Marinara sauce is one of the most popular sauces used in Italian and Italian American cuisine and a staple everyone should have in their kitchen cabinets. Many families pass down their marinara recipes from generation to generation, but when you are short on time, a jar of marinara sauce is the next best thing!
While there are dozens of different sauces you can use on your favorite pasta, pizza, and other Italian dishes, there is nothing better than a delicious marinara sauce. One of our favorite things about marinara is the versatility of the sauce. Most marinara sauces start with the same base, but there are a few different ways you can spice things up!
Marinara Sauce Ingredients
The base of marinara sauce begins with a few basic ingredients that most people already have in their pantry.
- Italian Plum Tomatoes
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Depending on the type of marinara sauce you are buying, the amount of the ingredients used will be different. Roasted garlic marinara sauce will be heavy on the garlic. Basil marinara will have extra basil. Arrustica Sauce will have arugula and mushrooms for a wonderful, savory, garden fresh taste.
When you want a sweeter marinara sauce, a little bit of sugar can bring out the natural flavors of the tomatoes even more. When you need something with less salt and more heart healthy, a low-sodium marinara sauce is perfect. You can spice up marinara using other Italian herbs to suit your tastebuds such as oregano, red pepper flake, Bay leaves, rosemary, or thyme.
Best Ways to Use Marinara Sauce
Marinara sauces have many different uses which is why everyone should always have a few jars on hand. Classic ways to use marinara sauce include using it on most types of pasta, on pizza, or as a dipping sauce. However, a traditional marinara can also top sandwiches and sausages, used to simmer chicken, meatballs, and other proteins, and even used in vegetarian dishes like Ratatouille and soups. Marinara sauces are also often the base of other sauces such as spaghetti sauces which typically add ground meat to the mix.
When purchasing jarred marinara sauce there is no need to cook the sauce ahead of time. However, you will want to heat the sauce in a pan to bring out the aroma, flavors, and texture before pouring over your noodles. If you are using the sauce in a baked dish, the sauce will heat up during the baking time in the oven.
The ways to use marinara sauces are nearly endless and with so many varieties to choose from, including 3 cheese marinara sauces and more, you will never run out of recipes to try!