Costco Sells Our Favorite Marinara Sauce for Super Cheap — But There’s a Catch

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I’d like to think I have my Costco runs down to a science. I know the most efficient way to get around the store when it’s packed. I know where all my favorite items (and samples!) can be found. And I know when to visit if I want any chance of scoring a decent parking spot.

Still, every now and then, something will surprise me at Costco — and that’s usually in the form of a new (or new-to-me!) item that catches my eye. On a recent visit, this surprise was a hefty stack of a pantry staple I always stock, but had never bought at Costco before: Rao’s Marinara Sauce.

Credit: Melissa Jameson

Our Favorite Store-Bought Sauce That’s Worth Stockpiling

It’s my go-to jarred sauce — and it’s Kitchn’s unrivaled favorite, too! — so there are always a couple of jars in my pantry. But I hadn’t realized Costco carried it until now. (I’m also convinced it must be a new-ish addition, and perhaps not rolled out nationwide, as a Rao’s search on Costco’s website doesn’t turn up anything yet.)

At other retailers near me, Rao’s usually goes for $8 or $9 per jar, dipping closer to $6 when on sale. But Costco sells a pack of two jars for $10.59, or about $5.30 each. That means in terms of cost per ounce, Costco wins out. There’s only one small catch.

The Catch with Buying Rao’s Marinara at Costco

The Rao’s jars at Costco come in a slightly larger size than what you’re used to. They’re 28 ounces each, or 4 ounces larger than a standard grocery-store version. For most, that won’t be an issue. (More sauce, less money!) But if you’re used to using exactly one jar in a recipe — like, say, Instant Pot spaghetti — you’ll find yourself with a 1/2 cup of leftover sauce if you don’t want to jinx the ratio.

Credit: Lauren Volo

I’ve converted to the Costco size, though, and I wanted to share a few ways that I’ve used that extra sauce. In case you’d also like to stretch those leftovers into another meal or snack, here are some easy ways to do that.

  • Single-serving shakshuka: Simmer an egg in the 1/2 cup of sauce on the stovetop, then garnish with fresh herbs and serve with bread for dipping. Or double up with this microwave version.
  • English muffin pizzas: Layer sliced muffins with sauce, cheese, and any other toppings you’d like — then broil or bake for a few minutes until melted. This also works with naan or pitas as the base. (I’ll be trying this spooky version for my kid as we get closer to Halloween.)
  • Other options: Swirl the extra sauce into mac and cheese or a pasta frittata, save a bowl for dipping mozzarella sticks or garlic knots, or mix with Greek yogurt for a protein-packed savory toast topper. Just don’t let it go to waste!

Have you seen Rao’s at your local Costco?