Sunday, February 16, 2014

One Of The Best Pasta Sauces Ever! Prego Bacon & Provolone

The Good: Wonderful taste, Generally good ingredients, Price
The Bad: High calorie, Could be saltier/less sweet.
The Basics: Trying my hand at sauce reviews, I have high hopes that Prego will keep its Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce around!

Last summer, my wife and I tried to help my youngest brother-in-law out by having him move in with us for a time so he could save some money in a low-pressure environment. It was an interesting experience all around and we accomplished some of our goals with him. In opening up our home to him, we tried to make sure he had free reign of the kitchen and our pantry and we made sure his significant other felt welcome to come over and spend time with him at our apartment. There were very few times they actually spent time hanging out at the apartment and one of them led to the only time I actually got mad at the pair of them. Days prior, my wife and I had discovered at the grocery store a new pasta (Italian) sauce: Prego Bacon & Provolone! My curiosity was piqued and we bought a jar. However, before I could try the Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce, my brother in law used it when making pasta for him and his girlfriend. The insult to injury here was that she had a bite or two before she was “filled up” and most of the pasta and its sauce went to waste.

The reason this story is relevant is simple: I spent the rest of the year either unable to find or unable to afford the Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce when I could find it. With all new food products that hit the market, there is a high potential for failure; I was worried that Prego would discontinue the Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce before I had a chance to try it. Now that I actually managed to find another jar in my area, I decided to review it with a pretty singular purpose: to save it from discontinuation! Usually, I write my reviews without any agenda, just trying to detail my experiences to help consumers make an informed decision about a product before they spend their hard-earned money on it. However, with Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce, my agenda is just a little different: I am hoping that my review will be enough to prevent the Campbell Soup Company from prematurely discontinuing the product. The truth is, Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce is not perfect. But, it’s very good and it deserves a fair shot to have more people try it and keep finding new uses for it and enjoyment from it. Far too often, companies give such products a Quarter to either become the next big thing or get discontinued. Provolone is an acquired taste, most consumers are unlikely to believe that an Italian Sauce found on the supermarket shelf has real bacon in it; Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce is real good and worth keeping around so people can learn that for themselves!


Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce is what used to be known as a pasta sauce. It’s a traditional-looking red – tomato-based – sauce that was new-to-the-market in Summer 2013. All of the jars of this that I have found still say “New!” on the label. The Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce is commonly found in the traditional 24 oz. glass jar.

Ease Of Preparation

Prego’s Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce is a fully-prepared pasta sauce. To use, simply unscrew the vacuum-sealed metal cap, pour sauce into a pan and heat it up. Warmed to bubbling, the full flavor of the sauce is realized. Any unused portion may be refrigerated in the jar, with the cap tightly on!


The Prego Bacon & Provolone Sauce smells strongly of provolone cheese. Anyone who knows the salty, somewhat curdled smell of provolone cheese and the even saltier, meaty aroma of bacon, will salivate at the scent of this sauce.

On the tongue, the Prego Bacon & Provolone Sauce is sweet and appropriately tomato flavored. This is a sweet sauce primarily, but then it turns after about three seconds in the mouth. Then, the saltiness of the bacon chunks in the sauce asserts its flavor. When that happens, the meaty flavor of the sauce actually dominates over the usual tomato flavor. The cheese, slightly smoky, and distinctly that of provolone, asserts itself only an aftertaste.

The cheesy aftertaste lasts only about thirty seconds. After that, the mouth again takes on a sweet flavor as an enduring aftertaste.


As one who has really started to pay attention to such things only recently, one of the detractions to the Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce is the high amount of sugar in it. Instead of being a saltier sauce, Prego went for sweet (are they courting children instead of adults with this? If so, that’s disappointing!). As a result, this is a high calorie Italian Sauce. One seldom notices just how high calorie this type product is until they are actually minding their calories, but in a ½ cup serving, there are 100 calories. To get the full flavor of the sauce, I tended to use at least two servings per cup (uncooked) of pasta I made. So, it’s easy to rack up the calories with this sauce!

That the Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce is more sweet than salty is unsurprising when one looks over the ingredients. Made primarily of Tomato Puree, Sugar, and Bacon Bits, I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of extensive or recognizable preservatives in the Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce! All of the ingredients in Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce are recognizable and seem pretty healthy.

Despite the ½ cup serving being unrealistically small, the Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce is not generally bad for that amount. With 100 calories per serving, 25 from fat, Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce could be much worse on the health front. The 3 grams of fat represent 5% of the RDA of fat with one of those grams coming from saturated fat. 2% of one’s RDA of cholesterol are found in a serving, as is a whopping 20% of one’s RDA of Sodium (which is unfortunate for how salty this sauce does not taste!). With 15 grams of total carbohydrates, only 3 of them in the form of fiber, the Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce is not terrible for dieters. The Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce has 3 grams of protein and 10% of the RDA of Vitamin A. It is not a significant source of any other nutrients, though it has a smattering of Vitamin, Calcium and Iron. There were no allergy warnings on the label, but because it contains real meat and cheese it is, obviously, not Vegan compliant or Kosher!


The Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce comes in a 24 oz. glass jar that makes storage easy. Simply refrigerate any unused portion and try to use within a week of originally opening.

As for clean-up, red pasta sauces are notorious for staining fabrics of all kinds. If you get any of the Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce on a fabric, try to rinse it immediately with cold water. Consult a fabric guide for specifics on how to get stains from tomato-based products out of your clothes or tablecloths (without ruining them) should the need arise. On non-porous surfaces, Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce easily wipes clean!


Well worth the wait, Prego Bacon & Provolone Italian Sauce might not be the ultimate embodiment of the flavors it possesses, but it contains the very real and true flavors of both bacon and provolone cheese. That alone puts it well above most Italian Sauces found on the market and should be allowed to achieve reasonable market penetration so others might delight in one of the most flavorful pasta sauces I have ever tried!

For other food reviews, please visit my reviews of:
New Bridge Mediterranean Cheddar Cheese
Duke's House Of Meats Stubb's Spicy Bar-B-Q Beef Brisket Strips
Marathon Smart Stuff Crunchy Chocolate Crisp Snack Bar


For other food reviews, please check out my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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