Arrabbiata Sauce

A simple, just-spicy-enough arrabbiata sauce you can make from pantry ingredients. Serve it with anything — chicken, sausages, pasta, even your morning eggs!

pasta with Arrabbiata Sauce

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I wish moms got sick days. Like so many families this time of year, we’ve had a round of sore throats and colds. Consequently, we’ve spent a lot of days at home recovering, which means we haven’t had much time to get to the market, and the cupboards and refrigerator start looking a little dire.

Arrabbiata sauce is one of those great recipes that you can basically pull out of thin air. The ingredients are pantry staples, and it’s one of those magical recipes that tastes like so much more than the sum of its parts. Plus, it’s *not* soup. (Don’t get me wrong, I love soup, but after a few days, it starts losing its magic, if you know what I mean.)

What is arrabbiata sauce? Essentially, it’s a spicy tomato sauce that you can pair with almost anything you have in the house. Pasta is the obvious choice, but it also goes with sausages, eggs, a bowl of steamed veggies, or some grilled chicken.

Perhaps surprisingly, this sauce is GREAT for kids and picky eaters. For one thing, it’s entirely smooth so there aren’t any chunks or “weird things” going on texture-wise. You can also control the level of spice. I make it medium-spicy for my kids, then my husband and I drizzle a bit of extra chile oil over ours.

For my own little eaters, I serve sauces like this one on the side in a small dish or specific place on the plate and let them dip things into it, whether that’s pieces of chicken, veggies, veggie noodles or pasta. I’ve found my kids are much more likely to try a new sauce if they can approach it on their own terms. It definitely works for our family.

My two-year-old eats this by the spoonful and calls it “soup.” My three year old is a bit more cautious, but she’ll carefully dip the ends of her pasta into the sauce to taste it.

As for the grown-ups, I really can’t get enough. I always make a double batch of this arrabbiata sauce. We’ll eat it for dinner and the next morning I’ll serve it with my morning eggs and veggies. It’s as versatile as it is quick, which can be such a lifesaver when you’re extra busy or don’t have time to dash off to the store.

It’s warm, soothing, and perfect for chilly or cloudy days. You may not get sick days as a mom, but at least there are still dinners worth pulling yourself off the couch for.

Simple and Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce

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Arrabbiata Sauce Ingredients

For this easy arrabbiata sauce, you’ll need:

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Chili oil
  • Chili flakes
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt

How to Make Arrabbiata Sauce

To make this homemade arrabbiata sauce, simply heat the chili oil in a saucepan over medium heat and then sauté the garlic, chili flakes, and oregano until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and a big pinch of salt, then blend until smooth.

You can blend up the sauce using either a blender or a hand-held immersion blender. If needed, transfer the sauce back to the pan to heat it up again before serving.

Tips for Making Arrabbiata Sauce

I actually make my own chili oil (it’s SO easy and there are only two ingredients), but store-bought works well too. Trader Joe’s often carries it, and loads of stores carry flavored oils.

If you make your own chili oil, note that the fresher your chili flakes, the better this dish will turn out. Toss that dusty old jar from a few years ago! 

When making this arrabbiata sauce, feel free to tweak the amount of chili flakes and chili oil you use in it. If your family is sensitive to spicy foods, scale it back a bit!

Arrabbiata Sauce (GF, Vegan)

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More Easy Sauce Recipes:

This Homemade Marinara Sauce requires some planning, but it’s so worth it. This is seriously the BEST marinara sauce recipe ever, and I think your family will really love it!

Don’t want to splurge on pine nuts to make pesto? No problem, just make this simple Walnut Almond Pesto instead!

This Kale Cilantro Pesto is also delicious in its own right and pairs well with pasta, seafood, and grilled meats.

During the summer, I make this Honey Pecan BBQ Sauce on repeat. It’s just that good!

If you love the flavor of pesto but can’t have dairy, try making a batch of this easy Vegan Pesto. It’s so flavorful thanks to the nutritional yeast and fresh basil.

(Other than soup) What do you make on sick days? What are your favorite dinners from pantry staples?

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Arrabbiata Sauce

Arrabbiata Sauce

Yield: 6 - 8 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A simple, just-spicy-enough arrabbiata sauce you can make from pantry ingredients. Serve it with anything — chicken, sausages, pasta, even your morning eggs!


  • 1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tbsp chili oil*
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/4--1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt, to taste


  1. Heat the chili oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, 1/4 tsp chili flakes, and 1/4 tsp oregano and heat 1-2 minutes, or until it's fragrant. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes and a big pinch of salt.
  2. Add the sauce to a blender and puree until very smooth (or puree with an immersion blender directly in the pot).
  3. Serve with 1 lb of pasta or zucchini noodles, paired with sausages or grilled chicken, or with eggs or veggies.


*I make my own chili oil, and you can too! If you'd rather use storebought, no problem. If you can't find or make chili oil, you can substitute olive oil for the chili oil and add additional chili flakes to your recipe when the garlic is sautéing.

Also note that the fresher your chili flakes, the better your dish. Don't use a dusty jar you've had sitting around for 2 years!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 48 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 134mg Carbohydrates: 2g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 1g Protein: 0g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Tag @goodlifeeats and include the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

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by Emily Dixon

Hi, I'm Emily! I love, live, and eat at One Lovely Life. There, you'll find find lots of flavorful, healthy recipes and bites of life. I'm a sucker for beautiful children's books, a good novel, and happy endings. It's my mission to show that healthy, whole food is as delicious as it is gorgeous, and it can be just as accessible to children as it is adults. Happy eating!