Pasta sauce jars are not microwave safe. Store bought sauce jars should not be placed directly into the microwave to heat the sauce. They are made of thin glass and will heat quickly and could shatter. The large amount of sauce in the jar will also spit through your microwave and can boil over.
To heat up pasta sauce in the microwave, pour it out of the jar into a microwave safe bowl or container. Cover the top loosely with a microwave safe lid or with plastic wrap. make sure you pop holes in the top to let the steam out.
Microwave for 1 minute, stir and microwave for another minute on high. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring until the sauce is steaming and heated through.
Why you should avoid microwaving pasta sauce jars
Check out the top reasons why you should avoid microwaving store bought pasta sauce jars.
1. The glass is thin and could shatter
The glass jars used for pasta sauce in is thin and is not made to be heated repeatedly. The glass itself will become incredibly hot in the microwave making it difficult to handle.
There is a chance that if the glass is overheated it could shatter in your microwave making and absolute mess.
2. The sauce will spit everywhere
Microwaving pasta sauce directly in the jar will cause the sauce to bubble and spit throughout your microwave. The top layers of the sauce will heat up fast and start to bubble as it does.
3. The sauce could boil over
Microwaving pasta sauce can lead to it boiling and bubbling over the edge of the jar into your microwave. The sauce will heat unevenly but if the surface or center heats first the bubbling can cause it to go everywhere.
4. You cannot put the lid in the microwave
Metal or plastic lids on your pasta sauce cannot go in the microwave. Plastic can melt and metal lids will send sparks flying. Remember to avoid putting the jars or the lids in the microwave.
5. The sauce will heat unevenly
A full jar of pasta sauce will heat unevenly in the microwave. The large quantity of sauce in a tall and upright jar will develop hot and cold spots as it is microwaved. It will be difficult to stir the sauce as it is usually filled close to the top.
How to heat pasta sauce in the microwave
If you do choose to heat your pasta sauce in the microwave, here are some easy steps to follow to do it safely and avoid a mess.
1. Place it in a microwave safe bowl
The best way to heat a jar of pasta sauce it to pop it in a microwave safe bowl. You could use Pyrex, microwave safe plastic or microwave safe ceramic. Choose a dish that gives you at least 2 inches of room at the top of the bowl.
2. Cover the container
The next step is to cover the container to avoid the sauce spitting through your microwave and to trap the steam.
You can use plastic wrap placed tightly over the bowl or dish. Make sure you poke holes with a fork to allow the steam to escape.
You can also place a microwave safe lid loosely over the top of the dish. My Pyrex lid is microwave safe. I can just pop it on a slight angle or lift a corner to the let the steam escape.
3. Microwave for 1 minute then stir
Start by microwaving your sauce for 1 minute on high. Open the microwave and give the sauce a stir. Pop it back in the microwave for another minute. How powerful your microwave is and how much sauce your heating up will change the heating time.
4. Microwave for 30 seconds until heated through
The next step it to continue to microwave the sauce for 30 seconds at a time and stirring in between. Keep heating until the sauce has heated through and is steaming.
Microwaving for 30 seconds at a time will help to avoid the sauce bubbling over or spilling through your micorowave.
Your sauce will now be ready to go. You can mix it through pasta, pop it on top of meat or fish or mix it through some vegetables.
If you want to keep your pasta jar and use it again, check out my article here to find out how to wash them in the dishwasher Are pasta sauce jars dishwasher safe? | 7 Easy Steps
Are pasta sauce jars microwave safe? | Summary
Pasta sauce jars are not microwave safe so should not be heated in this way. It is much easier and safer to heat the sauce up in a microwave safe container. This ill help it heat more evenly, stop it from spilling over and make it safer to handle.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.