3 Ways to Use Marinara Sauce and Save Time Cooking

3 Ways to Use Marinara Sauce and Save Time Cooking

If you don’t ever want to throw out leftover tomato sauce again, learn these 3 great ways to use marinara sauce as cooking shortcuts!

  • By Brittany Yamamoto-Taylor
  • September 7, 2021

Buttery pasta in a rich marinara sauce is a beautiful thing. We will never knock that. But, have you ever thought to yourself, “What can I use tomato sauce for besiiides pasta?”

Once opened, the shelf life of jarred tomato sauce is about 1 week. So, if you want to know what to do with leftover tomato sauce or have an extra jar sitting around in your pantry, here are 3 great ways to put that sauce to delicious use while also saving time and avoiding food waste.


3 Ways to Use Marinara Sauce

1. Quick and easy pizzas

Sure, grocery stores sell pizza-specific sauces, but they are not actually necessary. If you have a marinara sauce already in your pantry, you don’t need to run to the store to buy something extra. Just spread it over your dough and you’re good to go.

2. Flavorful proteins

If you want a night off from mixing up marinades but still want to enjoy tasty proteins, leftover tomato sauce is a quick way to achieve that. You can easily spoon sauce onto fish, throw olives on top, and pop it in the oven to bake. You can also do the same with chicken. Just bake it with a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce and then elevate everything with a sprinkling of parmesan or mozzarella (or both!).

3. Extra-umami soups

Soups can take a long time to develop the layers of flavor that make them great. However, just a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce can quickly add umami-ness and light acidity. Just make sure to pick a soup that has a flavor profile that works with tomato, like a vegetable or even chicken noodle soup. Hold off on adding leftover tomato sauce to a soup like pureed asparagus or clam chowder.


As you can see, there are many super simple ways to use leftover tomato sauce. A few spoonfuls can provide all of the flavor but none of the time commitment needed for whipping up sauces from scratch.

But before we go, since some jarred tomato sauces can be a little too acidic or feel like they are missing something, we want to leave you with a couple brands we’ve been really impressed with:

Whole Foods Marinara Tomato Sauce tastes really fresh, not too acidic, and has a richness about it without breaking the bank at under $5 for a 24 oz jar.

Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce has the most streamlined, all natural ingredients we’ve seen on a jar in a long time. That makes it pricey at $8 for a 15.5 oz jar, but you can get a much better deal on the 32 oz jar for $11.

Those are a couple of our new favorite jarred tomato sauces, but you can really use any sauce that you already enjoy and have on hand. 

Now that you know what to use marinara sauce for, go forth and make your life a little more saucy!


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