Five Cheese Marinara Sauce is a homemade red sauce made with crushed tomatoes, heavy cream, and five kinds of cheese. It will be your new favorite marinara sauce for all of your recipes that call for it. I also have another homemade marinara sauce you may want to try.
Five Cheese Marinara Sauce
This marinara sauce is a copycat of Olive Garden’s Five Cheese Marinara Sauce. But, there is no need to go out to get the same delicious flavors when you can make it yourself! It is perfect over pasta, in lasagna, or as a dipping sauce for mozzarella sticks. And, it can be made in about a half an hour.
Tomatoes: Use 2, 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes. Be sure to include the tomato juices when adding them to the sauce.
Cheeses: As the recipe name states, this sauce is made with five kinds of cheese. I used ricotta, fontina, mozzarella, asiago, and parmesan cheese. I will give some substitutions for cheeses below.
Herbs: I used a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh basil and parsley. If you only have dried herbs on hand, use 1-2 teaspoons of each.
Well, this would not be a five-cheese marinara sauce without five different kinds of cheese. But, there are some substitutions you could make if needed.
- Ricotta: If you don’t have ricotta cheese on hand, try cottage cheese.
- Fontina: I would recommend substituting Gruyere cheese, provolone, or Gouda for fontina cheese.
- Mozzarella: Look for Havarti or mild gouda cheese in place of mozzarella. Or, you could also use cheddar cheese.
- Asiago: You could use parmesan cheese or pecorino romano as a replacement.
- Parmesan: Just like you you can use parmesan cheese in place of asiago, you could also use asiago to substitute for the parmesan. Pecorino romano and Grana Padano would also be good choices.
Can I Use Fresh Tomatoes Instead of Canned?
Sure! You will need about 5 pounds of tomatoes, blanched and peeled. Removing the seeds is up to you. However, if using fresh tomatoes instead of canned, you will get a little less sauce as compared with using canned. So, you may need to adjust the amount of cheese you add.
What Kind of Pan is Best?
Be sure to choose a pan that will not react to the acidity of the tomatoes. Some good options are non-stick, ceramic, stainless, or enameled pans.
Can I Add Meat to Five Cheese Marinara Sauce?
Definitely! If you prefer a heartier sauce, it’s easy to add meat. Ground beef would be delicious. But, chicken or seafood would also be good choices to try.
How to Store Five Cheese Marinara Sauce
Homemade marinara sauce can be stored in an airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator. You could also freeze it for up to a few months. In both cases, let the sauce cool completely before storing.
Five Cheese Marinara Sauce
- ¼ cup (53 g) extra virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (238 g) heavy cream
- ½ cup (123 g) ricotta cheese
- ½ cup (108 g) fontina cheese, shredded
- ½ cup (56.5 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup (20 g) Asiago cheese, grated
- ¼ cup (25 g) parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- In a large non-stick pan (at least 12-inches) over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Once hot, add garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until slightly browned.
- Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes (with liquid) and salt. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add heavy cream and cheeses and stir until melted. Fold in the basil and parsley and simmer for 5 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Did you make this recipe?
You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.