Raise your hand if you’ve ever opened a jar of marinara sauce, placed the leftovers in the fridge, and then a month later realized it’s grown little blue fuzzballs. We get it. The intention to use the leftovers is there, yet you find yourself face-to-face with wasted sauce. Again.
We’re helping you turn those half-used jars of pasta sauce into some seriously tasty and healthier options. We’ve broken down the recipes into fast and easy (a win-win), single-servings (sometimes we just want to cook for ourselves), and those for feeding a crowd (because we like to party).
Fast and Easy
For a quick and hearty meal that will serve a large crowd (or make for lots of leftovers), this one-pot beef and three-bean chili couldn’t be easier. Chop up onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes; combine with ground beef, sauce, and spices; and dinner is on its way. And because it makes everything better, top with some avocado.
As the name suggests, this recipe is easy, quick, and will leave you with just one pan to clean up (score). Toss in mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini along with pasta, chicken, and that extra tomato sauce for a colorful, light pasta dish that will be ready in half an hour, tops.
If the phrase “Sloppy Joes” brings back awkward summer camp memories, we don’t blame you. But give this updated vegan version a chance, especially on nights when your heart says burger, but your brain says bring on the veggies. This spicy sandwich is filled with tempeh, a great vegetarian substitute for ground beef, as well as onions and peppers. Swap out the tomato paste for your leftover tomato sauce, and you’ll feel like you’re at a grown-up cookout in no time.
When eating by yourself, it can be tempting to just toss something frozen in the microwave. But with just a little extra effort, you can have a meal that’s way more satisfying and nutritious. This easy eggplant parm recipe will have you wishing you could cook for one for the rest of your life.
Feeding a Crowd
Who doesn’t love pizza? The crowd-pleaser can get a bit messy (and expensive) when served whole, so welcome an easy, dippable solution: pizza hummus. This dish is the perfect last-minute addition to a party—just blend chickpeas, tomato sauce, and spices; top with diced tomatoes; and serve. Pair it with veggies, fresh bread, or pita chips… and maybe make a second batch, just in case.
Avocado adds a fun surprise to this cold-weather classic. Even your pickiest guests will appreciate the simple ingredients that go into these meatballs—all you need is an egg, ground chicken, tomatoes, chilies, sauce, and spices. If you want to take the health factor up a notch, sub in rolled oats or crushed flax for the bread crumbs.