Pizza Sauce Vs Marinara: What’s The Difference?

Marinara Sauce

Many people think that pizza sauce and marinara sauce are the same things because they both contain tomatoes and look similar. But they are not the same. And in this article, we are going to reveal the differences between these two sauces.

Some of the main differences between pizza sauce and marinara are the ingredients that are used for their making, the way they are prepared, as well as their consistency, flavor, and uses.

You can buy these sauces or make them at home and enjoy them in a freshly prepared pizza or marinara sauce. Freshly and homemade is always better than the store both sauces if you have the time and opportunity to cook.

Therefore, we are also offering you the recipes for pizza and marinara sauce if you want to give them a try and make them by yourself.

So let’s learn more about these sauces.

What is Pizza Sauce?

Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce is any sauce that is used for pizza. There are many different pizza sauces but most of them are tomato-based sauces.

Pizza sauce is often made with pureed tomatoes or tomato sauce, tomato paste, olive oil, and seasonings like onion, salt, black pepper, basil, oregano, garlic, and sugar.

These ingredients mixed all together are making the pizza sauce flavorful and rich. Therefore, it is a great addition to the other ingredients we usually put on pizza such as cheese, mushrooms, or pepperoni.

Pizza sauce is not cooked or is minimally cooked. All the ingredients are just blended into a thick sauce that will keep together the other ingredients used as a topping for the pizza.

You can add herbs and spices to your sauce to your taste and make it taste even better. Or some crushed red peppers to your pizza sauce to give it a spicy flavor.

There are many different types of pizzas and even more different types of pizza sauces. You only have to choose the one you like the most and enjoy its flavor.

Here is a recipe for homemade pizza sauce you can make in no time.

Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

This homemade pizza sauce is delicious and you can prepare it in under 5 minutes, so definitely take a look.


  • One can of crushed tomatoes(15 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano


Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until you get a thick consistency. Try the sauce and add more salt, pepper, or sugar to your taste.

With this quantity of pizza sauce, you can make two pizzas. You can also use it as a dip for mozzarella sticks, breadsticks, and calamari. Or in other recipes like calzones, loaded pizza casserole, and pepperoni bread.

Homemade pizza sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

What is Marinara Sauce?

Marinara sauce is a tomato-based sauce similar to but not the same as pizza sauce.

It is usually made with tomato sauce, olive oil, onion, garlic, oregano, and basil. There are also variations of marinara sauce with added olives, capers, wine, and anchovies.

The marinara sauce makes a great pasta sauce. However, you can also use a marinara sauce as a dipping sauce, or as an ingredient in other dishes like minestrone, meatballs, roasted vegetables, lasagna, and ratatouille.

One of the differences between pizza sauce and marinara sauce is that they are prepared differently. As mentioned before pizza sauce is not or is minimally cooked.

The marinara sauce, on the other hand, is always cooked until all the ingredients are well combined. And the sauce gets the desired thick consistency.

So, the marinara sauce has a more complex flavor compared to the flavor of pizza sauce due to the longer cooking process which gives more time to the seasonings to develop their flavors.

You can make the delicious marinara sauce at home if you just follow our next recipe.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe

You can prepare this marinara sauce in less than 10 minutes and surprise your loved ones with a delicious homemade pasta sauce.


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3cloves garlic minced
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can of diced or crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar


In a saucepan or skillet heat the oil and add the garlic and the onion. Saute for about 5 minutes, until they are softened, and add the tomatoes. Season with salt, and pepper, and add the sugar.

Let the sauce simmer for 20-30 minutes until it thickens and the ingredients are well combined. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the chopped fresh basil and serve.

You can also add other ingredients such as vegetables, ground beef, ground lamb, crushed red pepper flakes, tofu, and herbs like fresh parsley and oregano.

Pizza Sauce

Pizza Sauce Vs Marinara: Comparison Table

Even though pizza sauce and marinara are both tomato base sauces they have some differences. The first difference is the ingredients that are used for their preparation.

They both can be made with canned or fresh tomatoes but pizza sauce has added tomato paste to get a thicker consistency. While marinara sauce can also contain olives, capers, or anchovies.

The ingredients for pizza sauce are just blended or minimally cooked, while those for the marinara sauce are cooked for about 30 minutes until they are well combined.

Pizza sauce has a thicker consistency and fresh tomato flavor compared to the marinara which has a thinner consistency and stronger complex flavor.

The last difference is how they are used. Pizza sauce is added to the pizza crust before baking, and it is cooked together with the pizza. Marinara is added to the already cooked pasta or used as an ingredient in other dishes like soups, seafood dishes, and lasagna or as a dipping sauce.

Type of Sauce Pizza Sauce Marinara Sauce
Ingredients Tomato paste, pureed tomatoes Tomato sauce, diced or crushed canned tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies
Flavor Fresh tomato flavor Stronger, complex flavor
Consistency Thicker Thinner
Cooking Process Not or minimally cooked Cooked
Uses Added on pizza before baking, dipping sauce Pasta, seafood dishes, dipping sauce, soups, lasagna

Marinara Sauce Vs Tomato Sauce: What’s The Difference?

Tomato sauce is used as a base for many different dishes and sauces.

It is usually made with chopped tomatoes, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and bell peppers which are sauteed in olive oil, and simmered to get a thicker consistency.

The sauce is seasoned with spices, herbs, and salt. Some other ingredients like water, stock, and wine are also added to the tomato sauce, and seasonings such as basil, black pepper, oregano, parsley, red chili flakes, and cajun seasoning.

The basic form of tomato sauce is made only with tomatoes, basil, and garlic.

Marinara sauce is a type of tomato sauce that contains fewer ingredients and seasonings than tomato sauce. And is usually served as a pasta sauce. There are also other differences between marinara sauce and tomato sauce.

Marinara sauce is prepared quicker and has a thinner consistency than tomato sauce. The tomato sauce, on the other hand, is prepared longer. It also has a thicker consistency and rich, more complex flavor.

Is Pizza Sauce Marinara?

Pizza sauce is not marinara.

Marinara is a type of tomato sauce prepared with herbs and seasonings. And is usually used in pasta dishes. It has a thinner consistency and is made differently than pizza sauce.

Marinara is prepared longer than pizza sauce. And all ingredients a simmered until they are well combined. While pizza sauce is usually prepared only by blending all the ingredients.

They both have a few different ingredients, flavors, consistencies, and uses.

Is Marinara Pasta Sauce?

Marinara is a versatile sauce that is usually used as a pasta sauce but it also works well as a dipping sauce or as an ingredient in many different dishes.

You can find many different types of pasta sauces like marinara, bolognese, ragu, pesto, alfredo, carbonara, vegan, white, mushroom, tomato, and cheese sauce. All of these pasta sauces consist of different ingredients and have different flavors.

Is Marinara The Same As Spaghetti Sauce?

Marinara is not the same as spaghetti sauce.

Spaghetti sauce usually contains meat, vegetables, seasonings, and herbs. It is also thicker than marinara and has a different flavor. Marinara sauce, on the other hand, doesn’t contain any meat and has a thinner consistency.

Wrap Up

Pizza sauce and marinara are two delicious sauces that are used to enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes-pizza and pasta.

They are both made with tomatoes as one of the main ingredients. However, the addition of many different herbs and spices, and how they are made and used is what makes them different.

You can use both of these sauces in various dishes and enjoy their flavor. And with the recipes above, you can even make them at home.

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