What Is The Best Jarred Pasta Sauce? — Exclusive Survey

Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner, made all the easier with a jar of ready-to-eat sauce. Sure, boiling boxed pasta and throwing in a can of whatever's on hand may not channel the authenticity of Italian cuisine, which relies on simple, fresh ingredients. However, the convenience of jarred pasta sauce is undeniable — and, if we're being honest, it tastes great, too.

Clearly, lots of people agree. Go to any grocery store, and you'll be inundated with sauce options: from meaty bolognese to cheesy alfredo or spicy. chili-based arrabiata. Once you settle on a type of sauce, choices are still to come; every pasta sauce brand offers its own spin on standard recipes, presenting you with a dizzying number of choices. To make matters easy, go with your gut and pick a sauce based on your own preferences. You truly can't go wrong.

Yet regardless of what you buy, your sauce of choice likely isn't Italian. Many — if not most — of America's favorite sauces are just that: American. According to Business Insider, alfredo, scampi, and even marinara are not traditional dishes. With their distinct, delicious flavors, however, they've become staples of Italian-American cuisine that are here to stay.

One such hallmark of Italian-American sauces amassed the greatest number of fans, according to Tasting Table's latest findings. Over half of the 615 people Tasting Table surveyed prefer one kind of sauce to any other.

Marinara gives any pasta dish a tomato twist

In any pasta-enthused kitchen, marinara is a classic — a sentiment 341 people agreed with. T55.45% of voters took a stance in favor of the classic tomato-based sauce. Yet while marinara is easy to find in a jar, it's nearly as simple to make from scratch. Per The New York Times, marinara sauce consists predominantly of tomatoes, garlic, and oil, as well as salt, basil, and chiles. Should they have a hankering, those 341 marinara fans could throw a sauce together in no time.

Meanwhile, alfredo trailed behind marinara, amassing 25.2% of the vote. Creamy sauce lovers accounted for 155 people who prefer a cheesier sauce to a standard red one. Merging heavy cream with a tomato base, and vodka sauce received 59 votes or 9.59% of the favor.

Somewhat surprisingly, the most traditional Italian pasta recipes of all — bolognese and carbonara — received the fewest votes. Only 39 mouths watered at the thought of rag​​ù; Bolognese earned 6.34% of the vote. Similarly, 21 people, or 3.41% of voters, favored the Roman classic of carbonara.

No matter the sauce you prefer, you'll also have to choose between pasta shapes — an equally important dinner-time decision. Certain kinds of pasta complement certain sauces, so choose carefully. Farfalle pairs well with vodka sauce, due to the ridges along the butterfly wings. Meanwhile, fettuccine twirls wonderfully in alfredo, while spaghetti perfectly compliments marinara. Such a degree of versatility makes any pasta dinner akin to a choose-your-own-adventure.