ATK Reviews

Is Rao’s White Truffle Marinara Any Good? 

Rao’s has introduced a white truffle version of its famous marinara sauce. Is it worth buying?

Published Feb. 10, 2023.

We’re all big fans of Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce here at America’s Test Kitchen.

It won our jarred pasta sauce taste test, and for good reason—it’s got big, vibrant tomato flavor and plenty of richness, thanks to a good dose of olive oil. Some of us think it even beats homemade versions!

So I was intrigued when I saw that Rao’s had introduced a white truffle variant, available in limited quantities throughout the year on their website and at Whole Foods.

In short order, I bought two jars and put them to the test, tasting the sauce plain and tossed with pasta.

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How Much Does Rao’s White Truffle Marinara Cost?

Right away, I noticed two things. First, price: Rao’s White Truffle Marinara costs about $14.99 for a bottle, compared with about $8.49 for a medium-size 24-ounce bottle of Rao’s regular marinara. 

Second, the bottles are on the smaller side–you get just 19 ounces of truffle marinara. So you’re paying quite a bit more per ounce—in fact, more than twice as much.

And those 19 ounces of White Truffle Marinara didn’t quite go far enough for dressing a full pound of pasta. It provided a light coating that left the pasta tasting a bit wan and underseasoned, so I added a little extra from the second bottle to compensate. (The 24 ounces that you get in that medium-size bottle of regular marinara is usually plenty for a pound of pasta!)

I tasted Raos White Truffle Marinara (left) on pasta with a dusting of Parmesan (right).

How Does It Taste?

Not surprisingly, it tastes like marinara sauce . . . with a hint of truffle. It’s not all that different from the original product, though its aroma is a tiny bit earthier and more savory due to the addition of white truffle and “white truffle natural flavor.” 

The truffle notes aren’t pronounced—Rao’s marinara is already so boldly flavored that, if anything, the truffle got a little lost.

If I had a white truffle, I don’t think I’d put it in a tomato sauce—it’s just too hard for something that subtle to compete, let alone shine, amidst all those rich, sweet-tart tomatoes. 

Taste Test

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Is Rao’s White Truffle Marinara Worth Buying?

It really depends. It’s perfectly tasty! And if you’re the kind of person who likes having truffle in everything you eat, you’ll enjoy this product. 

But to me, this fancy marinara didn’t really justify its higher price; the whole was not more than the sum of its parts. I’ll be sticking with the original version and saving up for a truffle I can enjoy in a simpler way.

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