Why buy the jarred stuff when you can easily stockpile heat-and-serve pasta sauces at home? From a vibrant pesto to a Sunday-worthy ragu, we’re sharing some of our favorite make-ahead sauces that you can stash in your freezer for even on the busiest weekdays.
A few tips:
- Use your free weekend to cook up a big batch of sauce, portion it out, and freeze it.
- If you’re already planning to have pasta for dinner, make double the amount of sauce and freeze it for later.
- Pasta sauces with dairy don’t do well in the freezer. If the sauce requires a cream or cheese, add it as you’re reheating the sauce.
- Sauces should last in your freezer for about three months, depending on how airtight the packaging is. We recommend using freezer-safe glass containers, or double layers of quart or gallon-sized freezer bags to store these sauces.
- Most sauces can be reheated directly from the freezer; just warm gently over low heat in a saucepan. Or you can thaw overnight in the fridge for quicker reheating the next day.
Everyone needs a good marinara on hand and this one from Love and Lemons is a classic and comes together in just 30 minutes! More cost-effective to make it in bulk and freeze than buying it jarred, it’s perfect for saving to simmer meatballs, dousing over baked ziti, saucing chicken parm, or anything!
This meaty pasta sauce from celebrity butcher Pat LaFrieda is Italian comfort food at its best! Slow-cooked beef short ribs give the sauce an unctuous richness, but LaFrieda mentions that spareribs and chuck work, too.
Eating your greens is a whole lot easier thanks to this vibrant pesto from Bon Appétit magazine. This isn’t your grandma’s pesto—you won’t find any basil or pinenuts here—instead, kale and pistachio pack in the pesto flavor. Plus, you can freeze it into ice cube trays and pop ‘em out as you need ‘em!
If you crave one of Sicily’s most famous dishes throughout the year, now’s the perfect time to stash this sauce in your freezer before eggplants go out of season! This Pasta alla Norma sauce from Food52 is super simple to make (all you need is eight ingredients) but if you can’t find ricotta salata (which makes this dish ultra-authentic), you can substitute Parmesan instead.
Rich alfredo sauce gets a healthy remake with white beans, which give the sauce great body, but without all the dairy! This decadent white bean version from MyRecipes is so creamy and silky, your family would never guess it’s actually vegan.