Even though my Italian grandmother probably wouldn't be too happy with me, I have to admit that jarred pasta sauces are a big convenience. Sure, they never taste quite as good as homemade, but some of them are actually quite alright. Beware though, some of them dairy and even meat, so its important to keep a keen eye when you're shopping for your next marinara. To make things easy, we've compiled a list of the 5 best vegan pasta sauce brands below:
Barilla is one of the most popular brands in the pasta aisle, it would only make sense that they made tomato sauce as well. Although not all of the sauces they make are vegan, their tomato and basil sauce only has a few ingredients. If you're looking for a simple, affordable, and middle of the line pasta sauce, its definitely worth checking out.
They do add extra sugar to it, which many others on this list opt not to do.
And yes, we know its not the most authentic sauce tomato sauce on the market, but we'll get to that next.
If you're looking for something a little more authentic, then Cucina Antica might be the brand for you. They make a bunch of different vegan red pasta sauces including garlic marinara, tomato basil, and this spicy arrabbiata version. The sauces are made with only a few simple ingredients, no added sugar and with imported San Marazano plum tomatoes.
It's Italian grandmother approved!
Given that a well-done tomato sauce has only a few ingredients, one of the most important elements of getting it right is getting the right tomatoes. Papa Vince picks their tomatoes by hand when they are ideal for making sauce, and not a moment before or after (or so they try their best)! For that reason, there's no need for them to add any extra sugar, or flavoring like many of the grocery store brands. They stick with four ingredients: tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, an salt. The end result is a delicious sauce with a low acid profile.
Putting onions into a pasta sauce is an issue that's hotly debating in the Italian community. While some scoff at the idea of adding onions, others won't go near a sauce unless the sweet and savory flavor of one or multiple onions is infused within.
Rather than using garlic to flavor their tomato basil, Organico Bello uses onions. Whether you run from this sauce or embrace it is up to you. It really just depends on personal preference.
Either way its made from simple ingredients and no added sugar so you know they are using high quality tomatoes.
Uncle Steve's organic marinara sauce is great if you prefer a sauce that's a bit chunky. Looking at the sauce, you can see that the ingredients aren't fully pureed, which can be a plus or a minus depending on your personal preference. They use all organic ingredients and flavor the sauce with onion, garlic, olive oil, pepper, sea salt and basil. They're also using imported Italian tomatoes so you know they have confidence enough in the quality of their ingredients to not have to enhance or mask anything with added sugar.
Have a favorite vegan pasta sauce that we left out? Let us know below in the comments!
Cooking healthy, delicious, plant-based meals has been Joey’s true passion since he went vegan in 2015. He has a masters in Nutrition and Food Science and is committed to making the internet a place of education and knowledge rather than misinformation and clickbait. He currently lives in Delaware with his wife.