Pizza Sauce Vs. Pasta Sauce – Which One Should You Choose

Both pizza and pasta are some of the most common foods in the world. You may not have it in your cultural cuisine, but you will have at least seen it if not eaten it.

The sauce is one must-have ingredient when you are making the two. And while you may say it’s just sauce, they have a significant influence on the outcome.

One thing that’s similar in them is that it has tomatoes, but they have many other differences. In this article, we will show you some of the unique features of each sauce and the differences.

What is pizza sauce?

This is the ready store-bought or sometimes homemade sauce that you will apply on the pizza top. You know, when you have the sauce, it’s effortless to fix your pizza.

If you’re like the Italians that want to make the sauce at home, you can influence the flavors to your liking. However, I like to buy my favorite pizza sauce because it makes it easy for me to fix it.


Different brands will always have different ingredients to make it uniquely their type, just like any other ingredient. Nonetheless, they will all have tomatoes, oil, herbs, and seasoning. Some of the extra additional include garlic, onions, thickeners, and just about any other ingredients.

You can also make this sauce at home, but you have to know the procedure. Remember, the sauce is essential; it determines how good your pizza becomes.

How to make the sauce the Italian way?

Wash your ripe tomatoes.

Place a saucepan on the heating source and add some water to it.

Then add the tomatoes to the pan to boil.

When the tomatoes are then ready, you’ll notice they start to crack, and then it’s easy to peel off the skin.

So get them from the water and to the strainer to get the excess water out.

Now start to peel off the skin one by one as you discard the skin parts.

Cut them into chunks and set aside. Go on to add some salt, then set aside to cook when ready to use.

Add some olive oil onto the saucepan, just enough to make the sauce. Of course, you don’t want to have too much oil but also not too little.

Then add one chopped onion. Allow it to cook until it’s golden brown.

Now add in some garlic. This is optional; you know, some people don’t like the garlic in this sauce. If you don’t mind, though, you can add in some garlic cloves, and then when the onions are brown, you can remove the garlic cloves.

Next, you should add in some basil, and the best Basil is the fresh one. Now add the tomato you made up here.

Add the black pepper, and if you like, you can add the regular pepper too. You can then add the oregano to

Add the herbs you like to taste. Also, remember to add a little bit of salt to taste.

Cover it to simmer and cook for at least 10 minutes. It would help if you remembered pizza sauce doesn’t have to be fully cooked as you will cook it in the oven.

Now I know this can be too much for some people. Then, there’s a second option: to get or buy the store-bought ones because their equality is excellent.

Another style of making the pizza sauce


Of course, this video presents a more effortless method where you don’t have to make the tomatoes. But when you have the tomatoes, why not make it from scratch.

Pasta sauce

This is a special or unique sauce that you use when cooking pasta. And like the one above then, it has the tomatoes being the main ingredients. It also has other ingredients to give it the perfect flavor and texture.


You see, you will never have a great dish of pasta without the additional sauce to enhance the flavors. Especially if you want to eat it the Italian way.

A great pasta sauce has the following ingredients.

  • 5 pounds of tomatoes
  • 2-3 large onions
  • Six cloves of garlic
  • Carrot is optional
  • Some olive oil
  • The herbs (thyme, oregano, Basil, parsley, bay leaves)
  • Salt to taste

If you have the raw tomatoes, you can boil them to make it easy to peel off the skin, just as you do with your pizza tomatoes above. Make the chunks of the tomatoes but no need to blend it all.

Now take the onions and chop them to make them ready to cook. Also, mince the garlic and dice the carrot if you have it.

Pour some olive oil into the saucepan or stockpot. Then set it on medium heat.

When it gets hot, then you can add in the onions to start cooking. Start to sauté it for the next about a minute or two.

Next, add in the garlic and the grated carrots, then let it cook for a bit. Notice that the onions should cook until its translucent and tender.

Now add the chunks or pureed tomatoes you made up here and stir it. Go on to add the oregano, thymes, Basil, bay leaves, parsley, salt, and any other herbs you may have. All the herbs will often influence the flavors.

Reduce the heat to let it simmer and cook for one to two hours. Also, add the other piece of carrot that you had left as that then means it will absorb the acidity. Let it cook with it for the next thirty minutes.

This is then ready for you to use in the sauce.

Alternative two

For me, this appears easier to make, primarily since he uses the step by step process.


They are both tomato-based sauces if you want them to. But for the pizza sauce, you can sometimes use milk products to make a white sauce. The most common one, though, is the tomato base.

So you see, the tomatoes are the main ingredients here. You can also add in some other spices and herbs, but the main ingredients are tomatoes.

They can be store-bought or sometimes homemade.


Pizza sauce Pasta sauce
How it’s made You don’t need to cook the ingredients. If you have to, then it should be no more than ten minutes of cooking. This sauce is thoroughly cooked and ready to use on the cooked pasta too.
Water content It often has tomato paste you made using the tomatoes. It’s thick. You will puree the tomato, which means it has a lot of liquid.
ingredients Uses lesser Use a lot more ingredients.
Tomatoes It’s best to use uncooked tomatoes Use cooked tomatoes

The name and preparation

The names will make you know what the sauces are made for. Pasta sauce works for pasta, while the pizza sauce is ideal for pizza cooking.

When we are talking about the jarred sauces, pasta sauce from the jar is cooked over a long time or even slowly simmer. Sometimes they even roast the ingredients. The pizza sauce, on the other hand, is not cooked. So then what happens is that they slowly combine the pizza sauce ingredients over a long time.

You should understand that this isn’t anything odd after all, even the dough you will be making is not cooked. So it’s better when they start to cook together. Notice that even the cheese is unheated, which means that the uncooked sauce means you have everything to cook together.

As for the pasta sauce, remember you will mostly add the sauce to the cooked pasta, and then it only takes a minute or two. This is only different if you are cooking the lasagna.

If you, therefore, added the already cooked sauce into the pizza you want to bake, you make it look and feel redundant. Your finished product is therefore different if you use the cooked ones.

You cant use one in place of the other as it is

The temperature you will use to cook the pizza in the oven is about 400°F. The pizza sauce has enough time to cook under high heat. If you decided to use the pasta sauce that’s already cooked, the pizza might end up overcooked.

I hope now you see why you can’t even use the pizza sauce in your pasta, as it will also look a little bit undone.

Water content

Notice that one will appear to have more water than the other. If you are talking about the pasta sauce, then remember it will have a little more water than using the pizza sauce. The pizza sauce should have more tomato concentration, and the pasta sauce turns the tomato sauce into tomato puree.

You will also find that the pasta sauce is made using the more diluted tomatoes, but the ones they use for the pizza never dilute it. So if you want a great quality pizza sauce, you should make sure it has thicker chunks of tomatoes.

The ingredients

When you are talking of the ingredients, it’s easier to make the pizza sauce just because it uses fewer ingredients than pasta.

The main ingredient in both cases is that they use tomatoes. But they will always have other additional ingredients that you can check below.

For the pizza: you will have olive oil, onions, oregano, thyme, optional garlic.

Pasta: remember you will have to roast the ingredients slowly, and therefore, you can have even more ingredients. They include olive oils, onions, peppers, oregano, bay leaves, carrots, celery, thymes. You can also have sugar and salt. Notice that you can use this source for the different kinds of pasta.

The way they are made

In summary, you will make the pizza source in just a few minutes; in most cases, it’s uncooked. The pasta source is slow-simmered. Even though the pizza source is uncooked, remember it will taste great when you cook it.

The types of tomatoes

Although sometimes they use the same tomatoes, it’s important to note that the traditional style is where the pizza sauce uses uncooked tomatoes. The pasta sauce uses cooked tomatoes. This is always the main difference between the two, remember.

Sometimes, you will find that the sauce they set to use is different or even lighter than it should be. When you are eating the New York style of pizza, you are bound to have it being thinner. In such cases, you, therefore, need the tomato puree to thicken it a little more.

Now which is the best tomato to use

If you are Italian, you will understand why they like to use their tomatoes grown from their farms. If possible, make sure you just buy the ones they export. Don’t be mistaken; there are brands around posing to sell Italian tomatoes, but they don’t.

Choose the San Marzano tomatoes as they have the best reputation. They are grown on the perfect soil and the right sun to make the tomatoes grow safely. You will mostly find tomato cans in Italian supermarkets. You can use them for different kinds of pizzas.

Of course, you will love the taste. If you can’t get the San Marzano tomatoes, you can use any plum tomatoes. You will like them for their meaty nature that lucks too much water.

This tomato is often tangy but also chunky and meaty as you would like it to be.

Marinara sauce vs. spaghetti sauce

When you want to add some color and a zing to your pasta, then you should use these sauces. Besides, they will also give it a unique color.

So, notice that both the marinara and the spaghetti sauce have the same ingredients, mostly the tomatoes. However, as you go, the spaghetti has an addition of some meat.

Notice that the marinara sauce is thinner than ate spaghetti one. Of course, it’s hard to distinguish them when you go to the store unless, of course, the tins indicate the names.

Notice that the marinara sauce is the simplest of all the different sauces as it has fewer ingredients.

Can you use the marinara sauce for your spaghetti?

Of course, you can if you want to make it the most straightforward sauce. The American families will tend to make the sauces simpler than they do in Italy. This is why even a simple marinara could work for your spaghetti.

It’s a cheaper option too, and you can buy it sooner. Ensure that you first cook the spaghetti to al dante before you finally toss it in the source. This will make it easy to absorb the ingredients.

Also, you will use it for other dishes that may not even be for the Italian recipes.

Marinara sauces Spaghetti sauce
Consistency Its thinner It’s thicker
Uses It has several uses aside from the regular


They are traditionally used for spaghetti only.
The main difference This one has the tomatoes and a few other additional herbs but no meat. It has tomatoes, herbs, and even meat.
Is it vegan friendly Yes it is No, you shouldn’t use it
Flavoring Marinara has a robust flavor because it has a lot of hears together with s It’s full of flavor, mainly because it has meat.

Pizza sauce vs. marinara sauce

Another one you will have people asking a lot about is the pizza sauce with the marinara sauce. Note that the pizza sauce and the marinara one are the same, with the difference being consistency.

Nonetheless, if you find that they are thin, you can add tomato paste to make it nicely thick. Of course, you can play around with the ingredients to choose the best taste you are looking for for the flavor.

Marinara sauce Pizza sauce
The tomatoes They like using the chunky tomatoes They will often use the smooth tomatoes.
Flavor This one has a robust flavor Not so much as the marinara one.
The ingredients This one often has more herbs and seasonings. It has more salt for the seasonings.
What tomatoes The tomatoes are cooked here. It uses raw tomatoes.
The additional balsamic vinegar. Not so essential for them to. It mostly has the balsamic vinegar that you know has the grapes in it.

What is tomato sauce?

The tomato sauce is more affluent than the other types of sauces here. Notice that it often has a different start with a roux to make it.

The roux has flour and butter, but they will often also have pork, salt, or even bacon. You can further add the onions and salt, and then the additional ingredients will create even better flavors.

The secret is to give it more time to continue cooking.

Tomato sauce vs. pizza sauce

Most of the sauces here you make using the tomato sauce just because the tomatoes are famous for being juicy. The good thing with this sauce is that you won’t need to add any thickening agents since the tomato sauce acts as a thickening agent.

Such tomatoes are sumptuous since they cook quickly and they remain soft. Depending on the ones you like, you can decide to use them as chunky options. You know the tomatoes are further some of the most common ingredients you will use in your meals.

Tomato sauce is made to be used in parts of many different dishes that include meats, veggies, and pasta, and pizza. On the contrary, when you are using the pizza sauce, you will only use it on pizza.

When you are making the tomato sauce, your base is the tomatoes, but you can add in some seasonings. The pizza sauce mostly has the tomatoes for the base, too, but that’s optional. You can also have them with presto or crème in the place of tomatoes.

The color difference may occur in regards to the ingredients you used to make it. If you used tomatoes to make the pizza, it would be red just like the tomato sauce, but if you use crème and other daily products, it will be white.

They are both easy to make but understand the tomato sauce is versatile; therefore, you can use it to make different foods.


Is pizza sauce the same as pasta sauce?

No, they aren’t, and one of the main differences, as you have seen above, is that your pasta sauce is cooked, but the pizza one is uncooked.

The reason is that the pizza has a longer time in the oven to cook its sauce as part. Pasta sauce is cooked because you can add it onto the pasta then go on to eat it.

Convert pasta sauce to pizza sauce

Notice that the pasta sauce is most of the tomato base, making it ideal to use on your pizza sauce. The significant difference between the pizza and pasta sauce is that one is cooked while one isn’t cooked. So you can convert it following the method below.

  • You don’t need excess liquid on the pasta, so the first thing to do is drain the excess water.
  • Once you have the pasta sauce with less water, set it in a food processor or blender to smoothen it.
  • Go on to add more seasoning you like on any pizza.
  • Blend again to make sure it’s nicely smooth, and you can add some salt to taste.
  • Drain off the excess water since you want it to be very thick, almost to the consistency of a regular tomato paste.

Can I just use pasta sauce for pizza?

Not as it is because they are different sauces. Often you will find the pasta sauce to be not as thick as the pizza one. Remember, if you use the runny pizza sauce, you will create a mess. Besides, the pasta sauce is fully cooked, so you will need to add in some ingredients to make it raw.

So generally, it can work, but you have to change a few things. If it’s the only sauce you have, then use it but drain excess water.

Can I substitute spaghetti sauce for pizza sauce?

Of course, you can use it in place of the pizza sauce. It will work; you just have to make sure it has lesser liquid.

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