Store-bought marinara sauce feels homemade simmered with beef and veggies in this ground beef tortellini skillet.
There are two main reasons I turn to store bought marinara sauce:
- It’s 90 degrees outside and my kitchen can’t take the heat that comes with simmering my famous Sunday gravy more than a few hours.
- I do not have the time to simmer Sunday gravy on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc.
Chasing a toddler this summer has taken our outdoor activity to a whole new level. Which means when we finally spend time indoors to cool off and make dinner, the last thing I want to do is cook for long periods of time. That’s when I open my pantry and pull out my favorite jar of store bought marinara!
What do I look for in my store-bought tomato sauce? First I check the ingredients label. If there are things on there I can’t pronounce or have a hard time typing into Google, I skip it. I also look at the calorie and sodium levels on the nutrition facts label. Sauces can have anywhere from 50-150 calories per ½ cup serving and as much as 500mg of sodium per ½ cup serving.
Now the kind I buy from Trader Joe’s isn’t a low-sodium option, so I make sure not to add additional salt when cooking with it. If you want to choose something lower in sodium, aim for a brand that has <15% of your recommended daily sodium intake when you look at the nutrition facts label.
Doctor-up store bought marinara sauce for this simple Ground Beef tortellini skillet! Click To Tweet
Although my store-bought sauce isn’t considered low sodium, it definitely becomes nutrient-rich when I combine it with other foods, such as in this Ground Beef Tortellini Skillet. I know I sound like a broken record with feeding Joey Ground Beef, but when I make it with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese he can’t get enough.
And I can’t get enough knowing he’s getting the nutrients his growing body and brain needs. I also stirred in some mushrooms, onions, and zucchini to doctor-up this Ground Beef Tortellini skillet beyond the meat and pasta. Because let’s face it: If the kid will eat beef with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese, I’m hoping we’ll have the same luck with veggies!
- 1lb. lean Ground Beef [93% lean or leaner]
- 10 to 12 ounces refrigerated whole wheat tortellini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- ½ cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 24 ounces jarred marinara sauce [I use this kind]
- ¼ cup water
- Parmesan cheese [grated] for serving
- Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into ¾-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings. Remove Ground Beef from skillet.
- In the same skillet add olive oil, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms. Sautee for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in water and pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook 7 to 11 minutes or until pasta is almost tender. Add Ground Beef back to skillet; continue to cook 4 to 6 minutes or until pasta is tender and sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.