15 Wow-Worthy Pasta Sauces That Aren’t Marinara
If pasta is a regular part of your dinner rotation, then marinara is probably also part of it too. While there's nothing wrong with red sauce, it's easy to get burnt out on the taste. Switch things up with one of these 15 pasta sauces that are packed with flavor, from creamy Alfredo to pepped up pesto and bright lemon herb sauce. Simply pick your favorite noodle, choose a sauce, and dinner is ready!
Forget jarred Alfredo pasta sauce and whip up this easy homemade version. "You would not believe how incredible this sauce is," says reviewer MISSKISSY. "I'd give this 6 stars if I could--I will NEVER buy Alfredo sauce again!"
Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese Pasta with Chicken, Spinach and Herbs
Nutty browned butter and salty Mizithra cheese combine for this decadent pasta. Mizithra, similar in texture to ricotta, is a Greek cheese so you may need to visit your grocery store's deli cheese section to find it.
Spinach Basil Pesto Sauce
Naturally green pesto gets an extra color boost with the addition of spinach. Recipe creator Dianne says, "This sauce is perfect for freezing in an ice cube tray. I just pop out a couple of cubes from the freezer and add to a pasta dish for a quick and easy meal."
Lemon Butter Herb Pasta
This simple pasta sauce shines with bold flavors. Lemon juice adds a tang, butter creates a rich texture, and herbs finish it all off. If available, many reviewers suggest using fresh herbs instead of dried for a brighter taste.
The Best Clam Sauce
Cancel the reservations at your favorite seafood restaurant, because this pasta sauce is better than anything you can order out. Recipe creator Jodie B suggests serving up the pasta with a slice of garlic bread and glass of white wine.
Chef John's Creamy Mushroom Pasta
Creamy, earthy, and cheesy, it doesn't get much better than this hearty mushroom pasta dish. White and shiitake mushrooms are cooked into the rich sauce, which is finished with a sprinkling of fresh herbs.
Lobster Mornay Sauce
This luxuriously rich recipe is just begging to be served over wide noodles for sopping up all the sauce. Many reviewers have reported success swapping in shrimp or scallops for the lobster.
Vegan Avocado Pasta with Blackened Vegetables
Equal parts tangy and creamy, this avocado pasta sauce is both vegan- and paleo-friendly. Serve over noodles with blackened veggies for the ultimate plant-based dinner.
An Italian classic, puttanesca's bold ingredients list puts basic red sauce to shame. "This recipe has become one of my favorite dishes to serve for any occasion. I usually can't stand olives or anchovies, but love them in this," says Yetta.
Enjoy all the summertime veggies in ratatouille with this pappardelle dish. The natural sweetness of the peppers and tomatoes is balanced out with a hearty drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Little Ears Pasta with Peas, Mint & Ricotta
While basil and thyme may be the herbaceous stars of most pasta dishes, mint deserve a chance in the spotlight too. Here it's combined with sweet peas, creamy ricotta, and tangy lemon zest for a show-stopping sauce.
Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
Butternut squash cooks down into a velvety, creamy cheese sauce, adding extra body to the texture and more veggies to your meal. Reviewer Rose says, "TO DIE FOR! Rich buttery and a delicious mix of sweet and savory."
Penne and Vodka Sauce
While vodka may seem to be an odd addition to pasta sauce, it helps bring out the tomato's natural sweetness and any alcohol cooks out during the cooking process. With a dollop of cream and grating of cheese, this creamy pasta will please the whole family.
This beloved sauce gets a south of the border twist thanks to a unique ingredients list. Cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and cojita cheese are blended together to create an herby and salty sauce that's at home over any type of pasta.
"This is a near perfect and flawless recipe for the classic Spaghetti alla Carbonara," raves naples34102. "Traditionally this is made with pancetta (an Italian style bacon) but I actually prefer it this way, with regular ol' bacon!"