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 using tomato sauce. We promise you won't be bored.
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!
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. Try this recipe from Epicurious.
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 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.
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.
Making your own pizza 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 She Knows uses tomato sauce as a dip for the meatballs.
Photo credit: Damn Delicious