If you have ever tried to make spaghetti sauce from scratch you would know how much time and effort it requires. You would have to decide from a countless number of recipes, buy the necessary ingredients, cook your sauce spending hours in the kitchen, and even after all that work, the final sauce might not be satisfactory. Although it is a great thing to make your own home-made spaghetti sauce, doing so every time you and your family feel like having a nice bowl of comforting and hearty spaghetti meal is not practically feasible.
The good news is that you can buy ready-made spaghetti sauce from the store, which you can use on its own or to which you can add your favorite ingredients such a meat and specific vegetables and create a superb spaghetti dish without the elbow-grease that you would have to worry about if you were making it from the start. These spaghetti sauces come in various recipes, with various ingredients and taste, and it can be quite a daunting task to decide which spaghetti sauce would be the one that suits your dietary plans, your packaging preference, and your personal taste.
That is why we have looked through all the canned and jarred spaghetti sauces that are out there on the market and have chosen some of the best store-bought spaghetti sauces that we thought are worthy of your attention in this article. Once you have gone through these options, it is very likely that you would find a sauce that you would want to cook your next spaghetti meal with.
This pack of 4 Barilla spaghetti sauce jars is a win-win situation both in terms of quality and quantity. With fresh ingredients, an age-old authentic Italian sauce recipe and rich flavors, this spaghetti sauce from Barilla have earned the best pick position on our list.
If you are looking for a spaghetti sauce that is cost-effective, healthy, and delicious, then this pasta sauce from Prego, which is the budget pick on our list, has a high possibility of becoming your favorite store bought pasta sauce. Since one Prego jar contains enough sauce that can make 15 servings, it is highly suitable for quick yet tasty family dinners without compromising on nutritional values.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Store Bought Spaghetti Sauces
- 1. Barilla Pasta Sauce Variety Pack
- 2. Prego Pasta Sauce
- 3. Hunt's Garlic & Herb Pasta Sauce
- 4. Organico Bello Gourmet Pasta Sauce
- 5. Rao's Marinara Sauce
- 6. Ragu Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
- 7. Tomato Sauce by Uncle Steve's
- 8. Muir Glen Organic Garden Vegetable Pasta Sauce
- 9. Francesco Rinaldi Tomato sauce
- 10. Prego Farmers' Market Sauce
- Things to Consider Before Buying a Store Bought Spaghetti Sauce
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Store Bought Spaghetti Sauces
Besides our best and budget pick spaghetti sauces, we have carefully selected several other store-bought spaghetti sauces that vary from each other in different ways in terms of factors such as taste, ingredients, packaging etc., and from these top products that we have chosen to keep on our list, you can easily select a sauce that is the perfect fit for your specific palette and preferences.
1. Barilla Pasta Sauce Variety Pack
Barilla’s journey has started a long time ago in 1877, at no place other than Italy, where all the great spaghetti recipes came from. The good news for us is that we can have Barilla’s authentic Italian sauce right at our home without even having to put a pot on the stove. This pack comes with four glass jars of Barilla’s pasta sauce which can not only be used to make a bowl of delicious and juicy spaghetti but also with different recipes such as Penne, lasagna, and sandwiches. As the sauces are packed in glass jars, there is no risk of harmful chemicals leaking into the sauce even if it is stored for a long time.
Also, the fact that the pack contains four jars means that your kitchen will be sufficiently stocked for many family dinners without running out of sauces. Another great feature of this package is that it is a variety pack, which means it has two jars of Barilla traditional sauce and two jars of Barilla tomato and basil sauce. Depending on what type of sauce you feel like having on a particular day, you can choose from these two varieties and have your spaghetti just the way you want!
The traditional Italian sauce is made with vine-ripened tomatoes and flavorful Italian herbs, whereas the tomato and basil version has a milder, more smoothly balanced taste which might become the favorite spaghetti sauce for your children. The texture of Barilla’s spaghetti sauce has been perfected so that they stick to the spaghetti instead of staying separated from them, which means each mouthful of the spaghetti is going to be covered in delicious sauce.
2. Prego Pasta Sauce
This large pasta sauce jar contains 67 ounces of sauce, which is enough sauce for making 15 servings of pasta. What this means is that you can buy this one jar and make multiple family- sized spaghetti meals without having to restock your kitchen soon after. The sauce has a rich taste due to the sweet zesty tomatoes, herbs full of aroma, and savory seasoning that have been used to complete the original recipe of this sauce. The taste of the sauce has been practically proven to be exceptionally good in a blind taste testing where tasters ranked this sauce higher than another brand of sauce that they use.
Apart from the taste, this sauce ranks high among the others, in terms of its nutritional contents. The sauce fulfills 40% of your daily vegetable intake, is gluten-free and low in fat. With this jar of Prego sauce, you can quickly and easily turn a mundane dish into an exciting one full of rich taste and flavors. Not only can you use this sauce with your favorite pasta variety, but you can cook flamboyant recipes such as meatball sandwiches and skillet chicken parm with the help of this sauce.
3. Hunt's Garlic & Herb Pasta Sauce
When it comes to pasta dishes, the perfect chemistry between garlic and herbs is beyond any debate, and if you agree with this too then you would not be disappointed by this sauce by Hunt’s which is enriched with a deep and satisfying garlic flavor. Other than garlic, this sauce has a special blend of herbs and spices, along with tomatoes that have been ripened on the vines.
This excellent choice of ingredients makes this sauce a delicious sauce that can be used on any pasta, lasagna, or spaghetti dishes. The sauce comes in a 24 ounce can which means it is a perfect size for being used by a single person or by a small family. Another thing that we love about this sauce is that it comes with a complete recipe for making Pasta e Fagioli which is a traditional Italian dish, so you can start trying out this recipe right away using the sauce.
4. Organico Bello Gourmet Pasta Sauce
Even after a tiresome day at work, many of us resist the temptation to eat out and decide to cook and eat at home. And the reason behind it? Well, it is because we all want to eat healthy food, which can be done more effectively at home than anywhere else. And that is why, when we buy a spaghetti sauce from the store, we expect it to be healthy even though we are not making it at home. Organico Bello is a company that understands this idea very well, and that is why it has made this pasta sauce which not only tastes great but ensures your peace of mind regarding the health aspect of the sauce’s contents.
With zero added sugar and zero artificial preservatives, zero cholesterol, and being gluten-free, it is one of the safest ready-made spaghetti sauces that you can buy at the stores. In addition to that, it is USDA certified to be organic, verified to be non-GMO, and is also Whole-30 approved. Whole 30 is a dietary schedule which excludes food like dairy, sugar, alcohol, etc. for 30 days. The fact that this sauce is approved by this program means that even if you are on a strict dietary routine like Whole-30, you can still consume this sauce with peace of mind.
No matter how healthy a sauce is, if it does not taste great then you would not be using it, right? Organic Bello has made no compromises on the taste and flavor aspect of this sauce. The Organico Bello marinara sauce is made with plum tomatoes that are 100% organic, and are imported from Southern Italy. Moreover, the sauce does not contain added water or added paste, which allows the sauce to retain the rich texture and the unaltered flavors of the original fresh ingredients.
Not only are the tomatoes used in this sauce organic, but so are the other ingredients such as onions, extra virgin olive oil, basil, garlic, white pepper, and black pepper, which has been used to give the sauce its authentic taste and mouth-watering flavors. This pack contains three jars of the sauce each of which holds 24 ounces of sauce. The jars that the sauce comes in is made with plastic that is free of BPA and can be recycled.
5. Rao's Marinara Sauce
If you are looking for a spaghetti sauce with a hearty and homely taste, then you would definitely want to try Rao’s Marinara sauce. The taste of this sauce would remind you of a heart-warming family dinner that you enjoyed with the people closest to you and the secret behind how the sauce achieves this is a special blend of sweet Italian tomatoes, basil, oregano, sweet onions, extra virgin olive oil, pepper, and garlic.
The packaging of the sauce reflects the wholesome taste of the sauce it contains, with a label that has been designed with a vintage style and a classic appearance. Each jar contains 24 ounces of sauce which is an optimum amount if you are going to use this for a small family or for yourself.
6. Ragu Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
If you and your family are in love with spaghetti sauces and enjoy it couple times a week, then you should check out this sauce from Ragu that you can buy in bulk amounts so that you would not have to restock your kitchen frequently. This pack comes with three large containers of sauce, each with a quantity of 45 ounces of sauce which is quite generous compared to the other smaller sauce jars.
The size is not the only strength of this sauce, this sauce has a sweet-tangy flavor, a smooth texture, and the sauce is made in the old world style so if you are a fan of traditional tastes, then you would not be disappointed by this sauce. Moreover, half cup of this sauce contains two servings of vegetable, which means this sauce is a healthy choice to add to your daily meals and is a rich source of all the health benefits that are contained in vegetables such as dietary fibers and vitamins. Around the neck of the container, there is a handle using which you can easily hold the sauce bottle and carry it from the store to your home.
7. Tomato Sauce by Uncle Steve's
Having your spaghetti with the same sauce every time can become quite boring pretty quick if you don’t keep on changing the sauce by adding your own ingredients. But what if you could have three different types of sauce from the same trusted brand in one pack. Now that, sounds like a brilliant idea, right? Uncle Steve’s has arranged this pack in which you will find Marinara, Tomato basil, and Arrabiata sauce, each in its own 25-ounce jar. Marinara, you know all about it, it's classic, it's delicious, and it goes well with any Italian recipe you would want to enjoy at your home.
Tomato Basil is for the times when you want a spaghetti that has a fresh and bold tomato flavor with basil seasoning. Now Arrabiata, the word means ‘angry’ in Italian, and it refers to the spicy taste of the chili peppers which are used in the sauce, and this sauce would be perfect for days when you want something spicy and energizing. At the heart of these three variations of the delicious Uncle Steve's sauces are organic plum tomatoes that have been imported from Italy and have been simmered for six long hours to bring out the authentic flavor, taste, and consistency.
Not only are the tomatoes used in this sauce organic, but so are the other ingredients such as garlic, onions, herbs, and olive oil. As the sauce uses such high-quality ingredients, it does not need to use sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup which makes this sauce a healthy option to go for. The sauce is also certified organic by USDA, certified Kosher by Kof-k, and certified Paleo by the Paleo foundation, which means you can enjoy this sauce without having ethical or moral dilemmas.
8. Muir Glen Organic Garden Vegetable Pasta Sauce
Imagine how awesome it would be if your store bought spaghetti sauce contained different types of vegetables so that you would not have to worry about making a separate side dish or salad to fulfill your daily vegetable requirement. This awesome idea has been brought to reality by Muir Glen’s pasta sauce which contains various garden-fresh organic vegetables in its recipe.
It contains our favorite vegetables such as zucchini, green pepper, and spinach, all of which has been blended in together with tomatoes picked at their peak ripeness from an organic farm drenched in California sunshine, and has been seasoned with organic Italian herbs. Muir Gen, the company that came up with this fantastic sauce is involved in multiple conservation programs which makes buying products from this company an experience that is morally satisfying.
9. Francesco Rinaldi Tomato sauce
Just like the debate of whether peanut butter should be smooth or chunky can never be settled, people are strongly opinionated when it comes to the texture of spaghetti sauce. If you are an avid fan of chunky spaghetti sauce and believe that smooth sauces are too boring for your palette, then you might have found your soul mate in this tomato sauce by Francesco Rinaldi. The sauce was made with a chunky garden style recipe which includes the freshest tomatoes, onions, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and imported Italian herbs.
Apart from being exciting in terms of the texture, the sauce hides a flavor bomb in it as it has a unique ingredient in it – Pecorino Romano cheese. Pecorino Romano is a sharp cheese made from sheep's milk and has a distinctive tangy taste. The jar in which the sauce is packed has a complete recipe for making a unique dish called ‘baked polenta cake’ that you can try out with this sauce. These unique features of this sauce make it a great choice for people who want to try out a spaghetti sauce that is different from the others and would help them to bring something new and refreshing to their dinner table.
10. Prego Farmers' Market Sauce
When we are looking for the freshest produce to cook our family meals with, most of us go to the local farmer’s market first. Now imagine being able to buy a sauce at the market which uses ingredients that you would find on a farmer’s market. Although it sounds too good to be true, this is the case for Prego Farmer’s Market Sauce, which uses tomatoes that were ripened on the vine, olive oil, roasted garlic, basil, and oregano and has a taste that you would get if you were to buy all these ingredients from a farmers’ market and made it at your home.
In addition to being made with exceptionally fresh ingredients, the sauce is free from artificial color, artificial flavors, and preservatives, and you would experience the difference it brings about in the taste and flavors of the sauce. The sauce comes in a 23.5-ounce glass mason jar, which can be recycled and used to store various items in the kitchen.
Some of the top ready-made spaghetti sauces have been laid out in front of you and you have already come to know about each of their features and unique qualities. But how do you pick up the one that is the perfect match for you? To make it easy for you to decide, we will discuss some important factors that you would want to consider before you buy a spaghetti sauce.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Store Bought Spaghetti Sauce
Taste and Flavor
Most of us like to tweak our store-bought spaghetti sauce to make it the perfect fit for our gustatory and olfactory preferences. However, if the original taste and flavor of the sauce are not to your liking, it would be difficult to suit your likings even if you sprinkle Himalayan salt, add a dash of wine, or put in chunks of cheese into it. That is why it is important to know what the ingredients of the sauce are, and to read the label to know to an extent what type of taste and flavor the sauce has an ask yourself questions like, ‘Does it contain garlic?', "Does it contain extra virgin olive oil?', "What type of tomatoes do they use?", "Will it be spicy, too bland to my liking, or mild enough so my children can enjoy it?"
For many of us, the nutritional content and health effects of a ready-made sauce are the most important concern when it comes to buying one from the stores, as we do not have complete control of what goes into the sauce that we would be consuming along with our family members. Some of us might be going through a strict dietary routine and hence even the mention of spaghetti sauce can bring worrisome thoughts to our minds to dilute our appetites, such as ‘Does it contain too much calorie?', ‘Is it gluten-free?', ‘Is it loaded with cheese and ground meat?', ‘Does it contain extra sugar?' and so on. For this reason, the packaging of the sauce should have proper labeling of all the ingredients it contains, and other relevant information, for example, gluten-free, low-fat, non-GMO, calorie count, Whole 30 certified, etc.
When you cook spaghetti, you might not need to use the whole jar or can of sauce, especially if you are a single person living on your own. That is why it is best to go for the jarred ones as there is a lid which you can close to safely store the rest of the sauce. In case of a can, you can either buy the smallest can possible or transfer the rest of the sauce to an air-tight container. Once you open a jar or container of spaghetti sauce, it has to be stored inside the refrigerator so that it says fresh for later use. Another thing to consider about the packaging is the material the container is made of. Some people are wary of using plastic containers and cans because it might affect the contents inside. If you are going for a canned sauce, make sure that the container is made of BPA-free material.
The body of the container should also be labeled properly and show the ingredients it contains and other important information such as kosher, organic, gluten-free, expiration date, etc.
Style of the sauce
Spaghetti sauce can come in different styles, and you might prefer a different style of sauce on different days depending on your mood and appetite. For example, one of the most common types of spaghetti sauce is a good old marinara sauce. It is a classic sauce that involves tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs. This sauce can be used with many different types of Italian-American dishes, which makes it a good option if you are looking for a simple yet delicious sauce. Other than that, there is Arrabiata sauce, which is for the days when you want to have something spicy. Arrabiata is similar to Marinara, but it is a spicy version of it and it goes great with spaghetti as well as pasta such as Penne.
Another thing that varies from one style of sauce to the other is the texture. You might prefer a sauce that is smooth and will wrap around the spaghetti very well. However, others might prefer a chunky sauce where they can enjoy the bits and pieces of the herbs and vegetables in the sauce. Depending on your preference, you can go for a smooth or a chunky sauce.
Now that you have all the secrets for choosing the best store-bought spaghetti sauce within your grasp, you can start choosing your favorite spaghetti type and you will surely find a sauce to go with your strand pasta whether it be Capellini or Spaghettoni and start preparing your delicious spaghetti meal full of flavors and nutrition without having to cook a spaghetti sauce from scratch. Bon appétit!