Is tomato sauce and marinara sauce the same thing?

While the two sauces share many ingredients, the main difference is in the consistency and depth of flavor. Marinara is brighter, thinner and has more tomato flavor than ketchup. Tomato sauce is thicker, creamier and has a certain resemblance to sauce, which is why some Italians call it “Sunday sauce”. Marinara sauce and ketchup are often used interchangeably and for clear reasons; the two look and taste quite similar to each other.

But those nuances in their textures, cooking processes and flavor profiles are the same things that separate these two sauces into different categories. And make each one better adapt to different recipes. But before we dive into their differences, let's talk about what ketchup and marinara sauce actually are. Marinara sauce is a quick sauce, seasoned only with garlic, chopped red pepper and basil.

It's best when made with whole San Marzano tomatoes or plums, shredded by hand or passed through a food mill. The marinara can be left in pieces; the texture of the finished sauce is quite loose and the flavor is that of fresh tomatoes. It's best to think of marinara sauce as a basic form of tomato sauce, especially since its flavor notes, cooking time and ingredient list are short and sweet, according to Paesana. Flavors don't have as much time to develop as they would with ketchup, and any added herbs, such as basil and oregano, will be more prominent.

Pizza is a great example of this, as marinara sauce is often used to keep ingredients in place while also giving a light tomato flavor. Another thing that's important to know about marinara is that it's very affordable and you can easily prepare it at home. Even the sauces you see in markets packaged in jars are labeled so you know what sauce is used with what type of dish. If you don't want to waste fresh tomatoes, you can always use them to make a good sauce for your meal.

Since marinara doesn't taste too complex, it's perfect for pasta and pizza (and these other marinara-based recipes). Marinara is a simple sauce made with garlic, chopped red pepper and basil, and is prepared in about an hour. This type of sauce can also be found in jars on the market, but there is nothing better than the homemade one, which is always better and fresh. If you add these things, you're just making bolognese or a sauce for spaghetti or other dishes that include meat and that's not what marinara is used for.

This sauce was originally known as a remedy for love in Italy and was used to replace preserved pepper in the 16th century. Good pasta, pizza or even foods that contain meat marinated in a good sauce create the perfect and delicious dishes. In short, after sharing with you how marinara and tomato sauces are made, I would like to say that sauces are not the same thing. We find these sauces packaged in jars in grocery stores or markets, as well as in many recipes for cooking lunch or dinner.

Jeannette Klingenberger
Jeannette Klingenberger

Proud beer fanatic. Freelance web specialist. Subtly charming tv nerd. Wannabe coffee fan. Subtly charming tv ninja.