Recently, we went shopping for a few things. We didn’t quite know what to expect, but I must admit, it’s interesting to see what people will panic buy, and what items they’ll leave untouched.
For example, the shelves were basically empty of pasta products, but there were still lots of jars of…wait for it…spaghetti sauce.
After thinking it over for a moment, we realized that since the pasta was gone, customers walked right past the sauces, not thinking of the amazing versatility of spaghetti sauce!
Our family has a special spaghetti sauce recipe (more on that below), and we use it for SO MANY different things, so I doubt store-bought would be much different. So for your cooking pleasure, here are six ways to use spaghetti sauce (without buying pasta).
1: Make Pizza
Spaghetti sauce can also double as pizza sauce! Yes, the flavors are a bit different (especially if you’re using a spaghetti sauce with meat in it), but most of the spices should be the same. All you really need is a tomato-based sauce anyway. You don’t even have to have pizza dough! Just spread a little sauce over a slice of bread, sprinkle on cheese and other toppings, and then broil until golden brown. Easy and delicious!
2: Make Eggplant or Zucchini Parmesan
Roast or fry some sliced eggplant, zucchini, or other vegetables. Layer slices in a dish with cheese (I suppose you could use cottage cheese like some people use in lasagna, if you wanted) and spaghetti sauce. Bake until bubbly, and you’ve got eggplant/zucchini Parmesan!
3: Make Taco Salad
Heat up some spaghetti sauce and add chili powder and other hot spices. Pour over salad greens (e.g., lettuce, spinach, bok choy) for taco salad! You can add almost anything to these, so it’s perfect for whatever groceries you were able to get: avocados, sour cream, crackers, tortilla chips, sliced tomatoes, breadcrumbs, cheese, cottage cheese, unflavored yogurt, green onions, bell peppers…
4: Pour Over Vegetables
We’re approaching gardening season, and it’s already prime produce season in some areas of North America, and it’s worth knowing that spaghetti sauce pairs well with many vegetables. Why not pour it over some “noodles” made from zucchini or spaghetti squash, for example?
5: Make Dip
Melt together cheese with some spaghetti sauce, and you have a delicious dip for vegetables like broccoli florets, cauliflower pieces, pepper slices, carrot sticks, celery sticks, etc. as well as chips and crackers (even homemade). If you’re dairy-free, you could heat up the sauce and just use it as dip for, say, slices of toast. If you do use cheese, I’d imagine it would look something like this photo.
6: Make Chili
Spaghetti sauce, ironically enough, makes a great base for chili! Add your favorite beans and chili spices (like chili powder, cumin, etc.), and you could add more meat too. Bonus: Remember to use your slow cooker!
Bonus Tip: Make Homemade Lasagna Noodles
Okay, so I might be making a stretch here, since I mentioned using spaghetti sauce WITHOUT pasta. But hear me out: If you have flour and eggs, you can make your own pasta (regular or sourdough). A food processor makes the process easier, but it’s not required. Then roll that pasta dough into long strips to make homemade lasagna noodles, which can be combined with the sauce to make amazing lasagna. Mmmm.
Need a Recipe for Spaghetti Sauce?
My family has a special spaghetti sauce recipe that stretches the meat and freezes very, very well in large or individual portions. And we’ve used it for almost everything on this list…so I know the spices in this recipe don’t clash with any of the ideas I’ve listed above either. (I can’t say that for certain about store-bought spaghetti sauce, though I don’t know why they wouldn’t work for these ideas too.) Plus, even if the spaghetti sauce runs out, you’ll know how to make it from individual ingredients that might still be available, especially during tomato season.
Anyway, I’d love to share our spaghetti sauce recipe with you! Simply enter your email address and I’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox!