What Do You Use Marinara Sauce For? A Full Guide

Marinara sauce is a staple in many kitchens, and for good reason.

This simple yet flavorful sauce can be used in a variety of dishes, from classic spaghetti to homemade pizza.

But what exactly is marinara sauce, and how can you use it to elevate your meals?

In this article, we’ll explore the versatility of marinara sauce and provide some delicious recipe ideas to inspire your next culinary adventure.

So grab a jar of marinara sauce and get ready to discover all the ways you can use this delicious ingredient!

What Do You Use Marinara Sauce For?

Marinara sauce is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. While it’s often associated with pasta, there are many other ways to use this delicious sauce.

One popular use for marinara sauce is as a pizza topping. The rich tomato flavor pairs perfectly with cheese and toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, and onions. You can also use marinara sauce as a dipping sauce for garlic bread or as a base for homemade calzones.

Marinara sauce is also a great addition to meat dishes. Try using it as a topping for chicken parmesan or as a sauce for meatballs. You can even add some ground beef or turkey to the sauce to create a heartier dish.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, marinara sauce is perfect for dishes like eggplant parmesan or stuffed peppers. It’s also a great base for vegetable lasagna or ratatouille.

Another way to use marinara sauce is as a dipping sauce for appetizers like mozzarella sticks or fried ravioli. It adds a burst of flavor to these classic snacks and is sure to impress your guests.

What Is Marinara Sauce?

Marinara sauce is a tomato-based sauce that originated in Italy and is widely used in Italian-American cuisine. It is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and onions, and can include variations such as capers, olives, spices, and a dash of wine. In Italy, it is known as alla marinara and is usually made with tomatoes, basil, and oregano, but can also include olives, capers, and salted anchovies.

Marinara sauce is commonly used as a pasta sauce for spaghetti and vermicelli but can also be used with meat or fish. It is important not to confuse marinara sauce with spaghetti marinara, which is a popular dish in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and South Africa that includes a tomato-based sauce mixed with fresh seafood. In Italy, a pasta sauce with seafood is typically called alla pescatora.

The flavor profile of marinara sauce should be fairly consistent across the board. The typical marinara sauce tastes like its base ingredient, fresh tomatoes, with a velvety texture and rich kick from the olive oil. Marinara should always be made with the freshest of tomatoes to guarantee a delicious dish and can have desired spices and aromatics added to taste.

Making homemade marinara sauce is easy and requires minimal ingredients such as canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, dried oregano, and olive oil. It does not require a long simmer time and can be made on the stove top in under 30 minutes. Marinara sauce can be used for pizza toppings, meat dishes, vegetarian options such as eggplant parmesan or stuffed peppers, as well as dipping sauces for appetizers like mozzarella sticks or fried ravioli.

Beyond Spaghetti: Creative Ways To Use Marinara Sauce

While spaghetti is a classic dish that marinara sauce is often associated with, there are many other creative ways to use this versatile sauce.

One idea is to use marinara sauce as a soup base. Simply add some broth, vegetables, and protein of your choice to create a hearty and flavorful soup. You can also use it as a base for chili or stew for a warm and comforting meal.

Marinara sauce can also be used in casseroles and baked dishes. Mix it with cooked rice or quinoa, vegetables, and cheese for a delicious and easy-to-make casserole. You can also use it as a sauce for baked ziti or stuffed shells.

For a quick and easy appetizer, try using marinara sauce as a dip for meatballs or chicken wings. It adds a burst of flavor and makes for a great party snack.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try using marinara sauce in your breakfast dishes. Use it as a topping for eggs benedict or as a base for breakfast pizza. It’s a great way to start your day with some delicious Italian flavors.

Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe

Making homemade marinara sauce is surprisingly easy and requires only a few simple ingredients. Here is a recipe that offers rich and authentic Italian flavor:


– 2 cans of good quality tomatoes

– 1 onion, halved

– 2 whole garlic cloves

– 1 teaspoon dried oregano

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)


1. Begin by opening the cans of tomatoes and pouring them into a pot. Use a wooden spoon to break up any large pieces.

2. Add in the halved onion, whole garlic cloves, dried oregano, and olive oil.

3. If you like a little heat, add in a pinch of red pepper flakes.

4. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.

5. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. After 45 minutes, remove the onion and garlic cloves from the pot.

7. Use an immersion blender or transfer the sauce to a blender to puree until smooth.

8. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

This homemade marinara sauce is perfect for busy weeknights and offers rich tomato flavor that pairs well with a variety of dishes. Whether you’re using it as a pizza topping, meat sauce, or dipping sauce, this recipe is sure to impress your taste buds.

Tips For Choosing And Storing Marinara Sauce

When it comes to choosing and storing marinara sauce, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, homemade marinara sauce is always a better option than store-bought jarred sauces. Not only is it fresher and more flavorful, but you also have control over the ingredients that go into it.

When storing homemade marinara sauce, there are several options available depending on how long you want to store it. If you only plan to use it within a week, you can store it in the refrigerator in its original container or transfer it to a glass or plastic storage container for better flavor retention. However, if you want to store it for longer periods of time, freezing is the best option. You can freeze the sauce in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to six months.

When choosing tomatoes for your marinara sauce, paste tomatoes like Roma or San Marzano Lungo No. 2 are the best options. These tomatoes have less water content and are fleshier, resulting in a thicker sauce without needing too much reduction time.

Finally, adding a good amount of flavorful olive oil can go a long way in infusing flavor into your sauce. You can add it at the beginning of cooking or as a finishing oil just before serving. With these tips, you can make and store delicious homemade marinara sauce for all your favorite dishes.

Conclusion: Marinara Sauce, The Versatile Ingredient