The Tip For Getting The Most Bang For Your Buck On A Can Of Rao's Sauce

When it comes to jarred pasta sauces, there's an undisputed champion of the Italian food aisle: Rao's. Ina Garten swears by it, and reviewers across the internet love it. Without additives other sauces have, its ingredient list is simple — but its price tag is high. Rao's 24-ounce sauces famously ring up around $8.99, a spendy price point that can create some sticker shock compared to other brands that sell for a dollar or two a jar. 

But one TikTok user has a clever tip to stretch that jar of Rao's without sacrificing flavor — adding crushed tomatoes. In one TikTok video, the TikToker adds a standard 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes with basil to a can of Rao's Sensitive Marinara, which has no onion or garlic. "Nobody knows the difference, it's still so good!" she says in the voiceover.

Because crushed tomatoes are essentially diced tomatoes mixed with tomato puree, they have more body than tomato sauce but a less cooked flavor than tomato paste so they'll bulk up your precious Rao's sauce without overpowering its flavor. Because crushed tomatoes are often unseasoned or only lightly seasoned, you may need to add an extra pinch of salt. But all in all, it's really easy to make great pasta while still staying budget-friendly.

How to make the perfect Rao's pasta, even if you need to stretch ingredients

Rao's didn't begin as a pasta sauce brand: The name started as a restaurant in New York City. It's notoriously one of the hardest tables to reserve in the city — but yes, they do serve their eponymous sauce there. Fortunately, you don't have to go to the Big Apple for great homemade pasta. 

If you are using the crushed tomato hack, it's important to consider how much you are using of each. If you use too many crushed tomatoes, you might end up diluting some of that great Rao's flavor, so as with any hack, it's important to experiment and determine what tastes best to you. While Rao's is great on its own, you can also add even more flavor by adding both butter and spices like red pepper flakes to the mix. These two ingredients help elevate the pasta sauce.


I don’t know who needs to hear this, but if you love Rao’s sauce like we do, try this hack – so good and you basically get double the sauce for only $1-2 more. #healthyfood #mealprep #healthyrecipes #budgetfriendly #savemoneytips

♬ original sound – Confessions of a Fit Foodie

When you're making your perfect sauce, it's easy to stretch your ingredients if you're on a budget. Besides using crushed tomatoes with a jar of Rao's sauce, you can stretch spaghetti bolognese sauce with legumes and mushrooms. So luckily, even though meat prices are still on the rise and Rao's is pricey, healthy and easy additions can actually help you save money, too.