The Difference Between Tomato Sauce And Marinara

The debate over which sauce is better: tomato sauce or marinara, has raged on for years.

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I’ve been asked by my editor to write a post that puts this debate to rest, so here we go!

The truth about these two sauces is that they’re the same thing.

It’s true!

Tomato sauce and marinara are essentially the same thing.

Let’s look into this further…

What’s special about tomato sauce?

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The difference between tomato sauce and marinara is more than just a matter of thickness.

Tomato sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, onion and olive oil.

Marinara on the other hand has no tomatoes in it at all.

Instead it’s made with crushed or pureed tomatoes mixed with spices to make it more flavorful.

There are many different kinds of tomato sauces available today ranging from mild (no chilis) to hot (usually contains crushed red peppers).

If you’re looking for something that’s going to add depth and complexity to your recipe without overpowering its flavor profile then this would be your best bet!

What’s special about tomato marinara?

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While tomato sauce and marinara have similar ingredients, the differences in their preparation make them different enough to warrant considering separately.

The primary difference is that tomato sauce tends to be quite thin and watery, while marinara has more body.

Marinara is usually made with olive oil rather than just olive oil like tomato sauce (though you can also find extra-virgin olive oil-based sauces).

Like all pasta sauces, it’s common for it to be cooked down so that most of the liquid evaporates from the ingredients and flavors meld together.

Marinara comes from southern Italy where tomatoes are abundant; therefore many versions include fresh tomatoes in addition to crushed ones.

However not all sauces labeled as “marinara” will contain actual seafood such as seafood or garlic (though some do).

Tomato sauce vs marinara: What’s the similarity?

Tomato sauce and marinara are both sauces made from tomatoes.

They’re also cooked, but only marinara is cooked with meat and other ingredients.

Both tomato sauces are used in pasta dishes and on pizza.

Marinara is basically a cooked version of tomato sauce: it has all the same ingredients as a standard tomato sauce, except for oil (or butter), which helps make it thicker.

Marinara can be made with any kind of meat — beef or chicken are most common — but it’s never vegetarian because it contains anchovies (which give it that distinct flavor).

Tomato sauce vs marinara: What’s the difference?

Marinara and tomato sauce are both delicious, but they’re not the same thing.

While both are thick and red, marinara is more concentrated in flavor.

It has a richer taste, with more herbs and spices than your typical tomato sauce.

In America, we tend to use the term “marinara” for Italian-style sauces that aren’t necessarily made with tomatoes (though they can be).

Marinara means “sailor’s,” as in sailors who travelled through Italy on boats.

They were known for using lots of garlic and basil in their cooking—a tradition that was carried over into modern versions of marinara sauce today (like this one).

Is tomato sauce the same as marinara sauce?

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

It depends on how you prepare them!

Tomato sauce is a general term for any tomato-based sauce, but it tends to imply that the ingredients are simmered together for a long time.

Marinara refers to a specific kind of tomato-based pasta sauce that has been cooked with garlic and herbs.

Some people call this style of sauce “Italian” or “red” because it’s usually red in color due to the tomatoes.

Marinara is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, parsley (or other herbs), olive oil, salt and pepper.

Tomato sauces can also include oregano or basil as well as crushed red pepper flakes (if you like spicy food).

Is spaghetti sauce and marinara the same?

If you were to ask an Italian cook to describe the difference between a marinara sauce and spaghetti sauce, they would probably laugh at you.

They’d say that there is no real difference between these two sauces.

And they would be right!

You see, in Italy, the words “spaghetti” and “marinara” are used interchangeably when referring to tomato-based pasta sauces.

However, here in the United States we have come up with our own definitions for these two types of sauces:

  • Spaghetti Sauce: Usually meaty and thickened with tomatoes (but can also be made without meat), spaghetti sauce has been around since 1929 when Campbell’s introduced it as one of their first canned products.
  • Marinara Sauce: Marinara refers to any red or pink tomato-based sauce poured over seafood or pasta—it generally means “from the sea” or “from the coast.”

Which is healthier marinara or tomato sauce?

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Tomato sauce and marinara are made from the same base ingredients: tomato, herbs, and spices.

The difference is in how much oil is added to make it a more robust sauce.

If you’re looking for a good source of lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) and vitamin C, go with tomato sauce.

Tomato sauce gets its beautiful red color from fresh tomatoes that are simmered until they break down into a smooth paste.

Marinara tends to have less water content because it’s cooked in olive oil instead of water or broth—making it thicker than tomato sauce.


Without a doubt, marinara is the healthier option when it comes to tomato sauces.

Marinara sauce is made up of basic tomatoes cooked in olive oil for a long time.

As a result, there’s less sugar and sodium than in most other types of tomato-based sauces.

In addition, olive oil has proven benefits for your health compared to the use of other oils and fats when cooking with tomatoes or any other ingredients