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60 Dinners That Start with a Jar of Pasta Sauce

Whether you have one jar of pasta sauce you need to use up or stock up on multiples when they’re on sale, these easy dinner recipes are perfect for putting them to good use!

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Florentine Spaghetti BakeTaste of Home

Florentine Spaghetti Bake

Just because you start with a jar of pasta sauce doesn’t mean you can’t end up with an amazing homemade meal! Grab a jar of the good stuff and combine it with fresh ingredients like spinach, mushrooms and sausage to make a satisfying supper. Not sure which brand of spaghetti sauce to buy? Check out the brands our editors and the Taste of Home Test Kitchen recommend.

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Baked Lasagna Roll-UpsTaste of Home

Baked Lasagna Roll-Ups

This baked lasagna is far better tasting than any store-bought version. Ham and spinach combine for fabulous flavor. —Delia Kennedy, Deer Park, Washington

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Creamy Prosciutto Pasta

Creamy Prosciutto Pasta

I'm always looking for dinners that I can put together quickly. I re-created a favorite pasta dish from an Italian restaurant by using grocery store convenience products. Add crusty bread and a salad for a complete meal. —Christine Ward, Austin, Texas

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Garlic Bread Pasta TorteTaste of Home

Garlic Bread Pasta Torte

My kids love to stuff spiral pasta inside bread for a clever dinner torte. We save the bread crusts to make garlicky croutons for salad. —Melissa Birdsong, Waleska, Georgia

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Spaghetti & Meatball SoupTaste of Home

Spaghetti & Meatball Soup

A couple of nights a week our family ends up eating in shifts because everyone is going every which way, all at the same time. Having a hearty soup simmering in the slow cooker is an easy way to give them all a warm meal. —Susan Stetzel, Gainesville, New York

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Chicken-Pepper AlfredoTaste of Home

Chicken-Pepper Alfredo

When I want a lighter dinner, I use lean turkey bacon in this recipe. It gives the pasta that richness you want without all the extra fat. —Courtney Harris, Denton, Texas

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Muffin-Tin LasagnasTaste of Home

Muffin-Tin Lasagnas

This is a super fun way to serve lasagna for make-ahead lunches, potlucks or other fun get-togethers. My daughter took some of these to work and by noon was emailing me for the recipe. —Sally Kilkenny, Granger, Iowa

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Mozzarella Baked SpaghettiTaste of Home

Mozzarella Baked Spaghetti

This satisfying easy baked spaghetti recipe comes together and will please everyone at your table. Add a salad and breadsticks, and dinner's done. —Betty Rabe, Mahtomedi, Minnesota

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Chicken Parmesan Slider BakeTaste of Home

Chicken Parmesan Slider Bake

Sliders are the perfect finger food for any get-together, and this flavorful chicken Parmesan version won’t disappoint. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado

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Three-Cheese Meatball MostaccioliTaste of Home

Three-Cheese Meatball Mostaccioli

When my husband travels for work, I make a special dinner for my kids to keep their minds off missing Daddy. This tasty mostaccioli is meatball magic. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan

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Slow-Simmered Meat Ragu

Slow-Simmered Meat Ragu

After a day of simmering in the slow-cooker, this ragu is not your typical spaghetti sauce. It's almost like a stew, so feel free to skip the pasta. —Laurie LaClair, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Italian Pasta BakeTaste of Home

Italian Pasta Bake

I love to make this pasta bake whenever I need to bring a dish to pass. Fresh tomatoes add a nice touch that's missing from most other meat, pasta and tomato casseroles.—Karla Johnson, East Helena, Montana

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Italian Sausage HoagiesTaste of Home

Italian Sausage Hoagies

In southeastern Wisconsin, our cuisine is influenced by both Germans and Italians who immigrated to this area. When preparing this recipe, we usually substitute German bratwurst for the Italian sausage, so we blend the two influences with delicious results. —Craig Wachs, Racine, Wisconsin

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Chunky Chicken CacciatoreTaste of Home

Chunky Chicken Cacciatore

This recipe is so versatile! Look in your fridge for anything else you want to throw in, like red pepper, mushrooms, extra zucchini—you name it. And if you're a vegetarian, go ahead and leave out the chicken. —Stephanie Loaiza, Layton, Utah

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Homemade ManicottiTaste of Home

Homemade Manicotti

These tender manicotti are much easier to stuff than the purchased variety. People are always amazed when I say I make my own noodles. My son fixed this recipe for several of his friends, and they were extremely impressed with his cooking skills. —Sue Ann Bunt, Painted Post, New York

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Lasagna CasseroleTaste of Home

Lasagna Casserole

While growing up, this was the meal I always wanted on my birthday. Mother made the sauce from scratch, but I use store-bought spaghetti sauce to save time. Replace the ground beef with Italian sausage if you want more spice. —Deb Morrison, Skiatook, Oklahoma

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Spinach-Beef Spaghetti PieTaste of Home

Spinach-Beef Spaghetti Pie

With its angel hair pasta crust, this cheesy ground beef, tomato and spinach pie is always a hit when I serve it. Each neat slice has layers of pasta, cream cheese filling and spinach topping. —Carol Hicks Pensacola, Florida

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Slow-Cooker Chicken ParmesanTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Chicken Parmesan

s my love making this satisfying dish--it's easy and elegant, and the slow cooker minimizes my time in the kitchen. I make this during football season, too. For game days, I skip the pasta and serve the chicken on submarine rolls with a bit of the sauce and some chopped lettuce. You could also cut the chicken breasts in half and make sliders. —Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin

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One-Skillet LasagnaTaste of Home

One-Skillet Lasagna

This is hands-down one of the best skillet lasagna recipes our testing panel has ever tasted. With classic flavors and cheesy layers, it’s definitely kid-friendly. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Pizza Macaroni BakeTaste of Home

Pizza Macaroni Bake

What do you get when you combine macaroni and cheese with pizza fixings? This hearty, family-pleasing casserole! It's so easy and so tasty. —Nancy Porterfield, Gap Mills, West Virginia

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Favorite Baked Spaghetti

Favorite Baked Spaghetti

This yummy baked spaghetti casserole will be requested again and again for potlucks and family gatherings. It's especially popular with my grandchildren, who just love baked spaghetti with all the cheese. —Louise Miller, Westminster, Maryland

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Gnocchi Chicken SkilletTaste of Home

Gnocchi Chicken Skillet

Stovetop chicken and gnocchi recipes like this one make for a homey dinner in a hurry. Personalize it with your own favorite sauce and seasonings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Power LasagnaTaste of Home

Power Lasagna

When my husband and I wanted to live healthier, our first step was to eat more power foods, such as whole grains, fresh veggies and protein. Combined with our love for Italian food, this tasty lasagna is one of the nutritious results.—Jennifer Yaden, Richmond, Kentucky

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Spicy Veggie Pasta BakeTaste of Home

Spicy Veggie Pasta Bake

My dad cooked with cast-iron skillets, so when I do, I remember his amazing culinary skills. I keep the tradition going with my veggie pasta. —Sonya Goergen, Moorhead, Minnesota

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Wagon Wheel CasseroleTaste of Home

Wagon Wheel Casserole

My ground beef hot dish is a family pleaser. We love the combination of ingredients.—Barbara Hopkins, Lusby, Maryland

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Cheese-Stuffed Meatball SlidersTaste of Home

Cheese-Stuffed Meatball Sliders

Perfect for tailgating, you can make the meatballs and sauce for these sliders ahead of time and heat them up at home on game day. Put 'em on rolls in the parking lot. —Hilary Breinholt, Glenwood, Utah

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Spicy Shrimp & Penne PastaTaste of Home

Spicy Shrimp & Penne Pasta

I created this creamy pasta dish when I needed to use up some marinara. Red pepper flakes give it a little heat, which my family loves. It's super versatile, so try it with chicken, or simply stir in some fresh basil, too. —Lorri Stout, Gaithersburg, Maryland

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Ravioli LasagnaTaste of Home

Ravioli Lasagna

When you taste this casserole, you'll think it came from a complicated, from-scratch recipe. Really, though, it starts with frozen ravioli and has only three other ingredients. —Patricia Smith, Asheboro, North Carolina

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Alfredo-Pancetta Stuffed ShellsTaste of Home

Alfredo-Pancetta Stuffed Shells

I thought up this recipe while I was driving home from work. The local paper started a new reader recipe feature, so I sent this in, and I was published! Warm up some bread, pour the chardonnay and enjoy. —Tami Voltz, Rudolph, OH

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Sausage-Stuffed Flank SteakTaste of Home

Sausage-Stuffed Flank Steak

As part of a prize I won for a recipe contest, I received a slow cooker. I hadn’t used one in years, so I didn’t have any recipes on hand. This tasty beef was my first creation, and it was a hit with my family. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington

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Slow-Cooker Turkey Pesto LasagnaTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Turkey Pesto Lasagna

My cheesy, noodle-y lasagna makes any slow-cooker skeptic a believer. It's easy to prep while my kids nap, and dinner's ready when their dad walks in the door at night. We bring more pesto and marinara to the table for our resident sauce lovers. —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, VA

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Cheesy Mexican Chicken AlfredoTaste of Home

Cheesy Mexican Chicken Alfredo

I was hosting a baby shower and wanted to serve something everyone would enjoy. I created this recipe on a whim, so I was totally surprised that it turned out to be such a hit. —Tia Woodley, Stockbridge, Georgia

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Cannelloni-Style LasagnaTaste of Home

Cannelloni-Style Lasagna

I created this lasagna, combining two family favorite dishes, for our family's Christmas celebration. It was extra special because my parents had just come back from a trip to Italy. —Deborah Loop, Clinton Township, Michigan

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Fire-Roasted Ziti with Sausage

Fire-Roasted Ziti with Sausage

We punch up our pasta with smoked sausage and fire-roasted tomato sauce. It's an easy recipe to switch up—use whatever noodles and spaghetti sauce are in your pantry. —Jean Komlos, Plymouth, Michigan

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Super Spaghetti SauceTaste of Home

Super Spaghetti Sauce

At my house, we never know how many we'll have for dinner. That's why this spaghetti sauce is one of my favorites - flavorful, filling and fast. Smoked kielbasa gives it depth, and salsa adds the kick. —Bella Anderson, Chester, South Carolina

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Mediterranean Turkey PaniniTaste of Home

Mediterranean Turkey Panini

Panini are sandwiches that are pressed and toasted. I love making different panini recipes for my fellow teachers and friends. For potlucks, make several and cut them into fourths. The turkey panini sandwiches work well as an appetizer for any occasion. —Martha Muellenberg, Vermillion, South Dakota

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Easy Stuffed ShellsTaste of Home

Easy Stuffed Shells

I threw this recipe together one day when we had unexpected guests. It was an immediate hit and is now a family favorite. Get the kids involved when putting together this simple, savory dish. —Dolores Betchner, Cudahy, Wisconsin

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Chicken Spaghetti CasseroleTaste of Home

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

"I first made this meal-in-one when I had unexpected guests," recalls Bernice Janowski of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. "It's popular when I'm in a hurry, because it takes minutes to assemble."

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Weeknight Ravioli Lasagna

Weeknight Ravioli Lasagna

My husband and I love lasagna, but it's time-consuming to build and we always end up with too much. Using frozen ravioli solves everything. —Pamela Nicholson, Festus, Missouri

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Slow-Cooked White Bean ChiliTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked White Bean Chili

My friend Caroline Gray and I came up with this delicious slow-cooked chicken chili. It's unusual because it calls for Alfredo sauce. —Cindi Mitchell, St. Marys, Kansas

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Sausage ManicottiTaste of Home

Sausage Manicotti

This classic Italian entree comes together in a snap, but tastes like it took hours. It's so easy to fix, and my family always enjoys it. —Carolyn Henderson, Maple Plain, Minnesota

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Slow-Cooker GolombkiTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Golombki

I modified my mom's classic Polish dish to fit my hectic life. Instead of boiling the cabbage and then filling it with beef, I just toss the ingredients in the slow cooker. It's much easier and tastes just as good. —Mary Walker, Clermont, Florida

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Spinach Lasagna Roll-UpsTaste of Home

Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

One night friends on a tight schedule stopped by. I wanted them to stay for dinner, but I needed to fix something in short order. So, I created these savory spiral roll-ups, which feature a creamy three-cheese filling. They taste like lasagna, but bake in a fraction of the time. —Julia Trachsel Victoria, British Columbia

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Chicken Gnocchi Pesto SoupTaste of Home

Chicken Gnocchi Pesto Soup

After tasting a similar soup at a restaurant, I created this quick and tasty version. The pesto adds an extra-nice Italian flavor that is often missing from other gnocchi soups. —Deanna Smith, Des Moines, Iowa t

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Potluck Sausage CasseroleTaste of Home

Potluck Sausage Casserole

Whenever my husband digs in to this pasta casserole full of Italian sausage and veggies, he gets a big smile on his face. I love that! —Jane Davis, Marion, Indiana

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Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed ShellsTaste of Home

Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed Shells

This is my own personal recipe. I'm very proud of it because I am still a beginner cook and it was the first recipe I created. You can adjust it to your liking by doubling the spinach or adding some meat. —Laci Hooten, McKinney, Texas

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Argentine LasagnaTaste of Home

Argentine Lasagna

My family is from Argentina, which has a strong Italian heritage and large cattle ranches. One of our favorite Argentinian recipes is this all-in-one lasagna packed with meat, cheese and veggies. —Sylvia Maenenr, Omaha, Nebraska

 

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Three-Cheese Turkey ManicottiTaste of Home

Three-Cheese Turkey Manicotti

This is my husband’s favorite dish. He always requests it, even for holidays! You’ll love the variety of cheeses and spices that jazz it up. It’s restaurant-quality, but at a quarter of the price! —LuAnne Wallace Bennett, Powder Springs, Georgia

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Favorite Skillet LasagnaTaste of Home

Favorite Skillet Lasagna

Whole wheat noodles and zucchini pump up nutrition in this delicious, family-friendly dinner. Topped with dollops of ricotta cheese, it has an extra touch of decadence. No one will believe this one’s lighter. —Lorie Miner, Kamas, Utah

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Pirate Pasta ShellsTaste of Home

Pirate Pasta Shells

Grandfather loved pirate stories and good pasta. When we make his stuffed shells, it reminds us of his favorite tropical places and adventures. —Kathy Noll, Laureldale, Pennsylvania

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Penne Beef Bake

Penne Beef Bake

I had ground beef and veggies on hand so I came up with this pizza-flavored casserole. I never expected my family to love it so much. It's a good way to sneak in some extra veggies for the kids. —Jennifer Wise, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania

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Spinach-Basil LasagnaTaste of Home

Spinach-Basil Lasagna

In the kitchen, my husband and I like to use classic ingredients in new ways. I came up with this lasagna one day and haven't made another type since. We love it! —Charlotte Gehle, Brownstown, Michigan

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Sausage Spaghetti SpiralsTaste of Home

Sausage Spaghetti Spirals

My family loves this flavorful casserole with hearty chunks of sausage and green pepper. The recipe makes a big pan, so it's nicely sized for a potluck. —Carol Carolton, Wheaton, Illinois

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Lasagna RollsTaste of Home

Lasagna Rolls

My Italian lasagna roll-ups are not complicated; they require only basic ingredients to assemble. Prepared spaghetti sauce helps me save time and get dinner on the table sooner. —Mary Lee Thomas, Logansport, Indiana

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Spicy Lasagna Skillet DinnerTaste of Home

Spicy Lasagna Skillet Dinner

Shortcut lasagna bails me out when I'm in a frenzy to serve dinner. A leafy salad and buttery garlic toast round out the meal. —Donna Booth, Tomahawk, Kentucky

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Hearty Vegetable Beef RaguTaste of Home

Hearty Vegetable Beef Ragu

This recipe is healthy yet satisfying, quick yet delicious. It's on the table in less than 30 minutes—and one that my children will gobble up! If you are not fond of kale, stir in baby spinach or chopped broccoli instead. —Kim Van Dunk, Caldwell, New Jersey

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Slow-Cooker Sausage LasagnaTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Sausage Lasagna

On especially cold winter days, my family loves this with mild Italian sausage. I agree about the cold days, but I prefer a spicy sausage blend, which gives it a bit of a zing. —Cindi DeClue, Anchorage, Alaska

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Chicken ManicottiTaste of Home

Chicken Manicotti

When a girlfriend came home from the hospital with her newborn, I sent over this freezer casserole. She and her family raved over how good it was. Try substituting olives for mushrooms or using veal instead of chicken. —Jamie Valocchi, Mesa, Arizona

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Rich Baked SpaghettiTaste of Home

Rich Baked Spaghetti

It takes a little longer to make baked spaghetti, but the difference in taste, texture and richness is well worth the time. I serve this lasagna-style dish with a tossed green salad and breadsticks for a hearty, healthy meal. —Betty Rabe, Mahtomedi, Minnesota

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Saucy Chicken & TortelliniTaste of Home

Saucy Chicken & Tortellini

This heartwarming dish is something I threw together years ago for my oldest daughter. When she's having a rough day, I put on the slow cooker and prepare this special recipe. —Mary Morgan, Dallas, Texas

Amy Glander
Amy is a book editor at Taste of Home where she gets to pour her passions for food and storytelling into trade and series cookbooks. When she’s not writing or editing, you’ll find her antiquing, cooking and baking from her favorite vintage cookbooks and exploring Milwaukee’s urban beauty with her digital SLR in hand.

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