Saute Fresh Vegetables and Add Them to the Sauce
One of the best ways you can doctor up a bottle of store-bought spaghetti sauce is to add fresh sauteed vegetables. One of my favorites is sliced white mushrooms, which I saute in a bit of olive oil and add a bit of sea salt right before they’re finished cooking. It’s important to season the vegetables before adding them to the sauce or they will taste bland inside the sauce. You can also add sauteed bell peppers, onions, carrots, zucchini or any other vegetables you may like. This is also a great way to bulk up your sauce without adding too much fat. Just be sure to drain the vegetables well before stirring into the sauce or you’ll have an oil slick on top.
Stir in a Bit of Fresh Garlic
There is nothing like the flavor of fresh garlic. Adding a bit of fresh garlic to store-bought spaghetti sauce can add a punch of flavor. You can either add the garlic straight to the sauce or add to the vegetables as you saute them. Either way, this is a great way to doctor up the sauce and make it taste more homemade.
Add Freshly Cooked Ground Beef
If you’ve ever purchased store-bought spaghetti sauce that had ground beef, chances are you never did it again. There is just something strange about the texture. However, if you want a meat sauce, you can easily brown up a package of ground beef and stir your sauce into it after it’s been drained. It’s not only a great way to doctor up your sauce, but it will make your sauce nice and thick as well. If you want to cut back on calories, use 93-96% fat-free ground beef.
Snip in a Few Fresh Herbs
If you have an herb garden, this can be a wonderful way to add a bit of flavor to your store-bought sauce. Freshly snipped basil, oregano or even parsley will add a fresh flavor to your sauce. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, add a bit of dried Italian seasoning or onion powder. In either case, you need to add seasonings sparingly or you could overwhelm the sauce and cause it to taste bitter or too fragrant.
Adjust the Thickness to Suit Your Tastes
Some store-bought sauces can be too thin and some can be too thick, especially after you add meat and sauteed vegetables. Thankfully, this is easy to remedy. If your sauce is too thick, fill the empty sauce jar about 1/4 to1/3 of the way with water. Place on the lid and shake to remove any of the excess sauce left in the jar. This will help ensure that the sauce doesn’t get too watered down. If your sauce is too thin, you can take a couple tablespoons of water and mix with about a tablespoon of corn starch to create a slurry. You thin stir the slurry into the sauce and allow it to come to a boil. Once it boils for about a minute, your sauce should be nice and thick.