World's BEST Spaghetti RAO’s Homemade Marinara. This dish will transport you back to Italy with the most basic ingredients. Quick & easy weeknight gourmet dinner.
A plane ticket to Italy ~ $1000
Rao's Homemade Pasta Sauce ~ $9
It's apparent what's more cost-efficient here, but I would totally justify spending $1000 to visit Italy again, but I can't justify spending $9 on a bottle of Rao's Homemade Marinara sauce.
I know my logic's a bit off, but let's face it, there are no shortcuts in getting to Europe without flying, however there are many good alternatives to delicious pasta sauces besides Rao's. Agreed?
"Tried out this recipe today and it was a total hit. My kids had 3 servings.
So u can imagine how good it was. 👍🏼"
"Totally loved this recipe. So delicious and easy to make. Got swiped out very quickly! Definitely going to try other recipes from ur blog and tell my friends about it ❤️"
- How did I hear about Rao's Homemade Marinara?
- The Best Jarred Spaghetti Sauce
- Rao's Pasta
- Why You'll Love World's Best Spaghetti Rao's Homemade Marinara
- How to make World's Best Spaghetti RAO's Homemade Marinara
- How to Serve Spaghetti
- Tips on making World's BEST Spaghetti RAO’s Homemade Marinara
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Pasta Dishes!
How did I hear about Rao's Homemade Marinara?
When my friend, Marian, raved about how amazing Rao's Homemade Pasta Sauce was almost a year ago, I was intrigued, but I did wonder if was it really as good as she said, and more importantly, was it really worth 9 bucks.
Since then, every time I visited the grocery store and walked past the pasta section, I couldn't help but notice the ridiculous cost of Rao's Pasta Sauce, but to my dismay, it was never on sale. And each time I'd settle for my other 2 favorite pasta sauces - Barilla and Classico - which worked perfectly well.
Recently though, I found Rao's Homemade Sauce ON SALE, at $5.50 a jar. Imagine my excitement!
The Best Jarred Spaghetti Sauce
When I returned home and opened the jar of Rao's Marinara Sauce and finally gave it a try, I couldn't believe how RIGHT my friend was!
It was amazing.
It was light.
And so fresh.
Rao's marinara sauce is made with minimal ingredients and imported from Italy.
And, yes indeed, it tasted homemade.
Like homemade spaghetti sauce.
It was the best marinara sauce I had ever had!
That night I made the simplest form of pasta I knew with the most basic ingredients - olive oil, garlic, onions, Parmesan cheese, and lots and lots of basil drowning in Rao's sauce. This Rao's Spaghetti dish comes together in just 30 minutes and makes a great weeknight meal.
When I took his first bite, I swear I felt I had been transported back to Italy. It was soooooooooo good. The moral is… if you can’t go to Italy, then bring Italy home with Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce which is priceless. And thank you, Rao’s! I am a convert for life.
- Rao's Homemade Marinara: There is no debating, you must use Rao's Homemade Marinara, or their Arriabiata sauce is amazing too if you like spice.
- Olive Oil: Any good quality olive oil will work.
- Crushed Red Pepper: I love spicy food, so I recommend lots of crushed red pepper for this one.
- Onion: Chopped white onions are what you'll need.
- Garlic: There is nothing like fresh garlic in pasta, and make sure it's chopped.
- Spaghetti: I love using whole-wheat spaghetti for additional fiber. Feel free to use regular white flour spaghetti or even gluten-free spaghetti for a gf option
- Spices: Salt and black pepper.
- Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan cheese tastes amazing in this dish, however you can make this dish without cheese because the sauce is incredible.
- Fresh Basil: Lots of fresh basil adds a ton of flavor to this dish.
Why You'll Love World's Best Spaghetti Rao's Homemade Marinara
- Most Delicious Spaghetti
- Tastes Homemade, yet Gourmet
- Made with Simple Ingredients
- Transports you back to Italy
- Whole Wheat
- Comfort Food
- The BEST Pasta Sauce
How to make World's Best Spaghetti RAO's Homemade Marinara
Here's how to make this recipe with step-by-step pictures.
Step 1 - Prep
1. Start by heating a pot of water for your pasta. In the meantime, finely chop an onion and 4 cloves of garlic.
2. Add uncooked spaghetti to boiling water along with salt. Follow the directions on the package and cook until al dente.
Step 2 - Cook the Pasta
1. Heat a pot on medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes.
2. Once the pepper flakes sizzle for about 10 seconds, add garlic. Saute for 20 seconds.
3. Now add onions. Season with a little salt. Saute for 3-4 minutes until golden.
4. Add the Rao’s Marinara sauce - you'll need 32 ounces of sauce for this recipe. It's amazing so hope you're using it.
5. Season with ½ teaspoon of black pepper and salt to taste. Stir.
6. Cover with a lid for about 10 minutes.
7. In the meantime, check on the spaghetti - should be done or close to it.
8. Now add all the cooked pasta to the sauce.
9. Toss well. Add ½ cup of reserved starchy pasta water - more if needed. Toss. Turn off the stove. Season with salt or black pepper as needed.
10. Add the basil. Toss some more.
11. Add parmesan cheese. Toss. This makes it nice and creamy.
12. Top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. It's insanely good.
How to Serve Spaghetti
- Garlic Bread - If you want just some good ol' comfort food, enjoy this delicious spaghetti with some garlic bread. I need to post my garlic bread recipe soon.
- Light Salad - If you're looking to make this dish healthier, pair this pasta dish with a light salad - some arugula tossed with homemade balsamic.
- Red Wine - Are you having company? A glass of red wine would be delicious with this meal.
- Veggies - A side of sauteed spinach or roasted broccoli would be delicious.
World's BEST Spaghetti RAO’s Homemade Marinara lasts in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It tastes even better the next day.
Tips on making World's BEST Spaghetti RAO’s Homemade Marinara
- Boil the water for the pasta before you prep your ingredients.
- Boil your pasta at the same time you start sauteing the garlic and onions.
- Add the Rao's Marinara Sauce and bring it to a simmer.
- Make sure to add hot pasta to the hot sauce. This allows the pasta to absorb all of the sauce.
- Also, add some reserved pasta water to create a creamy sauce.
- Finish off the dish with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
For a vegan option, simply omit the Parmesan cheese or use vegan cheese.
For a gluten-free option, replace the whole-wheat spaghetti with gluten-free spaghetti.
Yes. Instead of 2 tbsp, you can use 1 tablespoon of oil. It's still delicious.
I wouldn't go too crazy adding veggies to this spaghetti else it'll take away from the pasta, however, some fresh spinach would be good in this pasta.
Instead of adding veggies to the pasta directly, a side of veggies would be a better alternative, such as sauteed spinach, roasted broccoli, and sauteed zucchini would all be wonderful.
A side of sauteed shrimp or chicken would be delicious. If you're vegetarian, you can grill up some tofu.
Additionally, you can make some chicken, turkey, or beef meatballs and add them to this sauce. Essentially, this will feel as though you are having Spaghetti and Meatballs - always a classic choice. It'll be so delicious with a boost of protein.
Your best bet is Costco! Costco sells two 28-ounce jars of Rao's Marinara Sauce for about $11. It's the best deal on the market.
You can also try Walmart or Target where a 24-ounce bottle is roughly $6 to $7.
Yes. Please trust me - YES! This post is NOT sponsored, I wish it were, but it's not.
I know there are plenty of delicious marinara sauces on the market, but this truly is the BEST pasta sauce you'll ever try. It's worth buying, not to mention Rao's sauce is made in Italy.
For extra indulgence, add a splash of heavy cream.
Once you add the sauce and bring it to a simmer, "slowly" add a splash of heavy cream. Add the heavy cream slowly so you don't curdle the sauce by adding cold cream to a hot sauce.
Simmer for a minute and you'll end up with a beautiful creamy pink sauce. Then go ahead and add your pasta followed by the rest of the ingredients.
Tried this recipe? If so, please leave a comment & rate this recipe. That would mean so much to me. If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creations. I'm happy to share and mention you. Thank you!
World's BEST Spaghetti RAO’s Homemade MarinaraVegetarian, Vegan option, Gluten-Free option
- pot of water
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 32 ounces Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
- 2 handfuls fresh basil, julienned
- ½ cup reserved pasta water, add more if needed
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ tablespoon parmesan cheese, optional
- fresh basil
Step 1 - Prep
- Start by heating a pot of water for your pasta. In the meantime, finely chop an onion and 4 cloves of garlic.
- Add uncooked spaghetti to boiling water along with salt. Follow the directions on the package and cook until al dente.
Step 2 - Cook the Pasta
- Heat a pot on medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Once the pepper flakes sizzle for about 10 seconds, add garlic. Saute for 20 seconds.
- Now add onions. Season with a little salt. Saute for a 3-4 minutes until golden.
- Add the Rao’s Marinara sauce - you'll need 32 ounces of sauce for this recipe. It's amazing so hope you're using it.
- Season with ½ teaspoon of black pepper and salt to taste. Stir.
- Cover with a lid for about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, check on the spaghetti - should be done or close to it.
- Now add all the pasta to the sauce.
- Toss well. Add ½ cup of reserved starchy pasta water - more if needed. Toss. Turn off the stove. Season with salt or black pepper as needed.
- Add the basil. Toss some more.
- Add parmesan cheese. Toss. This makes it nice and creamy.
- Top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. It's insanely good.
The Mastercard 'priceless' commercial rang in my head when I started reading your post 😀
After you mentioned Rao's in one of your previous posts, I e-mailed them asking if they have any offers or coupons going on. (they don't.) Thought of getting a jar if I get it on discount!
Wow I've never even heard of Rao's pasta sauce and while $9 a jar does sound extortionate, I think I'd be okay to spend that amount of some really good marinara sauce! Also, I always justify crazy food prices with cost per serving: that jar will probably give you 4 servings- less than $2.50 per serving ain't too shabby, right! At least this is the logic I use when I spent $10+ on a jar of freakin' nut butter ;)!
Despite it's deliciousness, spaghetti isn't the most appealing thing to photograph but your pics are incredible..incredible enough to spark a craving!
Lawyer Loves Lunch says
I have never seen this sauce but am now totally intrigued! I will definitely be on the lookout for it the next time I'm at the grocery store 🙂
I want to try that sauce. Victoria's is also pretty good. Gosh now I'm gonna have to have pasta tomorrow night for dinner!
Have had Victorias from Costco and also Rao from Costco.
The first is very good, the latter is the best. Never had a sauce as good.
Rao is unbelievable. If teh price is too high, do not buy it even on sale. Because after that everything else will taste weak and you will be spoiled.
It's the best. I have tried so many other sauces, but nothing else compares. It's worth the price when you can't find it on sale.
Raos is the best. I get it when I'm at Costco, on sale or not. My local stores sell the 24 oz jars but I get 2 28oz jars at Costco. As everyone has said, going from raos to ragu will just piss you off. Absolutely no comparison. I know folks say I can make my own marinara sauce but its December and I dont have access to fresh tomatoes right now. And store bought are a mealy mess. This recipe is simple and delicious.
Thanks so much Lisa. It's amazing.. I agree. It's my favorite Marinara and Costco has it on sale now. Yup there is no comparison! 🙂
Hi there, I was wondering when would I incorporate ground meat if I would like to add that to the recipe. Thankyou.
Hi Katie, YOu will need to cook your ground meat so go ahead and add it right after the onions. Brown the meat - season it - then proceed to add Rao's Marinara sauce and continue with the rest of the recipe. Let me know. 🙂
That sauce is the best thing ever!!! I hope I can eat at the actual Rao's restaurant some day. It's so hard to get a table there!
Okay...now I REALLY have to fork over the $10 for a jar of this sauce...I didn't want to have to do it. But you've convinced me!
Lisa Molder says
I've found 28 oz. Rao marinara sauce at costco. 2 pack for 11 or 12 bucks!
That's awesome. Costco has some great deals. 🙂
Baker Street says
Rao's pasta sauce is totally new to me! But this looks insanely delicious. Your pictures are stunning.
yummers alert! This looks soooo good!
@Lawyer Loves Lunch - yes, definitely look out for Rao's next time you grocery shop. So good!
@Missy - wow, never heard of Victoria's, you've got me intrigued. 🙂
@Nisha - haha, that makes me you and I both. So if you go on their fan page on Facebook, they are offering 10% off if you order like $150 worth, I know, crazy deal.
@Khushboo - oh, I think the same way as you, unfortunately, we loved the pasta so much, we finished it in 1 night.. we are such pigs. So more like $5 per person. I know, nut butter, is all too expensive, $10.. that's why I make my own Almond Butter. Spaghetti is my favorite, but this one is exceptional.
@Mari - thanks for introducing me to Rao's. We will definitely have to make reservations ahead of time, I'd love to dine there. Caesars Palace next time!!!
@Georgia - you're welcome. I forget about spaghetti too, mainly cuz it's so simple and not elegant, but man this was good! Buy the sauce. 🙂
@Ameena - you won't be let down, I promise, I'm so anal about food. 🙂
This looks yummy, I have never heard of Rao's restaurant. What are the ingredients in the marinara sauce? I am wondering where the saturated fat could come from, maybe the cheese in it? Either way it is not bad at all and your pasta looks awesome. I am sure you husband had a nice full belly that night 🙂
@Parita - Thanks for giving me some credit. 🙂 Yeah, $9 totally beats the same dish at a restaurant.
@eatgood4life - Thank you! The sauce contains no cheese.. the saturated fat is coming from the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. All the ingredients are imported from Italy, literally. Imported Onions, Imported Tomatoes. I believe EVOO contains very little saturated fat if you look at the nutrition label on a bottle. Yes, my hubby and I were satiated. 🙂
Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking says
It has been WAY too long since I've had a simple plate of saucy spaghetti. This looks fantastic! Thanks for the reminder about one of my favorite comfort foods!
Tina Bk says
I am glad to see that Rao's is now selling the stuff in jars. The recipe in their cook book is an all day affair! However, the meatball recipe is to die for.
I will need to try their jarred sauce. Your creation here does inspire-delicious!
Jen @ The scrumptious Pumpkin says
I am totally starving after looking at your photos! Now daydreaming about a vacay in Italy and heading to the kitchen for some pasta! 🙂
It looks and sounds really tasty.
@Baker Street @mollie - Thank you guys, it's really good, you should be able to find it at a major grocery store and Whole Foods.
All I can muster is YUM. I think your additions have something to do with the deliciousness...don't see yourself short! I'll be on the lookout for this sauce the next time I'm at the store. $9 still beats getting the same dish at a restaurant!
Yum.Yum.Yum. What a great take on one of my very favorites!
Yum, I've never heard or seen this in the stores, but I'll be looking...
thanks for sharing and I'll have to use spaghetti squash, because I don't know portion control when it comes to pasta, guess it's the Italian in me 🙂
@Tina - I didn't even know they had a book out. 🙂 You're always ahead of everyone.
@Jen - awww.. a vacation to Italy sounds lovely.
@Jay @Pam @Josie - thanks!
@Marissa - I'm not Italian and I don't have my portions right either. 🙂
FiSh. ohFISHiee says
oh that's so lovely! i wanna add lots of parmesan in there!
Latest: Best Food of Herbs&Spices
Words Of Deliciousness says
I have never heard of Rao sauce before. It sounds like it is amazing. I love the pictures of your pasta, they are making me hungry.
I've never seen Rao's sauce either. I'll have to look for it and buy it when it goes on sell! I love a good simple pasta sauce! I also need to start growing my own basil so I can stop wasting money on the small plastic packages.
@BakeaHolic - Rao's sauce is amazing, very simple, but tastes like perfection. I feel the same way you do about basil, once I have a home and garden, I'll consider it. Hate buying basil, it's expensive for a little pack and doesn't last very long.
I need someone to get me some Rao's sauce..NOW! Beautiful pics!
I bought Rao's after your review on your blog. This pasta sauce tast's so fresh and flavorful. My boyfriend had a second plate of my Rao's pasta JC
@JC - I'm so glad you loved it. They say food is a best way to a man's heart! 🙂
@Rao's - Thank you so much! This means SO much coming from the source. 🙂 You make the best pasta sauce, continue doing what you do best and keeping those ingredients fresh and imported from Italy! Love!
Rao's Specialty Foods, Inc says
We enjoyed your Blog Post! Thank you for the wonderful mention! Looks delicious... ~ Rao's Specialty Foods, Inc. ♥
Colleen McCoulf says
We LOVE you! I have noticed it is harder to find/get Rao's at some stores in GA now but I will always find your sauce. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Maybe I should move back to NY (though I am from upstate). :0)
Colleen McCoulf says
Did I say Thank YOU?! All the best! :0)
Colleen McCoulf says
OMG I am a gourmet cook and all I can say is OMG...nothing leaves me speechless but this does. If you want flavor and don't mind a little heat got for the Arrabbiata. Tip shake the jar before opening to incorporate the oil ( = flavor). It stays together the whole time afterward....yum yum yum...just purrrrrrfect. I'm craving it now!
I recently had a friend pick up the Arrabbiata sauce, I can't wait to try it. Rao's is the BEST! I wanna try all their flavors. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Super easy and so delicious!!!
Love your recipes
Ashleen Sharma says
Very yummy! Super easy and quick to make! It’s a Family favorite spaghetti now!
This was really yummy it really hit the spot! I definitely can’t wait to make it again ! Love your recipes!
Kati Tummala says
The most amazing spaghetti I’ve ever had! My go to from now on, I’ve made it twice already during quarantine!
Tried out this recipe today and it was a total hit. My kids had 3 servings. So u can imagine how good it was. 👍🏼
Totally loved this recipe. So delicious and easy to make. Got swiped out very quickly! Definitely going to try other recipes from ur blog and tell my friends about it ❤️
Finally got my hands on Roa’s at Costco! Paired with this simple & clean recipe is definitely a winner. So light and fresh, it’s going to be a repeat going forward. Thank you for the tasty and wholesome recipe 🙂
Such a delicious and easy recipe, nisha! Just added some spinach to add in some veggies and turned out wonderful 🙂
Rao spaghetti sauce was alright, but it’s not the world’s best spaghetti sauce. My homemade sauce taste exactly the same. I spent $7.00 on a sauce that I kept seeing all the rave about, when I could of just made mine own. It taste good but it’s not the worlds best I’m sorry. I was disappointed on what I was expecting it to be. 😔
Hi Lawana. So sorry it didn't live up to your expectations. 🙁 So, I actually buy Rao's when it comes on sale or you can get a great deal at Costco for 2 super large jars for $11. Rao's is popular amongst many, but I can understand it's not for everyone.
Diane in WI says
I've been buying Rao's for a short while now but this afternoon decided I would try 'juj' it up a little bit and I came across your post. Sounds perfect... It's what's for dinner!! Thanks! I am a simple home chef so need recipes or else I always overdo it haha!!
Thanks Diane. I love that. Yes, I need spice and flavor in everything so glad you found this post helpful.
I love Rao’s, especially their Arabiatta sauce. In case no one has mentioned before you can get the Arabiatta at a lower price at Target.
Ron Wilson says
Rao's is certainly good but you honestly can do just as well by picking up the cans of the San Marzano tomatoes, either the Kirkland or the Cento brand at Costco. Break up the fruits by hand, stir in a little EVOO, some salt, some basil, some sauteed garlic, simmer an hour, and WaLaa, Reo's!
Thanks for your comment.
Quick, easy and delicious! What more could you ask for?!
I discovered Rao’s two years ago when Costco had it on sale. OMG this stuff is the best! There is absolutely no comparison!
I pair this with a salad or bread and I have one happy family!
I have found that 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes is the right amount for some of my spice sensitive family members.
Simple and delicious! I usually make tomato sauce from scratch but some nights I just want something easy. This recipe is great.
Delicious and easy to prepare. I added lean ground beef to it for more protein