Pot of marinara sauce
Is There Really A Difference Between Pizza Sauce And Marinara?
Pizza sauce and marinara differ in flavor, but the fundamental divide between the two comes down to a divergence in purpose.
Unlike pizza sauce, which works in conjunction with cheese and the crust, marinara is made to stand on its own, resulting in more complex flavors that take more effort to create.
Pizza sauce is made of tomatoes, salt, pepper, and a few herbs. It's usually uncooked to highlight the tart, bright flavor that comes from fresh tomatoes.
In contrast, marinara has complex flavors from aromatics, herbs, and sometimes fats like butter or olive oil. It's then cooked down to thicken the sauce and deepen its flavor.
Since pizza sauce isn’t cooked, it’s typically thinner and is meant to thicken as is it baked in the oven. Since marinara is thicker, it can get too thick when baked a second time.
Moreover, while pizza sauce is thin and uniform, marinara can be chunky and more rustic, adding additional complex texture elements that elevate the sauce.