Marinara vs. Pizza Sauce: What Is Best for Pizza?

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Marinara vs. pizza sauce – which will do a better job of turning your pizza slices into delicious goodness? And which should you use when craving a bowl of pasta?

Marinara sauce is made by blending and smashing cooked tomatoes, a thick texture with a punch of flavor best as dipping or marinade. In contrast, pizza sauce is runny as it mainly contains tomatoes. It is better for pizzas and pasta as the sauce cooks alongside your meal, releasing flavors.

To prepare a dish that matches your preference, you must identify sauces that cater to your taste. So, learn about the differences in consistency, ingredients, and recipes to make a perfect meal!

Pizza Sauce vs. Marinara: 5 Key Differences

Marinara vs. Pizza Sauce

Marinara and pizza sauces are the staple ingredients for Italian pizzas and pasta. Both are made from tomatoes, but each has a different recipe, bringing out various flavors.

Written below are some of the key differences between pizza sauce and marinara.

ParametersPizza SauceMarinara
IngredientsTomato, Olive oil, SugarTomato, different herbs and spices
Cooking MethodblendingSmashed,blended and cooked with herbs
Tomato TypesPlum TomatoesPaste Tomatoes
FlavorTangyTangy with hints of spice
Uses.Pizza, Pasta.Pizza, Pasta, Dipping Sauce.

After a quick peeks, it’s time for a detailed discussion about marinara vs. pizza sauce.

1. Ingredients

Both the sauce share the same basic ingredient – tomato.

However, pizza sauce is typically made with plum tomatoes, whereas marinara sauce uses paste tomatoes.

Other than that, pizza sauce has a few different ingredients, excluding oil and a bit of sugar.

On the other hand, the marinara sauce contains several spices and herbs, giving its iconic taste. 

2. Cooking Method

Pizza sauce combines raw tomato puree blended with many different spices. No chunks are found in it as everything is smashed to create a runny liquid that you can easily spread out on top of dough or bread.

In contrast, marinara sauce is produced mainly using blended tomatoes very lightly. The sauce is heated on the stove to cook the tomatoes properly. It is simmered to develop a richer texture; at this point, a thickening agent – usually tomato paste – is added.

3. Consistency

Marinara sauce is comparatively thicker than pizza sauce as it uses a thickening agent and is also boiled for a longer time. The sauce also has a chunky consistency since the tomato used to make it has only been lightly blended.

On the other hand, pizza sauce has no solid pieces within it. The tomatoes are pureed until no solid portions remain, creating a very even and runny mixture. It allows the sauce to spread evenly across the surface of meals.

4. Flavor

In terms of flavor, pizza sauce has an incomplete taste as it does not contain spices or herbs. The sauce is rather uncooked and tastes bland unless it has been heated with the pizza toppings like cheese and spices to release the flavors.

On the other hand, the marinara sauce usually holds a colossal burst of flavor as it has been cooked with many spices and herbs. Juices of all the ingredients are released to affect your taste buds positively.

5. Use Of The Sauce

The most common difference in both the sauces’ use is that marinara sauce can be used raw as a dipping sauce because it contains salt and several other spices. But it is not the same for pizza sauce. Because pizza sauce contains just tomatoes, making it taste bland when eaten raw.

However, both the sauce have the same primary ingredient. So they can be used as great alternatives to one another in dishes such as pizza, pasta, spaghetti, lasagna, etc.

Marinara vs. Pizza Sauce: Which is Better for Pizza?

True to its name, pizza sauce is always the better option for pizzas. You can effortlessly pour it over the pizza dough; when baked, the sauce gets cooked and bound with the toppings. As the sauce is mainly composed of tomatoes, eaters will get to taste the tanginess along with the toppings the whole time.

You can also use the marinara sauce in pizzas, but its spices and seasonings can sometimes be distracting or overpowering. The sauce is also cooked and thickened, preventing it from weaving in well with the contents of your toppings.

Marinara vs. Pizza Sauce: Which is Better for Pasta?

Pizza sauce can be thinned down a little with water and added to pasta to make a nice sauce for the meal. The sauce’s flavor can be enjoyed at every bite, making it the better addition to your bowl of pasta.

The thickness of the marinara sauce prevents it from spreading onto your pasta properly. The liquid will form a separate layer from your pasta, causing the meal not to have any of the sauce’s taste.

Is Marinara Pizza Sauce?

Is Marinara Pizza Sauce

As a newbie, everyone seems to believe that marinara is simply a variation of pizza sauce. However, that could not be further from the truth since they differ in many ways.

Marinara sauce and pizza sauce are both made using completely different procedures, giving them pretty different textures and tastes.

The only similarity is that tomato is a core ingredient for both, causing the sauces to be used in pizzas and pasta.

Can You Use Marinara Sauce in Pizza?

You can use the marinara sauce on a pizza’s base. In fact, certain toppings specifically demand this special sauce to be used as its taste pairs well with them.

For example, an Olives and Capers anchovy pizza uses marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese alongside the key ingredients to create a delicious topping.

The marinara sauce tastes exceptionally well on a pizza base after being combined with sour cream.

Marinara Sauce Recipe

If you ask me, one should always make the marinara sauce instead of purchasing it as it is very easy to prepare. Only a few ingredients and steps are enough to make the delicious goodness – the marinara sauce.

The Marinara Sauce Ingredients

Let’s check what you need to make marinara sauce.

Yellow Onion1 piece peeled and diced.
Garlic2 cloves
Peeled TomatoesCut each in half
Red pepperAccording to your taste
Dried OreganoAs per liking
Olive Oil2 tablespoons
Salt.As per taste.

Marinara Sauce: Step-By-Step Recipe

Here comes the recipe of delicious marinara sauce.

1. Add your halved tomatoes, onions, olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes to a saucepan.

2. Place the pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Stir slightly and wait for the sauce to simmer.

3. Lower the heat and leave the sauce on the stove for about 45 minutes. Throughout this time, stir your sauce occasionally and try to mash the tomatoes with your spoon. Once the oil droplets are seen floating on the top, turn off the heat.

4. Take your pan off the heat and toss the contents into a blender to make a smooth sauce. You can also mash the mixture with big spoons to get this done.

5. Taste the sauce and if needed, sprinkle some salt into the puree according to your taste. 

4 Tips To a Perfect Marinara Sauce

  • Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan to ensure the sauce does not burn.
  • Feel free to add tomatoes to create a more juicy and tangy taste.
  • For a chunky dip, mash with a small spoon instead of blending.
  • Toss in some fresh basils for a pleasant aroma.

Marinara vs. Tomato Sauce

Marinara vs. Tomato Sauce

Both dips are fantastic add-ons for nachos, chips, fries, and other meals. However, in comparison to marinara sauce, tomato sauce has a much more complex and flavorful taste. The making process requires more precision, skills, ingredients, and spices.

But in the end, it all waters down to the person’s preference.

If you are looking for something simple that does not take away the attention from your meal, the marinara sauce should be your pick.

However, trust your tomato sauce if you want a sauce that makes your meal taste much better than it initially did.

Which is Better: Canned Pizza Sauce or Pizza Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

Canned pizza sauce often contains additives and spices that create a unique combination. However, nothing beats the flavors of a tomato puree made by blending fresh and juicy tomatoes. You can always add spices of your choice to make the homemade pizza sauce taste similar to canned ones.

Pizza sauce made with fresh tomatoes is also the better option health-wise. The contents of chemically harmful additives, fats, and salts decrease the risks of high blood pressure, GERD, and other health issues.


  • What is the best marinara sauce for pizza?

Primal Kitchen Marinara sauce is one of the best marinara sauces for pizza. The blend of spices and seasoning with the tangy taste of tomatoes helps elevate the flavor of all toppings.

  • Is marinara sauce vegan?

Yes, most marinara sauces are vegan since all the ingredients used to make it come from plants. It includes tomatoes, onions, garlic, and any other spices. Nevertheless, you can also find non-veg marinara sauces that contain dairy additions or animal meat.

  • Is marinara sauce the same as spaghetti sauce?

No, spaghetti sauce and marinara sauce are similar but not the same. Spaghetti sauce follows the same recipe as a marinara sauce but contains meat or vegetables as an added ingredient. It also makes it thicker than marinara sauce.

  • Is pizza sauce the same as spaghetti sauce?

Pizza sauce is always made with raw tomatoes, causing the liquid to cook alongside your pizza toppings. It is not the case for spaghetti sauce which is created by blending cooked tomatoes with the necessary herbs and spices.

Final Words

Marinara vs pizza sauce – which one won over our hearts?

Both are delicious sauces that can elevate the taste of most of your meals.

However, remember to use the right one for the proper type of meal to get the desired flavors. Hopefully, as your knowledge of sauces has heightened, you can now go ahead and enjoy all of your snacks deliciously!