14 Best Substitute for Marinara Sauce | Best Homemade Recipe

If you’re a fan of marinara sauce, then you know. There’s nothing quite like a bowl of pasta smothered in marinara sauce. This classic Italian dish is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal, and it’s sure to please the whole family.

Unfortunately, miss it because of the stock out of the marinara sauce. Here you use more than 13 different substitutes for a marinara sauce with a non-tomato alternative and some easy and quick substitutions included.

So if you’re looking for something delicious and easy, try making a batch of marinara sauce tonight with my easy homemade recipe!

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

What is marinara sauce? What is the Marinara sauce used for? 

Marinara sauce is a popular Italian rich tomato sauce that is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs.

Also, add olives, capers, a dash of wine, salted anchovies, oregano, basil, and other spices.

It is commonly used as a pasta sauce but can also be used on pizza or as a dipping sauce. You can have it with your favorite seafood too. Marinara sauce is typically red in color and has a slightly sweet taste.

What is a good substitute for marinara sauce?

A good substitute for marinara sauce is always to have tomato-based sauce with seasoning with herbs, add garlic and onions also not going to change the rest of the recipe.

So my subs for marinara sauce are exactly what you need from the other choices. Whatever you select, ensure it is a flavor that you will enjoy.

1. TOMATO SAUCE – Best MARINARA Sauce substitute

Tomato sauce can be utilized to replace marinara sauce in many recipes. It is a bit sweeter than marinara sauce and has a more pronounced tomato flavor. While it’s not an exact replacement, it can work well in most dishes.

to make a substitution for marinara sauce you can use tomato sauce

To make a substitution for marinara sauce, you can use tomato sauce. And the seasoning with oregano, some herbs, olive or capers, add garlic powder or minced form.

This will give your dish a negligibly different flavor, but it will still be tasty. Just be sure to adjust the spices accordingly.

2. I Substitute PASTA SAUCE for Marinara Sauce 

Pasta sauce is a popular and versatile condiment that can be used on various dishes. Whether you’re looking for a simple marinara or something more complex, there’s a pasta sauce out there for you.

There are literally hundreds of different pasta sauce recipes out there.

To substitute pasta sauce for marinara sauce, you can do so by using a 1:1 ratio. This means that if you have 1 cup of marinara sauce, you can use 1 cup of pasta sauce as a replacement.

Just remember that the flavor of your dish may be slightly different since the pasta sauce is typically sweeter than marinara sauce.

3. TOMATO PASTE- a Good Replacement for Marinara Sauce 

Instead of using marinara sauce, try using tomato paste mixed with olive oil and spices. That’ll give your sauce a richer flavor and can be used as a base for other sauces as well.

Tomato paste is a great way to add depth of flavor to your tomato sauce. It’s also really easy to make your own tomato paste at home. Tomato pastes are also substituted for tomato puree.

All you need is some fresh tomatoes, a food processor or blender, and some olive oil. Once you’ve made your own tomato paste, you can use it as a base for other sauces or just enjoy it on its own.

4. Substituting ALFREDO SAUCE- Your Best Bet Sauce for Chicken Parmesan

Alfredo sauce is a classic Italian smooth, white sauce made from butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese. It is commonly used as a pasta sauce but can also be used on pizza, chicken, or vegetables, and chicken parmesan.

It’s decadent and creamy, and it can be used as a substitute for the marinara sauce in many recipes. If you’re looking for a change from the usual tomato-based pasta sauce, give Alfredo sauce a try. You might just see that it’s your new favorite.

All you need is a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time.

5. Try PESTO SAUCE Instead of Marinara Sauce 

For a delicious way to change up your traditional marinara sauce, why not try substituting pesto sauce instead?

Pesto sauce is another Italian smooth, thick sauce made with fresh basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, nuts, and garlic, similar profile to Marinara sauce except for the tomatoes. It’s a versatile sauce that can be used on pasta, pizza, chicken, and more.

Pesto is a great way to add flavor to your dishes without using a lot of ingredients. It’s also a healthy substitute for marinara sauce since it’s made with fresh herbs and vegetables. If you’re looking for a flavorful yet healthy sauce to add to your repertoire, pesto is a great choice.

It has a bright, flavorful taste that can really liven up your favorite pasta dishes. Plus, it’s too simple to make at home – just blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor or blender, and you’re good to go! Give it a try next time you’re in the mood for something a little different.

6. Substitute PIZZA SAUCE For Marinara Sauce 

Pizza sauce is another good idea to alternate with Marinara Sauce because the ingredients and taste replicate marinara sauce. Also, it is effortlessly available.

Pizza sauce is a sauce produced from tomatoes and other ingredients, typically used on pizza. Pizza sauce is usually red or orange in color, and its flavor can vary from sweet to tangy.

Some pizza sauces are also made without tomatoes, using ingredients like olive oil, garlic, and herbs.

To substitute pizza sauce for marinara sauce, simply follow the same instructions. However, instead of using marinara sauce, use pizza sauce.

· This alteration will work well in most recipes that call for marinara sauce.

· Just keep in mind that pizza sauce is usually a bit sweeter than marinara sauce, so you may need to adjust the other ingredients in the recipe accordingly.

Additionally, pizza sauce is typically thicker than marinara sauce, so you may need to add a bit more liquid to the recipe if you find that it is too thick.

Pizza sauce is normally seasoned with additional herbs and spices. This indicates that, in a pinch, you can substitute pizza sauce for marinara sauce (and vice versa).

7. CANNED TOMATOES- Quick Replacement for Marinara Sauce 

If you’re in a pinch and require a fast substitute for marinara sauce, try using canned tomatoes.

Crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce both work well as substitutes. Just be sure to add in some extra seasoning, like garlic, oregano, and basil, to give the sauce some flavor.

8. Substitute SPAGHETTI SAUCE For Marinara Sauce

Looking to add a little more zing to your pasta dish? Consider swapping out the spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce. Spaghetti sauce is typically made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, and sometimes ground beef, giving it a heartier flavor than marinara.

It is a multipurpose sauce that can be utilized on pasta, chicken, beef, and seafood.

You can also count other ingredients like mushrooms, onions, or peppers to give your sauce a more unique flavor.

Spaghetti sauce is also thicker inconsistency, so it can help bind the ingredients of your dish together.

Give it a try in your next pasta dish or pizza!

9. KETCHUP- Most Easy Alternative to Marinara sauce 

If you’re in a pinch or in a hurry, marinara sauce substitute, ketchup, is a good option.

Simply mix together equal parts ketchup and water, and then add in some Italian seasoning to taste. You can also count a pinch of sugar to offset the acidity of the ketchup if desired.

Give the sauce a good stir, and then let it simmer for a few minutes before using. This easy swap will work in most recipes that call for marinara sauce.

When substituting ketchup for marinara sauce, it is important to keep the following in mind:

-Ketchup is sweeter than marinara sauce, so you may want to add a pinch of sugar to offset the sweetness.

-Ketchup is also thinner than marinara sauce, so you may want to add a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.

-Although Ketchup does not have the same depth of flavor as marinara sauce, so you may want to add some additional spices or herbs to your recipe.

10. Try TOMATO PASSATA Instead Of Marinara Sauce 

Another fast and simple method to add some extra flavor to your pasta dish is to try substituting tomato passata for marinara sauce.

Tomato passata is a smooth, thick sauce made from tomatoes. It can be utilized as a base for other sauces and soups or as a pasta sauce.

Passata is made by cooking tomatoes until they soften and then passing them through a sieve or food mill to release the seeds and skin. The resulting sauce is smooth and thick with a deep red color.

Tomato passata is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. It can be utilized as a base for other sauces, such as pasta sauce, or as a standalone sauce. Passata can also be used in soups or stews to add depth of flavor and a smooth texture.

When using tomato passata in a recipe, be sure to taste it before adding any additional seasonings. The sauce is already seasoned with salt and usually doesn’t need any additional salt.

If you are using passata as a Marinara sauce, You might choose to add some extra herbs or spices, like oregano, basil, or black pepper.

Plus, it’s super simple to make at home. Just simmer some tomatoes with some garlic and onion, then purée the mixture until it’s smooth. Season with pepper and salt to taste, and you’re good to go!

11. Hey! Do You Want some Spicy Kick for Marinara Sauce, try ARRABBIATA SAUCE 

Arrabbiata sauce is a traditional Italian sauce made with garlic, tomatoes, and chili peppers. It is commonly used as a pasta sauce but can also be used on pizza or as a dipping sauce. 

Arrabbiata sauce is a tangy sauce for pasta produced with tomatoes, garlic, and red chili peppers.

This sauce is ideal for those who enjoy their food with a little extra kick, as the chili peppers give it a nice bit of heat. The tomatoes and garlic add a lovely depth of flavor to the dish, making it a delicious and hearty meal. Serve this sauce over your favorite pasta, and enjoy!

Arrabbiata sauce has a spicy, robust flavor that pairs well with hearty dishes such as pasta and pizza. If you’re looking for a change from the traditional marinara sauce, give the arrabbiata sauce a try!

12. Substitute TOMATO SOUP for Marinara Sauce

If you’re in a bit and require to whip up a quick dinner, then substituting tomato soup for marinara sauce is a perfectly acceptable option.

tomato soup can be utilized as a excellent alternative for marinara sauce in many recipes

Simply heat up the soup on the stove until it’s nice and hot, and then pour it over your favorite pasta dish. Add some Parmesan cheese on top, and voila!

Other Alternative to Marinara Sauce

13.Carrots+ Beets Based Sauce- For Non-Tomato Alternative to Marinara sauce

If you’re looking for a way to avoid using tomatoes in your marinara sauce, you can try using beet and carrot paste sauce instead. This type of sauce is still packed with flavor, but it won’t have the same acidic taste that tomatoes can sometimes give. Plus, it’s a fantastic method to sneak some extra veggies into your diet!

How to make homemade marinara sauce

Don’t want to try any of these marinara sauce substitutes. Make your own homemade marinara sauce; it will be a deliciously healthy recipe and easy to store.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • Hearty Marinara Sauce:
  • Add 1/2 cup dry red wine and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley.


1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium flame. Add the garlic and onion and cook it until got softens, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, and basil and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.

3. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. Return the sauce to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Stock in a protected container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You could also freeze this sauce for up to 3 months. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Red wine substitute for marinara sauce

To substitute red wine for marinara sauce, simply simmer the sauce until it has reduced by half. Then, add to it a half cup of red wine and continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened.

White wine substitute for marinara sauce

While white wine is a common ingredient in marinara sauce, it’s not always necessary. If you’re looking for a white wine substitute for marinara sauce, consider using chicken broth, white grape juice, or even water.

Each of these liquids will add a different flavor to your sauce, so be sure to choose one that you think will complement the other ingredients in your dish.

Also, try using apple cider vinegar or lemon juice instead of white wine.

Whatever you select, ensure to add it slowly and taste as you go to ensure that the flavor is to your liking.

Substitute marinara sauce for mozzarella sticks

If you’re looking for a substitute for marinara sauce for your mozzarella sticks, you could try using an Alfredo sauce or a ranch dressing.

Substitute for marinara sauce on pizza

If you’re looking for a substitute for marinara sauce on your pizza, there are plenty of options.

You can try a pesto or Alfredo sauce, pizza sauce, homemade marinara sauce, or even just a simple tomato sauce.

If you’re feeling very gutsy, try a BBQ sauce or honey mustard.

Substitute for the marinara sauce in chicken parmesan

There are a few substitutes you could use for the marinara sauce in chicken parmesan.

1) Simply use a can of Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes, or even just regular diced tomatoes with some added Italian seasoning.

2) Another possibility is to make a quick and easy Alfredo sauce using milk, butter, and Parmesan cheese.

3)You can also use a store-bought jar of Alfredo or tomato sauce.

Substitute for the marinara sauce in lasagna

Lasagna is a type of Italian dish. It is made with wide, flat noodles, layered with sauce and cheese, and baked in the oven. Lasagna is generally served as a main course.

Lasagna is typically made with a ragù, a meat-based sauce, although there are many vegetarian versions of the dish as well.

The sauce is usually made with tomatoes, but it can also be made with other ingredients like cream, vegetables, or fish. The cheese is typically mozzarella, but other cheeses like ricotta or Parmesan can be used as well.

The dish is then layered with the sauce and cheese and finally baked in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Lasagna can be served hot or cold and is often garnished with parsley or basil before serving.

  • · Bolognese sauce
  • · Pasta sauce
  • · Alfredo sauce
  • · tomato sauce

FAQs Related to Marinara Sauce & Its Alternatives

Q1. Is marinara sauce the same as tomato sauce?

No, marinara sauce is not the same as tomato sauce. Marinara sauce is a kind of tomato sauce that originates from Italy. It is made with tomatoes, garlic, and seasoning with different herbs and often has a slightly sweeter flavor than traditional tomato sauce.

But both can interchange each recipe.

Q2. What is the difference between marinara sauce and spaghetti sauce?

The two sauces are similar in that they are both tomato-based sauces, but there are some key differences.

Marinara sauce is typically made with fewer ingredients and has a more simplistic flavor, while spaghetti sauce is usually more complex and flavorful and also adds meat.

Marinara sauce is also generally thinner than spaghetti sauce.

Q3. Does marinara sauce have meat?

No, Marinara sauce does not have meat. It is a tomato-based sauce that is typically made with garlic, onion, and herbs.

Q4. Can I substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce?

Yes, you can substitute spaghetti sauce for marinara sauce. However, the taste will be slightly different. But, vegan spaghetti sauce is not a good choice.

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