7 Low-Sugar Pasta Sauces to Add to Your Next Grocery List

Updated 10/03/19
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Davide Illini/Stocksy 

I’d love to be the kind of person who always whips up a homemade pasta sauce to accompany a bowl of penne or linguine noodles, but life gets busy and sometimes it just isn’t in the cards. I used to grab whatever store-bought sauce was on sale and sounded appetizing. Then, I heard a podcast where a nutritionist talked about how pasta sauces are one of the worst culprits for added sugar, and I began to look more closely at the labels on my favorite sauces. 

I was shocked to learn that some products had 12 grams per serving, the equivalent of three teaspoons of sugar and almost as much as a Pop-Tart. To be fair, some sugar is a natural byproduct of the tomatoes and other wholesome ingredients, but it’s the added sugars that are worrisome and, frankly, unnecessary. I embarked on a quest to find a healthier alternative that was both hearty and heart-friendly. Here are some tried-and-true favorites, all with 6 grams of sugar or less, that are available at most grocery stores or online.

pasta sauce
Cucina Antica Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce, Pack of 6 $36
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This sauce is about as good as it gets with just 1 gram of sugar, but don’t assume that less sugar equals less flavor. The tomatoes are grown in Southern Italy, where a volcanic soil gives them a natural sweetness. The same brand also makes a puttanesca sauce, a spicy arrabbiata, and a spinach marinara.

pasta sauce
Yo Mama’s Keto Friendly Marinara Pasta Sauce, Pack of 2 $17
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This sauce has a loyal following, particularly among those with special dietary needs. Even their chianti- and burgundy-infused blends boast only 2 grams of sugar.

pasta sauce
Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce $10
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This sauce—with 3 grams of sugar—hails from the Bronx and is beloved by celebrity chefs

pasta sauce
Muir Glen Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce $3
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California farms yield these organic tomatoes “picked at the peak of flavor.” Fans praise the tart flavor, texture, and the fact that it only has 4 grams of sugar.

pasta sauce
Victoria Tomato Basil Sauce, 6 Pack $46
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This company is owned by an Italian-American family from New York and it shows thanks to the heaping chunks of tomatoes and garlic and the inclusion of fresh basil. Each serving has only 5 grams of sugar.

roasted vegetable pasta sauce
Classico Riserva Roasted Vegetable Pasta Sauce $5
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This veggie-forward sauce is a medley of two different types of tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots. It’s also available in a straightforward, yet equally delicious, plain marinara. Both varieties have 5 grams of sugar. 

pasta sauce
Newman's Own Organic Marinara Sauce $4
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With 6 grams of sugar, this jar comes in a little higher than the others, but is still a solid option in a pinch. Priced at around $4, it’s also one of the more affordable sauces.

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