What is the difference between Marinara sauce and Spaghetti sauce?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What is the difference between Marinara sauce and Spaghetti sauce?”

What is the difference between Marinara sauce and spaghetti sauce?

Marinara sauce is a tomato sauce that is easier to cook whereas Spaghetti sauce is a type of marinara sauce but it contains other ingredients like vegetables and meat too.

What exactly is Marinara sauce?

Marinara sauce as mentioned before is tomato sauce. It contains other ingredients like red pepper, garlic, herbs like basil and oregano.

Ideal types of tomato that can be used to prepare Marinara sauce would include paste or plum tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes can also be used.

What exactly is Spaghetti sauce?

Spaghetti sauce is tomato sauce as well but the ingredients would differ from Marinara sauce. Apart from tomatoes, spaghetti sauce can contain vegetables like carrots, onions, herbs, seasonings, and meat items like beef.

What are the other key differences between Marinara and Spaghetti sauce?

  • Spaghetti sauce has a thicker texture whereas Marinara sauce has a thinner texture. If you wish for a stomach-filling meal opt for spaghetti sauce or a thicker version of Marinara sauce.

If you want a lighter meal, opt for dishes made from Marinara sauce.

  • If the spaghetti sauce has meat added to it, it would have a meaty flavor and a thicker texture. Spaghetti sauce generally also has a stronger flavor compared to Marinara sauce which has a comparatively milder flavor.

Spaghetti sauce can taste well with plain pasta. If you wish to consume pasta with seafood, consider consuming them with marinara sauce.

  • If you are preparing Spaghetti sauce at home, you would notice that it would take a longer time to make the sauce thicker. As a result, it has a longer preparation time compared to Marinara sauce.

Spaghetti sauce also requires more ingredients than Marinara sauce because of which it might not be a cost-effective option either.

Which sauce can be used for pasta?

Marinara sauce is comparatively easier to make, contains lesser ingredients, and could be prepared quickly. As a result, you can use the marinara sauce for pasta. 

The consistency of the Marinara sauce can also be modified. You can use thicker Marinara sauce if you want a richer feel to the pasta or opt for the thinner ones. 

How to cook spaghetti sauce?


  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion (chopped finely)
  • 10 ounces tomato sauce
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Few tsp of crushed red pepper flakes


  • Sprinkle salt and pepper over the ground beef and mix well.
  • Place skillet on medium heat over the stove. In a skillet, add onions along with beef. Cook the onions and beef till they turn brown in color. If you observe excess grease coming out, drain them off before proceeding to cook further.
  • Add the Italian seasoning, tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic powder, red pepper, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, crushed red peppers, and sugar into the skillet. Mix well.
  • Stir well and mix the ingredients. Add water to the mixture and mix well.
  • Cook for a while and reduce the heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Garnish with basil and serve after 30-35 minutes.

How to cook Marinara sauce?


  • 20 ounces of peeled tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (peeled and cut into halves)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • Few red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste


  • In a heavy pot or pan, add the tomatoes along with olive oil, onions, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
  • Simmer the mixture on medium heat for a while. Lower the heat and then simmer for 40 minutes again. Make sure to simmer till the oil gets free from the tomatoes. Stir in between. 
  • Using a large spoon, try crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot or the pan.
  • Switch off the heat and take the pot off the burner. Remove the onions. Crush the garlic and add it to the mixture. If you find any onion pieces, mash them as well. Smash the tomatoes too. You can use a blender as well.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the mixture. If the mixture does not seem that salty, you can increase the amount of salt added. Serve.

Other FAQs on Marinara sauce that you might be interested in.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What is the difference between Marinara sauce and Spaghetti sauce?”