The Single Best Pasta Sauce You Can Buy If You’re Shopping at Aldi

updated Jun 23, 2022
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Diptych with Aldi storefront on left and lasagna on right.
Credit: left: Carina Romano | right: Joe Lingeman

It’s no secret that jarred pasta sauce is among the most versatile pantry products you can possibly buy. In fact, it’s a shortcut that Kitchn editors love and love to talk about! But it’s hard to know which jar to buy. If you’re shopping at Aldi (which we hope you are, at least some of the time!), you’ll see that Aldi offers just a few varieties compared to bigger markets. Still, though, the options are plentiful.

With more than a dozen jars of tomato-based sauces on the shelves, I set out to try every single one. I gathered up every single option and held an official taste test. There was one clear winner. Let’s take a look!

Credit: Patty Catalano

How I Tested the Pasta Sauces

I assigned each sauce a number, warmed them, and taste tested them on their own and with al dente pasta. A few options rose to the top, and sparked a lively debate among my fellow samplers. Decipherable differences between Aldi’s 16 tomato-based pasta sauces became clear only with a side-by-side tasting. Some sauces were decidedly sweet, another had spice, and the rest relied on textural and flavor nuances to stand apart.

The difference in sauce texture became even more apparent when tossed with spaghetti strands. Smooth sauces pooled at the bottom of the plate, while chunkier versions perched atop the pasta. Our top pick clung to the noodles and had tasty bites of soft, simmered tomatoes.

Credit: Patty Catalano

Specially Selected Premium Marinara, $2.89 for 24 ounces

In the end, a single jar of sauce stood out from the crowd. If you buy just one jar of pasta sauce at Aldi, let it be their Specially Selected Premium Marinara sauce. (Maybe at this price, though, buy three jars at once?) The flavor and texture of this sauce was exactly what we were looking for. While other sauces were cloyingly sweet or slightly too acidic, the tomato flavor in this sauce was fresh and balanced. Plus, the onion and garlic gave it a depth that was the closest of all to homemade marinara sauce. And again, it clung nicely to the noodles, ensuring even coverage and perfect forkfuls.

Recipes to Try

Do you have a go-to jar of pasta sauce that you like to get at Aldi? Tell us in the comments below!