Best Pasta Sauces: Top 5 Italian Food Favorites Most Recommended By Experts

The best pasta sauces are often those crafted with fresh, high-quality ingredients that burst with flavor. They balance a harmonious blend of tomatoes, herbs, and spices, creating a rich and savory profile that elevates any pasta dish. Whether you prefer a classic marinara or a hearty Bolognese, a well-made sauce can transform a simple bowl of pasta into a culinary delight. And that’s all without a flight to Italy.

Tomatoes boast anti-cancer properties called lycopene, a compound that is abundant in them. Research has reported that lycopene has been effective against lung, skin, and prostate cancers. It’s a good thing that most pasta sauces include tomato as the base! Science may have also just taken the health benefits of tomatoes to the next level, genetically engineering a “super” tomato that can fight against neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The tomato is rich in vitamin D, which can also help support the bones, teeth, and muscles. The researchers believe that these findings help support overall nutritional adequacy, especially among vegans and vegetarians. But this is great news for pasta marinara lovers of any dietary background!

In even better news for pasta lovers, a recent study reports that pasta eaters have better overall diet quality. The study pulled data tens of thousands of American children and adults using the government’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and discovered that those who eat pasta regularly are more likely to eat more nutrient-dense foods overall compared to those who don’t. So next time you feel like you’ve eaten too much Italian, maybe don’t feel so bad!

All that said, you’re going to need to top your Italian favorites with the best pasta sauces to fit your culinary desires. In our quest to help you, StudyFinds visited 10 expert websites and collected the five most recommended jars across these sites. If you have your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

sliced lasagna on white ceramic plate
Lasagna (Photo by Karolina Kołodziejczak)

The List: Best Pasta Sauces, According to Culinary Experts

1. Raos Marinara

This sauce ranks highest on the list for it’s simplistic, yet rich and authentic flavor that brings you right to Italy the moment you open the jar. “Simple, balanced, with strong tomato flavor and generous with the olive oil, it leaves a nice greasy slick on the spoon. The texture is saucy without being pasty and has the occasional big, satisfying tomato chunk. It’s a bulletproof choice for any pasta,” mentions LA Times.

Raos Marinara pasta sauce.
Raos Marinara pasta sauce. (Credit: Raos)

The brand’s history also makes them well-respected. Originally, the Rao family owned a popular Italian restaurant in New York, which is where the idea to sell their first jar of sauce in 1992 was born. “Their incredible house-made sauces and pasta were so popular that founder Frank Pellegrino launched a line of jarred marinara sauces using the same premium ingredients,” adds Restaurant Clicks.

2. Whole Foods 365 Marinara

Though not name brand, this Whole Foods brand sauce doesn’t skimp out on flavor, and it doesn’t break the bank. “Whole Foods can be annoyingly expensive, but this jar only costs $1.99. With no sugar added, it has a clean and pure tomato taste,” says Delish.

Whole Foods 365 Marinara Sauce
Whole Foods 365 Marinara (Credit: Whole Foods)

This sauce is also a fantastic choice for those interested in buying health-conscious products made with organic ingredients. “This organic pasta sauce is made with USDA organic ingredients, including Extra Virgin olive oil, herbs, diced tomatoes, and tomato puree,” adds Restaurant Clicks. “Not only is it completely organic, the sauce is vegetarian-friendly, vegan-friendly, paleo-friendly, dairy-free, and low-fat,” notes Tasting Table.

3. Victoria Marinara

This sauce not only has a rich tomato taste, but a rich history. “Founded by an Italian immigrant family in Brooklyn in 1929, Victoria epitomizes the American dream. They claim that authentic Italian sauces revolve around the authenticity of their ingredients,” writes Restaurant Clicks.

Victoria Marinara Sauce.
Victoria Marinara Sauce (Credit: Victoria)

Victoria is not only a delicious option for pasta, but its smooth texture and high-quality ingredients make it great for other foods too. “Whether it’s mozzarella sticks or plain ol’ breadsticks, this is the one sauce you’ll always want to have handy. Heavy on the tomato flavoring, it’s a perfect cheese pairing, no matter what the cheese,” says Delish.

4. La San Marzano Marinara

Made from San Marzano tomatoes, this sauce brings a deep flavor with a thinner texture compared to others on this list. “The ingredients are simple, clean with no added sugar, giving a homemade taste. It is made from peeled tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, fresh onions, sea salt, and fresh sliced garlic, black pepper, oregano, and fresh basil. The texture of this sauce is thinner, but it is rich in flavor, leaving an authentic taste. It makes a perfect pair in pasta, salad, and can be used as a dipping sauce,” points out Food and Wine.

La San Marzano Marinara Pasta Sauce
La San Marzano Marinara Pasta Sauce (Credit: La San Marzano)

The company is also all about tradition, still sourcing their ingredients from Italy as they did from the beginning over 40 years ago. “La San Marzano is an Italian company using 100% Italian ingredients sourced from Mediterranean soils. La San Marzano Marinara Pasta Sauce is the purest form of this centuries-old Italian culinary tradition,” mentions Restaurant Clicks.

5. Newman’s Own Alfredo

Though Newman’s Own marinara is ranked as average compared to those above, but Newman’s Alfredo sauce is a different story and deserves a spot on the list. “If you’re in the market for an Alfredo pasta sauce, Newman’s Own has you covered. The Alfredo sauce is outstanding, especially when you factor in the reasonable price. It has a deep, rich flavor and an enjoyable texture,” writes Tasting Table.

Newman's Own Alfredo Sauce
(Credit: Newman’s Own)

It’s also not everyday that you find a top-ranking pasta sauce brand that was created by a huge movie star with a philanthropic mission. “It takes a cool hand to be one of history’s biggest movie stars and have your own food business. But Paul Newman wasn’t just interested in the color of money. There’s an absence of malice in his wading into pizza, dressings and sauces, and the funds raised for charity prove he’s no hustler,” adds LA Times.

“Founder and famous actor Paul Newman used his celebrity to found the company, whose charitable donations have reached over 500 million dollars,” says Restaurant Clicks.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.