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Can you substitute marinara with Tomato sauce?

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Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the World. With different crusts, toppings, and varieties, it has something for everybody. Do you know what makes pizza the best or worst? Its sauce. Yup, you heard it right. It’s the pizza sauce that makes or breaks a pizza. Just as with everything, pizza offers options when it comes to sauces, marinara vs tomato sauce

You might now ask, what’s the difference between them though? Let us explain. Marinara sauce is an amazing concoction made with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil. Aromatic and very rich in flavors. Whereas tomato sauce for pizza is purely made with tomato paste as its base with added spices like oregano and onion powder. So, which one is the best you ask? Let us settle this question once and for all, it totally depends. Yes, you heard that right. The choice of marinara vs tomato sauce totally depends on your taste buds. 

In this blog post, we aim to provide you with all the information about marinara and tomato sauce. Every little detail makes each of them unique. This will help you choose the best option for you while ordering your next pizza. 

So, what is the infamous pizza sauce? Does it taste better?

The legend has it that it came as a gift from a Naples chef to King Umberto. Ever since then tomato sauce made from pureed tomatoes has been a staple in Pizza. All the ingredients in the sauce are just simple like basil, tomatoes, and olive oil and this simplicity makes it a sauce for pizza and many other delicacies.

The rich red color in the pizza sauce mainly comes from the tomato paste that is the base. It also has some sugars and salt to elevate flavors. It is the best choice for cheese pizzas. If you are a fan of homemade pizzas, you can buy pizza sauce readily from supermarkets nowadays. With multiple options of pizza, sauces, and toppings to choose from, getting confused is very common. All you got to do is simply trust your gut, literally.

Let’s now delve deep and understand what marinara sauce is.

Marinara sauce and its origin are dated back to Italy and European imports of tomatoes in the 16th century. The legend has it that marinara was whipped up by a chef named maria to feed a bunch of hungry sailors and hence the name was coined. Ever since Marinara has been a popular choice all over the World.

The ingredients that make up Marinara are very similar to that of tomato pizza sauce but with a generous helping of onions on the former. Red pepper flakes are also added in for the extra hotness of the sauce. The marinara sauce is versatile if not anything. It could very well serve as a dipping sauce, used in pasta, chicken delicacies, and finally into the pizza base.

What are the differences that both marinara v/s tomato sauce hold?

As discussed earlier both marinara and tomato pizza sauces have similar ingredients. But marinara is slightly tart and acidic in nature. It doesn’t have any additional seasonings and much less salt. Tomato sauce has spices and a generous amount of salt and spices. 

If we take consistency as the next component to understand, pizza sauce comes off as the thicker counterpart to marinara. With tomato paste, there is a more intense flavor and flow to the sauce. Yet another interesting difference between them is what kind of tomatoes are used to make the sauce. For marinara, there are peeled tomatoes and crushed ones for sauce. Pizza sauce also has more salt and sugar that actually elevates the flavor of the toppings. Marinara is usually a much finer choice as dips mostly.

So, the quickest takeaway here is that if you are someone who enjoys sweeter sauce for pizza, marinara is the best and if spice is right up your alley, then pizza sauce is your faithful companion.

So how to settle the scores on the marinara vs tomato sauce battle?

Tomato sauce for pizza or marinara has always been a topic of discussion. So let us help you narrow down your options so you can make an informed decision. So, the first thing to do is to choose a crust, what is your preference like- thin, crispy, or thick? This could help with the choice of sauces.

So, it’s better if you pair the marinara sauce with the thicker crust pizzas as it will help in keeping the flavors intact within the air pockets. It could also help amplify the taste of cheese and toppings. Whereas for thin and crispy-crusted pizzas, tomato sauce is the best option. Great for flavor and has no hassle with spilling.

Now onto the pizza toppings. So, if you are a fan of very fine toppings on your pizza, our choice would be marinara with its big tomato pastes. Pizza sauce is for chunkier toppings as it helps in holding the consistency while not making the pizza soggy. 

Let’s now understand how to use pizza sauce and marinara.

With this blog article, you might have now understood that both sauces are great for Italian delicacies like pasta, pizza, and even seafood. Marinara is the first choice for people who enjoy more sweet and traditional Italian sauces. It also pairs well with pasta dishes. Pizza sauce on the other hand adds on extra flavors, is thicker, and more filled with herbs. It also pairs well with pizza and seafood.

So, while cooking with these sauces, the first thing to remember is that just a little is all you need. The key is to add just one tablespoon first and then keep going as and when required. Nobody likes a pizza that is laden with sauce, no matter how tasty the sauce is. So, keep it simple and minimal, and add on more if you wish.


So, the heated debate of marinara vs tomato sauce is coming to the final steps. By now you might have understood everything you need to know about both these sauces. So just a quick rundown for you.

The tomato pizza sauce is the usual recommendation by us when you crave that extra mouth-watering flavor. Spicy, and full of herbs. Marinara is your best friend if you are wanting something a little blander and loads of toppings. It’s also the best to pair with most Italian dishes like pasta. Since marinara is not full of flavors, you get to add more ingredients like mushrooms, and onions and customize however you like.

At the end of the day, what you choose between these sauces comes down to individual mood, and cravings at the moment. Whatever your heart is dancing to at the given time, should be your choice. Choose what your heart wants, because the heart wants what it wants, and enjoy!!

We at Pizza Bien, make fresh, flavorful pizzas from natural ingredients from Italy. Choose Pizza Bien today for amazing and mouth-watering toppings and enjoy the real Italian pizza.

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