Who Makes The Best Jarred Pasta Sauce?

With four of our six experts citing Rao’s marinara as their preferred tomato sauce, it was by far the most well regarded tomato sauce. Leah Muncy, a junior writer for the Strategist, also enjoys the brand since its gentle marinara doesn’t aggravate her IBS. “Editor-in-chief of Food Network Magazine Maile Carpenter claims that Rao’s is superior to anything else and occasionally uses it to stretch her homemade sauce. “It simply tastes wonderful. I filled up everything. When lockdown began and others were loading up on canned beans, she “panicked and purchased 30 jars of Rao’s. “A set of two jars from Costco costs less than I could pay for a single little jar in the city. I became completely insane as a result, but what? She recalls, “We went through everything.”

Chef Keesha O’Galdez, chef Erin Shambura, and chef Nyesha Arrington, who was just featured on HBO Max’s Selena + Chef, are also admirers. Rao’s marinara is popular with Shambura, Arrington, and O’Galdez because of its flavorful harmony and absence of preservatives or additional sweeteners. “It clearly has an authentic taste and the sweet, delicate flavor comes purely from the tomatoes. She claims, “I can eat it straight out of the jar.” As said by Shambura, “Even though the marinara is fantastic on its own, occasionally I like to enhance the flavors by adding extra ingredients from the refrigerator. It might be as easy as sautéing finely cut garlic or adding a touch of Calabrian chile, according to her.

What makes a decent spaghetti sauce from a store?

We had a few goals in mind when we entered this taste-off. While we had intended to taste each marinara sauce separately in order to analyze the flavors and textures, we also realized that, at least occasionally, marinara sauce isn’t consumed straight off the spoon. To get the full flavor, we tried each sauce both by itself and over spaghetti.

  • Flavor: The tomato is the star of the show here, but we wanted the spices to counterbalance the tomato. Without swaying too far in any direction, the sauce should strike a balance between the sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes. We didn’t want any of the spices to be overpowering however; rather, we wanted them to be a subtle component of the sauce that complemented the tomato flavors.
  • Texture: When it comes to marinara sauce, we were all searching for something that had flavorful tomato pieces but also had a thick sauce that felt unified. We sought a rich sauce that would cling to the pasta and give our bowls a bit of structure.
  • Can I eat this straight off the spoon? It seems like a rather simple explanation.

I had very little faith that we would be able to score these because, after all, the sauce is in a jar. But when we tested these side by side, it was astounding how differently they all tasted and how we all preferred some flavors and textures to others. In the end, two sauces competed against each other for our taste testers’ votes, with one narrowly winning. Find out who won our marinara sauce taste-off by continuing to scroll.

7) Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara Sauce: I was shocked by how poorly this sauce performed considering how much I adore TJ’s. The sauce itself had a slightly off-putting texture, but what really irked us was that it had an odd aftertaste that bordered on being a touch sour. One of our tasters said of this one, “I don’t like it.

6) Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce: This sauce had a delicate taste that tended to be sweeter but was also a little acidic. It didn’t necessarily taste like tomatoes to us either. Despite the fact that there is nothing artificial in it, the flavor was virtually artificial. Although the sauce had a fine texture, we weren’t willing to eat it without significantly altering it.

5) Whole Foods 365 Organic Marinara Sauce: I go Whole Foods frequently and think the majority of their branded products are excellent, so this was another letdown. Although this sauce had a good flavor, the texture and oregano dominance completely disappointed us. The wateriest of the bunch, this sauce virtually melted off our pasta, leaving only tomato pieces and a thin layer of sauce on the noodles. This one, I believe, would be OK if it were slightly altered or reduced in a pan to make it thicker and richer.

4) Ragu Old World Style Marinara Sauce: I’ll take a bite out of my pride here because I used to despise Ragu sauce. Our group gave this one a moderate ranking because of its mild tomato flavor, which was very tomatoey. It had the taste of the purest tomato flavor, which some loved and others thought would be enhanced with more of the savory, herbaceous flavor that we prefer in pasta sauce. The texture, however, prevented it from making the top three. It is fluid. very fluid And to give some texture interest, our group was really hoping for some tomato bits. We concluded that this would make a nice basic marinara sauce that we could customize as we saw fit.

3) Prego Marinara Sauce: I was happy to see that it was still reliable because this was the sauce I ate growing up. In comparison to our top two, it had a milder flavor and lighter texture. Some tasters compared it to an improved Ragu. It had a little more taste, a little more tomato flavor, and a little more richness. Overall, with some adjustments, we would eat it again.

2) Barilla Vero Gusto: You guys, there wasn’t much separating one from two. This sauce’s sweetness with a somewhat salty finish was what testers truly enjoyed. The tomato flavor was strong but not acidic, and it simply tasted great. The texture was far superior to the others on our list, incredibly delicious, and creamy. Many of us agreed that this dish was delicious over spaghetti and by the spoonful and that we would eat it without making any changes. Would buy this sauce once again.

1) Rao’s Marinara Sauce: Before we began our tasting and conducted a poll, most friends and people said that Rao’s was their preferred jarred sauce. One friend even claimed that whenever Rao’s is on sale at the shop, she stocks up by purchasing at least five jars. I completely comprehend. The rumors about this sauce are true. We all eagerly ate this one straight off the spoon since the flavor is exceptional and strikes the ideal mix of sweet tomato with herby spice. With both tomato chunks and a wonderful, almost buttery finish, the texture is almost ideal. Without any changes, we would all consume this sauce. I give this a ten out of ten, and you can bet that the next time I’m in the supermarket, I’ll be stocking up.

How come Rao’s sauce is so great?

Our relationship with jarred pasta sauce is tumultuous. Making your own tomato sauce is rather simple thanks to the no-cook, quick cooktop, and simple butter-roasted choices. But occasionally, you just can’t muster the motivation to prepare sauce. Your entire day was awful. Your entire week was awful. Your entire year was awful. No need to explain, please. We comprehend. We grab a jar in such instance. Not just any jar, though. Rao’s Marinara Sauce has our undying loyalty because we firmly believe it to be the best jarred pasta sauce available. Every employee here practices everyday Rao’s routines. Songs, proverbs, and handshakes. A cult, that is.

We’re not actually in a cult, I guess. But Rao’s is, in our opinion, the best. Jarred pasta sauce is often not very great. Sometimes that’s because preservatives or colors have been applied. However, the main reason is that they taste either excessively sweet, too salty, or perhaps even a combination of the two.

But none of those things apply to Rao’s. Starting with the components, Rao’s is a spaghetti sauce that resembles the ones we’d make in the kitchen. Rao’s uses olive oil and premium tomatoes without the addition of any colour or preservatives. You won’t be surprised by the remaining components, which include salt, pepper, onions, garlic, basil, and oregano. You know, the ingredients you’d anticipate finding in a delicious marinara. And added sugar is the greatest absence from that list. Which already provides information on the flavor.

The sweetness of Rao’s marinara sauce is entirely derived from the tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Other performance-enhancing substances are not interfering with a healthy tomato sauce.

The flavor has a handmade flavor. Yes, we would be quite content if we produced this sauce. It’s the kind of sauce we want to dunk stromboli or calzones in and pour over spaghetti. Rao’s is on a totally different level than other national brands.

Even while each of these flavors and ratios is significant, one element stands out above the others. In fact, you may detect it right away. Olive oil is used in copious amounts at Rao’s. Even before you crack open the jar, you can see it directly on top of the sauce. We adore the sauce’s dedication to the fatty, oily side. The secret to a wonderful, well-rounded marinara is that fat.

However, there will always be an exception to the norm, something that will cause you to change your mind. And in this instance, the exception is known as Rao’s, is made of tomatoes, and is from New York.

Which ten spaghetti sauces are the best?

Pasta Sauce Power Rankings, Official

  • Traditional Old World Ragu.
  • Brand Name Marinara.
  • Traditional Marinara from Bertolli.
  • Primal Kitchen Basil and Tomato.
  • Mariante Barilla.
  • Organic Marinara from Simple Truth.
  • Traditional Tomato & Basil
  • Traditional Prego.

What makes Prego so great?

The most traditional Italian sauce is arguably Prego’s Marinara. Herbs, onions, and garlic aren’t overpowering the sauce’s robust tomato flavor. This sauce is ideal if you’re seeking for a solid basic condiment.

The majority of reviews on Walmart give it an average rating of 4.6 out of 5. However, some reviewers complain that the sauce is excessively thin, while others claim that it has an unpleasant flavor. However, the majority concur that this sauce is quite excellent, despite the fact that several reviews mention adding additional ingredients to it. This sauce is for you if you want something very simple and thin with no chunks or many tastes other than tomatoes. For us, having basic marinara won’t do because we like to aim a little higher. As a result, we’ve listed this sauce quite low on our list.

Who creates the pasta sauce for Rao?

Sovos Brands purchased Rao’s Homemade as part of its effort to create an empire of cutting-edge brands. Pasta sauces, pastas, dressings, vinegars, roasted veggies, and other items are all part of the Rao’s Homemade product line.

What is the most well-liked spaghetti sauce?

You’ve probably noticed that there are so many unique pasta sauces available that you could spend a lifetime trying to prepare them all.

The majority of Italian pasta sauce varieties can be divided into a few different groups. There are sauces made with tomato, like the traditional marinara or spaghetti sauce, heavier sauces made with cream, sauces made with wine, and sauces made with oil, like pesto or aglio e olio.

There are several spaghetti sauce varieties to explore, but you must begin somewhere! Here are our top 10 picks.


Long pasta noodles like tagliatelle, spaghetti, or fettuccine are most frequently served with the traditional Italian pasta sauce known as bolognese. Bolognese, a meat-based spaghetti sauce with a tendency to be heavy on the meat and light on the tomatoes, has its roots in the Italian city of Bologna.

Although bolognese has gained enormous popularity outside of Italy, it is more commonly a tomato-based sauce there. Long pasta noodles are blended with cooked ground beef, which has also been combined with a tomato sauce.


Similar to bolognese, ragu is a classic Italian sauce that is made with meat. The meat in ragus is typically thick and only a small amount of tomato sauce is added for flavor.

Technically speaking, bolognese is a sort of ragu, and there are innumerable ragu recipes that incorporate not only beef but also veal, chicken, pork, and even horsemeat. Ragu is the most meaty spaghetti sauce you can attempt making at home and is best served as a thick sauce with long noodles.


Marinara pasta sauce is one of the most well-liked varieties of pasta sauce. However, rather than Italy itself, the Italian-American communities in the USA are where this tomato-based sauce first appeared.

That doesn’t stop it from being delicious, and making marinara pasta sauce from scratch is simple with a foundation of tomatoes, garlic, and Italian herbs and seasonings. Although it also works fantastically well in lasagnas, casseroles, and even sandwiches, marinara isn’t only for meatballs.

Contrary to spaghetti marinara, a different traditional noodle dish, marinara sauce is a tomato-based sauce. A delicious pasta meal made with fish is spaghetti marinara.


A characteristic basil foundation is usually used to make pesto, a great, nutritious pasta sauce. Along with some herbs and spices, you combine pine nuts, a little olive oil, a lot of cheese (often Parmigiano-Reggiano), and pine nuts.

Since pesto is such a light sauce, it doesn’t need to be simmered separately; instead, it may be swirled into cooked pasta. Basil gives pesto sauce its signature green hue.

When you have all the necessary components, you can easily prepare pesto, which is a tasty alternative to ragus and marinara when you’re sick of those two tomato sauces.

Aglio e olio

Another pasta sauce without tomatoes that is really simple to make at home is aglio e olio. In reality, all you need for this simple sauce is two ingredients, along with some pasta.

Aglio e olio, which translates to “garlic and oil,” is a simple base that is frequently complicated with parmesan and chile. This is the greatest spaghetti sauce you can make with little time and resources if you don’t have many ingredients at home.


As it is made with a hefty base of rich cream, butter, and cheese, Alfredo is neither light nor tomato-based. The ideal sauce for fans of robust, healthy flavors, this is not one for the calorie counters out there.

Fettuccine is the most widely used type of thick, long pasta noodle for serving Alfredo. When served with white meat or seafood, especially chicken or shrimp, the sauce is frequently used. On the weekends, Alfredo pairs especially well with a glass of white wine!

There are other options for people who want a non-alcoholic beverage to pair with their spaghetti. Herbal iced teas, in particular, pair ideally with robust flavors. Pomegranate juice is a great choice if you want something that tastes more like wine. have champagne in mind? Combine spaghetti with soft, fizzy beverages! Next to a hot meal, sparkling water and citrus-flavored sodas are incredibly cooling and their bubbles will make you feel like you’re dining in Italy! Just keep sustainability in mind when utilizing those drink cans. A excellent technique to maintain control is to use the HomeBuddy can crusher. Not to mention how entertaining it is to use a can crusher to generate that crunching noise! Canada has access to this can-crushing device as well.


One of the best pasta sauce substitutes you can learn to make if you need a vacation from tomato-based sauces is carbonara sauce, a traditional Italian favorite.

Like alfredo sauce, carbonara is made with cream and has an excessive amount of grated cheese. The key distinction is that the recipe now calls for eggs, which helps the sauce adhere to the pasta while you cook it together.

The US version of carbonara typically goes all out to make a super-thick, rich sauce, but the Italian version typically only calls for egg, cheese, and a small amount of cream. The most popular component to carbonara is bacon or pig, and the dish is prepared using long, thick pasta noodles.

Cacio e pepe

You can make cacio e pepe, a wonderfully simple yet delicious pasta sauce, at home with little effort. Cheese and black pepper are the only two ingredients in cacio e pepe, both of which you probably already have in your kitchen.

Long spaghetti noodles are added after cheese and pepper have been combined and heated in the pan. A delicious sauce is created in no time at all as the cheese melts into the spaghetti.

You can serve your spaghetti noodles with extras like ham, mushrooms, or shrimp in addition to the cheese and pepper sauce.

Funghi e piselli

A less well-known Italian sauce called funghi e piselli is surprisingly light and healthful. This wonderful sauce only requires sautéing the required ingredients—garlic, onions, peas, and mushrooms—in a skillet.

Prepare your preferred short pasta at the same time by cooking rigatoni or fusilli until they are al dente. Pasta should be covered in the funghi e piselli sauce before being finished with a little parmesan.

You can simply make this dish from scratch and it won’t take you more than 30 minutes to prepare. Perfect if you want a quick, wholesome meal.

Vegan pasta sauces

Today, a variety of pasta sauces can be adapted to fit a vegan diet. The simplest tomato-based sauce that is completely vegan is a basic tomato sauce, or Pomodoro, combined with garlic and herbs.

You can use Quorn or seasoned tofu as vegan replacements for the ground meat in ragu or bolognese. While it can be more challenging to make creamy, thick sauces like alfredo or carbonara without dairy products, there are plenty of vegan substitutes for cream and cheese that you can get in stores.