The 3 Best New Jarred Pasta Sauces We Tried in 2021

published Dec 7, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

It’s no secret how much we love a jarred pasta sauce around here. It’s the ultimate dinner shortcut. Pasta is already easy enough to make on a busy weeknight (assuming you’re not rolling it out from scratch), and if you pair it with a jarred sauce, well, a yummy dinner can be ready in minutes. There are lots to choose from (including chef-approved options!), and new jars hit grocery store shelves on a very regular basis. Just this year, we tried dozens of different options and three stood out. Fun fact: They all happened to be new for 2021. Let’s take a look.

Credit: Lauren Masur

1. Carbone Marinara

Back in March, the acclaimed New York City restaurant Carbone launched a line of jarred pasta sauces. It’s notoriously difficult to score a reservation, so we were very excited to be able to (easily) get their sauce and enjoy it at home. The first time we tried out this sauce, we realized it’s far too easy to eat it out of the jar with a spoon, as if it’s a soup. It’s made with Italian whole peeled tomatoes, tomato purée, onions, olive oil, sea salt, basil, garlic, and oregano. There’s no added sugar, and it honestly tastes just as good as homemade.

Buy: Carbone Marinara, $39.96 for four 24-ounce jars at Carbone

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

2. Rao’s Homemade White Truffle Marinara

Rao’s makes our absolute favorite jar of pasta sauce (it consistently lands a spot our Kitchn Essentials list. And this year, they came out with a super-fancy jar featuring real white truffles. For that reason, it’s not inexpensive, but that’s what makes it a nice jar for a special weeknight occasion or a very thoughtful gift. Only three batches of this sauce were made, so jars are limited. Get one while you can.

Buy: Rao’s Homemade White Truffle Marinara, $16.99 for 19 ounces at Rao’s

3. Trader Joe’s Cacio e Pepe Pasta Sauce

We’re not sure why it took the folks at Trader Joe’s so long to come up with a jarred cacio e pepe sauce, but we’re glad they finally did! If you’re looking for something to break up the usual red sauce, this is your jar. It’s peppery, cheesy, rich, creamy, and a nice little treat. We highly recommend spooning some on top of roasted potatoes, air fryer Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower. It also adds a decadent touch as a spread on grilled cheese or mixed into scrambled eggs. 

Find it in stores: Cacio e Pepe Pasta Sauce, $3.49 for 14.5 ounces at Trader Joe’s

Have you found any great new jars of pasta sauce this year? Tell us in the comments below!