Our Favorite Foods to Make With a Jar of Marinara Sauce
Delicious, versatile, and budget-friendly, marinara sauce is an essential item for any well-stocked pantry. Not only can you throw in some browned ground beef for a quick-and-easy spaghetti sauce, but marinara sauce also lends itself well to a variety of other Italian-inspired dishes. From serving as a dipping sauce for garlic knots to building on it as base ingredient for homemade ratatouille, marinara sauce pairs well with all the Italian things. Open up a jar tonight and try out one of these recipes, all super simple and sure to satisfy.
It's no mystery why this fun stuffed chicken recipe was a huge hit in our test kitchen: Comforting classic Italian flavors shine here, while the creamy mozzarella balances the acidic tomato sauce nicely. Plus, the pocket of cheesy pesto keeps the chicken moist during the cooking process. These stuffed chicken breasts come together quickly and easily, making them perfect for busy weeknights.
Easy Garlic Knots
What's the easiest ways to make your own melt-in-your-mouth, pillowy-soft garlic knots? A supermarket shortcut. By utilizing canned biscuit dough, you'll have super simple and delectable garlic knots in 30 minutes.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Our Spaghetti Squash Casserole has all the goodness of a cheesy pasta bake, and the absence of pasta makes room for lots of nutrients. The beef, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan keep that classic casserole taste intact, while the squash "noodles" hold up nicely and don't water out. The flavors keep this family-friendly, but it's especially great for anyone trying to avoid gluten.
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
This gooey, cheesy, ultra-comforting Chicken Parmesan Casserole is easy enough to throw together after work and is a surefire family favorite. Plus, the leftovers hold up great—just be sure to cover while reheating to retain moisture. For the most flavorful Chicken Parmesan Casserole, our test kitchen recommends using Rao's marinara sauce.
Instant Pot Ratatouille
Our Instant Pot Ratatouille certainly looks like it requires a lot of hard work to make, but the real beauty of this recipe is that it couldn't be easier. Plus, this speedy take on the classic French dish just happens to be one of the most perfect ways we can imagine to enjoy late summer produce. The Instant Pot method yields vegetables that are tender, but maintain the right amount of body to keep the dish from feeling overcooked or soggy. Serve your Instant Pot Ratatouille with crusty baguette or cooked pasta for a veggie-forward main dish, or enjoy it as a comforting side dish for roasted chicken or grilled fish.
Fontina-And-Kale Mini Meatballs
These easy, cheesy meatballs are perfect for anything from a holiday party to a tailgating get-together—especially if you need to have a keto-friendly appetizer in the mix. The blend of Italian sausage and lean ground beef provide a great, flavorful base that isn't overly greasy, and the kale and Fontina combo is a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Cacio e Pepe Air-Fried Ravioli
Our eggplant lasagna is a delicious, crowd-pleasing dinner that results from swapping traditional lasagna noodles for slabs of fresh eggplant. Besides being a great gluten-free and low-carb alternative to classic lasagna, this comforting casserole is the perfect way to put a load of summer eggplant to good use. The best eggplant to use in this lasagna recipe are the most tubular-shaped that you can find, as these will give you the most even planks of eggplant (vs. the eggplants with large, round bottoms). This cheesy eggplant bake also gets bonus points for being make-ahead friendly. You can prepare and assemble the eggplant lasagna and refrigerate for up to two days before baking; just plan on the lasagna needing a couple of extra minutes in the oven.