Deep thoughts on jarred pasta sauce

Today’s ‘Friday Favorite’ goes against the popular opinion…. but I need to come clean.

I love jarred pasta sauce.

There- I said it. I don’t taste the difference with ‘homemade’ sauce, I’m not even crazy about tomato sauce to begin with. Jarred sauce is just so darn handy to keep in the cupboard and has saved me from resorting to last-minute take out food many times. Eating at home with a dish made from jarred sauce is better than ordering a pizza. Sue me.

Yes, I know it’s ‘so easy’ to make your own sauce. But you know what’s easier? Opening a jar. In particular- opening THIS jar:

Wild Oats brand organic tomato basil pasta sauce is my #1 pick

Wild Oats brand organic tomato basil pasta sauce is my #1 pick

This gem comes exclusively from Walmart (of all places!). It’s a bargain compared to other jarred sauces at less than $2 a pop. I love that the ingredients are all organic and pretty stinkin’ close to what I would add in if I were to make it from scratch.

I’ve spent my fair share of time in the pasta aisle reading sauce labels, and this is truly the best one I’ve come across for the price point. I’ve tried all of the flavors in this line and have never been disappointed. I always stock up!

Are there any healthy swaps you make in the name of convenience? Don’t be ashamed, a key to creating a lifestyle you can stick to is deciding what matters most to you. For me, red sauce from scratch just doesn’t rank.

For more info mentioned in this post, check out:

I apologize to all Italian readers and family members for any offensive sauce comments made in the above post.

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32 thoughts on “Deep thoughts on jarred pasta sauce

  1. I love jarred sauce too! What I do is add in sautéed mushrooms or any herbs I have around the kitchen and then I tell myself I’ve only used it as a “base.” Haha!

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  2. I loved jarred sauce too, especially the clean, organic brands (I never saw the one you mentioned but I will look for it now, thanks!) My healthy “go to” convenience items are organic frozen fruits and vegetables. Purists will complain I’m not eating “in season” but I love how they are so fresh and delicious plus you save so much time because they are already cleaned.

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  3. I completely agree! I have made it fresh plenty of times, but like the one you pictured, found some great store bought options. Plus, you can always jazz it up with some sauteed onions, peppers, or garlic! yum!

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  4. There is no shame in using jarred tomato sauce, and anyone that says they’ve never taken this handy short cut, including professional chefs, is probably fibbing. :) Even celebrity tv chefs admit to using them, as is, or as a good base to doctor up with a few fresh herbs, fresh garlic and onions etc.
    Thank you for your honesty :) and also for the great price and ingredient info!

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  5. I absolutely agree! I’ve made my own, and just don’t think it’s worth it (and you know I love making most things from scratch!). At my local grocery store Mariano’s I can find jarred organic pasta sauce with no added sugar for $2.50/jar. It’s their store brand and I love it!

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  6. I do jarred sometimes, but not the canned (and actually, not over pasta). I read the ingredients and select which works best for me. Back when I did cook pasta, I was quite happy to add in my own seasonings and mushrooms, and use this as a base. I still work that way!!! (Pasta sauce can work with a lot of things!)

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  7. I use jarred sauce because I can find varieties that are safe for me even with my food allergies. But I do know how to make sauce. I think that it’s important to know how to make some of the convenience foods we enjoy because it helps you choose what’s worth a shortcut and what isn’t — and then you aren’t completely out of luck if something that used to be safe suddenly isn’t anymore. I like feeling prepared.

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  8. I’ve been on a years-long quest to find a pasta sauce I truly love – I’ll have to check this one out! As for shortcuts, I’ve been buying frozen chicken tenders for years, and I still occasionally buy canned soup. What can I say? I’m a PhD student, and I teach 4 days a week in addition to doing my own research. It’s all about maximizing your time.

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  9. I feel like you just wrote about me! I believe in balance. Perfection in one area might cost you in another. The time I save by popping open that jar can be used to help kids with homework, fold laundry, or whatever else. You can’t be perfect in everything. I’d rather be pretty darn good at a lot of things than perfect at one thing. I think that jar of sauce is pretty darn good.

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  10. I can’t believe this is at Walmart… I am 1000% with you on the jarred sauce thing. It tastes nearly the same as homemade!! I’m not much of a red sauce girl as it is…. So jarred wins (almost) every time.

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