Tomato sauce is an essential ingredient for many dishes, from pasta to pizza. However, many people don't have the time to make homemade tomato sauce! A ready-made sauce is a convenient option that saves time and effort. However, choosing a great-tasting sauce is not an easy task, since there are multiple products currently sold on the market with different flavors.
To help you figure out which sauce will best complement your dishes, we pored through reviews on Walmart and Amazon and compiled the top 10 tomato sauces. We also created and based our choices on our buying guide to give you some tips about choosing a suitable sauce!
Danilo is an Italian chef who has grown up cooking traditional dishes under his nonna and mamma's tutelage. He has also worked in Italian restaurants in various countries such as Australia and Japan.
The skills he has acquired at home and in a professional kitchen have enabled him to preserve and expound on Italian cuisine while dabbling in recipes from other cultures. Though we felt a bit embarrassed asking a genuine Italian chef to talk about store-bought tomato sauces, he gracefully obliged. Read on to see his insight on our buying guide and more!
After thoroughly checking reviews on Amazon and Walmart and searching for products based on points listed in the buying guide, we compiled a list of the top 10 best tomato sauces that are highly ranked and recommended by consumers.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Danilo Specchiulli.
|Allergens||Keto certified, gluten-free, no preservatives or GMO ingredients|
|Flavor||Original tomato sauce|
|Main ingredients||Fresh non-GMO tomatoes, onions, garlic, white wine|
|Calories (per serving)||60 calories|
|Main ingredients||Tomato puree, diced tomatoes, roasted garlic|
|Calories (per serving)||45|
|Amount||11.6 oz. (pack of 4)|
|Flavor||Artisan cherry Sicilian cherry tomato sauce|
|Main ingredients||Red cherry tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt|
|Calories (per serving)||35 calories|
|Flavor||Tomato and basil|
|Main ingredients||Diced tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic, spices|
|Calories (per serving)||60 calories|
|Allergens||USDA certified organic and non-GMO project certified|
|Main ingredients||Organic tomatoes, tomato juice, sea salt|
|Calories (per serving)||25 calories|
|Allergens||Contain milk ingredients; produced in a facility that processes peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, wheat and soy|
|Flavor||Creamy vodka sauce|
|Main ingredients||Organic tomato puree, organic diced tomatoes, organic pasteurized heavy cream, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic parmesan cheese|
|Calories (per serving)||80 calories|
|Flavor||Italian sauce with fresh mushroom|
|Main ingredients||Tomato puree, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, canola oil|
|Calories (per serving)||70 calories|
|Flavor||Indian Tomato chili|
|Main ingredients||Tomatoes, garlic, ground Indian chilies, tamarind, sesame oil, unrefined cane sugar|
|Calories (per serving)||10 calories|
|Flavor||Tomato sauce for meatloaf|
|Main ingredients||Tomato puree, dried onion, green bell pepper|
|Calories (per serving)||30 calories|
|Allergens||GMO-free, gluten-free, fat-free, no added salt, no preservatives|
|Calories (per serving)||32 calories|
|Package||BPA free aseptic packaging|
Yo Mama's Foods
365 Everyday Value
Original Marinara Fresh Tomatoes Sauce
Artisan Sicilian Cherry Tomato Sauce
Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce
Organic Tomato Sauce
Organic Creamy Vodka Pasta Sauce
Italian Sauce with Fresh Mushroom
Tomato Achaar - Indian Tomato Chili Sauce
Seasoned Tomato Sauce Meatloaf Starter
All Natural Tomato Sauce Made Using an Italian Recipe
Roasted Garlic for a Little Kick to Excite Your Palate
Low Acid Sauce for Sensitive Stomachs
Gluten-Free Sauce Made with Ripened Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic
Organic, Farm-Grown Tomatoes for Fresh, Rich Taste
Creamy Tomato Sauce with Real Organic Cream
Added Mushrooms for 40% of Your Daily Vegetables
Ground Indian Chilies and Tomatoes for an Addictive Umami Taste
Seasoned Tomato Sauce for the Perfect Meatloaf
Fat-Free Tomato Sauce with a High Level of Lycopene
|Amount||25 oz.||24 oz.||11.6 oz. (pack of 4)||24 oz.||15 oz.||25 oz.||67 oz.||9 oz.||15.25 oz.||17.64 oz.|
|Allergens||Keto certified, gluten-free, no preservatives or GMO ingredients||Gluten-free, kosher||-||Gluten-free||USDA certified organic and non-GMO project certified||Contain milk ingredients; produced in a facility that processes peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, wheat and soy||Gluten-free||Vegan, gluten-free||-||GMO-free, gluten-free, fat-free, no added salt, no preservatives|
|Flavor||Original tomato sauce||Roasted garlic||Artisan cherry Sicilian cherry tomato sauce||Tomato and basil||Tomato sauce||Creamy vodka sauce||Italian sauce with fresh mushroom||Indian Tomato chili||Tomato sauce for meatloaf||Traditional sauce|
|Main ingredients||Fresh non-GMO tomatoes, onions, garlic, white wine||Tomato puree, diced tomatoes, roasted garlic||Red cherry tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt||Diced tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic, spices||Organic tomatoes, tomato juice, sea salt||Organic tomato puree, organic diced tomatoes, organic pasteurized heavy cream, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic parmesan cheese||Tomato puree, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, canola oil||Tomatoes, garlic, ground Indian chilies, tamarind, sesame oil, unrefined cane sugar||Tomato puree, dried onion, green bell pepper||Tomatoes|
|Calories (per serving)||60 calories||45||35 calories||60 calories||25 calories||80 calories||70 calories||10 calories||30 calories||32 calories|
|Package||Glass jar||Can||Glass bottle||Glass jar||Non-BPA can||Glass jar||PET bottle||Glass jar||Can||BPA free aseptic packaging|
When choosing a tomato sauce, you should consider factors like flavor or packaging. You should also pay attention to the ingredients to avoid artificial flavors. Checking for quality ingredients can help ensure that the sauce is healthy and tastes great!
The key ingredient that decides the flavor of a tomato sauce is, obviously, tomatoes! If the tomatoes are fresh and ripened, the sauce will likely have a rich and naturally sweet taste. Therefore, you should choose a product that is made from vine-ripened tomatoes picked at the peak of flavor.
Another keyword to look for is "whole" tomatoes. This means entire tomatoes are used to make the sauce rather than tomato paste.
Store-bought tomato sauces come in different consistencies such as whole, diced, pureed, or paste. The first is the most "natural" option because it's tomatoes in their base form, while the last is the most concentrated.
What do you choose, then? Go for pelati or peeled whole tomatoes. These are a staple in every Italian kitchen. Don't reach for any other type of store-bought tomato sauce but this one. You get whole tomatoes, allowing you to control how smooth or chunky your sauce will be.
Using pelati tomatoes, you can achieve anything from a simple tomato basil recipe to a more complex Bolognese. I also find that this has a more natural tomato taste than diced or pureed tomatoes.
If health is a concern, tomato sauces that are loaded with other vegetables will give you more nutrition than a plain marinara sauce. Look for tasty additions like mushrooms or peppers! These can add texture to a sauce, too.
Additionally, tomato sauces with added cheese or meat may taste great, but they tend to be higher in calories. So if you want to keep your calorie and fat intake under control, you should pay attention to what other ingredients are used.
You should also look at the amount of salt and sugar on the nutrition label. For a healthier option, you can choose a product with no sugar or salt. You can always add seasonings yourself! You should be careful with products that have a high amount of sugar since it's probably artificial or added.
There are many tomato sauce variations that can enhance your dishes in different ways. Before making a purchase, you should pay attention to reviews that describe the flavor and consistency of the sauce.
If you like a classic, tomato-forward flavor that goes well with pasta, you can stick to a traditional sauce. However, if you want a little oomph, check out products infused with basil or garlic!
The way tomatoes are prepared can influence the taste as well. A sauce made with roasted tomatoes has a subtle smokiness, while one made from steamed tomatoes will have a much clearer taste. Another option would be to start with a plain tomato sauce base and add your own ingredients!
While there are countless types of tomato sauces out there and the possibility of creating your own and giving it a name, here are a handful of recipes that all home cooks should have in their repertoire. Marinara is a quick-to-make sauce that is lighter and chunkier. This pairs well with garlic.
Add some seafood to marinara, and it becomes puttanesca. Bolognese always has a meat base, plus carrots, celery, and wine, making it a rich sauce option. The simpler and quicker to cook version of Bolognese is amatriciana, which features tomatoes and bacon, pancetta, or the traditional guanciale.
Alla norma is the vegetarian version that uses eggplant, zucchini, or other vegetables you want to pair with the tomato. Sugo di Pomodoro (tomato sauce) is your simple yet classic tomato, olive oil, garlic, basil, and salt recipe. These sauces can go in pasta, like salsa, over breaded meat to become parmigiana and more.
The texture is another point that you should consider. Diced tomatoes will give the sauce a bit more of an interesting texture. However, if you do not like bits of tomatoes in your sauce, you can opt for creamy, smooth tomato sauce instead.
Additionally, some sauces have a lighter flavor and consistency since they have added water. So if you are looking for a thick, rich sauce, you might want to consider products without water as an ingredient.
Did you know that regardless of what consistency the tomato sauce you bought from the store came in, you can alter it by cooking? Let a sauce simmer on low heat without a lid, and it becomes thicker with time, thanks to evaporation. You can also use a mixture of cornstarch and flour if you don't have much time to work with or turn it into tomato-cream sauce by adding some cream.
Do you want creamy tomato sauce without the cream? You can make some bechamel. All you need are two tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of flour, and about 290 grams of warm milk, or 10 ounces. The butter to flour ratio is always equal, and multiply the number by 10 to find your milk amount (in grams).
Melt the butter and stir in the flour until you get a bubbly paste. Add the milk and stir for about three minutes. Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and nutmeg. This is a classic white sauce that pairs well with many other recipes.
The secret for a rich tomato sauce lies with having simple ingredients. A naturally-sweet, great tasting sauce is often made with only ripened tomatoes and maybe a pinch of herbs or salt. However, many brands load their tomato sauces with additives or artificial sweeteners. Not only can these be unhealthy, but they can also make a sauce taste odd or sickly-sweet.
Therefore, to both protect your health and choose a sauce with amazing flavor, you should look at the ingredient list and choose a product with mainly all-natural ingredients.
Whenever someone asks me what is the best store-bought tomato sauce to buy, I always say those from Italy (with some bias, of course) and those with as few added ingredients as possible. You're going for tomato sauce - that's it.
Tomato sauce is a blank canvas for you to build on according to your preferences. Skip the tomato with basil because you can add basil yourself. The same goes for tomatoes with garlic. Fresh ingredients are always better. If you glance at the ingredients list and see other items after tomatoes, then you might want to put that bottle or can back down.
Packaging seems to be a trivial matter, but it might affect the quality of your tomato sauce. Usually, tomato sauce is stored in either a can or a glass jar.
A canned tomato sauce is a good single-use option, but leftovers need to be stored in a container to prevent spoiling. Also, you should see if the can is free of BPA. BPA is a chemical used in plastic that has been associated with fertility issues, heart disease, and other health problems. Avoiding this chemical is a smart choice!
For multiple uses, you might want to consider a sauce stored in a glass jar. You don't need a separate container for leftovers, and you can easily see how much remains. Glass jars are also an environmentally-friendly option since they can be used again for other purposes. They're just a bit more breakable.
Danilo says, "People often have issues with cooking canned or bottled tomatoes and complaining about the acidic, sour taste. Don't reach for that sugar just yet to balance the flavor, but let your tomatoes cook longer instead. Authentic pomodoro sauces also don't have sugar in them.
Wonder what makes the classic ragù or Bolognese (meat-based sauce with tomato) achieve its rich and savory taste? Time. Whenever I prepare tomato-based sauces, I make sure I have enough time to get the sauce to reach a boil before lowering the fire to a minimum and letting it simmer for an extended period.
Stir every half hour or so, and the longer you let that sauce simmer, the richer and complex the taste. Plus, your house will smell wonderful."
If you often find that you don't have time to cook, check out our ready-made suggestions! These tasty products are easy to prepare and perfect for a quick meal.
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