Best And Worst Pasta Saucesranked
Even though research done in Italy has shown that eating pasta isn’t associated with a higher BMI, something tells us most Italians aren’t eating at Olive Garden. And while the Mediterranean diet has been getting plenty of buzz, we know those residents most likely whip up their own fresh sauce rather than pour one out of a jar like most Americans. Our point? Pasta’s not really that badit’s the spaghetti sauce brands loaded with excess calories, mounds of salt, and buckets of added sugar that give your plate of carby heaven such a bad reputation. These jarred, ready-to-eat sauces from the grocery store are often made with oils that are full of inflammatory omega-6sa stark contrast to the oleic acid found in extra virgin olive oil that actually helps you lose belly fat, not gain it.
By the end of this list, you’ll be able to eat like the Europeans eat and still keep the weight off. Here, we’ve found the 40 most popular plain tomato sauces , and ranked them according to ingredients and nutrition. Simply use our simple swaps and you can whip up tasty, guilt-free pasta dishes that you can even feel good about! And when you’ve picked out the best sauce, cover all your carb-loving bases by checking out these ultimate pasta tips to stay skinny. Buon appetito!
RELATED: The 7-day diet that melts your belly fat fast.
The Best Sauce For A Low
If youre on a low-carb diet, youre probably looking for ways to cut carbs and still enjoy your favorite dishes. Fortunately, there are some great sauces that will help you do just that!
One of the best sauce options for a low-carb diet is Raos Tomato Basil Marinara. It has only 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving and it tastes amazing!
Another option is Trader Joes Organic Tomato Sauce. It has even less carbs than Raos: 1 gram per serving.
These two sauces are just two examples of the many great sauce options that can be found in most grocery stores today. Choosing a different sauce may depend on what youre craving at any given moment, but we hope this article helped you find some new ideas!
What Can I Substitute For Pasta Sauce
During the winter months, it can be tempting to just stick with what you know and order your usual spaghetti and meatballs. But did you know that there are plenty of sauces available that are calorie-conscious?
Instead of ordering your usual pasta, why not try something new? Keep reading for some great recipes that will keep your taste buds satisfied while keeping you thin.
If youre looking to cut back on calories, but still want to enjoy a nice meal, consider trying these healthy alternatives:
Recommended Reading: Chicken With Ragu Sauce Recipe
These Are The Best Low
If you’re cutting back on added sugar or carbs in your diet, you probably already know to say goodbye to soda, white bread, fruit juices, and breakfast cereals. You may not know that you need to be careful about which brands of jarred marinara sauce you buy, too. To balance the acidity of tomatoes, many brands add sugar to their sauces. unfortunately, that won’t do if you’re sticking to a Whole30, keto, or low-carb diet. That’s why we asked nutritionists for their advice to find the best low-carb spaghetti sauce brands you can buy.
Low Carb Spaghetti Sauce
This spaghetti sauce has no added sugar, but is full of flavor. Find a tomato puree that has an ingredient list of one thingtomatoes. Yes, tomatoes have some naturally occurring sugars, but as long as there is not sugar listed in the ingredients, youre golden and will end up with a deliciously low carb spaghetti sauce.
Plus, it is heartyfull of meat and petite diced tomatoes. The kids dont even mind the diced tomatoesbut they have to be petite diced so they are not so noticeable.
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Cucina Antica Tomato Basil
Ingredients: Imported Italian San Marzano Tomatoes, Tomatoes , Onions, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt, Basil, White Pepper, Black Pepper
Appearance & Consistency: As contradictory as it seems, Cucina Antica somehow managed to make a sauce that’s simultaneously chunky and runny.
Taste: Tough the basil shreds were visible to the eye, they were undetectable to the taste buds. Unfortunately, this sauce was lacking the authentic flavor its packaging foreshadowed.
Eat This, Not That! Verdict:
Considering the rustic labeling and Italian name that translates to “antique kitchen,” I expected this sauce to boast more pronounced Mediterranean flavors. Rather than getting a refreshing whiff of tomato and basil, my nostrils were hit with an unpalatable dish detergent scent. My colleague also affirmed that the taste is almost Windex-like. What in the world? To say the least, I was confused.
Everyday Value Organic Marinara
Ingredients: Organic Diced Tomatoes, Organic Tomato Purée, Organic Garlic Purée , Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Onions, Salt, Organic Garlic, Organic Basil, Organic Oregano, Organic Black Pepper
Appearance & Consistency: All of the star ingredientsgarlic, onions, basil, and oreganowere eye-catchingly present in Whole Foods’ organic marinara. Besides an occasional diced tomato, the sauce was generally thin.
Taste: While my palate picked up on all of the individual spices and alliums, the flavors lacked harmonization. This noodle smotherer tasted like it needed more time on the stovetop.
Eat This, Not That! Verdict:
This pick sort of reminded me of my own single attempt at marinara sauce, which involved my impatience inhibiting the spices to simmer long enough to actually marry. In other words, I expected Whole Foods to execute a better sauce than I ever have . . . but I can’t deny that it was nonetheless tasty.
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Newman’s Own Sockarooni Sauce
This is one of the first jarred sauces that I remember buying when I first got married and started cooking for my own family. I was introduced to this sauce by a friend and fell in love with it the first time I tried it. That was over 20 years ago and it is still my favorite jarred sauce. The flavor is very rich and bold and has just the right consistency. I don’t like sauces that are too thin and runny. This is a hearty sauce that is great for spaghetti and meatball meals. I have made lasagna, baked ziti and just plain spaghetti with this sauce and it is great for all my recipes. Newman’s sauce is one of the more natural sauces on the market and one that I feel good about feeding to my family. I try to make homemade things whenever I can but this sauce is perfect for times when I can’t and don’t have time to make sauce from scratch. Newman’s makes great high quality products that I can feel good about feeding to my family.
Aldi Specially Selected Premium Marinara
In terms of money-saving groceries, Aldi is a pretty great store to shop at. Nothing is too expensive, and there are a ton of options. The store brand of marinara sauce there, too, is pretty impressive. Aldis Specially Selected Premium Marinara isnt the absolute best premade sauce on the market, to be fair, but it might just surprise you anyway.
According to one review of Aldis sauce, its decent overall, though a little on the bland side. But theres also a bit of a culinary conspiracy theory that says the Aldi sauce is actually the same as Raos Marinara sauce, meaning youd be getting an especially good deal on an amazing store-bought sauce if you buy the Aldi brand. Whether or not the two sauces are the same, its hard to deny that the Aldis sauce is a lot better than you might have thought.
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Is Sauce A Superfood
Almost 70 percent of the sauces in our tests received at least a Very Good score for nutrition. Tomato sauce supplies vitamins A and C, plus lycopene. Tomatoes are one of the few foods high in this antioxidant, which, in addition to giving tomatoes their red color, has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, and other diseases.
Cooked tomatoes have far more lycopene than raw because the heat during cooking changes the chemical shape of lycopene, making it much more easily absorbed, says Xiang-Dong Wang, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Nutrition and Cancer Biology Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.
And a little fat in your sauce can further enhance lycopene absorption. Most of the sauces we tested had fewer than 5 grams of total fat per serving and no saturated fat. Even among the higher-fat sauces, the source of the fat was almost always olive oil. The monounsaturated fats that make up the majority of the fat in olive oil help protect against heart disease and stroke when theyre part of a healthful diet, says Amy Keating, R.D., a Consumer Reports nutritionist who led the testing.
Barilla Rustic Basil Pesto
If marinara or alfredo is still not what you are looking for, then this Barilla Rustic Basil Pesto may be a good non-sugar added choice for you.
The ingredients are relatively simple.
It is made with basil, sunflower oil, spinach, garlic, Grana Padano cheese, cashews, potato flakes, pecorino roman cheese, lactic acid, and yeast extract.
However, compared to the other sauces on the list this pesto is not as natural.
It is also the only sauce on the list that is not vegan friendly, and it does have a bit higher sodium content at 20% of the daily value. However, where it shines is its lack of sugar as it has 0 grams of sugar, the lowest on the list.
So, if for some reason sugar content is important to your health and dietary needs or marinara and alfredo sauces are not for you, this Barilla Basil Pesto is an excellent option.
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Pretty Tasty And Affordable
For pasta sauce in a jar, Newmans sockarooni sauce is a convenient and tasty product for making a quick meal. Granted, making homemade tomato sauce is time-consuming but well-worth the effort. For those busy and hectic times, Newman’s sauce is as close to homemade as possible. Simply open the jar and pour into a sauce pan. Heat the sauce and pour over any cooked pasta. That’s it. I embellish the sauce while it is simmering by sprinkling in some oregano and a little extra virgin olive oil. Sometimes, I sprinkle in some parmesan cheese, too. Nemans sauce is affordable and does not contain preservatives or artificial colors.
How Do You Make Homemade Alfredo Sauce
Its actually so much easier than I thought it was going to be.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, stir in cornstarch. This will help the alfredo sauce thicken.
Now whisk in broth and milk. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, stir in greek yogurt, parmesan, and seasonings and you.are.done!
Ahhh. Dont you just quick and easy recipes? I do!
Now. Lemme just say. This is NOT as thick and creamy as your typical alfredo sauce, but thats to be expected! Were not using butter, heavy cream, or cream cheese.
But I promise you, youll love it just as much. Although its not as thick and creamy, this Healthy Alfredo Sauce is still plenty thick and creamy, packed with flavor, and is amazing over whole wheat fettuccine.
And dont forget. Its great on pizza, too come back Wednesday for the recipe! In the meantime, eat this with noodles and be oh so happy.
What are your favorite dishes that you would like to see lightened up? Show me the yummy!
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The Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara
Ingredients: Imported San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes, California Whole Peeled and Crushed Tomatoes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fresh Onions, Fresh Carrots, Fresh Garlic, Pear Concentrate, Spices
Appearance & Consistency: Though the general consistency was light, albeit with sporadic tomato lumps, this sauce was jam-packed with spices by the looks of it. Not to mention, the fresh carrots added some crunchiness, which I can predict will work well in a slew of recipes.
Taste: Despite being the lowest in sodium of all our test panelists, The Silver Palate didn’t disappoint my taste buds. Sure, it wasn’t as umami-packed as some of the other picks, but it did boast unexpected fresh flavors and hearty spices.
Eat This, Not That! Verdict:
This pick is lacking sodium, but that doesn’t mean it’s not rife with flavor. Instead of relying on the heart-harming stuff, The Silver Palate’s marinara takes advantage of quality ingredients, such as imported San Marzano tomatoes and EVOO, to lend the sauce its complexity. This surprisingly delicious sauce proves that you can keep the salt off your fork without compromising flavor.
About This Easy Marinara Sauce
But most homemade pasta sauce takes a lot of time.
I have very fond memories of my mother simmering homemade pasta sauce for hours, and hours, and hours at home.
The house smelled wonderful and it was such a treat to get to sample the pasta sauce ladled on a piece of bread . Yum.
It was lovely.
But hours and hours this busy mom doesnt have.
Instead of slaving over a hot stove for hours, you can have delicious homemade easy marinara sauce in minutes.
And it tastes great.
And if you can memorize the ingredients, its easy peasy to recreate this easy marinara sauce because I made the measurements the same for the spices across the board.
One Tablespoon of each spice.
Easy Peasy Marinara Sauce Squeasy.
Just one thing as I mentioned, you can easily memorize this recipe, so its easy to remember, but just dont put something like cinnamon or ginger in there. Cause then Im not responsible for the outcome :). Just sayin.
And also please promise me that you wont sample it on white bread, mkay?
I think you will love this sauce.
You will love that its easy, you will love that it is a great frugal option, and you will love that it tastes great.
And if you want meatballs with your pasta, you can try these Grain-Free Meatballs that actually hold together without eggs.
Read Also: Is Raos Sauce Worth It
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The Meatball Shop Classic Tomato Sauce
Ingredients: Imported Italian Whole Peeled Tomatoes, Fresh Onions, Olive Oil, Salt, Fresh Garlic, Oregano, Chili Flakes, Bay Leaves
Appearance & Consistency: Though this sauce did have some oil separation, a quick stir lent it the velvetiness I’d hoped for. Given the fact that I spotted a few minced garlic cloves floating around, I expected this to taste a lot like the allium.
Taste: Imagine you had the time to simmer fresh tomatoes and smoky spices on the stovetop. What a fantastic visualization, right?! Well, The Meatball Shop Classic Tomato Sauce will bless your plate of penne with homemade results sans kitchen time.
Eat This, Not That! Verdict:
If you’re ever fortunate enough to walk into one of the swanky New York-based locations of The Meatball Shop, you’ll realize how this sauce smells just like it. The topper was tangy and umami-rich, but surprisingly not spicy at all despite its inclusion of chili flakes. This sauce wasn’t too robust or complex, rendering it perfect for meatballs or ragù.
What Is The Best Way To Heat Up Jarred Pasta Sauce
To keep the integrity and flavor of the sauce, it is best to heat it up on the stove in a pot. Make sure to heat up the sauce before adding it to your pasta to get the most flavor.
Also, only use a microwave if there is a time crunch. Cooking pasta sauce in a microwave can ruin both the flavor and texture of the sauce.
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The Best High Protein Sauce
We love this sauce because its high protein and low calorie with a whopping 25 grams of protein per serving. It also has living probiotics to help you stay healthy and energized with every bite.
Nona Lim Organic Spicy Brown Rice Vermicelli Sauce is a great sauce if you want something that will keep you full longer. Its made from organic brown rice noodles, which are naturally gluten-free, vegan, and keto-friendly.
This sauce is delicious on its own or as a topping for other foods like chicken or fish. But if you really want something to spice up your night, try adding some cherry tomatoes for an extra tangy twist!
Why Is There Sugar In Spaghetti Sauce
Ummm there’s sugar in marinara sauce? Yup. Tomatoes naturally have about four or five grams of sugar per serving however, brands will also add even more sugar to offset the acidic flavor of the sauce.
Just because you need a little sweetness to balance out the flavor, though, doesn’t mean the amount of sugar found in some popular store-bought pasta sauce brands is necessary.
How much sugar are we talking? Here’s a comparison of three popular sauces and the sugar content in each, alongside foods that contain the same amount of sugar.
|9 grams||¾ cup of Cinnamon Toast Crunch|
Yeesh. If you wouldn’t top your spaghetti with three fun-size Butterfinger candy bars, you won’t want to pour a serving of Ragu’s Chunky Sauce on there, either. Thankfully, these brands are some of the worst offendersnot all marinara sauces are this high in sugar. You can make healthier choices by picking the best low-carb spaghetti sauce brands.
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