How do you jazz up store-bought spaghetti sauce? (5+ways)

In this article, we will answer the following question: How do you jazz up store bought spaghetti sauce? We will tell you 5+ ways to transform the store-bought spaghetti sauce so that it tastes delicious and impresses everyone at the table!

How do you jazz up store-bought spaghetti sauce?

You want to jazz up store-bought spaghetti sauce but don’t know how? Here are some of my favorite ways to spice up a simple jar of salsa to enhance my meal: Oil, garlic, and onion. Even the smallest pantry is full of these staples. Fry fresh garlic, onion and olive oil, then add the sauce and simmer for a few minutes. That is it!

Nothing beats the taste of a homemade pasta sauce that cooks for hours. Sometimes, your time is short, and all you have is “heat up and eat store-bought spaghetti sauce.” However, this does not mean that you have to give up taste. So you get creative.

Fortunately, store-bought tomato sauce can be easily refined with the ingredients you have on hand. Be careful – your spaghetti sauce may not impress your Italian grandmother, but the results are very satisfying!

Some other things you can do to jazz up store bought spaghetti sauce:

  • Use fresh or dried herbs and spices: Yes, many store-bought sauces already contain these basic spices. But boiling the spaghetti sauce with a pinch of oregano, basil, pepper flakes, or whatever else you have available improves the flavor.
  • Add fresh or frozen vegetables: When you load your sauce with veggies you bought from the store, many boxes are checked. You get a balanced meal first. Second, the plate is bloated, and you feel more satisfied with a single two-ounce serving of pasta. 

I usually fry mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini in a pan with garlic before adding my sauce. However, you can do this with any vegetables like spinach or kale.

  • Add protein: Thaw the ground beef package and fry it in a skillet before combining it with a glass of sauce. If you don’t eat meat, this method works with tofu or vegetable “meat.”

Five ways to transform store bought spaghetti sauce

A basic tomato sauce can be used in all kinds of dishes, from pizzas to pasta, through fish, seafood or lasagna. Now, depending on the recipe you want to make, some spices and ingredients work better than others (a Bolognese, which has meat, is used for pasta, but not for fish). 

For this reason, there are different specific variants on the market for certain dishes. These “special” versions are very convenient and practical, but also more expensive than the base sauce. Thus, for economy -and by taste-, we can buy the simplest tomato sauces and personalize them at home. The following are some practical ideas:

  1. Bolognese sauce. We make a sauce or stew of minced meat with onion, garlic, a little wine and a touch of oregano (or basil). We pour the tomato sauce into the same container and let it finish cooking everything together. We will obtain an enriched and powerful sauce, ideal for pasta dishes with nooks (macaroni, sharks, etc.), which will be filled with this garnished sauce.
  1. Neapolitan sauce. We add oregano and cooked onion (and in pieces) to the tomato sauce. Thus we will achieve a fine, elegant and aromatic combination that adheres very well to the pasta; especially spaghetti and noodles.
  1. Marinara sauce. Its name suggests it all. It is used to finish fish dishes in sauce such as hake or monkfish, even with clams. To prepare it, we add to the tomato sauce a sauce of onion and parsley, sweet paprika and fish broth. The combination is delicious.
  1.  Puttanesca sauce. We make it by adding to the tomato sauce a mixture of canned anchovy, minced garlic, pitted black olives and some capers, all cut very small. We will achieve an exquisite combination that we can use in all kinds of recipes with tomato sauce, from fish and meat to pasta dishes, of course. However, where it will look best is on pizzas and paninis.
  1.  Hot sauce. Add to the tomato sauce a garlic sauce with some chilli or red chili rings. We stir and that’s it! A splendid mix to accompany mussels, patatas bravas or fish, which diners who like strong flavors will appreciate.

Homemade spaghetti sauce

Nothing beats homemade spaghetti sauce, so we will leave you with a simple, but delicious recipe:


  •  1 package of spaghetti
  •  1 bar of butter
  •  1 clove garlic
  •  1 tablespoon of Salt
  •  1 teaspoon of ground garlic
  •  2 bay leaves
  •  2 liters of water
  •  100 grams of grated cheese
  •  ½ white onion

Steps to follow to make this recipe:

  1. The first step is to gather the necessary ingredients to prepare the butter spaghetti.
  1.  We put a saucepan on the stove, add the two liters of water, add salt, the two garlic cloves, a piece of onion, and the bay leaves. Let it boil.
  1. When the water is boiling we add the pasta. Let it boil for 10 minutes, or according to the instructions on the package. Strain and remove the garlic, onion, and bay leaves. We let the spaghetti drain.
  1. The next step is to place a frying pan and put the butter to melt, over low heat so that it does not burn.
  2.  Then we add the ground garlic and mix well.
  1. We quickly add the cooked spaghetti.
  1. We stir until the pasta is very well integrated into the butter. We serve the spaghetti with butter and add a little grated cheese. This dish is very popular both for Thanksgiving dinner and for Christmas days. However, it can be made any day of the year and accompany the dish with a corn or chicken salad, for example.



There are many ways to improve the taste of store-bought spaghetti sauce. Although we encourage using a homemade sauce, it is not the end of the world if you decide to use a canned one.

To make it even more delicious, do not forget to add some spices (oregano, basil or pepper flakes); fry some mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini in a pan with garlic before adding the sauce, and do not forget to cook it at low heat so it doesn’t burn!

What is your secret for cooking a good spaghetti sauce?



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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