On our first official date, I cooked a simple meal for the man I would marry: Chicken Parmesan over spaghetti. I used canned sauce, and, like my mother before me, I broke the spaghetti.
It was the first test of our relationship.
My mom always broke the spaghetti because that's the way my dad liked it. I didn't know that. I thought that was how you were supposed to make it. I couldn't understand why this cute guy's jaw dropped open as I split the handful of noodles in two.
Apparently, he preferred long spaghetti. Ha!
Our relationship survived that culinary hurdle; and I learned a few more things about his tastes. Since food is one of my love languages, I wanted to make foods that he loved. Sweet pasta sauce, I learned, was not one of those foods. Pasta sauce brands didn't matter to me, so I didn't mind buying the one particular brand of canned sauce that didn't have a cup of added sugar.
That is, until I learned I could make marinara myself!
→ Make your own marinara: How To Make Marinara Sauce
I don't know how that knowledge escaped me previously, but in our newlywed years I learned to make my own pasta sauce. It was tasty, not overly sweetened, and best yet — it was loads cheaper than the jarred variety.
And so started my love affair with homemade sauces. I learned that I could make gravy, enchilada sauce, creamed soup, and pasta sauces easily, deliciously, and more affordably. I could customize them to our tastes and ingredient preferences and avoid all kinds of sodium, sweetener, and preservatives.
Even better, I could make a big batch and store it in smaller portions in the freezer. In this way, we never had to buy another jar or can again.
8 of My Favorite Sauces to Freeze
Some of the sauces I freeze include:
- Enchilada Sauce
- Slow Cooker Red Sauce
- Vegetable Bolognese
- Red Sauce with Meats
- Mushroom and Onion Gravy
- Rustic Basil Sauce (a nut-free alternative to pesto)
- Homemade Cream of Celery Soup for Cooking
- Easy Cranberry Sauce
In no time, you'll find that you can prepare your favorite sauces for freezing, saving you time and money, as well as providing for quick and easy meals on the fly.
Strategies for Freezing Sauces
- Cool the sauce completely before freezing.
- Package the sauce in sizes that you can easily use after thawing. Two-cup portions are a good starting point.
- If using glass containers, be sure to leave adequate headspace to allow for expansion.
- Freeze with the lids off. Secure the lid only after the sauce is fully frozen.
- Some thawed products, like gravy or "cream of" soups may need a good whisking to help everything recombine before serving.