How to Make Jar Spaghetti Sauce Better

a bunch of mason jars filled with spaghetti sauce

Modern-day convenience has enabled us to enjoy a wide variety of food types straight out of a can, jar, or packet. It’s often the case, however, that most flavors aren’t as intense as you’d prefer them to be. This is because food companies are aiming to cater to a large number of palettes. This doesn’t mean that you should compromise and get bored of what was once your favorite food or condiment because there is so much you can do to add a twist on taste.

Spaghetti sauce in a jar is no exception. Just because it’s ‘spaghetti’ sauce doesn’t mean that you can only enjoy it on spaghetti, as it also makes for an awesome addition to your choice of meals (starches, veggies, or meats.) They come in a variety of types -in consistency and flavor- from different manufacturers. Most use tomato paste as a base, with spices thrown in for extra zing. If your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce is starting to taste too familiar, keep reading to learn how to make jar spaghetti sauce better.


Add Some Fresh Garlic

benefits of garlic infographic

Garlic has a naturally strong flavor that goes well with a very wide variety of food types. Try chopping up a couple of cloves in decent sizes (depending on your intensity preference) and mixing it with your spaghetti sauce before using it with your meal. Garlic is packed with compounds that activate and intensify compatible chemical components in spaghetti sauce, giving it a whole new taste. For a more intense flavor, leave chopped garlic in the spaghetti sauce and store it for the next time you want to enjoy it, giving more time for the garlic’s flavor to spread and mingle. Swap fresh garlic for grilled or fried chopped garlic for different perspectives of the same flavor.


Spice It Up!

Various spices in small bowls

Spices provide one of the most potent and diverse ways of changing the taste of your jar spaghetti sauce. You can add them whenever you like, before, during, and after serving, all of which give a great flavor twist. To bring out their full richness, add your spice of choice (or blend of spices) to a minimal amount of oil, fry them up for a minute or so, and then mix in your spaghetti sauce –then thank us later. The diversity of spices makes it a culinary adventure when trying our new combinations and flavors.


Mighty Meat

Different kinds of beef meat cuts

You can beef up the flavor of your spaghetti sauce by adding cooked meat to it. Do this before serving and enjoy a more filling meal. Spaghetti sauce is usually based on tomatoes, which are acidic in nature. This is great for using together with meats because these acids break down fats and proteins in the meat, allowing them to release their flavors. Try out different types of meats, such as sausages and salami, or chunks of fish and seafood for a lighter richness without changing out the depth of flavor.


Wine About It

Three glasses of wine in different flavors

To add some glamor to your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce, pour in some wine-preferably red- and heat lightly in a saucepan as they mix. The wine will bring out a stimulating tang in the spaghetti sauce, as it contains acidic compounds that mix very well. Don’t worry too much about your diners getting tipsy, as the process of heating breaks down the alcohol in the wine. Wine improves the aesthetic appeal of your jar spaghetti sauce by deepening its (red) color and giving it a welcoming aroma.


Decadent Dairy

bowl of shredded parmesan cheese

If you prefer a slick sauce to enjoy with your meal, adding cheese, cream, or butter to your jar spaghetti sauce is sure to check that box. Any of these dairy products melt when exposed to heat, easily mixing in and spreading its goodness throughout the rest of the sauce. You also get to enjoy a great nutritional boost from all the compounds locked in dairy products. The smooth, glossy look these dairy products give to your spaghetti sauce makes them mouthwatering even before they touch your taste buds. For butter, it’s best to mix it in with your sauce in a saucepan as you add heat, while cheese (grating some over the dish can give you great flair and hosting props) can be added once served.


Go Nuts

a pile of peanuts

Your favorite kind of nuts is sure to make awesome alterations to your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce. Nuts add great texture to the sauce by making it crunchier. You can scale the crunchiness up or down by putting in the nuts whole or crushing them into little bits. For deeper integration, grind the nuts down until they are almost in powder form and mix them into your spaghetti sauce. If you prefer to enjoy them whole but with not so much crunch, submerge the nuts into the sauce for at least a day (where they can absorb moisture from the sauce) or let them simmer with a slightly diluted (with water or milk) spaghetti sauce. Once it gets to your preferred consistency, serve it up and enjoy.

can of jarred spaghetti sauce

Try out any of the above as they are, with your own unique twists, alone or in combination. Cooking is awesome and doesn’t have limits on creativity and preference, so feel free to find new ways to bring the best out of your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce. Sometimes what you eat with the spaghetti sauce makes all the difference, so also try out more of your favorite foods to accompany it. Add it to condiments, such as tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard, and make delicious dips for savory snacks. Gain a new appreciation for your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce by making it your first go-to when fixing up any selection of savory snacks and dishes.



Can You Refreeze Spaghetti Sauce?

Yes, you can refreeze spaghetti sauce, but it is best to do this only one time.


What Seasonings Go in Spaghetti Sauce?

Salt and pepper are the most common ones. You can’t go wrong adding some garlic, onion, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and red pepper flakes (for some heat). Of course, there are no rules, and if you experiment, you may uncover some new spices that go well with spaghetti sauce.

Is Ragu Spaghetti Sauce Gluten-Free?

Yes, most Ragu spaghetti sauces are gluten-free. Always check the label to be sure.


Can I Use Spaghetti Sauce for Chili?

You can use spaghetti sauce as a base for chili. To create a more chili-like flavor, you may need to add:

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper (for heat)

How to Stretch Spaghetti Sauce

To stretch spaghetti sauce, try adding any of the following:

  • Vegetables: Chopped bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach can add bulk and nutrients.
  • Protein: Ground meat, sausage, or even lentils can extend your sauce and add protein.
  • Tomato products: Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, or tomato sauce to increase the volume without significantly changing the taste.

Remember to adjust seasonings accordingly as you add more ingredients.


Can You Put Cilantro in Spaghetti Sauce?

Yes! Cilantro can add a fresh, herbal flavor.


How to Reduce Garlic Flavor in Spaghetti Sauce

To reduce the garlic flavor in spaghetti sauce, try adding one or more of these:

  • Dilute the sauce: Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato paste, and adjust the other seasonings as needed.
  • Add sweetness: A pinch of sugar or a tablespoon of grated carrots can help balance out the strong garlic flavor.
  • Add acidity: A splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar can help cut through the garlic taste.


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Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.