About Best Loved Brands
When you’re looking for the absolute best, grocery shopping can be quite the ordeal—dozens of brands, hundreds of choices. From bacon to brownies, meatballs to mozzarella, it can be daunting to make the picks that will make your recipes sing. That’s where Taste of Home comes in. Our culinary and editorial experts put 100+ products to the test. After undergoing a thorough review, our Best Loved Brands emerged. Find out which brands you should be shopping for.
Finding the Best Spaghetti Sauce
When it comes to pasta sauce, we all enjoy the homemade stuff just like Mom used to make, but we don’t always have the time. That’s why knowing a good store-bought brand is so crucial. A good jar of marinara can make weeknight dinners easy and delicious. Our culinary and editorial teams wanted to find this perfect jarred sauce, so we tested 11 brands—some standards and a few that were totally new to us. Each pasta sauce was tested blindly and judged according to these criteria:
The right combination of tomato, garlic, herbs and olive oil is what makes a marinara sauce so satisfying. When ladled over your favorite pasta or used in a tasty baked pasta dish like this Florentine spaghetti bake, the sauce can make the dish. After testing 11 brands, our team can confidently say that we’ve found our best-loved brand, the one that’ll make that spaghetti bake (and your lasagna, manicotti, chicken parmesan and more) really come to life. Check out our picks for what to stock in your pantry.
First Place: Rao’s
The marinara that we most wanted topping our plate of spaghetti and meatballs came from Rao’s. This sauce gave us great tomato flavor—very fresh and bright. Combined with the right balance of onion, garlic, pepper, basil and oregano, it gave this sauce an authentic Italian taste. What made this sauce our top pick, though, was its spot-on texture—absolutely perfect for coating any pasta.
$7.99 for a 24-oz. jar; available at grocers nationwide and on Amazon.
Second Place: Frescorti
Garlic-lovers, this is the sauce for you. Frescorti offered a garlic-packed sauce with a good helping of onion and black pepper as well. The thicker texture was also notable—great for spooning over your favorite chicken parmesan (we break down a recipe step-by-step here).
$3.79 for a 26-oz. jar; available at select grocers nationwide.
Third Place: Francesco Rinaldi
For folks looking for an herb-filled sauce, be sure to grab a jar of Francesco Rinaldi sauce (and it’s less than $2.00 a jar!). This sauce had good basil and oregano flavor. Plus, the good texture—not too thick or thin—make it a good all-purpose sauce perfect for keeping in the pantry for quick dinners.
$1.99 for a 24-oz. jar; available at select grocers nationwide.
What to Make with Spaghetti Sauce
When it comes to a jar of pasta sauce, the options are vast. Want a quick dinner? Just stir in your favorite pasta and add a sprinkle of cheese. Want something a bit more substantial? Use it in baked ziti or manicotti. Marinara is for more than just spaghetti after all! Just check out all these amazing takes.
Whether you choose to go simple or elevated with your Italian dishes, we’re confident in recommending any of these sauces. Want to see them in action? Check out that amazing Florentine spaghetti bake in the making.
Don’t stop with just the best spaghetti sauce! Be sure to check out our other Best Loved Brands for your best home cooking yet.