The Best Grocery Store Spaghetti Sauces You Can Buy

There's a reason we're feeling a little saucy. Pasta has become a staple of the American diet, and for good reason. It's cheap, readily accessible, and offers an easy way to have dinner on the table in about ten minutes. Be it ziti, fettuccine, or spaghetti, we just can't seem to get enough of the simple carb that can do so much. According to Taste Made, Americans slurp and twirl up more than six billion pounds of noodles per year, equating to about 20 pounds annually per person. Holy cannelloni!

While pasta has been around for thousands of years, sauce didn't really become a thing until a new fruit, the tomato, was discovered in the 18th century. Sauce, Gravy, whatever you call it, it's a crucial piece of the puzzle if you're trying to replicate the smell of Nonna's sauce wafting through the house on a Sunday. The truth is, we don't always have the time to whip up the perfect tomato sauce from scratch. Luckily, you no longer need to sacrifice the flavor for convenience. Thanks to some quality products available on the shelves, there's no reason lazy and lackluster ever need to be in the same sentence. Let's explore the pasta-bilities waiting for you. Elevate your supper with the best grocery store spaghetti sauces you can buy.

Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce

The ingredients are simple, comprised of just tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and herbs, but marinara is without a doubt the most well-known sauce to pair with your noodles. According to Fork N Plate, Marinara sauce originated in Italy sometime around the mid-17th century. Marinara, meaning "sailors" in Italian, it's thought of to be a nod to the men who manned the docks on the shores of Naples and Sicily. When Italian immigrants made the journey to America in the early 20th Century, they brought along their beloved sauce with them.

Rao's Homemade has built up an almost cult-like following. They've successfully mastered the art of the jarred sauce that even mimics the fresh stuff found in their legendary New York restaurant. One glance at the very short ingredient list on the label (jut eight ingredients), and you'll understand why. Rao's sauces are made in small batches with naturally ripened tomatoes from Italy. With no fillers, water, or added sugar, this has even become a popular sauce amongst the low carb community. While their entire in-store line is pretty solid, Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce deserves to be a pantry staple thanks to its robust flavor, subtle sweetness, and its not-too-chunky-not-too-smooth consistency. 

Michael's of Brooklyn Home Style Gravy

Michael's of Brooklyn is an old school style Italian restaurant that's been slinging out their hype-worthy red sauce for over 50 years. An idyllic date night spot, they are also known for their casual parm-to-go counter that opened in 2020. Here, they are offering up insta-worthy meatball, eggplant, chicken, and veal options slathered in their delectable sauce options. While their vodka sauce is highly acclaimed, their gravy is the boss of the sauce. 

Is it sauce? Is it gravy? According to Slate, after deep-diving into the battle of sauce or gravy, there's no clear answer. While no one knows just how it all started, many are passionate about their stance on the issue. Call it whatever you'd like, Michael's of Brooklyn Home Style Gravy is the holy grail of store-bought sauces, no trip to New York needed. You'll notice a short list of ingredients on their label and the proud words "Nothing Else!!!" While many sauces on the higher end tend to separate into water and oil during the heating process, Michael's maintains that perfectly blended consistency while being full of flavor. With each bite, it's apparent that quality tomatoes (and passion) are being put into the product. 

Vincent's Original Medium Sauce

People near and far have flocked to Vincent's Clam Bar in Carle Place, New York for over 40 years. In an unassuming strip near Long Island's Roosevelt Field Mall, this Little Italy transplant is known for serving their classic red-sauce pasta and fresh seafood. Next to the photo wall adorned with celebrities that call Vincent's their favorite, you'll spot a large display of their sauce varieties ready to take home.

This local spot has become so popular, in fact, its sauces are now distributed to grocery stores across the country. Family-owned and operated, their sauces celebrate Old World recipes and are prepared using the family's secret handcrafted technique that's been passed down generation to generation. Vincent's Original Mild sauce is a winner, but the clear standout for us is Vincent's Original Medium Sauce. This is the epitome of a thick, yet smooth red sauce that offers just a slight kick. The touch of spice makes it the perfect pairing for any seafood pasta dish. 

Kirkland Basil Pesto

Sometimes, we just aren't feeling a red sauce to pair with our pasta. Insert: pesto sauce. Unlike marinara, pesto originated in the Northern region of Italy. According to Oliviers & Co., the term pesto comes from the word "pesta" in Genoese, which means 'to crush.' A traditional pesto alla Genovese is made up of fresh crushed garlic, basil, and pine nuts that is then combined with high-quality olive oil and finely grated Parmesan cheese. There are many versions of the sauce (like roasted red pepper), but a classic is always green in hue with basil as the focal ingredient.

With pesto, homemade is always best because of the fragility of these fresh ingredients (here's an awesome recipe for homemade pesto). When you're in a pinch, there are few grocery options that we deem adequate with the exception of Costco's Kirkland Basil Pesto. Using 100 percent imported Genovese Basil, this 22-ounce jar imitates the high-quality and distinct fragrance of the real stuff, sans making a mess of your food processor. It's so good, you'll find yourself using the leftovers (it's a huge jar after all!) on eggs, spread on crackers, or even as a pizza sauce substitute. 

Rana Alfredo Sauce

It is often suggested, that as consumers, we should stick to the parameters of a grocery store to avoid overly processed food. If you've spent time in the outskirts, also known as the refrigerated section, you've likely spotted a selection of fresh pastas and raviolis from Giovanni Rana. They offer some pretty stellar Portobello mushroom ravioli and chicken mozzarella tortelloni.

What to pair with these ready to go Italian specialties? Giovanna Rana also offers a wide variety of sauces, including Rana Alfredo Sauce. We're not talking that congealed white sauce you'll find poorly imitated at fast casual Italian restaurants throughout the United States. This stuff is miles ahead and made with certified Parmigiano-Reggiano D.O.P. from Northern Italy. With a silky texture and indulgent flavors, their sauce is also free of any artificial flavoring and hydrogenated fats. If you're craving quality, this puts other alfredo sauces to shame. It even topped the Food Network's list of best jarred alfredo sauce

Newman's Own Organic Marinara Pasta Sauce

Bear with us as we're about to take a total 180. While we are all for indulging in the cheesy goodness that is alfredo sauce, on occasion we prefer to kick it dairy free. The hunt for quality vegan spaghetti products that are totally free of animal byproducts proves a difficult one. This seems to be like a lost market as according to Vegan News, nearly 10 million Americans live a vegan lifestyle. 

Lucky for you, a solution has been found. We've scoured the shelves and discovered a 100 percent vegan option in Newman's Own Organic Marinara Pasta Sauce. You're probably already a fan of the food company that was founded by actor Paul Newman in the early 1980s and gives 100 percent of its profits to various educational and charitable organizations. Certified organic and gluten-free, this is a no frills, simple red sauce that provides a well-balanced flavor sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Easy dinner while doing good? Sign us up!

Victoria Vodka Sauce

Penne alla vodka has become a staple dish in Italian-American restaurants. When tomatoes, herbs, and heavy cream mix with vodka, it releases an entirely new flavor profile usually inaccessible by traditional red sauce alone. With origins in America, you'd be hard pressed to even spot this on a menu in Italy. According to Ciao Italia, it didn't arrived in Italy until the 1970s and even that was short-lived. Many Italians actually scoff at just the thought of it. Regardless of its heritage, the rich, and slightly sinful sauce will always have a place in our kitchen.

Made from 100 percent imported Italian tomatoes, Victoria Vodka Sauce is a star amongst an overly saturated market of fairly mediocre competitors. Quality Parmesan and Romano cheeses along with vodka are added to the brand's already fantastic Marinara base resulting in a sauce that is overall creamy with just the right touch of richness. Not overloaded with preservatives and unnecessary additives like so many other brands, it is slow kettle-cooked for 90 minutes yielding a perfect blend of flavors. Victoria also offers a vegan version for those that are following a plant-based diet that utilizes soy protein in place of the diary. 

Paesana Fra Diavolo Hot and Spicy Pasta Sauce

Sometimes, we're in the mood to turn it up a notch. Seafood has long been a big part of the Italian diet, given the country's location on the Mediterranean Sea. Fra Diavolo, meaning "from the Devil" in Italian, starts with a classic tomato-based sauce that's brought to the next level with the addition of chilies or red pepper flakes. The result is a burst of flavor with some serious heat. You may be familiar with the dish Lobster Fra Diavolo that can be found on the menu of many Italian-American restaurants. While a few say it was invented in Italy, the research shows it was likely invented in New York by Italian immigrants. Grotto Azzurra in Manhattan's Little Italy, noted for its celebrity clientele and regular visits from Frank Sinatra back in the day, claims to be the first restaurant to serve the now popular dish. 

Looking to recreate this iconic flavor from the comforts of your own home? Paesana Fra Diavolo Hot and Spicy Pasta Sauce offers that Little Italy taste with a sauce that is made from 100 percent imported Italian tomatoes. Using their original family recipe, red pepper spices are added to the already short list of fresh ingredients. This spicy concoction works well on its own with pasta or with the addition of fresh seafood. 

Trader Joe's Organic Marinara Sauce

Trader Joe's knows no end when it comes to their crowd-pleasing products. They are continually wowing us with their new additions as well as tried and true long-time favorites. On any given pilgrimage, we've been known to pick up a bottle (or four) of Two Buck Chuck and some cauliflower gnocchi. With over 500 locations spread across over 40 states, the low-price grocery giant's success story may be partly due to their fantastic selection of store brand items.

Cleverly named "Trader Giotto's," their Italian centric products offer everything from whole milk fresh mozzarella to organic brown rice penne pasta. While the standard jar of sauce will set you back or even exceed your total daily sodium intake as recommended by the American Heart Association, Trader Joe's No Salt Added Organic Marinara Sauce features just a fraction of the amount of salt and as an added bonus, zero grams of fat. This is heavy on the pepper, as the flavorful vegetable contributes to the sweetness without the addition of sugar. 

365 By Whole Foods Marinara Pasta Sauce

There are many reasons why we love Whole Foods, sometimes referred to as "Whole Paycheck." The upscale mecca of a grocery store is a draw thanks to its commitment to providing organic and natural foods, not to mention one heck of a hot bar. Fair traded goods aside, one of our main reasons for popping in is not the asparagus infused water (shocker, we know!), it's their own brand called 365 by Whole Foods Market. The range of products, all made with high-quality ingredients, is sold at a fraction of the cost of name brand goods. From cleaning products to ginger sparkling water, the 365 line covers it all.

Certified organic and vegan friendly, 365 by Whole Foods Marinara Pasta Sauce is made with 100 percent organic extra virgin olive oil. We're fans of this one because you get a nice spicy zest as opposed to other store brands that tend to fall a little flat in the flavor department. Overall, it's a fantastic marinara at a low price point. If you're feeling ambitious, you may want to pair this full-bodied flavor with this killer recipe for slow-cooker mozzarella stuffed meatballs.

Williams Sonoma Truffle Alfredo Pasta Sauce

Ah, truffles. There may have never been and will never be such an overhyped, often misunderstood fungus. While shaving fresh, $100 by the ounce, truffles over your at-home pasta dish is going to cost you a pretty penne (ha!), we've found an affordable way to indulge in this fungi's flavor without fainting from the price tag. Williams Sonoma may be synonymous for overpriced kitchen appliances and stuff you don't need, but they do offer a nice selection of ready-made cooking sauces, baking mixes, and other pantry essentials.

Williams Sonoma Truffle Alfredo Pasta Sauce is a Northern Italian spin on classic Alfredo, featuring the flavor of white truffles. This sauce is infused with truffle oil (technically a chemical-based copy of truffles), not actual truffles, but we don't mind it one bit. It may even rival some of the froufrou fancy dishes of truffle pasta that you would find in an upscale restaurant. This stuff is seriously delicious and the possibilities for what you can do with it are endless. We love a simple angel hair pasta and grilled chicken or a butternut squash ravioli in the winter months. You may even be inclined to eat it by the spoonful. Don't worry, we won't judge you.

La San Marzano Roasted Garlic Sauce

San Marzano is a term referring to tomatoes that is thrown around often, yet never really explained. According to, these canned tomatoes, that cost much more than the standard canned varieties, are a type of plum tomato that has fewer seeds than the typical plum tomato. So, what's so special about it? San Marzano tomatoes are known for reaching that perfect balance of the acidity we've grown to know and love from the fruit with just the right amount of sweetness. Not sure if it's the real deal? You'll spot D.O.P. (Protected Designation of Origin) on the can. 

La San Marzano is an award-winning, family-run ready sauce company where all of their products are still produced in the San Marzano Valley and feature 100 percent San Marzano tomatoes D.O.P. Authenticity is what they are all about and the secret to their excellent sauces is the cooking method used, called 50 minutes Lento & Stirred. This family method maximizes the flavors from simple ingredients in an efficient manner. Their La San Marzano Roasted Garlic Sauce is the cream of the crop in their product line-up. If you're concerned about vampire warding levels of garlic, no need to be. Just the right amount of garlicky taste and aroma exudes from this sauce. 

Mezzetta Marinara, Parmigiano Reggiano

Mezzetta says they make it betta, but we really think it's the cheese that makes just about anything better. We are a nation obsessed with the dairy product in all of its glorious forms. Parmigiano-Reggiano is an Italian hard cheese that is produced from cow's milk and then aged for at least 12 months. Dubbed the "Kings of Cheese" thanks to its slightly sharp taste, it happens to pair perfectly with the acidity of a red sauce. 

Mezzetta is a family-owned company known largely for their roasted red peppers that are guaranteed to elevate any amateur cheeseboard out there. They also happen to feature a regional recipes line that celebrates Parma, Italy with their Parmigiano Reggiano Marinara. This marinara features 100 percent Italian plum tomatoes from the San Marzano region. While a little pricey compared to other store brought sauces, the flavor is excellent and mimics some of our favorite restaurant sauces. We recommend pairing this one with a chicken parm. Their product line also offers a pretty unique truffle, porcini, and cream marinara. 

Publix GreenWise Tomato Basil Sauce

Publix has a fiercely devoted following and has become one of the most popular grocery stores in the U.S. With origins in Florida, it has now spread to Georgia, South Carolina, and beyond. Their pub subs are the stuff of legends and have lunchtime visitors lining up at the deli counter (not to mention their house-made, hand-breaded chicken tenders).

Made with all organic ingredients, including carrot juice concentrate and tomato puree, Publix GreenWise Tomato Basil Sauce is an all-around great product for the health-conscious. Featuring a good amount of fiber and low net carbs, it also boasts only 1.5 grams of fat per serving, and only 4 grams of sugars thanks to the natural sweetness from the carrot juice concentrate. Publix is also one of the last supermarkets making its bakery selection fresh on-site daily. You may want to swing by their bread section and pick up a baguette to sop up the extra sauce or one of the brand's legit Italian cannolis to round out your meal.