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Spaghetti sauce vs marinara- what are the striking differences?

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Marinara sauce and spaghetti sauce are used interchangeably nowadays. Many people do not understand that they are two very different sauces. So, if you are someone who is sitting and thinking if there is any difference between marinara and spaghetti sauce, you are not alone. We are here to explain all the differences they have so you understand once and for all.

Let’s get started, shall we?

So, what is Marinara sauce? It is a staple part of Italian American cuisine right now. Even though its origin dates back to Italy, it’s famous all around the World. Traditionally it is defined as a tomato-based sauce that acts as a garnish for seafood. The name in itself, marinara comes from mariners making it a great choice among fishermen delicacies.

Even though normal people use both marinara and spaghetti interchangeably, there is a huge deal of difference between them both. So, in this blog, we will help you understand all the individual distinctiveness these two sauces have. We will also help you choose the right sauce for your recipe to make amazing food.

So what are the differences between marinara and spaghetti sauce?

Marinara sauce can be compared to American Bolognese-style spaghetti sauce. They are very similar yet different. They differ in terms of texture, flavor, preparation and so much more.

  1. Flavor and taste

So, the spaghetti sauce is much richer, and creamier with a very meaty flavor to it. The overall consistency you are looking for here is thick. On the other hand, the marinara sauce has a very combined flavor, thanks to multiple ingredients in the mix. It’s very less meaty and you can also note individual flavors in them very easily. Therefore, spaghetti sauce is an excellent choice if you are wanting to create some strong flavors in the dish. Do opt for marinara to accentuate the flavor of your dish likewise. Spaghetti sauce as the name suggests pairs well with plain pasta and if you happen to have seafood in the pasta, then marinara could work well to enhance the flavor and palette too.

  1. Texture

The second component we will be discussing in this debate of pasta sauce vs marinara is the texture. So, spaghetti sauce is much thicker than marinara in itself. So, if you are cooking and looking for a hearty and very filling dish, our recommendation is to go for spaghetti sauce or if marinara is your jam, choose one that is much thicker. For light dishes, marinara being a thin sauce is your best option. The texture of the sauce is very important when choosing them as it accentuates or dampens the overall dish.

  1. Ingredients of the sauce

When you consider the ingredients for both sauces, they are very similar to each other. The major disparity is that spaghetti sauce requires a considerable amount of meat to be added to it. So, if you are tired and do not want to do a quick trip to the grocery for meat, marinara is the safest bet.

  1. Preparation time

The next component that casts a major difference between marinara and spaghetti sauce is the prep time both needs. So, spaghetti sauce takes much longer to cook as it has a meat component. The thicker consistency also adds additional time for its preparation. Whereas marinara takes very little time to cook down. So, if you are in a time crunch, choose marinara.

Now let’s discuss the different uses of Marinara sauce. How you can use them, where you can use them and so much more.

Marinara sauce contains tomatoes and condiments like garlic, onions, and herbs in general. Just like any other sauce, there are also some variations included in some regions, wine or olives are all included within the sauce. This actually gives it a very tangy flavor. Even if you compare an Italian marinara sauce with an American one, you will notice that the consistency indeed is different and much thicker than expected. In order to maintain the marinara sauce in its traditional sense, make sure to stay away from ingredients like meat, anchovies, or even cheese. Because with the addition of these items, you are in a way creating a spaghetti sauce.

Let us now divulge much deeper into another question that is often pondered. Can you use spaghetti sauce in place of marinara? Is that even a thing?

So, the simple answer is no. Spaghetti sauce and marinara can’t be used interchangeably as such. Their consistency and flavor are all so different. This is the case when you think of homemade sauces, but with store-bought sauces, you can most possibly interchange them both with no issues.

Yet another point of inquiry is, what is the difference between marinara and spaghetti sauce but also our common tomato sauce? How do all of them fit?

So out of all these three options, marinara and spaghetti sauce are much more similar than tomato sauce. Marinara sauce is a little chunky in comparison to spaghetti sauce which is smoother. Even the flavor changes along with the thicker, tomato sauces. Another distinction between spaghetti sauce and other sauces is the use of balsamic vinegar. This is a special type of vinegar from grapes and is a staple in traditional Italian cuisine. Tomato sauce, on the other hand, has rich, thick, and much more complex ingredients.

Tomato sauce is actually a French dish that requires a ton of hard work and time. There is an addition of meat, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaves so all these flavors can blend in together. The tomato sauce must then simmer for a long period of time. It will then thicken up and improve the flavors over time. As the tomatoes have broken down, it also becomes sweeter than spaghetti sauce or marinara. 


We hope that this blog article helped you identify the difference between marinara and spaghetti sauce and all the associated questions you had, there is no one way of using these sauces. But when you understand their flavor and consistency, you will know which will pair better and make the dish the best. Marinara is very versatile, thanks to its very thin consistency. Spaghetti sauce being thicker pairs well with pasta, noodles, and even some savory biscuits.

Both sauces can bring in amazing, tasty dishes for you. Just choose the one that is best suited for your palette and then you will have the right dish for yourselves. We at Pizza Bien, make sure that all our pizzas are very well made, are succulent, and just bursts with flavors. With all our ingredients from Naples, Italy you will have the most authentic Italian pizza experience ever. So, what are you waiting for, click here to order now!!!







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