I Tried The Pasta Queen’s New Jarred Pasta Sauces and They Rival My Italian Grandma’s Homemade Recipes

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5 bowls of pasta, each with a different Pasta Queen sauce
Credit: Kiersten Hickman

I’m picky when it comes to pasta sauces. Growing up with an Italian grandmother who made pasta sauce from scratch with hand-picked tomatoes and basil, I have to be. Few jarred pasta sauces have ever compared to her recipe, so when I come across a new pasta sauce on the market, I’m skeptical. Will the quality of this sauce be just as good? Will it be perfectly balanced with acidity and sweetness, or will it just be overly sweet? Is it a worthy replacement for my grandmother’s sauce if I don’t have any of her jars on hand?

As a pasta sauce skeptic, I was given the opportunity to try The Pasta Queen’s new line of sauces. Available at Walmart this month, social media star Nadia Caterina Munno — aka “The Pasta Queen — is selling five of her signature sauces: Marinara, Spicy Vodka, Arrabbiata, Lemon Temptress, and Four Cheese. They’re made with whole Italian peeled tomatoes, no added sugars, and real ingredients.

But how do they taste? I popped open each jar and tasted these sauces with a simple bowl of cooked penne and took some notes. Here are my thoughts on each new sauce.

Credit: Kiersten Hickman


This is not something I say often, so don’t take this lightly: this sauce is a solid alternative to my Italian grandmother’s. It tastes almost just like hers; the texture is exactly what I’m looking for — not too smooth, not too chunky. The taste of the sauce is bright and tangy, and it isn’t drowning in oil, sugar, or other flavor additives. I think this is a great sauce to have on hand for all kinds of versatile dishes like pasta, pizza, and meatballs.

Credit: Kiersten Hickman


I usually expect Arrabbiata to have more of a kick, so I was surprised how tame this was. While the sauce does have a good flavor and isn’t very thick, I would have hoped this would have a little bit more spice. But for anyone who wants the flavor of an arrabbiata but doesn’t want to burn their taste buds, this is a great jar to grab.

Credit: Kiersten Hickman

Lemon Temptress

Out of her entire collection, I have to say that this is probably my favorite sauce from The Pasta Queen’s new line. It’s creamy lemon goodness; it has the perfect balance of sweet, acidic, light, and summery. I already find myself dreaming up different dishes I can make with this dish, like linguini with grilled shrimp or a flatbread with chicken and spinach.

Credit: Kiersten Hickman

Spicy Vodka

I haven’t found a jarred vodka I like yet, but this one is one I would definitely grab over and over. It isn’t too spicy; it has just the right amount of kick. Plus, it’s not overly creamy like some vodka sauces tend to be, which I enjoy. I definitely find myself picking this one up regularly — especially when I’m craving a bowl of The Pasta Queen’s “Devil’s Kiss Pasta” but don’t feel like making that sauce from scratch.

Credit: Kiersten Hickman

Four Cheese

This is a powerful cheese sauce, perfect for the creamy alfredo types who love cheesy chicken pasta. It might be a bit much for me — the sauce is very very heavy — so I admit, I would choose the Lemon Temptress over this one. But this is still probably one of the best versions of a jarred cheese sauce I’ve tried so far, and doesn’t give you that weird after taste other jarred cheese sauce brands can have.