40 Recipes That Start with a Jar of Marinara Sauce (2024)

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40 Recipes That Start with a Jar of Marinara Sauce (1)Lisa KaminskiUpdated: Dec. 22, 2023

    Time to pop open your favorite jar! These recipes that use marinara sauce are easy to put together and oh-so comforting.

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    Florentine Spaghetti Bake

    This hearty sausage entree will appeal to just about everyone. My daughter serves it often to her hardworking family on their wheat ranch in Montana. —Lorraine Martin, Lincoln, California

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    Start this recipe (and the rest in this lineup) with our Test Kitchen’s favorite jarred pasta sauce.

    2/38

    Chicken Parmesan Slider Bake

    Sliders are the perfect finger food for any get-together, and this flavorful chicken Parmesan version won’t disappoint. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado

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    Make your own marinara with our guide to making pasta sauce.

    3/38

    Italian Appetizer Meatballs

    Store-bought spaghetti sauce speeds up the preparation of these homemade meatball appetizers. Leftovers make terrific sub sandwiches. —Rene McCrory, Indianapolis, Indiana

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    4/38

    Taste of Home

    Pepperoni Focaccia Bread

    This focaccia bread recipe is perfect to serve with a pasta dinner, either as an appetizer or sliced for sandwiches. You will love the smell of it baking—it’s hard to wait for it to be done! I like to add some thinly sliced plum tomatoes and fresh basil on top. — Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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    Want more flavor? Here’s how to upgrade jarred pasta sauce.

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    Taste of Home

    Decadent Spinach-Stuffed Shells

    I created this comforting stuffed shells dish to serve on Christmas Eve, but it’s so good we enjoy it all year long. It can easily be assembled and frozen to bake at a later date. If you have any leftover cheese mixture, it can be served as a dip, either cold or spooned into ramekins and baked until browned. If you don’t like roasted red peppers, feel free to substitute chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the filling and any other pasta sauce. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, CO

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    6/38

    Quick Pepperoni Calzones

    This calzone recipe takes the Italian favorite to the next level with Parmesan and herbs sprinkled on top. —Shannon Roum, Waukesha, Wisconsin

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    7/38

    Lasagna Toss

    This easy skillet dish tastes just like lasagna without all the layering prep work. It's perfect for busy weeknights! —Sharon Martin, Denver, Pennsylvania

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    8/38

    Air-Fryer Pizza Puffs

    I love pizza in any form so it seemed only logical to turn my pizza love into an appetizer. These little bundles can be made ahead of time and chilled until you’re ready to pop them into the air fryer. —Vivi Taylor, Middleburg, Florida

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    9/38

    Taste of Home

    Cheese Manicotti

    Cheese manicotti was the first meal I cooked for my husband, and all these years later, he still enjoys it! —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

    10/38

    Slow-Cooker Italian Sloppy Joes

    These tasty sloppy joes with plenty of mass appeal are perfect for a gathering. If you're taking them to an event, simplify things by cooking the beef mixture and stirring in other ingredients the night before. Cool the meat sauce in shallow bowls in the fridge, then cover and refrigerate them overnight. The next day, transfer the meat mixture to the slow cooker to keep it warm for the party. —Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, Ohio

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    11/38

    Fire-Roasted Ziti with Sausage

    We punch up our pasta with smoked sausage and fire-roasted tomato sauce. It's an easy recipe to switch up—use whatever noodles and spaghetti sauce are in your pantry. —Jean Komlos, Plymouth, Michigan

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    12/38

    Taste of Home

    Best Italian Sausage Sandwiches

    Need a different type of Italian dinner? This rich tomato sauce simmers all afternoon in the slow cooker, ready to top freshly grilled Italian sausages. It's a fantastic combination with lots of crowd appeal! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Find out the difference between marinara and tomato sauce.

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    Three-Cheese Meatball Mostaccioli

    When my husband travels for work, I make a special dinner for my kids to keep their minds off missing Daddy. This tasty mostaccioli is meatball magic. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan

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    14/38

    Taste of Home

    Fried Lasagna

    One of my favorite dishes at Olive Garden is their fried lasagna. On a whim, I tried to recreate it at home. After a few tries, I think I got it pretty close to the original. —Jolene Martinelli, Fremont, New Hampshire

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    15/38

    Taste of Home

    Chicken Parmesan Burgers

    A restaurant-quality burger that’s topped with marinara and loaded with cheese—what’s not to love? Fresh basil adds even more flavor if you'd like. —Brooke Petras, Alpine, California

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    16/38

    Taste of Home

    Chicken Pesto Meatballs

    These tender, pesto-stuffed meatballs get gobbled up in our house. They're short on ingredients, but packed with flavor. I always make a double batch, freezing the other half for a busy night. —Ally Billhorn, Wilton, Iowa

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    17/38

    Grilled Sausage-Basil Pizzas

    We love basil recipes, and these easy little pizzas are a wonderful change of pace from the classic cookout menu. Let everybody go crazy with the toppings. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida

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    18/38

    TASTE OF HOME

    Five-Cheese Ziti al Forno

    After having the five-cheese ziti at Olive Garden, I tried to make my own version of it—and I think I got pretty close. I always double this when I'm making it and freeze the second one for another meal. —Keri Whitney, Castro Valley, California

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    19/38

    Muffin-Tin Lasagnas

    This is a super fun way to serve lasagna for make-ahead lunches, potlucks or other fun get-togethers. My daughter took some of these to work and by noon was emailing me for the recipe. —Sally Kilkenny, Granger, Iowa

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    Taste of Home

    Cheese-Stuffed Shells

    When I was living in California, I tasted this rich cheesy pasta dish at a neighborhood Italian restaurant. I got the recipe and made a few changes to it in my own kitchen. I'm happy to share it with you. —Lori Mecca, Grants Pass, Oregon

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    21/38

    Taste of Home

    Sicilian Nachos

    Crispy bread replaces the classic tortilla chips and savory meat sauce tops things off. This hearty appetizer easily doubles as a main dish. Add a salad and you have dinner. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California

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    22/38

    Taste of Home

    Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sausages

    My family loves this recipe. It’s such a good all-around dish, either for sandwiches like these or served with hot spaghetti. —Ilean Schultheiss, Cohocton, New York

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    23/38

    Healthy Meat Loaf

    Welcome your family in from the cold with this moist and delicious meat loaf with wonderful southwestern taco flavor. This is down-home comfort food at its healthy best! —Mary Relyea, Canastota, New York

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    24/38

    Cheesy Pepperoni Buns

    A pizza version of the sloppy joe, this hot and melty open-faced sandwich is a surefire kid pleaser. Adults love it, too! —Tanya Belt, Newcomerstown, Ohio

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    25/38

    Homemade Manicotti

    These tender manicotti are much easier to stuff than the purchased variety. People are always amazed when I say I make my own noodles. My son fixed this recipe for several of his friends, and they were extremely impressed with his cooking skills. —Sue Ann Bunt, Painted Post, New York

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    26/38

    Taste of Home

    Ravioli Appetizer Pops

    Ravioli on a stick is a tasty appetizer everyone talks about. They’re simple and fun to make and eat. Use packaged dipping sauces, or make your own. Get my recipes on my blog, thehopelesshousewife.com. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona

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    27/38

    Taste of Home

    Saucy Skillet Lasagna

    Thanks to no-cook noodles, this skillet lasagna makes a fresh, filling, flavorful and fast entree for any Italian meal. —Meghan Crihfield, Ripley, West Virginia

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    28/38

    Tortellini with Sausage and Mascarpone

    When I crave Italian comfort food on a busy night and don’t have a lot of time to cook, this sausage tortellini skillet recipe is fast and yummy. You can have it on the table in less time than a takeout order. —Gerry Vance, Millbrae, California

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    29/38

    I created this creamy pasta dish when I needed to use up some marinara. Red pepper flakes give it a little heat, which my family loves. It's super versatile, so try it with chicken, or simply stir in some fresh basil, too. —Lorri Stout, Gaithersburg, Maryland

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    30/38

    Cheesy Pizza Rolls

    The cast-iron skillet browns these delicious rolls to perfection. My family can't get enough. Use whatever pizza toppings your family likes best. —Dorothy Smith, El Dorado, Arkansas

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    31/38

    Three-Cheese Meatball Mostaccioli

    When my husband travels for work, I make a special dinner for my kids to keep their minds off missing Daddy. This tasty mostaccioli is meatball magic. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan

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    32/38

    Zesty Chicken Marinara

    A friend served this delicious slow-cooker chicken pasta before a church social, and I fell in love with it. My husband says it's restaurant quality. —Linda Baumann, Richfield, Wisconsin

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    Favorite Lasagna Roll-Ups

    This crowd-pleasing take on lasagna offers a new way to enjoy a classic dish in individual portions. And it requires only a few ingredients. —Susan Sabia, Windsor, California

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    Rich Baked Spaghetti

    It takes a little longer to make baked spaghetti, but the difference in taste, texture and richness is well worth the time. I serve this lasagna-style dish with a tossed green salad and breadsticks for a hearty, healthy meal. —Betty Rabe, Mahtomedi, Minnesota

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    35/38

    Slow-Cooker Meatball Sandwiches

    Our approach to meatball sandwiches is a simple one: Cook the meatballs low and slow, load them into hoagie buns, and top them with provolone and pepperoncini. —Stacie Nicholls, Spring Creek, Nevada

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    36/38

    Taste of Home

    Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna

    This flavorful weeknight vegetarian skillet lasagna is sure to please any meat lover at your dinner table. Serve with a mixed green salad to complement the meal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Lasagna Casserole

    While growing up, I always wanted this meal on my birthday. Mother made the sauce from scratch, but now I use store-bought spaghetti sauce to save time. Replace the ground beef with Italian sausage if you want more spice. —Deb Morrison, Skiatook, Oklahoma

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    38/38

    Pizza Monkey Bread

    I cannot throw a party without making this recipe. It's fast and easy, and my kids love it. —Courtney Wilson, Fresno, California

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    Originally Published: November 20, 2019

    40 Recipes That Start with a Jar of Marinara Sauce (39)

    Lisa Kaminski

    Lisa is a formerTaste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.

    40 Recipes That Start with a Jar of Marinara Sauce (2024)

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