So, you’re not exactly a Top Chef in the kitchen... no biggie. We’re all about the small wins, anyway. One fairly painless (and healthy!) way to own dinnertime? Swap out that jar of spaghetti sauce for a homemade version. We’ve rounded up recipes to suit every taste—spicy, sweet, vegan, meaty—that are, as always, super simple to make. Sure, it takes a little more work than just opening a jar, but you’ll wind up with way fewer preservatives and salt than the store-bought kind, and get the satisfaction of a truly homemade meal. Serve over pasta, zoodles, grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, or even scrambled eggs (yep, try it, it’s great).
Vegan pesto? Yes please. This fresh sauce could be spread on toast and still enjoyed—it’s that flavorful. Don’t be intimidated by the homemade vegan Parmesan; it only requires four ingredients (cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and sea salt).
Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just trying out Meatless Mondays, this pasta sauce has just enough texture to make you feel like you’re eating a hearty meat sauce, minus the meat of course. Blended chickpeas are the main substitute, while carrots, onions, and crushed tomatoes up the veggie count.
Purists, this one’s for you. It’s a no-frills, only-the-good-stuff kind of recipe. All you need are tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, salt, and pepper. This recipe makes a pretty big batch, but it keeps in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for up to four months. Yay, meal prep!
Puréed veggies are kind of a genius way to get an extra serving or two into picky eaters (kids, husbands, yourself… ). This recipe blends carrots, celery, red bell pepper, onion, and spinach, then adds the mix to crushed tomatoes and lean ground beef. Swap the marinara sauce for fresh or more crushed tomatoes to cut down on the sugar and sodium.
Crock-Pots are major time-savers and a perfect compromise for a lazy Sunday (you’re making dinner for the week, sort of!). Throw all the ingredients in the pot and cook on low for four hours… just enough time to get some laundry done, clean the kitchen, or binge-watch half a season of your fave show.
Ground turkey takes pasta sauce up a notch in both the protein and taste departments. We love that this recipe uses cinnamon instead of sugar (one of our favorite healthy swaps) and chicken stock for even more flavor.
This classic Italian dish is best served over pasta, but also works great on top of a plain ol’ piece of chicken breast—trust us, it’s far from short on flavor. Anchovies are a bit of an acquired taste, so feel free to leave them out if they’re not your thing. Olives, capers, garlic, and plum tomatoes make up the rest of the salty-sweet sauce.