Ragu Vs Prego – Which Pasta Sauce Is Best?

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Choosing a pasta sauce can be tricky, especially when there is a large range of options to choose from. Two most popular choices in sauces are the Ragu and Prego brands. Knowing how Ragu vs Prego compare can be helpful when choosing which sauce is right for you.

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In this article we will explore which sauce out of Ragu and Prego sauce is better.

Table of Contents

spaghetti twirled around a fork

Ragu Vs Prego Spaghetti Sauce

Both Ragu and Prego spaghetti sauces are different in many ways.

Prego tends to be a sweeter sauce that has a slight tart taste. It is the mixed herbs that comes out strongly in the overall flavor. Prego spaghetti sauce also has a thinner taste but has a slight gritty texture.

Ragu’s texture on the other hand is smoother when compared to Prego spaghetti sauce.

Here are their main differences that you can compare when trying out both to see which is the best spaghetti sauce:

  • Smell: Both Prego spaghetti sauce and Ragu spaghetti sauce smell very different from one another. Ragu spaghetti sauce has a slightly tomato-y chili smell. Meanwhile, Prego spaghetti sauce smells a lot spicier than Ragu.
  • Taste: Ragu spaghetti sauce has a slightly cheesy taste with a hint of smoky flavors. Their spaghetti sauce is not like other traditional tangy sauces but also does not have an overall spicy, heated flavor to it either. Ragu spaghetti sauce has a milder, blander and slightly smoky flavor overall. Prego spaghetti sauce is full of tomato and onion and overall provides quite a mix of flavors. The biggest difference between the taste of Prego spaghetti sauce and Ragu spaghetti sauce is that Prego does not contain any cheese-like flavors. Rather it has a sharper and sweeter flavor.

If you are still struggling to decide which is the best choice of sauce for you between Prego spaghetti sauce and Ragu spaghetti sauce, we’ve listed why both spaghetti sauces are great choices.

Here is a list of reasons why you should choose Prego spaghetti sauce over Ragu spaghetti sauce:

  • Ready-made Prego sauce bought at the supermarket is great quality. It’s easy to whip up an easy meal with it if you do not feel like cooking from scratch.
  • Prego sauce has a natural strong flavor that can define your dish.
  • As Prego provides a range of flavors, it is a versatile sauce that can be used on a variety of meat and vegetable dishes.
  • Prego sauce is perfectly seasoned and does not need added ingredients to make it tasty.

Here is a list of reasons why you should choose Ragu spaghetti sauce over Prego spaghetti sauce:

Taste Profile

When it comes to flavor, Ragu and Prego spaghetti sauces taste different from each other. Let’s take a closer look at how they differ.

Ragu’s Balanced Flavor

Ragu spaghetti sauce has a rich tomato flavor with hints of basil and garlic. The spices in Ragu are balanced, so no single ingredient is too strong.

When people do taste tests, they often say Ragu has a slight smoky flavor that makes it taste more complex. This light smoky taste goes well with heavier pasta dishes like lasagna or baked ziti.

Prego’s Bright and Tangy Taste

Prego spaghetti sauce tastes brighter and tangier than Ragu. The tomato flavor is very noticeable and fresh-tasting, with a clear garlic and herb flavor.

Prego has a lot of basil in it, which gives it a fresh, garden-like taste. When tasted side-by-side with Ragu, many people think Prego tastes a bit sweeter, probably because the natural sugars in the tomatoes stand out more.

Easy to Customize

While people have different flavor preferences, both Ragu and Prego are easy to customize. Home cooks can easily add more herbs, spices, or even a little wine to either sauce to make it taste just how they like it.

Ragu’s balanced flavor makes it a good choice for recipes where you want the sauce to taste good but not overpower the other ingredients. Prego’s bright flavor can really make a dish stand out and is a great choice when you want the sauce to be a main part of the meal.

Prego Vs Ragu Sugar

When comparing Prego sauce to Ragu sauce, unfortunately both sauces have a high sugar content. They are not the healthiest sauces to choose when cooking your meal.

There isn’t a huge difference in the amount of sugar that Ragu and Prego contain. Ragu sauce contains slightly less sugar than Prego sauce. How much sugar both Prego sauce and Ragu sauce have depends on if the sauce is altered at home or used straight after buying.

If you bought sauce from a store, it is likely that it contains more sugar than if it was homemade. This is because sugar can preserve the sauce in the bottle or jar. This means that if there is a lot of sugar in your store bought jar of Ragu sauce or Prego sauce, it will last longer and not expire as quickly as it would without the sugar.

Texture and Consistency

When it comes to spaghetti sauce, texture and consistency play a big role in the overall eating experience. Let’s dive into how Ragu and Prego stack up in this department.

Ragu’s Smooth and Silky Texture

Ragu spaghetti sauce has a smooth, almost creamy consistency. When you pour it out of the jar, it’s thick enough to coat your spoon but still silky and easy to stir.

As you heat up Ragu on the stove, you’ll notice that it maintains its velvety texture. There are very few discernible tomato chunks or pieces of vegetables – just a cohesive, well-blended sauce. This makes Ragu a great choice for pickier eaters or recipes where you want a really uniform sauce texture.

Prego’s Chunkier, Heartier Feel

In contrast, Prego spaghetti sauce has a chunkier, more rustic texture. When you spoon it out of the jar, you’ll immediately notice visible pieces of tomatoes, onions, and herbs.

As Prego heats up, those vegetable chunks soften a bit but still retain some tooth and bite. For many pasta lovers, these tender morsels are a welcome addition that makes the sauce feel heartier and more homemade.

Prego’s thicker consistency also means it clings well to pasta shapes like rotini or penne that have nooks and crannies. You get a nice coating of flavorful sauce in every forkful.

Customizing Your Sauce Texture

Of course, texture preferences are highly personal. The great thing about both Ragu and Prego is that you can easily adjust the consistency to your liking.

If you want a thicker, richer Ragu, try simmering it a bit longer to evaporate excess liquid. You can also add a spoonful of tomato paste for more concentrated flavor and body.

Conversely, if you prefer a smoother Prego, give it a quick blitz with an immersion blender right in the pot. This will break down the larger tomato and vegetable pieces while still retaining that signature Prego flavor.

Nutritional Value

When it comes to choosing a spaghetti sauce, many health-conscious pasta lovers want to know how Ragu and Prego stack up nutritionally. Let’s take a closer look at the key health aspects of each sauce.

Calorie Comparison

One of the first things people check on a nutrition label is the calorie count. Here’s how Ragu and Prego compare:

  • A half-cup serving of Ragu Old World Style Traditional Sauce contains 70 calories.
  • The same amount of Prego Traditional Italian Sauce has 80 calories.

While the difference may seem small, those extra 10 calories per serving can add up over time, especially if you’re watching your calorie intake.

Sugar Content

Another important factor is the amount of sugar in each sauce. Excess sugar consumption has been linked to various health issues.

Ragu Old World Style Traditional Sauce has 6 grams of sugar per half-cup serving, while Prego Traditional Italian Sauce contains 10 grams in the same serving size.

That means Prego has nearly 67% more sugar than Ragu. If you’re trying to limit your sugar intake, Ragu may be the better choice.

Sodium Levels

Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and other heart-related problems. Here’s how the two sauces compare:

  • Ragu Old World Style Traditional Sauce has 480 mg of sodium per half-cup serving.
  • Prego Traditional Italian Sauce contains 480 mg of sodium in the same amount.

In terms of sodium content, Ragu and Prego are identical. However, keep in mind that the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. A single serving of either sauce provides about 20% of that daily limit.

Tips for a Healthier Pasta Meal

Regardless of which sauce you choose, there are ways to make your pasta dish more nutritious:

  1. Use whole-grain pasta for added fiber and nutrients.
  2. Load up on veggies like zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms to boost the vitamin and mineral content.
  3. Choose lean protein sources like grilled chicken or turkey meatballs.
  4. Watch your portion sizes, as it’s easy to overeat pasta.

Ragu Vs Prego Nutritional Test

Comparing Ragu sauce and Prego sauce to see which sauce is the best nutrition wise is very tricky. Both sauces are very similar.

Ragu sauce does contain less calories, unhealthy fats, carbohydrates and slightly less sugar when compared to Prego sauce. Even though Ragu sauce seems to be healthier than Prego sauce, the difference is very small and the nutritional difference does not mean that much.

Ragu Vs Prego Alfredo

Both Ragu’s and Prego’s Alfredo sauces come packaged up and ready to be used. They make it really easy to have an alfredo pasta dish if you do not want to make a meal from scratch.

Ragu’s Alfredo sauce contains parmesan and Romano cheese to make the sauce creamy. Prego’s Alfredo sauce has a range of herbs and does not contain cheese.

We would recommend trying both sauces. Both Ragu and Prego Alfredo sauces are very popular.

Prego Vs Ragu Pizza Sauce

You can use both Prego and Ragu sauce as a base to add to your pizza. Both brands’ sauces work nicely. They can actually be bought as a pizza sauce.

If you would like a herbier pizza base, we would recommend that you use Prego sauce on your pizza. If you would like a cheesier and creamier base on your pizza, we would recommend choosing Ragu sauce as your base for your pizza.

Price Comparison

When it comes to budget-friendly pasta sauces, Ragu and Prego are both affordable options. However, there are some differences in price and value to consider.

Cost Per Jar

On average, a 24-ounce jar of Ragu Old World Style Traditional Sauce is about 50 cents cheaper than a jar of Prego Traditional Italian Sauce. While this may not seem like much, it can add up over time, especially for frequent pasta eaters or large families.

Value for Money

Both Ragu and Prego offer 24 ounces of sauce per jar, which is enough to feed a family of four with leftovers. In terms of ingredients, both brands use quality tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices. However, some find Prego’s flavor slightly richer, which may justify the higher price for some.

Availability and Sales

Ragu and Prego are widely available at most grocery stores, and both brands often go on sale for around $2 per jar. If you find a good deal, consider stocking up to always have an affordable pasta sauce on hand.


When it comes to sauce packaging, both Ragu and Prego use their own styles. Let’s take a closer look at how these two brands package their products.

Jar Size and Shape

Ragu and Prego both use glass jars for their pasta sauces. But there are some differences in the size and shape of their jars.

Ragu’s jars are usually a bit taller and thinner than Prego’s. This shape can make them easier to hold and pour. Prego’s jars are a bit shorter and wider, which some people might find sits better on the counter.

Label Design

The labels on Ragu and Prego jars are also different. Ragu’s labels have an old-fashioned look with earthy colors and pictures of fresh ingredients.

Prego’s labels are brighter and more modern-looking. They use bold red and green colors that stand out, along with pictures of yummy pasta dishes.


For people who care about the environment, being able to recycle packaging is important. The good thing is that both Ragu and Prego use glass jars and metal lids that can be fully recycled.

But some people who are very focused on sustainability point out that Prego’s wider jars might use a bit more glass than Ragu’s taller, thinner jars. This could mean a little bit more energy and resources are used to make each Prego jar.

 Variety of Flavors

Both Ragu and Prego offer a wide range of flavors to suit different tastes and recipe needs. Let’s explore some of the delicious options each brand has in store.

Ragu’s Classic and Specialty Sauces

Ragu is known for its classic Marinara sauce, a staple in many Italian-American dishes. But they also offer a variety of other flavors like Chunky Tomato, Garlic & Herb, and Mushroom & Green Pepper.

For those looking for something a bit different, Ragu has specialty sauces like Roasted Garlic Parmesan and Bacon & Provolone. These unique combinations can add a tasty twist to your favorite pasta recipes.

Prego’s Signature Flavors and Limited Editions

Prego also boasts a diverse lineup of sauces. Their signature flavors include Traditional, Fresh Mushroom, and Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic.

Prego is also known for releasing limited edition flavors that keep things exciting in the pasta aisle. In the past, they’ve offered options like Creamy Vodka and Farmers’ Market Classic Marinara with vine-ripened tomatoes.

Alfredo and Beyond

In addition to red sauces, both Ragu and Prego have Alfredo options for those creamy pasta cravings. Ragu offers a Classic Alfredo as well as a Roasted Garlic Parmesan Alfredo. Prego has a Homestyle Alfredo and a Basil Pesto Alfredo for a fresh twist.

Consumer Preferences

When it comes to choosing between Ragu and Prego, pasta lovers have strong opinions. Let’s dive into what drives consumer loyalty to each brand.

Ragu’s Devoted Fan Base

Many Ragu fans have been using the sauce for generations. They love the nostalgic, homey flavor that reminds them of family dinners.

Consumer reviews often mention Ragu’s balanced, not-too-sweet taste. One fan raved, “Ragu has been my go-to sauce since I was a kid. It’s got the perfect blend of spices without being overpowering.”

Prego’s Passionate Following

On the other hand, Prego devotees can’t get enough of the sauce’s bright, zesty flavor. They appreciate how the chunkier texture makes it feel more like homemade.

A Prego enthusiast shared, “I switched to Prego years ago and never looked back. The fresh basil taste and hearty consistency keep me coming back for more.”

Taste Test Takeaways

In blind taste tests, consumers are often split between Ragu and Prego. It usually comes down to personal preference for a more subdued flavor versus a bolder, tangier taste.

Interestingly, in a Consumer Reports comparison, Prego narrowly edged out Ragu. Tasters enjoyed Prego’s “vibrant” tomato flavor and “nice garlic and herb notes.” But both sauces ranked high overall.

Which Is Thicker Ragu Or Prego?

When comparing the two sauces, Prego is the thicker sauce when compared to Ragu that is made in the old world style.

However, both sauces can be thickened, depending on how much thickening agent (such as flour) has been added to the sauce.

pasta dish on plate

Both Prego And Ragu Sauce Are Fantastic In Their Own Right

Prego sauce and Ragu sauce differ from one another slightly. Ragu contains ingredients such as cream and cheese that make the sauce taste strongly of dairy. Prego sauce is a mixture of herbs and therefore tastes different to Ragu sauce.

If you are looking for a healthier sauce to choose, we would recommend that you choose the Ragu sauce as it has less calories and slightly less sugar than Prego sauce.

Here are more articles on pasta dishes on Cooks Dream:

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind CooksDream.com, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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