Homemade Five Cheese Marinara Sauce

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Five Cheese Marinara Sauce is a luscious, homemade red sauce crafted with crushed tomatoes, heavy cream, and five types of cheese. This flavorful sauce will soon become your go-to marinara for all your pasta dishes, lasagna, or even as a dipping sauce for mozzarella sticks.

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Homemade Five Cheese Marinara Sauce

Why Make Five Cheese Marinara Sauce at Home?

This marinara sauce is inspired by Olive Garden’s Five Cheese Marinara Sauce. There’s no need to dine out when you can create the same delicious flavors at home! Ready in about half an hour, it’s perfect for pasta, lasagna, or as a dip.

Homemade Five Cheese Marinara Sauce


Essential Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes: Use two 28-ounce (794 grams) cans of crushed tomatoes, including the juices.
  • Cheeses: This recipe includes ricotta, fontina, mozzarella, asiago, and parmesan cheeses. Substitutions are provided below.
  • Herbs: Fresh basil and parsley are used, but dried herbs can be substituted.

Substituting Cheeses:

  • Ricotta: Substitute with cottage cheese if needed.
  • Fontina: Gruyere, provolone, or Gouda can be used instead.
  • Mozzarella: Havarti, mild Gouda, or even cheddar are good replacements.
  • Asiago: Parmesan or pecorino romano work well.
  • Parmesan: Asiago, pecorino romano, or Grana Padano are excellent alternatives.

Homemade Five Cheese Marinara Sauce

Can I Use Fresh Tomatoes?

Yes! You’ll need about 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) of blanched and peeled tomatoes. Removing the seeds is optional. Using fresh tomatoes might result in slightly less sauce compared to canned, so adjust the cheese quantities accordingly.

Best Pan for Cooking

Use a non-reactive pan to avoid any reaction with the acidic tomatoes. Suitable options include non-stick, ceramic, stainless steel, or enameled pans.

Adding Meat

For a heartier sauce, feel free to add meat. Ground beef, chicken, or seafood would complement this sauce beautifully.

Storing Five Cheese Marinara Sauce

Store the sauce in an airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator. For longer storage, freeze it for up to a few months. Let the sauce cool completely before storing.

Homemade Five Cheese Marinara Sauce


  • ¼ cup (50 g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cans (28 ounces / 800 grams each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (120 g) ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup (110 g) fontina cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup (560 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


  1. Heat Olive Oil: In a large non-stick pan (at least 12 inches / 30 centimeters) over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil.
  2. Once hot, add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until slightly browned.
  3. Add Tomatoes and Salt: Reduce heat to medium and add crushed tomatoes (with liquid) and salt. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Incorporate Cream and Cheeses: Add heavy cream and all five cheeses. Stir until the cheeses are melted and well combined.
  5. Add Herbs: Fold in the fresh basil and parsley, then simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve: Garnish with additional fresh basil if desired and serve warm.

Homemade Five Cheese Marinara Sauce

Enjoy this rich and creamy Five Cheese Marinara Sauce with your favorite pasta, in a lasagna, or as a delicious dipping sauce!

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