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Stretching Spaghetti Sauce

Recently I had some unexpected young guests for dinner, and on the spur of the moment, I switched my dinner plans for a more mild and crowd pleasing menu of spaghetti. When I checked my pantry though, I only had one jar of spaghetti sauce which I knew would not be enough sauce.

, Stretching Spaghetti Sauce, Joyful Homemaking


I had already cooked and frozen my ground beef as I usually do, so I put that in the skillet to thaw, and poured in the jar of sauce that I had, while searching for ideas on how to stretch my servings.

So here is what I did:

  • Added a couple of Tablespoons of water to my spaghetti sauce jar, put the lid on, and shook it around to get all
    the last drops of sauce out, and then poured it into the skillet.
  • Added a few Tablespoons of my boiling pasta water to the sauce mixture.
  • Pureed a can of diced tomatoes from my pantry and added it.
  • Added a Tablespoon of olive oil.

Then I mixed everything well.

, Stretching Spaghetti Sauce, Joyful Homemaking

Some other ideas for stretching your sauce, which I didn’t use but are options:

  • Add a little beef broth
  • Add some cream
  • Add a can of tomato soup
  • Add canned tomato sauce or tomato paste with some water (and maybe some extra Italian seasoning)
  • Mix the sauce and spaghetti together before serving, and then no one will take the lion’s share of the sauce.

Random ideas:

  • See what you have in your pantry; I found a jar of Alfredo sauce, and also some children like their pasta with just butter and Parmesan cheese. So if you have unexpected guests and not quite enough sauce, it works to have a smorgasbord or “pasta bar” of sorts for each to choose their own spaghetti topping.
  • If you have plenty of bread, you can help fill up tummies by making lots of garlic buttered toast to add to the spaghetti meal.

, Stretching Spaghetti Sauce, Joyful Homemaking

, Stretching Spaghetti Sauce, Joyful Homemaking, Stretching Spaghetti Sauce, Joyful Homemakinghttps://joyfulhomemaking.com/wp-content/uploads/spaghetti-sauce21.jpg

The sauce turned out fine, and everyone got fed!
Hope this gives you some helpful ideas!


  1. I always add either broth or water to canned/bottled spaghetti sauce and let it cook a little. Sometimes I add a can of diced tomatoes and let it cook a while. Flavors blend during cooking and diced tomatoes add texture. When pasta is cooked I add about half the sauce and toss. The rest of sauce is on the side.

  2. I love your ideas and some I already follow… also around here usually Friday night I let my “home again sons” provide dinner…which is alot of times pizza and we get those cups of marina for the bread sticks….no one uses them….so I started freezing them for times as you say, you need a little more than one jar. Quick to thaw and a good boost. Love your site, ideas and projects.

  3. I have gotten so much spaghetti sauce so cheaply that I am trying to figure out a million ways to use sauce so I have never thought about how to stretch it. These are some great ideas. I do some of this to stretch my salsa though. I put in a can of Rotel and jar of salsa in the blender and mix it up. We don’t like chunky salsa and blending it brings out more flavor. I will have to remember the next time I need to stretch the spaghetti sauce.

  4. I add extra veggies (mushrooms, green pepper, onion) to my sauce to stretch it. I will try adding olive oil and pasta water next time! I loved your Tip Me Tuesday link this week. {thanks girl!} Would you like Tip Junkie to feature your blog post to over 200,000 creative women? If you upload this blog post into your Tip Junkie craft room using at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL then I can easily feature it in my RSS feed, home page, and all my social networks instantly. {squealing with delight} ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}

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