10 Ways to Use Tomato Sauce

10 Ways to Use Tomato Sauce
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10 Ways to Use Tomato Sauce

These simple ways to use tomato sauce are outside of the traditional pizza and pasta dishes.

Braised Short Ribs (Serves 8)

Season 3 lb. bone-in short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the short ribs in batches (about 5 minutes per batch) and drain on paper towels. Add 8 crushed garlic cloves, 4 cups tomato sauce, and 2 cups red wine--enough so the meat is just covered. Bring to a simmer on the stove-top, then braise in a 350-degree oven until the meat is very tender, 2 1/2-3 hours.

Image Credit: Yossy Arefi

Spanish Rice

Swap half of the water when making rice with tomato sauce and stir in thawed frozen peas, capers, sliced olives, thinly sliced scallions, and a squirt of lemon juice.

Image Credit: Yossy Arefi

Veracruz-Style Halibut (Serves 4)

Simmer 2 cups tomato sauce in a skillet with 1/4 cup raisins, 1 Tbsp. capers, and 1/4 cup pitted green olives. Add four 4-oz. pieces halibut (or other meaty white fish), cover, and cook until just firm and the flesh easily flakes, about 8-10 minutes; serve topped with chopped parsley.

Image Credit: Yossy Arefi

Baked Beans (Serves 2 to 4)

Cook 2 strips chopped bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels, reserving the bacon fat in the pan. Add 1/2 chopped onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes, then add a 15-oz. can of navy beans, a cup of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp. mustard powder and cook until heated through and flavors meld, 15-20 minutes.

Image Credit: Yossy Arefi

Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs

Toss 4 or 5 handfuls of tortilla chips with about 1 cup tomato sauce. Arrange in an ovenproof baking dish, dollop with more tomato sauce, and sprinkle with shredded pepper jack cheese; broil until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Top with fried eggs, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and hot sauce to taste.

Image Credit: Yossy Arefi

Spicy Tomato-Baked Eggs (Serves 6)

Heat 2 cups tomato sauce and a generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes in a medium skillet. Bring to a simmer, and gently crack 6 eggs into the pan. Cook until the whites are just set and the yolk is at least warm to the touch, 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and top with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley. Serve with toasted Italian bread slices.

Image Credit: Yossy Arefi

Southwestern Chip Dip

Combine equal parts sour cream and tomato sauce, then stir in finely chopped pickled jalapenos and fresh cilantro.

Image Credit: Yossy Arefi

Shrimp Cocktail

Mix tomato sauce with jarred horseradish, hot sauce, and lemon juice to taste. Serve with cooked shrimp.

Image Credit: Yossy Arefi

Sausage and Chickpea Crostini

Brown some uncased and crumbled spicy Italian sausage, then stir in tomato sauce, drained canned chickpeas, cumin to taste, and a generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Spoon onto crostini, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Image Credit: Yossy Arefi

Quick Ratatouille

Cook a few smashed cloves of garlic in olive oil until fragrant, then remove garlic and add chopped bell peppers, eggplant, onion, and zucchini, and a small handful of fresh thyme sprigs; cook until the onion is softened, then add the tomato sauce and simmer until the vegetables are tender, adding water to thin the stew as needed.

Image Credit: Yossy Arefi


This classic red sauce is packed with flavor, making it a beloved ingredient for fans of the minimal-effort dinner. Standard tomato sauce dishes--think spaghetti and pizza--are so good, it's easy to forget how versatile a jar of the stuff can really be.

Check out the slideshow above to find ten more simple ways to use up a jar of tomato sauce.

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