Can I substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce?

In this article, we will answer the question: “Can I substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce?” and discuss how you can substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce. 

Can I substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce?

Yes, you can substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce. 

The phrases “marinara sauce” and “spaghetti sauce” are frequently used interchangeably. Tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and onions are used to make marinara sauce.

Marinara sauce, a tomato-based sauce traditionally used for seafood, is one of the most authentic elements of Italian-American cookery.

While different ingredients can be added to marinara sauce, it should never have any meat, anchovies or cheese in it. When you start adding these ingredients, you’re making bolognese or spaghetti sauce.

When we think of “spaghetti sauce,” we think of a thick, flavourful tomato-based sauce. The fundamental distinction between the spaghetti sauce and marinara sauce is the addition of meat.

Spaghetti is frequently accompanied by marinara sauce. Many individuals like the more mild, delicate flavour of marinara sauce on their pasta because it doesn’t have any meat to dominate it.

How can you substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce? 

Here is how you can substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce. 

Marinara sauce is more adaptable. Because of its thinner consistency, it is ideal for coating and dipping.

Puree some blanched or roasted veggies with your marinara. Add cream and season with salt and pepper to make a wonderfully delicious and nutritious creamy tomato soup.

Make some meatballs, fry them, simmer them in marinara, toss in some spaghetti and you’re done.  That’s some classic meatball spaghetti right there.

Before spreading out the gorgeous thin pieces of vegetables, some ratatouille varieties employ a vegetable puree in the pan. Marinara definitely works in this scenario.

For the delightful, bright Minestrone soup, use marinara sauce instead of canned chopped tomatoes.

Whatever you choose for your pie crust, when it comes to pizza, marinara is an essential ingredient.

Marinara’s acidity also complements fish nicely, amplifying its freshness.

Furthermore, the reliable marinara will always be a companion to gooey, creamy, crispy mozzarella sticks.

Substituting spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce

The flavour of American bolognese-style spaghetti sauce is comparable to that of marinara sauce. There are some flavour, texture, and preparation time changes.

Marinara sauce serves as a conduit for the various components’ distinct tastes. It’s a little less intense and you can certainly distinguish distinct flavours a little better.

Marinara Sauce does not begin with sautéed garlic, onions, and beef. It  has a faster preparation time. All you have to do is heat the sauce and add your preferred pasta. Feel free to substitute any items you desire in your marinara sauce.

It is frequently a preferable choice for a more delicate meal with a flowing sauce. Spaghetti sauce also takes longer to create than marinara sauce. Opt for marinara sauce if time is of the essence.

What are the different types of spaghetti sauce?

The different types of spaghetti sauces are Marinara, Alfredo, Bolognese, Amatriciana, Pesto and Carbonara. 

What are the tips when substituting spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce? 

Here are all the tips you need when substituting spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce.

  • Homemade marinara is nearly as quick and tastes far better than even the best retail sauce and it’s prepared with kitchen staples.
  • Instead of a pot, use a skillet: the water evaporates rapidly, so the tomatoes are only cooked through as the sauce thickens.
  • Crush a can of tomatoes (about 28 ounces) with your hands in a large mixing bowl. 1 cup water should be poured into the can and sloshed about to extract the tomato juices. Reserve this.
  • Heat some extra-virgin olive oil in a big skillet (do not use a deep pot) over medium heat. When it’s heated, add 7 garlic cloves.
  • As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle (do not allow it to brown), add the tomatoes, followed by the conserved tomato water. Add a whole chilli or red pepper flakes, oregano and salt to taste. Stir.
  • Place a huge sprig of basil, stem and all, on the surface. Allow it to wilt before submerging it in the sauce.
  • Simmer until the sauce is thick enough and the oil on the surface is a rich orange colour (about 15 minutes).
  • If using oregano, taste the sauce after 10 minutes of boiling and season with additional salt and oregano as required.
  • Remove the basil and chilli, and your easy, delicious homemade marinara sauce is ready.

Other FAQs about marinara sauce which you may be interested in

What is the difference between Marinara sauce and Spaghetti sauce?

How long does marinara sauce last in the fridge?

Final Thoughts 

Marinara is chunky, has a more powerful flavour than pizza sauce, has herbs and spice, and contains pre-cooked tomatoes. Because marinara is made from tomatoes, it is ideal for making spaghetti.


In this article, we have answered the question: “Can I substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce?” and discussed how you can substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce.