10 Recipes With Tomato Sauce (Besides Pasta)

Last Update: October 25, 2023

If you’re looking for recipes using tomato sauce, you’ll likely first think of pasta. This can get old pretty quickly, though, and you may not want spaghetti and meatballs every night of the week. Luckily, there are plenty of recipes using tomato sauce beyond the classic pasta dish. Marinara sauce can add a deep, rich flavor to a variety of dishes and elevate your cooking game in one easy step.

Wondering what to do with marinara sauce besides pasta? Look no further than these ten tasty ideas, which range from vegetarian-friendly tomato sauce recipes like chili and pizza to hearty meatloaf and even a unique new take on meatballs. With these recipes using tomato sauce, you’ll never have to settle for a boring pasta dish again.

There are a few staples almost everyone has in their pantry. Oil. Flour. Canned vegetables. Tomato sauce.

Sure, dumping a jar of tomato sauce or pasta sauce over pasta makes an easy dinner, but there is so much more you can do with tomato sauce. Next time you open the cupboards to sigh at their contents, try one of these simple recipes with tomato sauce. We promise you won’t be bored and will learn a few more things besides how to use tomato sauce for pasta.

1. Eggs in Purgatory

Smitten Kitchen has a fabulous recipe for eggs in purgatory (“uova in purgatorio” in the original Italian), a simple dish that involves heating a quick tomato sauce and poaching eggs in the hot sauce. Sub in your favorite pre-made tomato sauce with a dash of chili powder to keep it spicy!

2. Shakshuka

Similar to eggs in purgatory, shakshuka is a Tunisian dish of eggs cooked in, you guessed it, tomato sauce. This recipe from Food 52 also includes a grain of your choice and spinach.

3. Ratatouille

No, we don’t mean the Disney film of the same name. We’re talking about the eggplant stew from the French countryside, cooked in a rich, hearty tomato sauce. If you want to try new recipes with tomato sauce, check this one from Once Upon a Chef.

4. Spanish Rice

Spanish rice, sometimes referred to as Mexican rice, makes an excellent side dish or main course, if you add plenty of vegetables. The richness of the tomato sauce keeps the rice moist and tangy. This recipe from Damn Delicious couldn’t be easier and adds corn and peas to the classic rendition.

5. Vegan Chili

This tomato pasta recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod is vegan and gluten-free, but the black beans and quinoa make it satisfying enough for meat lovers as well. The tomato sauce, chilis and jalapeno keep this one-pot meal nice and spicy.

6. Meatloaf

Okay, so meatloaf certainly isn’t the most gourmand of dishes, but there’s nothing more satisfying on a chilly night. This recipe from the Cooking Channel comes together in 20 minutes — the rest is baking time.

7. Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Rachel Ray‘s veggie sloppy joes are a healthy take on a childhood classic. She swaps in chopped portobello mushrooms for beef, and tops the sandwiches with crunchy deli pickles.

8. Pizza

One of the best recipes using tomato sauce is pizza, and making your own is actually deceptively simple and fun. The Kitchn has an excellent primer on DIY crusts, or go grain-free with Pamela Salzman‘s cauliflower crust recipe. Top your dough with a smear of tomato sauce and toppings of choice, toss it in the oven or on the grill, and voila — pizza!

9. Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Of course Martha Stewart has our favorite simple eggplant parmesan recipe. It makes a hearty and satisfying dinner for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

10. Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

These chicken parmesan meatballs are a less caloric version of the classic Italian dish. They’re baked instead of breaded and fried, which cuts out a significant amount of grease. This recipe from Shutterbean is sure to become a new favorite.

So if you’re asking yourself, “Can I use tomato sauce for spaghetti?” The answer is: Yes, of course, you can, but we hope that with this article, you have many new ideas for recipes with tomato sauce without pasta.

Photo credit: Damn Delicious 

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Annalise Mantz

Annalise is a foodie, Brussels sprouts lover, grammar nerd, and political pet aficionado.

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