Pasta sauce is a staple in most of our pantries. So, it’s important to find a healthy brand! This post will share my Top 7 Best Pasta Sauces, and what you need to look for while shopping.
I love a rich and flavorful pasta sauce. And I’ll agree that homemade sauce is usually the best choice. But realistically? Getting dinner on the table pronto some nights is the main priority. I’ve been there and I’ve done that and yes, I’ve reached for jarred pasta sauce on occasion. Yep, food bloggers/ healthy living influencers are people too!
A quick meal of spaghetti is just awesome when the kids and Dustin are hungry. Especially when we need to run out the door for soccer or to walk the dogs...or drop everything to help a kid with homework. In these instances, I’m all for something fast.
Jarred pasta sauce it is! At this point I've figured out the best (healthiest) brands you can keep in your pantry. And I thought it might be nice to share them in a list here. Cuz I know, like me, you aim to feed your family the best.
Now on the days you’ve GOT the time to enjoy making a meal with pasta sauce, I’ve got some recipes you can try. Like spaghetti with amazing meat sauce or four cheese tomato sauce, and low-carb, gluten-free spaghetti squash noodles. Or zucchini noodles. And I’ve got a super healthy homemade tomato sauce, too. And a roasted tomato sauce that freezes great! Throw in some healthy chicken meatballs and you’re good to go.
But let’s get back to the best pasta sauces you can buy, shall we? Keep reading!
What To Look For In A Store-Bought Pasta Sauce
When buying a pasta sauce I’ve got a few “must-haves”, otherwise the sauce just doesn’t make it into the shopping cart. The points I list below are pretty important and will assure you that what you are buying is healthy and tastes good.
Aim for sauces with the following...
Limited ingredients: In my opinion, you’ve got to be able to pronounce (and understand) the ingredients you see on the label. No unpronounceable stuff, and no sketchy ingredients like fillers and coloring. The fewer ingredients, the better. And keep it simple! Tomatoes and a few spices will do.
No added sugar: You’d be surprised at some of the hidden sugars in tomato sauces on the grocery store shelf. Some of the ingredients you may not even recognize as sugar, like cane juice crystals, rice syrup, and maltodextrin.
Clean ingredients: If there are added ingredients, they’ve got to be clean – and healthy. Sometimes a good pasta sauce will have a little olive oil added for example, and that’s okay. It’s when you get inflammatory oils or oils that are hydrogenated added to the sauce that you’ve got to take a second look. Learn more about oils here, to be informed.
Other nutritional factors: Watch the sodium content. The recommended intake of sodium per day in adults is 2300mg. But some jarred pasta sauces can have as much as 500mg per ½ cup serving! Keep an eye on the fat content (omega-3’s from olive oil are fine) in the sauce you buy.
What Is The Best Pasta Sauce To Buy?
The best pasta sauce to buy is the one with the characteristics I have listed above. Low sodium is a huge factor in my books, along with simple ingredients that I know are safe. I look for pasta-sauce perfection, with yummy clean-eating ingredients like fresh garlic (gotta love garlic) and olive oil. And you’ll want the closest-to-homemade flavor, too!
I don’t go by cost, because often, the cheaper the sauce, the more likely they’ve skimped on fresh ingredients. I’m not saying I don’t have a budget, because I do, and I meal-plan each week to stay within the budget.
What Is The Best Brand Of Tomato Sauce?
I know that Rao’s is a big hit with a lot of my friends – you know, when we meet at the park for a power walk and discuss the best pasta sauces you can buy. Sure, we talk about workouts, the kids, mom guilt, and all of that. And yes, the discussion often turns to what’s for dinner.
Rao’s has a lot of what we are looking for, such as low-fat content and simple, good-for-you ingredients. The flavor is rich and the consistency is perfect for pouring over your favorite pasta.
What Is The Healthiest Sauce For Pasta?
Well, store-bought tomato sauce is definitely healthier than alfredo (although my homemade 4-ingredient alfredo sauce is clean and made with cream cheese and almond milk).
Tomatoes have lycopene, which has antioxidant effects and helps to break down fats. So, this all adds up to using tomato sauce as your go-to pasta sauce. Homemade tomato soup and tomato basil bruschetta are great recipes to try also, as ways to get more tomato benefits.
What Is The Healthiest Spaghetti Sauce In A Jar?
Below, I’ll give you examples of some of the healthiest spaghetti sauces in a jar. This will help you make decisions as you shop. Here we go!
Rao’s Pasta Sauce: They call the sauce homemade...and with ingredients like olive oil, onions, and fresh basil, you’ll think you made it yourself! One half cup has 100 calories.
Organico Bello: This is a USDA certified organic brand without added sugar. And there are no GMO ingredients, either.
Cucina Antica: This sauce has 35 calories per ½ cup, and only 1 gram of sugar. Zero trans fats round out the good things about this sauce.
Gorgi: Gorgi Gourmet Foods has got the right idea, with fresh garlic, basil, and olive oil, no sugar added, and no added preservatives.
Primal Kitchen: Made with avocado oil (has no soy or canola oil), Primal Kitchen's pasta sauce is certified paleo, and non GMO verified.
365 Whole Foods Market: This pasta sauce has no added sugar and is USDA certified organic.
Mom’s: Mom’s Pasta Sauce has all-natural ingredients like vine-ripened tomatoes and extra heavy tomato purée.
Is Jarred Spaghetti Sauce Bad For You?
I’ll say no to this question, as long as you are buying a jarred spaghetti sauce that isn’t loaded with unhealthy oils or tons of added sugar. I think there are 3 main things to look for as far as ingredients. Watch out for the sugar content (remember sugar can be disguised as names like mannitol, carob syrup, barley malt, Florida crystals—the list goes on and on, really).
Sodium is next on the list (sodium is necessary for the body but too much can cause high blood pressure and more). Lastly, fats in the sauce should come from healthy sources like olive oil.
If you zero in on these things (along with steering clear of “mystery ingredients” you cannot pronounce, you can buy jarred spaghetti sauce to use on your favorite pasta and other dishes, too.
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