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The 11 Store-Bought Pasta Sauces That Taste Totally Homemade & Are Worth Your Money

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One of the most reliable, easiest, quickest weeknight dinners? A bowl full of al dente spaghetti topped with a generous dollop of chunky (or creamy!) marinara sauce. You simply can’t go wrong with the classic Italian dish — and it’s even better when studded with mounds of juicy, herb-spiked meatballs. And what truly makes this dish such a breeze to make is our reliance on store-bought, jarred pasta sauce. But not just any ‘ole store-bought pasta sauce will do. Nope, reach for the wrong one, and you’ll be left with a salt-bomb of a dish. (Or, worse: a flavorless one!).

Now, when choosing pasta sauce at the grocery store, you must consider a few factors: How much sodium is printed on the nutrition label? And, how many — and what kind of — ingredients are listed?

“Many jarred sauces aren’t that different from what you would make yourself,” says Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., R.D., senior clinical dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, tells Consumer Reports. “Look for ones with simple ingredient lists of things you recognize, such as tomatoes, olive oil, and herbs.”

“Marinara is a simple tomato-based sauce,” adds Amy Keating, Consumer Reports Nutritionist. “So, when we taste them we’re looking for the fresh flavors of tomato, onions, garlic, and herbs to come through.”

Last but not least, there’s the final factor when deciding on which sauce to pair with your pasta: What kind of reviews does the sauce have? Of course, answering this takes some research — but lucky for you, we did the hard work for you.

Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best store-bought pasta sauce, based on reviews, ingredients and more.

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