Rao’s Made for Home Meatballs and Sauce Review

Rao's Made for Home Meatballs and Sauce

Rao’s seems to be primarily known for their jarred sauces. You know the stuff, those jars of thick, gooey tomato paste you’ll find on store shelves when you’re trying to cook up a simple batch of pasta. However, that doesn’t mean Rao’s doesn’t dabble in frozen food now and again.

We’ve tried a few of Rao’s offerings now, and we’ve been pretty impressed so far. but we’re super curious to see how the Rao’s Made for Home Meatballs and Sauce stacks up against other meatball options. With such a robust lineup of sauce, we think Rao’s definitely has what it takes to get the sauce portion right, but how about that meat? We’re going to find out today.

First, of course, we must cook this. The box gives instructions for the microwave, but we’re pretty sure the conventional oven is the way these meatballs were intended to be cooked. Both methods will take you a pretty good chunk of time, so be ready for that. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions for these frozen meatballs, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Rao's Made for Home Meatballs and Sauce

Now, the sauce actually ends up runnier than we were expecting — and yes, we did cook this in the oven. It doesn’t quite thicken up as much as we hoped, even after letting it sit and cool for several minutes. That said, this stuff is really rich with flavor. It’s a little bit acidic-tasting, and maybe a little too tomato-pastey — what we mean by this is that it’s a very obvious tomato paste rather than going for a sweet or spicy sauce flavor. It’s not bad, but it’s not amazing either. It feels like something is missing.

Thankfully, the meatballs are awesome. They actually go really well with the sauce, as they have a subtle garlic flavor to them. The sauce might be a little generic-tasting on its own, but these meatballs do their part to bring an assortment of flavors to the mix, completing the picture. Plus, they’re enormous. These are some massive meatballs!

Rao's Made for Home Meatballs and Sauce

According to the box, there should be about 4.5 servings per container, which is super weird because there are six meatballs inside. We’re not sure how we’re supposed to chop these up to get such an odd-duck serving size, but we’ll just take Rao’s word for it. If you eat the recommended serving size, you’ll be munching down 230 calories and 500 mg of sodium. That comes out to about 150 calories and 375 mg of sodium per meatball, assuming that every meatball is going to also have sauce on it. That’s not super bad, actually, considering how big these meatballs are.

The Rao’s Made for Home Meatballs and Sauce has a surprisingly generic-tasting sauce coming from a brand like Rao’s that specializes in the stuff. It’s not bland; it’s just extremely tomato-pasty. The meatballs are excellent, and they definitely up the overall quality of this dish, but we think you’ll probably want to sprinkle some herbs and spices into the mix to liven it up.

If you pick this up, we think you’ll probably want to serve it atop a bed of pasta — we think that’s what it’s designed for.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for these frozen meatballs, check out our package scans below.

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Joyce McMaster Moul
Joyce McMaster Moul
5 months ago

1.3 meatballs per person to get 4.5 servings i’ve never tried this brand of sauce, but I’ve often wanted to. The price has always been off -putting to me. If the meatballs are awesome, I might try it and Doctor the sauce a bit.

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