My daughter-in-law and I both prepare our spaghetti dishes with pre-packaged spaghetti sauce, bottled or canned. We both add it to browned ground beef. I use it as a base - to which I add sauteed onions, diced tomatoes, freshly pressed garlic, extra seasonings (basil, oregano, thyme, sage, coarsely ground black pepper, paprika and a bay leaf). I brown the meat (sometimes using ground turkey instead of beef), drain & remove, saute the onions & garlic with a little olive oil (evoo), add all the seasonings (except bay leaf) and simmer a little (about 5 minutes). Return ground meat to the pan, add tomatoes, canned/bottled spaghetti sauce, bay leaf - and simmer about 20 to 30 minutes. I then remove the bay leaf and serve over hot spaghetti noodles.

My daughter-in-law, boils the spaghetti noodles, while she browns the ground beef, then combines the cooked spaghetti noodles, the cooked meat and the pre-packaged spaghetti sauce in a large bowl, mixes with a spoon and serves it.

Is there any danger in not cooking the sauce?

  • 2
    No danger as @Catija says, but I know which one I'd rather eat! Mar 31, 2016 at 7:12
  • Surely it's off-puttingly lukewarm if you do that?
    – Chris H
    Apr 1, 2016 at 6:42
  • Personally, I would, and do, choose "neither" - tomato-based sauce is a great way to ruin pasta, for my taste. As for ChrisH's question, I doubt it - there's plenty of heat in a freshly drained pot of pasta, unless you are adding enough sauce to turn it into tomato soup with noodles.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 2, 2016 at 2:54

1 Answer 1


No. Canned food (when done correctly) is preserved properly and is safe to consume without further cooking. Imagine that it's jam or oil packed sun dried tomatoes or canned tuna... something similar that's jarred or canned and then never (or only sometimes) cooked before consuming. There's nothing unsafe about it.

If it was unsafe, no one would can foods.

  • Just make sure when you open the jar that it gives you an indication that the seal was intact. Most modern jars have a pop-up lid to let you know.
    – nsayer
    Jun 7, 2018 at 0:52

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