Can You Use Marinara Sauce On Pizza- A Brief Discussion

mexican pizza sauce
mexican pizza sauce

Marinara sauce, known for its robust tomato flavor and savory notes, is a staple in Italian cuisine. While traditionally used in pasta dishes, many pizza enthusiasts wonder if marinara sauce can be a suitable alternative to pizza sauce.

In this article, we explore the compatibility of marinara sauce with pizza, how it compares to traditional pizza sauce, and tips for using it effectively.

What is Marinara Sauce?

Marinara sauce is a classic Italian tomato sauce primarily made from tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs like basil and oregano. It’s known for its simplicity and fresh flavors, making it a versatile sauce in various Italian dishes.

Marinara Sauce vs. Pizza Sauce

Marinara Sauce

  • Ingredients: Tomatoes, garlic, onions, olive oil, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Texture: Typically smooth with small tomato chunks.
  • Flavor: Tangy, slightly sweet, and herbaceous.
  • Use: Traditionally used for pasta dishes like spaghetti and lasagna.

Pizza Sauce

  • Ingredients: Typically includes tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, herbs (like oregano and basil), and sometimes additional spices.
  • Texture: Often richer and denser than marinara sauce.
  • Flavor: Specifically tailored for pizza, with a more concentrated and savory taste.
  • Use: Specifically designed to complement pizza toppings and crust.

Can Marinara Sauce Be Used on Pizza?

Yes, marinara sauce can be used on pizza, but it’s important to consider a few factors.

  1. Consistency: Marinara sauce is thinner than traditional pizza sauce, so using a thicker or reduced marinara can prevent a soggy crust.
  2. Flavor Intensity: Pizza sauce is typically more robust and concentrated to stand out against the flavors of various toppings. If using marinara sauce, consider enhancing its flavor with extra herbs, garlic, or a touch of balsamic vinegar to intensify its taste.
  3. Preparation: If using homemade marinara sauce, ensure it’s cooked down to a thicker consistency suitable for pizza. Commercial marinara sauces may vary in thickness, so adjust accordingly.

Tips for Using Marinara Sauce on Pizza

  • Reduce the Sauce: Simmer marinara sauce on low heat to thicken it before spreading it on the pizza dough.
  • Enhance Flavor: Add extra garlic, herbs, or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese to boost the flavor profile.
  • Limit Moisture: Avoid over-saucing the pizza to prevent a soggy crust. Spread a thin, even layer of marinara sauce.

While traditional pizza sauce is tailored for pizza’s specific requirements, marinara sauce can indeed be used as an alternative with some adjustments. Experiment with different thickness levels and flavor enhancements to find the perfect balance for your pizza creation.

Marinara sauce, a classic in Italian cuisine, offers several health benefits thanks to its primary ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs. Here are some details on its nutritional value and benefits.

  1. Tomatoes: The main ingredient in marinara sauce, tomatoes are rich in vitamins C and K, potassium, and antioxidants like lycopene. Lycopene is linked to reducing the risk of certain cancers and promoting heart health.
  2. Garlic: Known for its immune-boosting properties, garlic in marinara sauce adds flavor and health benefits. It contains compounds that may lower cholesterol levels and support cardiovascular health.
  3. Onions: Onions are packed with antioxidants and sulfur compounds that contribute to anti-inflammatory and immune-supportive effects. They also contain fiber and vitamins B and C.
  4. Herbs: Basil and oregano are commonly used in marinara sauce, providing additional antioxidants, vitamins (such as vitamin K in basil), and minerals. These herbs not only enhance flavor but also contribute to the sauce’s nutritional profile.
  5. Low in Calories: Marinara sauce is generally low in calories, especially when prepared without excessive amounts of oil or added sugars.
  6. Versatility: Beyond pasta and pizza, marinara sauce can be used in various dishes, making it easy to incorporate nutrient-rich ingredients into your diet.

Incorporating marinara sauce made from fresh, high-quality ingredients can be a nutritious addition to meals, providing flavor along with health benefits.


1. Can I use store-bought marinara sauce for pizza? Yes, you can use store-bought marinara sauce. Just ensure it’s thick enough to avoid making the pizza crust soggy.

2. How can I thicken marinara sauce for pizza? Simmer the marinara sauce on low heat until it reduces to a thicker consistency.

3. What toppings go well with marinara sauce on pizza? Classic toppings like mozzarella cheese, basil, pepperoni, mushrooms, and olives pair well with marinara sauce.

4. Can I make marinara sauce spicy for pizza? Yes, add red pepper flakes or diced jalapeƱos to give your marinara sauce a spicy kick.

5. Can I freeze leftover marinara sauce after using it on pizza? Yes, store leftover marinara sauce in an airtight container in the freezer for future use.

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