Marinara sauce is an authentic component of Italian-American cuisine. It’s no the same as you’d uncover in Italy, however inspired through a tomato-based sauce made come garnish seafood. The name “marinara” comes from “mariners” and also describes how fishermen often use the sauce on your freshly-made fish.

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Nowadays, the terms “marinara sauce” and “spaghetti sauce” are supplied interchangeably.

So, what’s the difference?

In this guide, us explore various factors connected with each sauce. You’ll additionally discover principles on just how to select the best sauce for her recipe.

Marinara VS Spaghetti – The four Differences

American Bolognese-style spaghetti sauce is quite comparable to marinara sauce. However, there room some distinctions in texture, flavor, and also prep time. Right here are some of the distinctions you’ll notice:


Bolognese pasta and bolognese spaghetti sauce is richer and has a meaty flavor. The flavors in this sauce space well-combined, and also the consistency is thick. On the other hand, Marinara sauce delivers the complex flavors of the various ingredients. It’s much less meaty, and you can make the end individual flavors easily. Therefore, Spaghetti sauce is appropriate for creating solid flavors in a dish, and marinara is more of one accent. Moreover, Spaghetti sauce goes well with plain pasta. If you’re using seafood in her pasta dish, consider using the marinara sauce to boost the seafood flavors.


Spaghetti sauce is thicker, when marinara sauce has actually a thinner texture. If you desire to do a hearty, filling dish, pick spaghetti sauce or a marinara with a more thickness consistency. However, if you desire a lighter meal through a slim sauce, marinara is better.

These differences apply to canned, jarred, and homemade sauces. Right here are additional factors you may want to consider when you do the sauces yourself:


The ingredients because that both sauces are really similar. The key difference is that the spaghetti sauce needs meat. If you nothing have any type of meat however have all various other ingredients, making marinara sauce will save you a pilgrimage to the store.

Prep Time

Spaghetti sauce requires one cooking meat. The must likewise simmer longer to develop the wanted consistency. Moreover, that requires much more ingredients 보다 marinara and also takes longer to make. If prep time is her concern, choose a marinara sauce.

What Is Marinara Sauce provided For?


Marinara sauce has tomatoes, herbs, garlic, and onions. Like most sauces, there space some variations. In some regions, sour ingredients (like olives, wine, or capers) are added to do tangy marinara. Traditional Italian-style marinara sauce is thin, while countless Americanized variations room bold and also thick.

While girlfriend can include different ingredient to marinara sauce and also maintain that is originality, you need to never add meat, anchovies, or cheese. Once you start including these ingredients, you finish up creating Bolognese or spaghetti sauce. Below are several of the standard dishes you deserve to use Marinara sauce with:

Afritada – Spanish-FilipinoMenudo – FilipinoRatatouille – FrenchShakshuka –ArabicMeatballsMinestronePizzaParmigianaMozzarella sticks

Should You usage Spaghetti Sauce or Marinara Sauce for her Pasta?

Some folks room keen come assume the there’s no such point as a “spaghetti sauce.” You deserve to serve spaghetti v a huge range of sauces, indigenous Alfredo sauce come Bolognese and marinara come a drizzle that olive oil. They likewise believe that spaghetti and also meatballs no an Italian dish, but American. Besides that, some world even insurance claim Italians choose eating spaghetti carbonara over some tomato-based meat sauce.

Most that these assumptions are incorrect. However, once you listen ‘spaghetti sauce,’ you instantly visualize and also think the a thick, savory tomato-based sauce linked with meat. Therefore, us don’t have to discard this brand out the the pursuit of correctness; we deserve to use that to define an American variation of Bolognese sauce. Because that example, it’s referred to as pasta gravy, pasta condiment, and pasta dressing.

The major difference between marinara sauce and also American Bolognese is the inclusion of meat. Marinara sauce has a small variety of vegan ingredients. However, if you begin serving marinara sauce v ground beef, or another type of meat, you accomplish something with a various flavor profile the adds wealth to her dishes.

You deserve to take a marinara sauce cooking recipes and add meat to make spaghetti sauce, and also you can additionally take a spaghetti sauce recipe and also make a marinara sauce through omitting the meat. However, you may want to change the food preparation times: Simmer ingredient long sufficient for spices to bind together with marinara sauce. On the other hand, meat sauces call for extra time as you need to cook the meat.

Adding an ext Tomatoes

Traditional marinara sauce is thin, when American spaghetti sauce has a more thickness texture. You need to add more tomatoes come the spaghetti sauce than the marinara sauce. Moreover, you’ll require to minimize the spaghetti sauce to acquire the trademark thicker consistency. If the tomato sauce top top the pasta is thick, it’s either Americanized marinara or spaghetti sauce. If the thin, there’s a good chance that a timeless Italian-style marinara sauce.

Can I use Marinara Sauce because that Spaghetti?

Yes! Spaghetti is offered with marinara sauce. If you’re ~ pasta with protein, you’ll want to offer meat or seafood ~ above the side. Friend can include some meatballs, shrimps, and sausage to your pasta. However, many world prefer the subtle, breakable flavor the marinara sauce on their dishes with no meat come overpower it.

How walk Spaghetti Carbonara element Into This?

Spaghetti carbonara is a famous Italian dish that doesn’t use any type of tomato-based sauce. Instead, the sauce is mixed straight top top the pasta v eggs, bacon, and also cheese. That a various dish yet quite straightforward to make. If girlfriend haven’t make the efforts this dish, you should give it a try!


Can You substitute Spaghetti Sauce for Marinara Sauce?

It counts on what one classifies together spaghetti sauce. If you go to the supermarket, it’s highly likely the a jar of spaghetti sauce top top the shelf is a kind of marinara. However, when it involves conventional homemade tomato sauce directly on spaghetti, you can not interchange the two. The consistencies and flavors are completely different. So, when it comes to store-bought spaghetti sauce, girlfriend can quickly substitute the two. Shot to toss the noodles in the sauce and coat lock thoroughly.

What’s the difference between marinara sauce, pizza sauce and tomato sauce?

Out of these three, marinara and also pizza sauce room the most comparable as they usage very similar ingredients and are thinner and smoother than timeless tomato sauces. However, there room some differences in between marinara and pizza sauce:

Marinara is chunkyPizza sauce has a smooth textureMarinara has actually a durable flavor than pizza saucePizza sauce has more saltMarinara uses herbs and seasoningsPizza sauce has actually raw tomatoesMarinara has pre-cooked tomatoes

Another distinction with pizza sauce is the it has balsamic vinegar; unique vinegar made utilizing grapes popular in many classic Italian dishes. On the various other hand, tomato sauce is thick, rich, and has complex ingredients.

Originating in France, tomato sauce calls for plenty the ingredients and also takes patience. Traditionally, tomato sauce includes a roux the flour and also butter blended with salt, onion, pork or bacon, and carrots. As these seasonings combine, you add fresh tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, and chicken or veal stock. Then, you need to leave the tomato sauce come simmer for hours.

During this time, it will certainly thicken up and also enhance the flavors. It also gets sweeter than marinara or pizza sauce once the tomatoes rest down. You have the right to also add Italian sausage or ground beef to offer it depth in flavor and also texture.

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Due to its thickness and flavor, traditional tomato sauce is best used as gravy come smother dishes choose spaghetti or to make chicken cacciatore, no as a pizza sauce.