came back and found more recipes you love 💗