Sooooo confession time! I don’t always make my own marinara from scratch………gasp, I know! Ok, have you recovered from that truth bomb? The truth is, I am a busy mom and despite the pretty pictures, dinnertime in my house is usually quite chaotic. When I started this company, I wanted everything to be 100% made from scratch, no exceptions! That was leading to me leaving out a lot of great recipes due to a simple marinara sauce. Yes the truth is, it is not hard to make, it’s fairly quick and simple. But it’s also true that in the midst of a weeknight dinner, we want as little dishes as possible, am I right?
So to honor my “Always Fresh” motto, and make sure I was sticking to my chemical and preservative free ethics. I set out to find my Top 5 Marinara Sauces – In A Jar!!! Now my subscribers will always have the option of making their own, or using one of these great alternatives and I won’t skip over amazing recipes just because of a simple sauce. It’s a win:win for all!
1. My absolute favorite is Rao’s! I’ve had the pleasure of eating at the actual restaurant in Las Vegas and it did not disappoint! Authentic Italian and absolutely amazing! What makes this my #1 is that there is absolutely zero sugar! The downfall is it can be at a higher price point than most others on the market. Keep your eye out for sales and I almost always see it for super cheap on Thrive Market.
Ingredients: Italian whole peeled tomatoes, olive oil, onions, salt, garlic, basil, black pepper, dried oregano.
2. If you have been a follower of mine for awhile you know that I am a true supporter of Whole Foods Market. I have found ways to shop there within a reasonable budget and always stick to their 365 Brand, including their marinara. This sauce is on average $2.50 a jar (which is incredible!) is 100% organic and tastes delicious without having to add any extras of your own. The conventional sauce usually runs about $1.50 and I would still consider it a great option, but one drawback could be if you have a soy sensitivity, they do use expelled soybean oil which could cause a flair up to anyone with an allergy
Ingredients: Organic diced tomato, Organic tomato puree, Organic garlic puree (organic garlic, water), Organic extra virgin olive oil, Organic onions, Salt, Organic garlic, Organic basil, Organic oregano, Organic black pepper
3. Who loves Trader Joe’s!? Their Rustico – Pomodoro is full of flavor and bulk. It contains added veggies (mushrooms, green pepper and red pepper) which is a total bonus, especially if you are worried about feeding picky kids. This sauce is great for simpler dishes when you are wanting to add a little oomph! The drawback is there is a small amount of added sugar, but hey, there are more veggies so it cancels out right? Sorry Trader Joe’s doesn’t have any direct links to their products..
Ingredients: Imported Italian plum tomatoes (tomatoes, tomato puree, basil, salt, citric acid), filtered water, tomato paste, mushrooms, onions, red peppers, green peppers, salt, crushed garlic (garlic, citric acid), pure imported olive oil, canola oil, chablis wine (chablis wine, garlic extract), basil, black pepper, evaporated cane juice (naturally milled cane sugar), red wine vinegar, oregano.
4. Amy’s Kitchen! What’s great about Amy’s is that you can find it at almost all your local big chain grocery stores, so no special trips and no having to order online….score! This is a true minimalist brand and sticks to the bare basics. Don’t be fooled though, the flavor is really amazing! This sauce would go great when it is being incorporated with a lot of other ingredients, you would not need to worry about the sauce and the rest of the dish competing for the spotlight!
Ingredients: organic tomato purée, filtered water, organic onions, organic extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, organic garlic, organic black pepper, organic spices.
5. Lastly, but most certainly not least, how could you mention an Italian food product without including Mario Batali? His sauces are most certainly a treat as he uses only imported Italian tomatoes. I come from an Italian family, and let me tell you a good tomato makes all the difference! Like Rao’s it can be at a higher price point, but worth it. And also like Amy’s it has minimal ingredients so that the sauce doesn’t compete with the rest of the dish.
Ingredients: Imported Italian tomatoes, red onion, extra virgin olive oil, carrots, sea salt, basil, garlic
So you see, there are plenty of great options on the market that fit the criteria of chemical and preservative free. Let me know if you’ve found any others you think I might like in the comments!
Love you all,
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