The Canned Soup That Makes The Perfect Substitute For Marinara Sauce

skillet full of marinara sauce
skillet full of marinara sauce - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

While we love a gourmet dinner, sometimes you need to work smarter, not harder. The need to get a meal on the table can strike even when you haven't shopped in weeks. One of the most filling, delicious, and easy ways to achieve this is with two simple ingredients: dried pasta and marinara sauce. If making sauce from fresh tomatoes and garlic isn't an option, you'll probably reach for a jar of the premade stuff -- but even our pantry staples run out occasionally. If this sounds familiar, don't lose heart.

One canned soup that we typically reserve as a side for grilled cheese can save the day. When you're out of marinara sauce, reach for canned tomato soup. We can already hear you claiming that all canned tomato products aren't the same, but in many ways, they are. What separates marinara sauce from a regular can of chopped tomatoes is that marinara is blended and boasts extra flavor from herbs and seasonings. Canned tomato soup isn't far off, and with only a few ingredients, it can be transformed into something that feels like it has been made from scratch.

Read more: Vegetarian Recipes The Whole Family Will Love

How To Boost The Flavor Of Canned Tomato Soup

person holding a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup
person holding a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup - calimedia/Shutterstock

To transform your tomato soup into a hearty marinara, you should soup it up a little. This process starts before the soup even hits the pan. Start by sautéeing some chopped garlic in olive oil and add in a dash of dried chili flakes. Dried oregano and basil are other fantastic additions to give your tomato soup a more authentic marinara flavor. Finally, if you have some tomato paste, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons will give your sauce a richer depth of tomato flavor and thicken the mixture.

After the garlic has had a few minutes to soften and caramelize, add the canned soup. If you have a can of the old-fashioned condensed stuff, thin it with water to give it a saucy consistency. If you're using a non-condensed soup, give it time to cook down until it thickens into a viscous sauce. Here's some good news: Slow-cooking tomatoes and garlic will highlight their flavors and make the finished sauce taste even more delicious. You may also notice how canned soup's orange hues will turn a dark burgundy red; this is another good sign. Once your sauce has reached the right consistency, serve it with pasta and cheese, slather some onto a premade pizza crust, or use it any way you would use homemade marinara.

Read the original article on Mashed.