Best Store-Bought Marinara Sauce In 2021

image of marinara sauce

One pantry staple that every homeowner always has on hand is jarred marinara sauce. From whipping up a delectable weeknight dinner to creating the base of a rich stew, store-bought marinara sauces are versatile, essential ingredients that must be kept in the pantry. Here is the best store-bought marinara sauce:

Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce is the most recommended go-to marinara sauce in a jar. It has an authentic taste with a sweet, delicate flavor that is made without added sugars or preservatives. It comes solely from fresh tomatoes that can be eaten straight out of the jar.

But show up at the average grocery store and you’ll see a lot of options ranging from swill to swank.

Some sauces are sweet, feel like you are eating dessert, while others are tasteless as if you haven’t put anything.

No worries, I got it covered for you. Listed below are some of the best popular brands of marinara sauces to determine your favorite.

10 Best Store-Bought Marinara Sauces

Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce

Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce is a premium, slow-cooked, all-purpose Italian pasta sauce that is made from 100% Italian tomatoes.

No tomato paste included, to make a perfectly keto-friendly spaghetti sauce to be added to your pantry.

This carb-conscious marinara sauce is made from high-quality and wholesome ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, and olive oil.

At Rao’s Homemade, pasta sauces are made using only whole-peeled, naturally sweet tomatoes grown in the Italian.

Every jar of this tomato sauce is slow-cooked in small batches and crafted with high-quality ingredients. It has a complex flavor and a smooth texture that keeps everyone get back for more.

Add some fresh herbs and meatballs to get the most of it. It is not distractingly spicy, it just enough to give your face a glow while you are eating it, making it a beauty product, if you think about it.


La San Marzano Marinara Sauce

If you don’t have the time to create batches of homemade tomato sauce from scratch, then do not settle for something tasteless and watery.

If you want a marinara sauce that tastes like something that came from the stovetop, this marinara sauce from La San Marzano is the best bet to achieve a homemade taste.

This brand was founded more than 40 years ago and is imported from Italy.

The ingredients are simple, clean with no added sugar, giving a homemade taste. It is made from peeled tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, fresh onions, sea salt, and fresh sliced garlic, black pepper, oregano, and fresh basil.

The texture of this sauce is thinner, but it is rich in flavor, leaving an authentic taste. It makes a perfect pair in pasta, salad, and can be used as a dipping sauce.


Traders Joe’s Giotto’s Organic Marinara Sauce

Traders Joe’s organic marinara sauce tastes just delicious as other popular brands of marinara sauce.

It features 100% certified organic ingredients like onions, tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic, delivering both tasty and healthy treats. This makes it a perfect base for meat sauces, adding more flavorful

Also, it does not contain synthetic flavors, colors, or preservatives. With just 70% calories per serving, this sauce is suitable for people who are on a diet and conscious of their caloric intake.


Mezzetta Homestyle Marinara Sauce

Mezzetta Homestyle Marinara Sauce can also be added to your choices when choosing marinara sauces.

Made from the traditional Italian way, it can excite your appetite in even just smelling.

Cooked in small batches, Mezzetta Marinara sauce provides you with rich flavor coming from natural ingredients only, you can taste the rich mixed flavors of imported plum tomatoes from Italy’s San Marzano Region, locally grown fresh basils, garlic, and onions.

Wine is also added to enhance taste and richness together with imported Italian Olive oil, sea salt, and ground pepper.


Pasta Jay’s Classic Marinara Sauce

Another healthy yet delicious marinara sauce is the Pasta Jay’s Classic Marinara Sauce, giving you the balance of healthy and savory taste in just a spoonful.

Made from premium quality ingredients, this sauce can transform your pasta into a delightful blowout. This sauce provides daily gluten and dairy-free, no artificial preservatives meal, meaning more bites and fewer worries.

Pasta Jay’s Marinara Sauce is also ready to eat, you can simply heat and serve, or use it in your delightful recipe, guaranteeing you a delightful taste in every bite.


Tuttorosso Vegetarian Recipe Marinara Sauce

If you are looking for pure tomato taste, Tuttorosso Vegetarian Recipe Marinara Sauce is perfect for you.

Made from premium quality ingredients, this sauce offers you the authentic old-world tomato flavor perfect for pasta, pizza, lasagna, and more.

Tuttorosso Sauce is also free from artificial colors and flavorings, giving you a healthy yet delicious and delightful meal. 

This sauce also takes pride in coming from a family-owned company ensuring the highest quality tomato product you can taste.

You can enjoy this sauce by topping your favorite snacks or even preparing a whole family meal, you won’t have to worry about dull flavors anymore, Tuttorosso Marinara Sauce got you covered.


DeLallo Pomodoro Fresco Marinara Sauce

Many customers also love DeLallo Pomodoro Fresco Marinara Sauce for its authentic Italian recipe.

This sauce is made from premium quality ingredients providing you a palatable taste in every snack. DeLallo sauce is made from natural, fresh handpicked ingredients giving you a pure tomato flavor with a subtle blend taste of fresh herbs and spices.

This sauce is also artificial coloring and flavoring-free, letting you enjoy your pasta and pizza more.

You can enjoy DeLallo Marinara sauce just by using it as a topping for your favorite snacks, or you can use it to prepare family meals.


Barilla Marinara All Natural Pasta Sauce

Barilla Marinara Sauce also hits the market for its superb flavor quality. This Marinara Sauce has a rich flavor due to its all-natural and premium ingredients.

Vine-ripened tomatoes, aromatic herbs, and extra virgin olive oil are slowly simmered together coming up with rich taste and thick texture perfect for pasta, pizza, and many more.

Barilla Marinara Sauce doesn’t come with artificial coloring and preservatives.

It can also be an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, it is also low on cholesterol and a good source of fiber, so you can enjoy your food more and worry less.


Prego Italian Marinara Sauce

If you are looking for rich sweet flavor marinara sauce, then you might want to consider Prego Italian Marinara Sauce.

Prego Italian Sauce is made from fresh and natural ingredients, from vine ripe tomatoes and freshly picked herbs and spices, this sauce offers you a sweet and pure tomato taste, perfect for pasta and pizza.

This sauce is perfect as is, but you can also use it as a base for your homemade pasta sauce.

Prego Italian Marinara sauce is gluten, artificial coloring, and flavoring-free. This sauce is sure to transform your ordinary meals into delightful and palatable ones.


Barilla Vero Gusto Calabrian Marinara Sauce

Made in Italy with the finest and premium ingredients, Vero Gusto Marinara sauce serves its rich and unique flavor from one table to another.

A true Italian sauce made from 100% Italian tomato pulp with no artificial coloring and flavoring, this sauce is perfect as a topping for your favorite snacks.

It’s also perfect for pasta, pizza, or the base of your homemade pasta sauce. Vero Gusto sauce is also rich in Vitamin A and C, non-GMO, and also rich in fiber, meaning you can enjoy your food more without any guilt.

Vero Gusto sauce can ensure you a healthy yet delicious meal that anyone will love.


How To Buy A Good Store-Bought Marinara Sauce? Buyers Guide

With an aisle full of jarred marinara sauces in the grocery store, it can be challenging to determine the one that is good for you. Besides, here are the things to consider when buying marinara sauces:

Look for whole tomatoes

Nothing beats the taste of fresh, juicy tomato. When you are shopping for store-bought sauces, do not compromise this flavor.

Whole tomatoes are naturally sweeter and have lower acidity and better flavor profile.

Usually, lower quality store-bought marinara sauces trade real tomatoes for tomato paste that changes both the flavor and texture of the sauce.

Due to less flavor, manufacturers will then add in sugar and other unhealthy ingredients to help improve the taste.

The Fewer Ingredients, the Better

Less is more when it comes to tomato sauces, specifically with the ingredients.

Real tomatoes contain natural acidity and a gelatin-like substance that binds the sauce together. As a result, you get a tasty flavor and smooth consistency that does not require additional ingredients.

Some marinara sauces contain unhealthy additives, which are commonly found in food to cut down the price, making the product with lower quality ingredients taste even better.

It is always essential to read the nutritional label of the jarred marinara sauce you are buying to make sure you get the best quality food. If you are torn between two jars, choose the one with fewer ingredients.

Avoid herbs, cheese, meat, and other artificial ingredients

In addition to choosing a jar with fewer ingredients, avoiding the cheese, herb, and meat is the key to any marinara sauce.

Though it would be easier to think that this delicious trio would add more flavor, instead it adds more calories.

For instance, a cup of plain marinara sauce contains 102 calories, whereas a jar with added herbs, cheese, meat, and other ingredients can contain about 360 calories, which is more triple than calories in just a single serving.

If you want to add cheese, meat, and herbs to your sauce, you can just add them fresh.

Look for sauce high in fat and low in sugar

Don’t let the term high-fat content fool you.

According to some food experts, healthier sauces contain more fat because they are made from olive oil instead of soybean and vegetable oil.

Healthier fats are found in greater quantities, which are typically found in the higher-end marinara sauces that cost more than a six-dollar per marinara sauce jar.

While other high-end options were found out that there is less sugar, it is because these higher-priced brands used imported tomatoes.

Imported tomatoes tend to taste better even without the need to add sugar.

The sugar added in some low-cost brands put the jar on some unpleasant flavor, which can cut costs on the production process. Overall, choosing the natural flavors from the tomatoes instead of taking the added sugar.

Be careful with labels

Be aware of the labels of the sensationalize pasta sauces you are about to buy.

Many sauce manufacturers put words like classic or old to entice its buyer that it is better or healthier for them. This is probably not the case if you have checked the nutritional label.

However, if you are looking for a more expensive sauce brand or just thinking of buying sauce from your favorite Italian restaurant, make sure to always check the nutrition label of the store-bought you are buying for fat and sugar content.

Take note as well the list of ingredients to ensure you are making the right purchase.

Consider the price and taste

Aside from its nutritional value, consider how much the sauce cost and the quality of the taste.

Marinara sauces can range in price from as low as $8 to as high as $15 or more. That’s a big difference, and must be considered, especially if you are budget-tight.

Besides, check for some variations since different flavors with the same brand can also have other ingredients and nutritional stats, so better check the labels even when choosing between identical-looking sauces to avoid miscounting the fats and sugar content.

Other tips:

  • Look for sauces that have no more than 2 to 3 grams of saturated fats per serving. Of course, splurging on a richer sauce on occasion is okay.
  • Keep away from sugary options. Look for a sauce with no more than 4 grams of sugar per serving. By listing the sugar in several different forms, manufacturers can hide how much is really in the sauce, but the nutrition label will give you hints. Keep in mind that there are 4 grams in a teaspoon, so a sauce that says 12 grams on the label has three teaspoons of sugar per serving.
  • Be cautious about sodium content. Most store-bought sauces are very high in sodium and some are sky-high. Look for a sauce that contains no more than 450 milligrams per serving, the lower the better.
  • Match the sauce to your pasta. A delicate sauce calls for thin spaghetti while chunky sauces match well to pasta with crevices and heft.

Recipes Inspired By Marinara Sauce

image of child eating spaghetti

Spaghetti Marinara

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Jarred marinara sauce

Procedure:

  1. Combine olive oil and garlic in the large skillet. Cook it over medium heat until the garlic turns golden brown. Add the onion, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook then stir until the onion is soft but not browned. Add the marinara sauce and add ½ cup of water. Continue cooking until the sauce is slightly reduced for about 20 minutes. Stir in the basil and season it with salt. Keep warm over low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water then drain.
  3. Add the pasta to the sauce along with the butter and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water. Increase the heat up to medium and then toss to coat. Add the remaining cooking water as it needs to loosen the sauce.
  4. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and then drizzle with olive oil.

One-Pot Penne with Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 pound penne
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup rose wine or water
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • ½ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¾ cup fresh chopped basil

Procedure:

  1. Put 2 tablespoons of the butter in the large pot over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion and cook until it softens. Add the pasta, raise the heat a bit and cook while stirring it constantly. Add a little salt and pepper, then the wine and stir.
  2. Let the liquids bubble away. Add the jar of marinara sauce to the pot then stir occasionally until the tomatoes break down. Add ½ cup of water gradually then stir after each addition. When the liquid just about to absorb the sauce, add more. The noodles should not be soupy and dry. Keep the heat at medium to medium-high heat, stir frequently, and repeat as necessary. You will need about 2 cups in total.
  3. Begin tasting the pasta after you added it, it should be tender but still have some resistance when you bite. When the pasta is ready, stir in the remaining butter and the pecorino, adding a little more water if necessary to coat the noodles in sauce.
  4. Stir in the basil and then taste. Adjust the seasoning, and then serve right away.

Read Next: 14 Ways To Make Store-Bought Spaghetti Sauce Taste Better

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