Trader Joe’s Spicy Chunky Tomato & Pepper Pasta Sauce Reviews

(40 customer reviews)

40 reviews for Trader Joe’s Spicy Chunky Tomato & Pepper Pasta Sauce Reviews

  1. Donna

    I’m a huge TJ fan but this is probably the worst TJ product I’ve tried. I would not think of adding cumin to spaghetti sauce. The Arrabiata Sauce is far superior for a spicy sauce.

  2. Sherry G Heim

    I like this sauce though it is a bit spicy for me so I mixed a jar of this with a jar of TJ Bolognese sauce and it took it to the right heat index for me. I suppose any regular TJ pasta sauce would have worked just as well but that is what I had on hand.

  3. Shannon

    First bite of my pasta and I hated it. My pasta tasted like chilli because there is cumin in this, which if I’d realized before purchasing, I would not have bought it. If you aren’t a fan of cumin or your pasta tasting like chilli, I don’t recommend.

  4. Larry

    The cumin in this completely ruins the sauce. This tastes more like something I would add to a chili recipe, not put on spaghetti.

  5. Kristin

    Horrible sauce. We’re not too particular, but it didn’t even taste like spaghetti sauce, more like chili. Yuck!

  6. Dan

    Terrible stuff. Tasted like enchilada sauce. It might not be bad as a Mexican style sauce, but it made for terrible eggplant parmigiana.

  7. M

    I’m a huge TJ’s fan but this sauce is honestly horrible. Overpowering, doesn’t taste like pasta sauce, and gave me some nasty stomach issues, to boot. Let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t make this on date night. Should be discontinued.

  8. P Guerrero

    I’ve used this sauce in two recipes that turned out finger-licking. Breakfast: poached eggs. Saute semi-chopped white onion. Add the sauce, thinned out with drops of water. Heat to warm. Drop egg/s in the center of the skillet, cover and simmer to desired consistency. Soup: Hursts HamBeens 15-bean soup mix. Substitute the can tomatoes called for in the recipe with this (pasta) sauce. You know the recipe is a winner when you keep doing taste tests and hum to yourself.

  9. CShea

    I served this over homemade upside down tamale pie and it served its purpose. Cumin flavor forward not for everybody but think I this sauce can be versatile if looking for a more smokey, peppery flavor. I like the idea of pan of sauce with poached eggs also.

  10. Anonymous

    We have pasta for dinner a few nights a week. Because TJ’s has been out of Arrabiata for a few weeks, I bought 3 jars of this sauce. It was yuck at first bite for my husband and me. We like spicy food, but this sauce is horrible. I’m returning the 2 unopened jars, and dumping what is left in the open jar of this flavor disaster.

  11. Rose VanHartesveldt

    I buy regularly the Arrabiata sauce. We love truffle flavor, so tried “Truffle Piccante Spicy Tomato Sauce”, and it was absolutely awful! My husband said it tasted like bus exhaust! We couldn’t even take a second bite–thinking maybe it had gone bad. Hope it is discontinued. Disappointing for TJ’s normally high level of flavors.

  12. Lil

    This is the worst pasta sauce from TJ. It’s too peppery and it has a weird cumin flavor. Not good with spaghetti and meatball! booo

  13. Cat

    We love TJ’s Arrabiata sauce and when I saw this was a spicy, chunky sauce I thought I’d try it. This is the first time in 48 years of cooking with my husband that he has said, “I can’t eat this. I’ll make myself a turkey sandwich!” It doesn’t have an Italian spice profile, more like an excess of Sriracha . Horrible.

  14. CAT

    can i give lower than a 1 out 5????

    This is more a CRY FOR HELP as well as a major complaint.

    Please god, why would you discontinue the Arrabiata – AKA – the best pasta sauce that you ever made???

    You got rid of your Arrabiata and replaced it with a sub par and frankly disgusting Spicy pepper and tomato sauce.
    This new sauce has a smokey flavor – contains cumin??? WTF???

    all the reviews on line are all in agreement –

    please we ALL BEG YOU please return our beloved Arrabiata back to the shelves.

  15. Han

    Everyone in these reviews seems to be lacking a bit of culture here. I put this on my homemade pizza and it was ABSOLUTELY BOMBTASTIC. I proceeded to also add this to my Fried Rice and it was, again, AMAZING. I also mixed it with some black vinegar and a tiny bit of kewpie mayo to make a sauce for my mini tacos and mini quiches, AMAZING. The flavors are so different from any pasta sauce I’ve ever had before, and that’s probably a reason why normal people are not so much digging it. I do want to thank those in the comments who identified the Cumin flavor; I was wondering what that was! It definitely tastes more akin to a salsa/tomato sauce hybrid so if you’re expecting a regular degular schmegular pasta sauce with normal, classic Italian flavors, this isn’t it. But, if you like spice and you like flavor and you like to try different things, I would HIGHLY recommend this sauce in any of your dishes!!

    It’s better to judge this sauce on its own, rather than comparing it to something that isn’t available anymore. I would eat this sauce with absolutely anything.

  16. Stephanie

    That cumin don’t lie. I added some beans to what I thought was spaghetti sauce, and served it over rice. Bangin chili! My boyfriend continued to eat it over spaghetti noodles

  17. Poppy Sealy

    REALLY? CUMIN?? Please take this off the shelves immediately. Red pepper, I thought, Hot pepper, OK sure fine. Yknow how to totally ruin a very involved Italian meal? Assume this craptastic sauce is palatable. When I added it I regretted it and it was too late. Buyer beware. I don’t know how my family is going to choke down this atrocity.

  18. Kathy

    Ugh-this is NOT a sauce for pasta!! Cumin?? Trying for the first time tonight, tasted once. Trash. Bring back the Arrabiatta sauce!!!!!

  19. Allie

    Hands down the best pasta sauce from a jar ever!
    Stopped by Trader Joe’s, I picked out the cheese tortellini for lunch and told my fiancé to pick any sauce he wanted.

    This sauce paired with the cheese tortellini was amazing!!! Quick and delicious lunch!!! I added parm cheese and the green&red hatch Chile flakes!!

    Just bc y’all had it with spaghetti and meatballs doesn’t mean it’s bad:,) just the wrong pairing!<33

  20. mo

    I love Trader Joe’s; literally looked this website up to register my displeasure with this sauce so that maybe they make it better. Thought this would be a TJ answer to Rao’s Arrabiata. It isn’t. It has cumin. Yuck! Tastes like chili sauce NOT spaghetti sauce.

  21. Anna

    Not spicy and the cumin is overpowering. I added smoked paprika, fresh garlic, cayenne, white wine, and a splash of cream to make it more tolerable but still would be much better as a base for a chili.

  22. Bill Dodger

    I love TJs. This stuff is absolutely terrible. Might even be the worst pasta sauce I have ever purchased.

  23. meg

    i really thought this would be fantastic as me and my boyfriend love spicy foods and it was disgusting with pasta (and it is a PASTA sauce). i can see the appeal on a mexican inspired dip as it tastes like it should be an enchilada or taco sauce. definitely not for pasta.

  24. Adam

    What sort of suck, twisted , heartless maniac puts cumin, coriander and caraway in something labeled “pasta sauce”? May the bedbugs of a thousand cheap motels infest this person’s mattress. This is the first and only TJ’s product that I returned.

  25. Linda

    Absolutely horrible! Bring back Arrabiata please!!!!

  26. A

    disappointing… if it was advertised as a chili base, it would be 4 stars, but it ruins pasta

  27. Pat

    This is awful!!!!!! Never have I ever rinsed off spaghetti and started over with a jar of Ragu! It really deservers 0 stars.

  28. Melissa

    I don’t typically leave product reviews but my father and I like this sauce so much and there were so many disappointed reviewers here, I wanted to let ppl know there are definitely other positive opinions of this product. My father and I bought this for the first time this week and found it absolutely DELICIOUS!! We used it to make a very yummy Shakshuka. It has some spice/heat but not so much that it left my mouth burning or anything. My dad tends to like a little more heat and this would be easy to adjust. The flavors and seasoning are different from an Italian sauce but quite tasty. We didn’t have to make any adjustments to it to make it appetizing. It was great right out of the jar! I will be trying this on pizza next. 🙂 We plan to make this sauce a pantry staple.

    I noticed several reviewers compared this to an Arrabiata and were disappointed. It’s not an Arrabiata sauce. It’s its own thing and we found it delicious!!

  29. Anonymous

    Similar to the most recent reviewer and contrary to the majority – this sauce is amazing as a SHAKSHUKA base. Not all red sauces in similar jars = pasta sauce. I agree it would be weird and probably bad on pasta. But if you’re short on time and want to use this for shakshuka instead of cooking and seasoning all the ingredients from scratch, I think this is awesome and that’s coming from a tough critic of pre-made sauces! I like to add chickpeas, goat cheese, and simmer eggs in it. Spread on toast!

  30. Lauren

    Similar to the most recent reviewer and contrary to the majority – this sauce is amazing as a SHAKSHUKA base. Not all red sauces in similar jars = pasta sauce. I agree it would be weird and probably bad on pasta. But if you’re short on time and want to use this for shakshuka instead of cooking and seasoning all the ingredients from scratch, I think this is awesome and that’s coming from a tough critic of pre-made sauces! I like to add chickpeas, goat cheese, and simmer eggs in it. Spread on toast!

  31. Brenda

    I really wish I would have looked at the reviews prior to purchasing this product. It was a waste of time and money. My husband put a lot of time into making meatballs, only to have our dinner ruined by this nasty sauce. There was no way to fix it. The vapors from the heat of the sauce permeated my home, I worried that my parrot would fall off her stand.

  32. JJSCO

    Not very flavorful and the spicy at the end was odd. Just not a good flavor in my humble opinion

  33. Lena

    This makes a great Shakshuka but not such a great pasta sauce. Delicious, healthy, fast meal.

  34. Karen

    You’re all crazy and don’t know how to cook or are used to Kroger’s sauce.Because this sauce is the best there ever was. Please trader Joe’s, please continue carrying it. Please.

  35. Amy S.

    Who puts cumin in pasta sauce?! YuK!

  36. Nancy A

    When TJs discontinued their frozen Shakshuka sauce I found this. It’s perfect for “eggs in purgatory” which is what Shakshuka is. Never used it over pasta

  37. Cailin

    Killer Shakshuka imgredient.
    1 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
    1 large onion, finely chopped (200g net)
    6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (20g net)
    2 jars of Trader Joe’s Spicy Chunky Tomato & Pepper Pasta Sauce
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground cumin

    1 pound minced beef, ground beef, or ground turkey
    2 tsp finely chopped preserved lemon (15g)

    6 eggs

  38. Megan

    Not sure what’s in this that makes it taste so awful but this pasta sauce tastes like something inedible. Hard to put your finger on it, but undoubtedly disgusting.

  39. Mr Color

    This is by far the Best Sauce that I have found anywhere. We buy at least a jar a week. Has a great spicy flavor without being overpowering. We discovered this many years ago, and go to Trader Joe’s specifically to refill our stock – usually buy other items when there, but this Pasta Sauce is what we go to Trader Joe’ss to purchase,

    5+ of 5 Stars

  40. S Murray

    I’m from Boston originally… I was also married to a Sicilian lady for 25 years. There through, that does not necessarily make me a connoisseur of spaghetti sauces, but I have had some quality homemade and family restaurant recipes over my 66 years, and I do not know why no one likes this Sause? My partner and I are frankly devastated this product has been discontinued? We loved it and have tried a few others, but everything else has left us empty! Bring it back or has anyone found a good substitute?

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