The Store-Bought Pasta Sauces Celebrity Chefs Love To Use

Nothing compares to homemade, especially when it comes to pasta sauce. It's pure magic to slowly simmer tomatoes until they release their precious juices, roast garlic until your kitchen is fragrant with it, and inhale the freshness that comes from chopping herbs picked from the garden. But let's face it — some of us don't have a garden, can't get in-season tomatoes year-round, or are simply too busy, too tired, or too hungry to cook.

There's something to be said for the convenience of pre-made pasta sauces, and even professional cooks turn to them now and then for a quick dinner, or as a base to build upon for their recipes. There's absolutely no shame in having a well-stocked pantry with all the fixings for throwing together an easy meal, which is why knowing which store-bought pasta sauces the pros love to use is so helpful. Requiring little else other than boiling water for noodles, having a ready-to-go jar of sauce on hand is just the ticket for when time is of the essence. Here's a look at which pasta sauces celebrity chefs turn to when they're not whipping up a batch of their own.

Ina Garten's favorite jarred pasta sauce is Rao's

There is perhaps no bigger proponent for using ready-made products than Ina Garten. The Barefoot Contessa's "store bought is fine" philosophy allows for free reign when it comes to using your favorite products on their own or as ingredients for recipes that just don't require making them yourself. Ina Garten's go-to pasta sauce is Rao's Marinara, and it's the perfect example of something to keep in your pantry for just the right time. In her website's "Ask Ina" section, she revealed that it's her favorite, and she recommends having a jar of the staple on hand along with some pasta to feed unexpected guests or for an anytime meal that's ready in minutes. It's also among the products she's chosen for sale in her webshop.

Rao's Homemade Marinara pasta sauce is made in small batches using only Italian tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onions, herbs, and spices — all without tomato blends or paste, fillers, or added sugar ... just pure tomatoey goodness. It's sold in a variety of sizes from 15.5- to 32-ounce jars, good for either feeding yourself or an entire family. Rao's sauces also come in a number of other delicious flavors, including tomato basil, Italian sausage and mushroom, Bolognese, vodka, arrabbiata, four cheese, garlic alfredo, and caramelized onion.

Bobby Flay stocks his pantry with Mutti's pasta sauces

Restaurateur and chef Bobby Flay is also a fan of store-bought pasta sauces. In fact, he's got an entire section of his pantry devoted to ingredients for Italian-style cooking. As the chef-in-residence for the food delivery service Misfits Market, Flay teamed up with his partners to share a tour of his pantry. In the Instagram video, he shows off his well-stocked racks filled with all different kinds of pasta, canned San Marzano tomatoes for making sauce, as well as a selection of off-the-shelf pasta sauces for when he wants to eat ASAP. The variety he's got stockpiled is Simply Sugo by the brand Mutti. While it's a great product as is, he explains that he likes to embellish it with Calabrian chili peppers (also from a jar), red pepper flakes, fresh herbs, and Parmigiano Reggiano.

The Mutti company — located in Parma, Italy — has been producing tomato products since 1899. They promote their sauces as ready to heat and eat or as a starter from which to build other recipes, so it's no wonder that it's Bobby Flay's choice to keep on reserve. Among Mutti's many innovations and accolades, the brand also lays claim to having introduced concentrated tomato paste sold in a tube in the 1950s. While the Simply Sugo product line is no longer sold, it appears to have been rebranded as Mutti's regular pasta sauces, which come in marinara, tomato basil, and Parmigiano Reggiano flavors.

Bio Orto pasta sauces are Giada De Laurentiis' pick

As the reigning queen of all things Italiano, Giada De Laurentiis knows a thing or two about pasta sauce. With plenty of recipes for making different variations of it on her website and in her cookbooks, even she concedes that sometimes opting for a pre-made sauce is okay. She's been known to share a tip or two for how to take it up a notch too. For example, the ingredient De Laurentiis adds to store-bought pasta sauce to elevate it is parmesan cheese rinds. She adds the rinds to the sauce while heating it for an extra layer of umami and depth of flavor. As for her preference for jarred sauce, her online Giadzy marketplace lists Bio Orto as her favorite.

Owned and operated in Puglia, Italy by the Passalacqua family, the Bio Orto company is dedicated to organic farming and sustainable agriculture. Farming its own land and controlling every aspect of the production and supply chain, the company offers high-quality oils, preserved tomatoes, sauces, pesto, olives, and more. De Laurentiis' top picks are the organic arrabbiata sauce, which features garlic and spicy chilis, puttanesca with olives and capers, and tomato sauce with basil.

Guy Fieri swears by Pastabilities' Spicy Hot Tomato Oil

The pasta sauce Guy Fieri raves about on his show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" is manufactured and sold by the Syracuse, New York restaurant Pastabilities. The product is sold as Pasta's Daily Spicy Hot Tomato Oil, but its easier-to-say nickname is simply Hot Tom. The restaurant's bestseller is served as an appetizer with bread but can also be ordered as a meal with pasta ... it's marketed as a sauce you can use with just about anything. When Fieri had the opportunity to watch owner Karyn Korteling make the signature sauce, he declared that it was "ridiculous" (in a good way) and told her that "you need, like, a special license to serve that," (via Food Network).

The Spicy Hot Tomato Oil tastes of sweet tomatoes and pungent garlic, with a kick of spicy heat. To make it, sliced garlic is first caramelized in pure olive oil. A puree of California tomatoes is cooked with salt, honey, a chili mix, and the strained garlic oil. It's blended until smooth and finished with the chunky caramelized garlic. You can eat it as a dip, serve it over pasta, or use it as a marinade. You might want to try it on eggs too, sort of like a spicy shakshuka. You can buy it in 15.3-ounce jars directly from the restaurant, but if you're nowhere near Syracuse, Pastabilities also sells it online and can ship it right to your door, no license required.

Sandra Lee keeps it semi-homemade with Newman's Own

When it comes to touting the benefits of store-bought foods, there is perhaps no one more qualified to offer their opinion on the topic than Sandra Lee. Known for her semi-homemade approach to home cooking, her method is all about combining things you make on your own with products you can buy ... she's all about showing you how to take the best shortcuts.

It comes as no surprise then that a lot of Sandra Lee's recipes are made with jarred sauces, and for many of them she recommends one specific band in particular — Newman's Own. Her use of pasta sauce isn't limited to just pasta recipes either; you'll find her using it in her chunky chili, stuffed cabbage, pork baked ziti, sausage fennel pizza, and many others.

The late actor Paul Newman started Newman's Own in 1982, inspired by how much his friends enjoyed the homemade salad dressing he'd given them as gifts. The company is unique for the fact that it gives away 100% of its profits to organizations that help children. Since its founding, the Newman's Own Foundation has donated over $600 million dollars to worthy causes. The brand's pasta sauces come in conventional as well as organic varieties and in flavors such as classic marinara, tomato basil, and the popular Sockarooni sauce that's made with tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, Italian herbs, and a signature blend of spices — designed to knock your socks off.