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15 Healthy Pasta Sauce Recipes

Pasta night just got a little lighter, thanks to these healthy pasta sauce recipes. We have delicious ideas for marinara, Alfredo, pesto and more.

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The Best Marinara Sauce

I developed this recipe with a friend to make the most of a bumper crop of tomatoes. Now we like to make huge batches—we’re talking 220-pounds-of- tomatoes huge—and then give jars along with a pound of pasta as gifts around the holidays. Knowing this sauce is made from the heart with the best possible ingredients makes me feel good about giving it to my family and friends. —Shannon Norris, Cudahy, Wisconsin

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Still hungry? Dig in to these other healthy pasta recipes.

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Avocado Pasta Sauce

This creamy pasta dish feels indulgent without being overly rich, thanks to its heart-healthy avocado pasta sauce! The flavorful avocado and spinach sauce is so smooth and thick, you will think cream is hiding in there. But the guilt-free sauce is dairy-free with a rich texture. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Romesco Sauce

Whether you pair it with fish, roasted veggies or some other creation, this flavor-packed romesco sauce will take your dish to a new level. —Lauren McAnelly, Des Moines, Iowa
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Best Ever Cashew Cheese Sauce Exps Rc20 253757 E09 09 8b 6

Best Ever Cashew Cheese Sauce

This is a versatile cashew cheese sauce that's totally plant-based. I use it as a pasta sauce, as a pizza topping, over roasted veggies, on tacos and for grilled cheese. It doesn't reheat well, so I don't suggest making a double batch to use throughout the week. —Max Gregor, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Try more light pasta recipes—that are packed with flavor!

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Garden Vegetable Tomato Sauce

I make this vegetable tomato sauce regularly and store containers of it in my freezer. It's a tasty substitute for regular pasta sauce, and the extra vegetables make it healthier. I also use it when I make pizza. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

My family loves this quick and healthy cauliflower Alfredo sauce on pasta. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Simple Pasta Sauce

This is a simple pasta sauce that you can use for more than just spaghetti. Puree this recipe for pizza sauce or a great dipping sauce. I also like to make a variation for bruschetta by omitting the olive oil, using fire-roasted diced tomatoes and simply combining the uncooked ingredients. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving on toasts. —Deborah Markwood, Chester, Virginia

Craving more plant-based eats? These vegan pasta sauce recipes hit the spot.

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Fettuccine With Black Bean Sauce Exps Sdfm19 36285 C10 18 3b 3

Black Bean Sauce

When my husband needed to go on a heart-smart diet, I had to come up with new ways to get more vegetables into our daily menus. This meatless spaghetti sauce is a winner; it’s even prettier with spinach fettuccine. —Marianne Neuman, East Troy, Wisconsin
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Tomato Meat Sauce

I have reduced grains and other starches in my diet due to health reasons, so I was looking for filling, comforting meals without pasta or potatoes. When I was tinkering with this spaghetti squash recipe, I discovered something fun to eat! —Becky Ruff, Mc Gregor, Iowa
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Arrabbiata Sauce With Zucchini Noodles Exps Hck18 196227 B04 014 7b 6

Arrabbiata Sauce

This popular Italian dish is very spicy and full of flavor. We decided to re-create one of our favorite jarred sauces and serve over zucchini pasta for a lighter, healthier meal that’s naturally gluten-free. The results were amazing! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Lemon Caper Sauce

My husband and I are always trying to increase the amount of fish in our diet. This recipe is fast, easy and enjoyable, even for non-fish lovers. —Catherine Jensen, Blytheville, Arkansas
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Red Clam Sauce

This recipe tastes like an Italian restaurant specialty and cooks while you take care of other things. What a marvelous way to jazz up pasta sauce! —JoAnn Brown, Latrobe, Pennsylvania
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Southern Barbecue Spaghetti Sauce

I revamped our favorite sloppy joe recipe into this thick spaghetti sauce that simmers in the slow cooker. The flavor is jazzy enough to be interesting to adults, yet mild enough for the kids to enjoy. —Rhonda Melanson, Sarnia, Ontario
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Basil and Parsley Pesto

Toss this parsley pesto with pasta, spread it over sandwiches or try it in one of these creative recipes using pesto. It's also delicious stirred into an Italian-style soup, like minestrone. —Lorraine Fina Stevenski, Land O’ Lakes, Florida
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Fresh Tomato Sauce

When my mom made this spaghetti sauce, the house would smell so good that I’d open the windows to torture the neighbors. It even tastes wonderful the next day, when the flavors have really melded. —Vera Schulze, Holbrook, New York

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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