1. Rao’s Homemade Marinara
A food-team favorite, Rao’s Homemade Marinara has a complex flavor (spiced, but not too spiced) and a smooth texture we keep going back to. This splurgy sauce is great on its own, but to make it even more impressive, add meatballs or some fresh herbs. $9 for 32 oz. on Amazon.
2. Victoria Marinara
Victoria Marinara is heavy on the tomato flavor—and isn’t that what you want from tomato sauce? It can hold its own when combined with cheese and meat, which makes it perfect in dishes like chicken Parm and lasagna. $9 for 24 oz. on VictoriaFineFoods.com.
3. Mezzetta Whole Garlic & Sweet Basil Marinara
If you’re one for throwing last-minute get-togethers, keep an extra jar or two of Mezzetta Whole Garlic & Sweet Basil Marinara around. No one will know it’s not homemade. For realz. $6 for 16.25 oz. on Mezzetta.com.
4. RAGÚ Simply Chunky Marinara
RAGÚ Simply Chunky Marinara tastes like nostalgia! This stuff reminded some of us of the first time our folks left us to fend for ourselves at dinnertime. It’s still one of the least expensive jars going, making it a good choice for slathering on a premade pizza crust or dipping your mozzarella sticks in. $1.89 for 24 oz. at Target.
5. Bongiovi Marinara
Beyond the flavorful blend of tomatoes with parsley, garlic, and onion, we love that 50 percent of the profits from each jar of Bongiovi Marinara (from, yes, that Bon Jovi) helps fight homelessness and hunger. $20.97 for 24 oz. 3-pack on Bongiovibrand.com.