Although the two sauces share many ingredients, the main difference is in the consistency and depth of the 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 is a simple sauce made with garlic, chopped red pepper and basil, and is prepared in about an hour.
Ketchup, on the other hand, is thick, rich and complex. Ketchup also usually contains more ingredients, such as vegetables and salty pork. 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 delving into their differences, let's talk about what ketchup and marinara sauce actually are. Because the two sauces look similar (and can sometimes even taste similar), we often use the names marinara and tomato interchangeably. However, the two sauces are not the same.
According to Taste of Home, marinara sauce cooks much faster than tomato sauce (often less than an hour) and has a less complex flavor profile that usually consists simply of tomatoes, garlic and oregano. Tomato sauce, on the other hand, requires hours of slow cooking and is made with more abundant ingredients, often including a creamy base of roux, meat, and other vegetables and various herbs. As a result, ketchup tends to be much thicker and more robust than its marinated counterpart. Marinara sauce is much lighter and simpler compared to pasta sauce.
Marinara usually uses only tomato, olive oil and garlic, making it less complex than pasta sauce. In addition, marinara takes less time to cook, while pasta sauce may have meat that extends its cooking time. Spaghetti sauce is usually served with any variety of cooked pasta, such as lasagna, spaghetti or manicotti, and usually contains meat, vegetables, spices and condiments. Marinara sauce, with its finer texture and its simplest flavor, is the best to mix with pasta or spread it on pizza dough.
Two of the most common types of sauces you'll hear people use are marinara sauce and pasta sauce, especially in Italian cuisine. The sauce acquires its characteristic flavor through the addition of garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and herbs such as basil and oregano. Or you can take out a bag of French fries or French fries for a movie night and dip it in marinara for an extra touch of flavor. Since tomatoes and spices make up most of the list of ingredients in marinara sauce, it's one of the healthiest dipping sauces.
Because of its simple list of ingredients, marinara can be used instead of pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce. After letting it cook, the finished sauce will have an almost candied and thick consistency, and will taste sweet, rich and caramelized. If you take a look at cuisines around the world, you'll notice that there are several different sauces that use tomatoes as a base. Since marinara doesn't taste too complex, it's perfect for pasta and pizza (and these other marinara-based recipes).
Or check out this post if you run out of tomato paste, and this one to focus specifically on thickening the marinara. Therefore, if the rest of the dish does not contain animal protein, you can safely eat marinara sauce on a vegan or vegetarian diet. That said, marinara isn't as heavy or flavorful as ketchup, so the flavor and texture of the finished dish will be very different. .