It's not just for spaghetti!

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With the triple threat of tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic in its DNA, marinara sauce has an impressive range beyond being just a pasta topper. Hang onto what's left in the pot (or jar): Every spoonful can be used in entirely new and delicious ways. Homemade marinara requires only five ingredients and can be stored in the fridge for a week (or in the freezer for up to one month). For a premade pinch hitter, our test kitchen recommends Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce ($5.39, amazon.com). Whether bought or homemade, these five recipes make great use of marinara.

marinara
Credit: Raymond Hom
baked feta marinara dip
Credit: Sidney Bensimon

Baked Feta-Marinara Dip

For this recipe, you'll need 1½ cups of marinara sauce. Feta cheese is baked in a pool of marinara perked up with another secret-weapon ingredient: smoky roasted piquillo peppers. Serve the tangy, creamy goodness with plenty of crostini—it's good to the last drop.

spicy-indian-shrimp-103242180
Credit: Sidney Bensimon

Spiced Shrimp with Garam Masala

Tomatoes and garlic are the foundation for many dishes around the globe. In this recipe, garam masala, fresh ginger, and scallions build on the fragrant base, which also calls for 1½ cups of marinara sauce.

quick vegetarian chili
Credit: Sidney Bensimon

Quick Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Two cups of marinara sauce give this chili a big head start thanks to its deeply melded flavor; it's ready in under an hour. Instead of the usual ground beef, this vegetarian chili recipe gets its heft from both black and red kidney beans.

Chicken-and-Polenta Puttanesca Melts
Credit: Kate Sears

Chicken-and-Polenta Puttanesca Melts

You'll need 1½ cups of marinara sauce for this recipe. Inspired by a traditional Italian Puttanesca sauce, this 25-minute dinner marries capers and olives with chicken cutlets and pre-cooked polenta. All of the ingredients are nestled in marinara sauce in a skillet and are broiled until the mozzarella is melted and bubbling.

Pork-Meatball Skillet Bake
Credit: Justin Walker

Pork-Meatball Skillet Bake

Homemade pork-fennel meatballs and sautéed peppers and onions simmer in a skillet along with an entire jar of tomato sauce in this recipe. Serve with lots of crusty bread for sopping up the extra sauce, which gets even more flavor once it cooks with the other ingredients.

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