Marinara sauce is a staple ingredient in many home pantries, but cooks are quick to use these sauces the same way over and over again. Spaghetti, mozzarella sticks, and meatball subs are always great go-to foods for using up jars of marinara. However, there are a lot of unique ways to cook with your favorite red sauce that will delight your taste-buds and keep the dinner menu exciting.
- Italian Style Ribs– Most people go straight for the BBQ sauce when making ribs, but country-style boneless ribs are delicious when simmered in marinara sauce and served on top of spaghetti noodles or white rice. You can also dice and sauté mushrooms, bell peppers, and onion for added flavor and veggies.
- Chicken Parm Burgers– Skip the fried and breaded chicken and make a burger patty out of ground chicken if you want a heart-healthy and calorie conscious version of chicken Parmesan! Gluten free buns, marinara sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and fresh spinach top off a super-healthy alternative to a classic Italian dish.
- Italian Meatloaf– Classic meatloaf recipes call for ketchup, but to kick up the flavor and create an Italian version, use marinara sauce instead! Serve with steamed veggies and roasted potatoes!
- Pizza Monkey Bread– You’ve probably heard of the classic, sweet cinnamon and caramel monkey breads, but this savory version is just as good and super fun to make! This simple recipe calls for pre-made biscuit dough and the toppings for a delicious pepperoni pizza filling, but you can modify the recipe to include veggies, other meats, or a blend of cheeses.
- Eggs in Purgatory– This recipe may sound menacing, but the taste will bring you back to life quickly! You may not think of using marinara with your breakfast foods, but this savory dish is good for any meal of the day and is a sworn by hangover remedy as well! Bonus points: This eggs in purgatory recipe works for paleo, keto, and whole30 meal plans.
- Sauteed Polenta- We love vegetarian dishes that show off the depth of flavor marinara sauce is known for, and sautéed polenta is super easy to make. This dish is great as a warm, savory snack, light lunch, or side dish.
- Healthy Baked Gnocchi- Everyone loves a classic Italian comfort food like gnocchi and this baked and healthy version steals the show at dinner time. You can also substitute any ground meat you prefer and cauliflower gnocchi if you need a gluten free alternative.
Marinara sauce is a versatile ingredient capable of elevating even the simplest dish. Use marinara as a dipping sauce for grilled cheese, pizza, or even chicken nuggets. Create Italian variations of your favorite entrees or make something totally unexpected that will surprise your taste-buds. The options are nearly endless when it comes to the best ways to use marinara sauce.