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Some grocery stores dedicate entire aisles to pasta sauces. They offer a myriad of varieties; you could spend an entire afternoon comparing ingredients, examining unit prices, and still walk away frozen in indecision and, worse yet, with nothing for your noodles.
Costco warehouses don’t have the luxury of serving as just a grocery store. Each one is also a tire center, book store, pharmacy, electronics, home goods, clothing, and more — all under one roof. Costco’s buyers have to make difficult decisions when choosing what products to stock on the shelves. They can only choose a few options. But what the store lacks in variety it makes up for in quality. That’s why I say the best spot to shop for pasta sauces is the place where the choices are curated before they earn a place on the shelf. I buy my pasta sauce at Costco. Which jar do I pick? Let’s take a look.
My local Costco carries four varieties of tomato-based marinara sauces and two creamy pasta sauces. I taste tested each sauce warm and on its own, and again with al dente pasta. One jar stood out as the best of the best. If you’re looking for the best jar of pasta sauce to buy at Costco, this is the one.
Rao’s Marinara Sauce, $10.69 for 2 (28-ounce) jars
If I’m honest, I felt a pang of personal vindication upon realization that Rao’s marinara sauce topped the rest in this blind taste test. It’s been a favorite among Kitchn editors for years and is a repeat Kitchn Essentials winner. Rao’s has the perfect balance of tomato and onion sweetness paired with just enough acidity. I’ve never tasted a jarred sauce that could pass for homemade as easily as this one could.