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The Best Jarred Tomato Sauce: Our Taste Test Results

First Posted: 10/24/2011 1:27 pm   Updated: 08/31/2012 10:48 am

When you just don't have the time to cook tomato sauce from scratch The Godfather-style, jarred marinara sauce is a godsend. But if you've fallen into a rut and buy the same brand every time you're at the market (probably because it's on sale, right?), you may want to change things up. We've tasted 30 brands of marinara sauce to find the very best, saving you time and money (and sparing you from tasting some clunkers).

We conducted a blind tasting of brands that range in price from $1.29 to $10.99, judging texture, flavor and the general level of quality. Some were oily, some were pleasantly tomatoey, and others were ... fishy. Yes, fishy. Frankly, we were surprised at the winner (it's from Target!?), and shocked at the poor ratings we gave sauces with very high expectations.

How does your favorite sauce rank? Is it time to switch things up? (Several of our taste testers have discovered new favorites.) Check out the slideshow below to find out the results.

As always, our taste tests are in no way influenced by or sponsored by the brands included.

#1: Giada de Laurentiis for Target -- Vegetable Marinara
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$2.99

Comments: "The hands-down winner. Fresh, full flavor." "Very rich and complex flavor. Love it!" "Good base, but way too much red pepper." "Very veggie-flavored, but nicely balanced." "Good if you like red pepper."
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Filed by Kristen Aiken  |