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7 Dinners That Start with a Jar of Pasta Sauce


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Pasta sauce from a jar doesn’t have to be a mere shortcut; it can be the secret ingredient to elevate your dinners to gourmet levels. Let’s explore seven mouthwatering recipes that start with a humble jar of pasta sauce, turning it into a culinary masterpiece.

1. Quick Spaghetti Bolognese

Craving a classic? Add a twist to your spaghetti with a quick Bolognese. Brown ground meat with onions, toss in your favorite herbs, and let the jarred pasta sauce work its magic. In no time, you’ll have a rich and flavorful sauce to blanket your spaghetti. Quick, easy, and absolutely delicious.

Tips: Sauté garlic before adding the meat for an extra layer of flavor. Consider a mix of beef and pork for a more complex taste.

2. Cheesy Baked Ziti

When comfort is key, nothing beats a cheesy baked ziti. Layer your preferred pasta with jarred sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella. Pop it in the oven, and you’ll be rewarded with a gooey, cheesy delight. It’s a crowd-pleaser and a surefire way to turn a simple jar of sauce into a culinary masterpiece.

Tips: Mix different types of cheese for a more dynamic flavor. Choose ziti or rigatoni for better sauce adherence.

3. Sausage and Peppers Pasta

For a hearty and savory dinner, sauté some sausage and colorful bell peppers, then combine them with your jarred pasta sauce. The result? A flavorsome pasta that’s as satisfying as it is easy to make. Choose a pasta shape that captures the sauce, ensuring every bite is a burst of savory goodness.

Tips: Opt for spicy sausage to add a kick. Consider using penne or fusilli for better sauce retention.

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4. Mushroom and Spinach Alfredo

Turn a simple Alfredo sauce into a veggie-packed delight. Sauté mushrooms and spinach before adding them to the creamy goodness of the Alfredo. The result is a pasta dish that’s both comforting and loaded with freshness. It’s a fantastic way to sneak in some veggies without compromising on taste.

Tips: Use a mix of button and wild mushrooms for depth. Stir in fresh basil for added aroma.

5. Eggplant Parmesan

Go meat-free with a delightful Eggplant Parmesan. Bread and bake sliced eggplant, layer it with jarred pasta sauce and mozzarella, then bake until bubbly. The result is a satisfying and hearty dish that’s a delightful alternative to the traditional Parmesan.

Tips: Let the eggplant slices sit with salt to remove excess moisture. Add a layer of Parmesan for an extra flavor boost.

6. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan

Simplify your dinner routine with a one-pan Chicken Parmesan. Coat chicken breasts with breadcrumbs, bake with jarred sauce and mozzarella, and voila—a satisfying dish with minimal cleanup. It’s the perfect solution for a quick and tasty weeknight dinner.

Tips: Pound chicken breasts for even cooking. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a subtle heat.

7. Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Spice up your dinner with Shrimp Fra Diavolo. Add sautéed shrimp and red pepper flakes to your jarred sauce for a fiery kick. It’s a seafood-infused delight that brings a taste of the Mediterranean to your table.

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