Pizza Sauce vs Pasta Sauce : Key Differences Between Them

The sauces that you use in cooking are what make your dish special. Whether you are using marinara sauce, pesto sauce, or some other tasty option, extra flavor can be added to any dish.

There are lots of different types of sauces that you can use, one of the most popular being pizza sauce and pasta sauce!

So let's take a look at two of the most popular types of sauces: pizza sauce and pasta sauce, and what's the difference between pizza sauce and pasta sauce.

The Pizza Sauce

The Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce is typically off-red in color, made with fresh tomatoes, herbs, garlic, and olive oil. Delicious toppings are added to pizza sauce.

Pizza sauce is a fantastic option for dipping bread and other appetizers, but it's also a great sauce to use as a topping for your favorite pizza.

The Pasta Sauce

The Pasta Sauce

Pasta sauce is made by simmering different vegetables, herbs, spices, tomato paste or fresh tomatoes in a pot at a low heat for about an hour.

This may be followed by adding some water and salt and simmering until it reaches desired texture.

If you'd like to add some extra taste profiles to your sauce you can also add basil leaves, balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning.

Pizza Sauce vs. Pasta Sauce: How Do They Differ?

1) Tomato Puree and Tomato Paste

A main difference between pizza sauce and pasta sauce is that pizza sauce uses tomato puree and pasta sauce requires tomato paste.

Pasta sauce needs the important acidity of the tomato to help enhance it, while pizza sauce can use a higher concentration of tomatoes because there are more flavors from other ingredients (like cheese) in the dish.

2) Spices and Herbs

Pizza sauce has a little more spices in it than pasta sauce. Spices like oregano, basil, and parsley add great flavors to the dish!

Pasta sauce benefits from less spices because it cathere aren become too acidic. Some herbs you'll find in these tomato based pizza sauces and pasta sauces are garlic and onion powder, coriander, parsley, oregano, and rosemary.

3) Oil Content

Pasta sauce is cooked longer than pizza sauce, so it has more oil content to help the flavors mix together! When pasta sauce is cooked, it doesn't have as much oil because it's used in a shorter amount of time.

4) Thickness

Both pasta sauce and pizza sauce are generally thick in consistency, but they can be altered to make them thinner or thicker.

Making them thicker gives them a more pastalike consistency, while making them thinner helps it coat the ingredients you're preparing with it!

5) Cooking Time

Since you have less ingredients in pasta sauce, it doesn't take much time to cook down the ingredients and let them simmer together.

For pizza sauce, you'll need to saute all those spices first before adding everything else in! Because pizza sauce is uncooked, you can get a fresher, zippy tomato taste after baking it in an oven - even after it has been cooked.

6) Diced or Pureed Ingredients

Both pizza sauce and pasta sauce give you the option of using diced or pureed tomatoes. Depending on how you like your sauce, you can puree the tomatoes or leave it chunky.

Pizza Sauce vs. Pasta Sauce: Recipe

Pizza Sauce vs. Pasta Sauce Recipe

Here's what's the difference between pizza sauce and pasta sauce, as well as how to make both.!

Pizza Sauce Recipe


  • 1 ½ pounds of tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped organic parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1) Start by chopping your tomatoes into chunks.

2) Put the tomatoes in a food processor with fresh garlic, shredded cilantro, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Pulse until you have a consistency that suits your needs. Then pour the pizza sauce on your pizza!

Pasta Sauce Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 28 ounces canned plum tomatoes with purée or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Salt to taste


1) Warm up olive oil over medium heat in a pot. Add garlic, onion, parsley, tarragon leaves and red pepper flakes. Let the mixture simmer together for about two minutes. Then put your canned tomatoes into the pot with salt to taste.

2) Let the mixture simmer together for about an hour. Lastly, mix in tomato paste and leave the sauce to simmer for another 15 minutes.

Now you know how easy it is to make both pizza sauce and pasta sauce! If you want something even thicker, add more oil or make the sauce sweeter by adding more sugar.

Pizza Sauce vs Pasta Sauce: When to Use Each?

Pizza Sauce vs Pasta Sauce When to Use Each

Looking at the many types of pizza and pasta sauce available, it is often a challenge to determine which one to use. We will also take a look at when you should use each type of sauce.

Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce is going to be your base ingredient for your pizza. You can add more flavors or spices after but the aromatic quality of your crust and the toppings are going to come from this base sauce.

Pasta Sauce

Pasta sauce is going to have a similar purpose on sheet pasta- it's going to be used as a base flavor with other spices or herbs that are added to it. Pasta sauce spices can be added after preparing as well.

These days, another two sauces are becoming more popular by the day. And they are:

Marinara Sauce versus Spaghetti Sauce:

The Marinara Sauce

Marinara tomato sauce is an Italian dish that can be served over spaghetti or different types of pasta. A lot of the time, people will add herbs to this sauce, but some people might use different types of vegetables.

The definition of marinara tomato sauce is tomato-based with garlic, pepper and onion. Marinara tomato sauce can also contain other ingredients like celery, carrots, wine vinegar and some spices like basil and rosemary.

The Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti tomato sauce is more similar to marinara than plain tomato paste because it has a variety of ingredients in it like mushrooms, onions, beef broth, black olives and some more spices.

Spaghetti tomato sauce also often contains sugar, salt and garlic powder. This sauce is usually served over spaghetti or other types of pasta.

Marinara Sauce versus Spaghetti Sauce

1) Ingredients

The main difference between each sauce is that marinara contains garlic and sugar, but spaghetti tomato sauce has ingredients like beef broth and black olives.

2) Thickness and Heartiness

Since you have more ingredients in the spaghetti tomato sauce, it will be thicker than marinara sauce.

3) Cooking Time

Marinara tomato sauce is made with canned tomatoes, so you can just pour it over your pasta and let it simmer together.

For spaghetti tomato sauce, you will need to saute all of the vegetables before adding in the meat ingredients! Then let the mixture simmer together for approximately 10 hours.

4) Diced or Pureed Ingredients

Since both sauces contain different ingredients, their consistency will be slightly different. Marinara sauce can be pureed and left chunky, while spaghetti tomato sauce is usually made with the tomatoes whole.

5) Cooking Method

Marinara pasta sauce is cooked it takes less time to cook down because there are fewer ingredients in it. You can either let it simmer or serve it right away. Spaghetti sauce takes a long time to make because there are a lot of vegetables and meat in it! Make sure you let the mixture simmer for around 10 hours.

You might be Interested: What's the life expectancy of this pasta board?


01. Can You Use Pizza Sauce In Recipes Instead Of Pasta Sauce?

Can You Use Pizza Sauce In Recipes Instead Of Pasta Sauce

That depends on the dish that you are trying to prepare. If you need a sauce with a strong flavored base, then you might want to try using pizza sauce as it has a thicker consistency and is more flavorful than pasta sauce.

However, if your meal needs a thinner saucy consistency, then you may want to use pasta sauce as it is thinner and lighter than pizza sauce.

02. Does Marinara Sauce Work for Pizza and Pasta Sauce?

Yes, you can use marinara sauce as a substitute for pasta or pizza sauce. Although marinara is mainly used as a side dish and not the main course, it still works well to carry flavor and bring out the taste of your dinner. If you want an even bolder taste, then you may want to add garlic and oregano to amp up the flavor.

03. Do I Need a Specific Type of Tomato to Make Pizza Sauce?

No, there is no need to purchase a specific kind of tomato in order to make pizza sauce. You can use any kind of canned tomatoes that you have on hand whether it be Roma, San Marzano, or another variety.

04. Which Sauces Are Healthy for You?

Both pizza sauce and pasta sauce are healthy for you depending on the ingredients that you use. If you choose to use fresh ingredients instead of processed ones, then your sauce will be slightly healthier than using canned tomatoes or oils.

However, one thing that is common in both pizza sauce and pasta sauce is meat which can be high in fat content so make sure you can monitor your intake.


Sauce is a big part of cooking. There are many different types of sauces that you can make to flavor your dish and create an interesting meal for yourself or your family.

In this article, we explored two different sauces: pizza sauce vs pasta sauce. Also provided two more popular sauces: marinara sauce and spaghetti tomato sauce. We looked at their differences as well as the steps needed to prepare them all.

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