Product Reviews

Product Review: Grandpa Pete’s Sunday Sauce

January 20, 2014

You all know how the story goes. You have these big plans to make a nice spaghetti and meatball feast for dinner but by the time 5pm rolls around, you haven’t started the sauce, you’re still trying to find two half-used boxes of pasta that are the same size, and you’re simply exhausted.

At this point, most of us would turn to our go-to jarred sauce. It cuts the prep time of this meal half and is so much easier than making your own.

So I’m always looking for a new go-to sauce that’s natural and has mainly the same ingredients as my family recipe call for. Either that or a bland sauce that has a good acid level that I can add things to that will make it taste more authentic.

Grandpa Pete's Sauce

I’m hypercritical when it comes to my marinara sauce. Other types of sauce like vodka or alfredo, fine. But my family recipe for marinara is unbeatable in my eyes. So when I was asked to give a product review on Grandpa Pete’s Sunday Sauce, I thought hey, why not. If they can make a good sauce that tastes like how my Grandma used to make it, I’ll have a new go to jarred sauce!

I was given two sauces to try from Grandpa Pete’s – the Sunday Sauce, which is the traditional marinara, as well as the vodka sauce.

Here’s a description of their marinara from the website:

“Our delicious Sunday Marinara Sauce is prepared with juicy vine ripened tomatoes, fresh garlic, sweet onions, our special herb seasonings, and extra virgin olive oil. This is a homemade sauce prepared in small batches to maintain a gourmet level of flavor in each jar. Grandpa Pete loves this Marinara sauce for it’s versatility in recipes and ability to elevate pasta into a special occasion.”

Okay, so once I opened the jar and stuck a spoon in there, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavors the sauce already had, without my adding anything to it. I could taste the herbs, which I really like, however I couldn’t ignore the sweetness of it. I did see sugar as one of the ingredients, but the sugar to acid level, in my opinion, was a bit unbalanced.

Sunday Sauce Marinara

With a simple addition of something acidic to cut the sweetness, I think it would be a much better sauce, but again, I don’t like my marinara sauce sweet.

As far as the vodka sauce goes, I typically don’t use or make vodka sauce, but since I have a love affair with the vodka sauce from Augie’s Restaurant in Ballston Spa, I know what good vodka tastes like and I hold my standards very high.

Uncle Pete's Vodka Sauce

I’ve gotta say, I was extremely impressed with Grandpa Pete’s Vodka Sauce. It was creamy, slightly sweet as it should be, and you could still taste the freshness of the roma tomatoes. I really really liked this sauce, and ended up eating more of it than anything else!

So if you’d like to try these sauces for yourself, you have a couple of options. You can buy them online on the Grandpa Pete’s website, or you can find the sauce at a local grocery store near you, including Healthy Living Market in Saratoga! For a full list of where you can find them in store, click here.

Finally, if you’re interested, you can receive 10% off your entire online order by using the coupon code ‘saratoga‘! Coupon code expires 2/20/14 and is only good for online orders on and cannot be used at any of their retail locations.

{Disclaimer: This is a compensated review. Grandpa Pete’s provided me with both jarred sauces free of charge. All opinions are 100% my own.}

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  • Reply Mark Bergman January 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Try Don Peppino’a pasta sauce. It comes in a yellow and red can. Excellent pizza sauce too. Made by an very old company that claims to make the first commercially produced pizza sauce used by many pizza shops. Few additives, simple spices,a nice coarse texture and a fresh taste.

    • Reply Ashley January 21, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks for the comment! Do you know where this sauce is sold or what grocery store I could find it?

      • Reply Mark Bergman January 22, 2014 at 11:36 am

        Hannaford stocks both the pasta and pizza sauces. PC stocks just the pizza sauce and will special order the pasta sauce.

        • Reply Ashley January 23, 2014 at 9:22 am

          That’s easy because I like Hannaford better anyway! Thanks for the info. I’ll look for it next time I’m at the store!

  • Reply Stephen January 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I have heard good about Grandpa Pete’s sauces. I am a hard to please sauce guy myself (grew up in an Italian family). I myself have a hard time finding a good sauce in a jar. But when I do have to go that route I always go to Rao’s. The sauce line they offer is amazing. I wish Healthy Living would carry more of the line. Check them out you will be pleased.

    • Reply Ashley January 21, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      I totally agree with you. Rao’s is really good – it’s the closest I’ve found to my grandma’s recipe (100% Italian) and it seems to be the only one I’ve had thus far that I don’t have to alter.

      Uncle Pete’s is worth a shot though. If they just tweaked their recipe to have less sugar I think it would be a tough competitor against Rao’s!

  • Reply shannon January 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    The best jarred sauce IMO is Meesh’s Marinara Made right here in the capital district!! It tastes like fresh homemade sauce. There is also a low salt/low sugar option, but even the original has 1/2 the sodium of traditional jarred sauces, which is usually quite high.

    • Reply Ashley January 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      I have been dying to try Meesh’s! Don’t know why I haven’t yet. Maybe I’ll have to do another product review in a few weeks on that one! 🙂

  • Reply Carly Masula March 22, 2014 at 10:11 am

    The marinara sauce is not the Sunday sauce. Their name is “Grandpa Pete’s Sunday Sauce”

    • Reply Ashley March 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      Yes, that’s true! I referred to the sauce as Grandpa Pete’s Sunday Sauce, but I reviewed both the marinara as well as the vodka sauces. Thanks for reaching out!

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