Marinara sauce is a staple in nearly every kitchen in America because it is versatile, flavorful, and one of the most popular ingredients for Italian dishes. A classic marinara goes beyond spaghetti and has a variety of uses that many home cooks may not think about while preparing for dinner. You might be surprised at how many different dinner ideas for marinara sauce are out there just waiting for creation in your home kitchen.
If you are looking for a new way of using marinara sauce for dinner, you have come to the right place! We have several great ideas for using marinara that are sure to be a hit for the entire family.
Top Non-Pasta Ideas for Marinara Sauce
Although pastas are the go-to for marinara, there are many other great ways of using marinara sauce that we love for dinner ideas.
- Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches/sliders
- Sloppy Joes
- Italian Sausage Sandwich
- Italian Beef Sandwich
- Meatball subs
- Italian Meatloaf
- Pizza rolls/puffs
- Chicken cacciatore
- Mussels with marinara
- Calamari with marinara
- Mozzarella sticks
- Minestrone soup
- Olive tapenade
- African stew
- Stuffed mushrooms
- Tuna Marinara
- Pizza Potatoes
- Baked beans
- Grilled cheese
- Creole stew
- Poached cod simmered in marinara
- Bloody Mary cocktails
- Spiced okra
- Polenta bites
- Eggplant roll
- Stuffed squash
- Tomato-fennel soup
Marinara Pasta Dishes
When it comes to pasta and marinara, the options are almost endless. Marinara sauce is light, vegetarian, and a great compliment to spaghetti noodles or penne. Many cooks also love to use marinara sauce with lasagna, tortellini, or ravioli.
How to Store Leftover Marinara Sauce
It is always better to have too much marinara sauce than not enough, but what do you do with the leftovers at the end of the night? After opening a jar of marinara, any leftovers should go into the refrigerator inside of an air-right glass or plastic container. Extra sauce can also transfer into heavy duty freezer bags for long-term storage in the freezer.
In the refrigerator, an open jar of marinara can last 7 to 10 days.
In the freezer, opened marinara can last 4-6 months.
Once opened, do not leave marinara sauce sitting out at room temperature for longer than two hours. After this time harmful bacteria can begin to grow in the sauce that could be harmful if ingested.
When unopened, marinara sauce is best stored in a cool, dark space such as in cabinets or the pantry. Exposure to lights or temperatures over 95 degrees F will speed up the spoilage process and cause the marinara sauce to be unsafe to consume.
Marinara sauce can elevate many dishes from bland to flavorful, it’s all a matter of knowing how best to use this delicious, classic Italian staple. You will bring your dinner to life using marinara sauce with the entrees included here!