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Creamy Marinara Sauce Pasta

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


This creamy marinara sauce pasta recipe uses whole milk Greek yogurt to make it extra rich and flavorful. Serve the marinara sauce now or freeze for later!


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 28-ounce can tomato puree (we used San Marzano variety)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, at room temperature*
  • Crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • Torn fresh basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Make the sauce: Finely chop the onion. Mince the garlic. In a large saucepan, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Toss in the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the tomato puree and season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat and maintain a low simmer so that the flavors can fully develop, 30 to 40 minutes, giving a stir when you think of it. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Temper the yogurt: In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the yogurt. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the warm sauce to temper the yogurt. Scrape the yogurt mixture back into the saucepan whisking to incorporate fully. Taste, adding more salt and pepper, and the crushed red pepper.
  3. Serve: Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water according to the package instructions. At the end of cooking, set aside 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, slowly transfer the hot pasta to the tomato sauce, tossing to coat. Drizzle in a tablespoon or two of the reserved pasta water, or more if desired, to loosen. Serve hot, garnished with the basil.


Reprinted with permission from Yogurt Culture by Cheryl Sternman Rule *For vegan and dairy-free, make our Creamy Vegan Pasta Marinara version. You can also use Homemade Labneh in place of Greek yogurt. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: pasta marinara, marinara pasta, creamy pasta, yogurt pasta sauce, yogurt tomato sauce