HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Your favorite canned marinara for lasagna?

  • n

I've been using Barilla for a while--it's great. No ingredients I can't pronounce, and well-flavored. BUT...need something to alternate with it...any recs?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I love Lidia Bastianich's marinara sauce, but it's about $10/jar and can be hard to find sometimes. For a cheaper alternative... I just made lasagna last week w/ Bertolli's Five Cheese sauce and my family raved about it and we're Italian. Just hope my mother doesn't find out!

    1. When I need to cheat, I use the Paul Newman Marinara to make lasagna.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cheesemonger

        There is a whole thread on this BUT if you have a TraderJoe's in your 'hood, I highly recommend their canned marinara with the green and red label. It comes in large 35 oz cans and is really good as is or can be doctored with extra herbs or some tomato sauce. I spend a fortune shipping cans to my relatives...

        1. re: Densible

          Mmhmm! Second the Trader Joe's canned marinara! It's delicious. And less than $2.

        2. re: cheesemonger

          yep, Newman's Own Fra Diavolo, a little spicy with a touch of heat, proceeds to charity, how more effecient is that !

        3. Oh man! Marinara is just about the easiest thing to make from scratch! All you need is 20 minutes, a can of whole tomatoes (Muir Glen is my fave) a few cloves of fresh garlic, EVOO, salt and a few leaves of fresh basil. You can't buy better!

          Heat a medium saucepan, add 1/4 cup EVOO, lightly brown the garlic in the oil (2-3 min), open the can and pull out the tomatoes squeezing them into the pan (carefully to not splatter) adding the juice, bring to a light boil and lower to simmer until it thickens a bit (20 min). Add salt, red pepper flakes and ripped basil leaves towards the end to taste.

          Also great to use on weeknights as a dressing over freshly cooked pasta! All in the time it would take to drive to the store to buy something pre-made that won't come close. If you're taking the time to make lasagna, why not make your own sauce while you're at it?

          2 Replies
          1. re: kevine

            I agree that it's easy, but that wasn't the Q. I almost always have a can of San Marzano tomatoes in my cupboard. I also almost always have some Paul Newman Marinara. (I always have everything else, the garlic, etc.).

            But, if I'm in a pinch, or I need just a little more sauce on the lasagna, I'll be using the Pauls' if I don't have the San Marzanos on hand. And I usually use the can to make pasta as you mentioned.

          2. I really like the Rao's marinara, though it is $8/jar. It is really fresh tasting, has a great flavor.

            1. Since discovering Marcellla's butter, tomato amd half an onion sauce I cannot contemplate going back to bottled stuff

              1. Costco sells a Kirkland brand organic marinara with basil that's pretty tasty and cheap. It's my cheat jar of choice lately.

                1. Hey, I'm with you on this. Sometimes I just don't feel like making sauce to put together a lasagna or chicken parm. It's nice to keep a few jars around for those instances. I like Victoria sauces and also Trader Joes, as someone else mentioned. Rao's is too expensive, but it is great. Here in the northeast, you can also sometimes find Patsy's sauce, which is really tasty (expensive as well).

                  1. If you are looking for the what jfood believes are the top three (inorder of preference):

                    1 - Rao's
                    2 - Patsy's
                    3 - Lidia's

                    Each of these are between $6-10 in CT (when not on sale. Stew Leonards Rao's 32-oz 2 for $10 is a steal)

                    On the less expensive end, if you can find Cento's Marinara, jfood recommends that brand. After trying TJ's he was not impressed and Newman's is just not edible in jfood's opinion. Almost a star-studded version of Ragu which is also inedible.

                    And yes it is easy to make a simple marinara (the dough is pretty easy as well) but when you are in a pinch and want time-saving ideas, go with tany of the top three or cento's.

                    He is also lucky to have an Italian quasi-chain that has pasta sheets and jfood loves the flavor that a whole wheat pasta brings to a lasagne. Three sheets, some rao's, sausage, mozzy and your off to the races.


                    1. Prego is very good. Doctor it a little with some oregano and garlic powder and you'll love it.