Pomodoro vs Marinara Sauce – Differences Explained

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You may be wondering about the difference between Pomodoro vs marinara sauce. If that’s the case, I’m here to help! The two are very similar sauces, but also have noteworthy differences. Ready to learn what those differences are? Join us as we delve into more about Pomodoro vs marinara sauce.

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Pomodoro Vs Marinara Sauce – Differences Explained

Table of Contents

What Is Pomodoro Marinara?

To be clear, Pomodoro sauce isn’t marinara. 

Pomodoro is made from fresh tomatoes, diced canned tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes. Pomodoro traditionally was made from tomatoes that were yellow in color because they weren’t fully ripe.

The name Pomodoro literally means “apple of gold” hence where Pomodoro sauce gets its name.

Pomodoro sauce is a thick sauce that is often used as pasta sauce. It is a tomato based sauce that has a creamy texture and is often accompanied with dried herbs like oregano and basil. You can also find this sauce checkered with ground beef, anchovies, and sausage.

Pomodoro vs Marinara Sauce

What Is Marinara Sauce?

Like Pomodoro, marinara sauce is also made of tomatoes as the base ingredient. It can be found seasoned with herbs and spices and kissed with a touch of garlic.

Marinara sauce is incredibly versatile and is often served within or alongside a variety of Italian food. This red tomato sauce can be used as a pizza sauce, served as a base for pasta dishes, or even offered as a dipping sauce for herb and garlic breadsticks.

Whatever you use it for, you can be sure that marinara sauce packs plenty of flavor, making it an Italian cuisine fan-favorite, especially among Americans.

Pomodoro Sauce vs. Marinara Sauce

Although marinara sauce and Pomodoro sauce sound like similar sauces, the truth is that they aren’t the same thing.

Is Pomodoro Sauce the Same as Marinara?

No, Pomodoro sauce isn’t the same as marinara. Although these two sauces are very similar they aren’t the exact same.


Pomodoro sauce is thicker and creamier. It is spreadable yet very chunky. Marinara sauce on the other hand is thinner and more sauce-like. Which you use to top your pasta or pizza will depend on your needs.

When it comes to dishes like homemade pizza, some prefer Pomodoro sauce for its spreadability. However, marinara sauce is widely known for making its way onto pizza and is often used as a dip. Thus, the choice is truly yours as to which will work best for you!


The difference between Pomodoro and marinara in terms of taste aren’t much. In fact, the two can be quite nuanced based on the ingredients used. Pasta sauces can be made from both marinara and Pomodoro sauces.

Cooking Application

Remember that when cooking any Italian dish, both Pomodoro and marinara will likely fit the bill. Both are types of red sauce made from tomatoes which make them perfect for topping dishes like homemade pizza and pasta. 

Still, Pomodoro sauces tend to barely coat pasta noodles. Marinara, on the other hand, functions more like a true sauce, meaning it will lead to more liquidy yet luscious results when applied over pasta.

Still, you may notice that it has larger chunks of tomato in the marinara. This is usually due to differences in cook time.

Pomodoro Vs Marinara Sauce – Differences Explained

Differences in Cooking Pomodoro and Marinara Sauce

As previously mentioned, marinara sauce may have larger chunks of tomato in it than when compared to Pomodoro. This is usually due to a difference in cooking methods.

Though Pomodoro sauce and marinara are both a type of red sauce, they aren’t cooked the exact same. The main difference in this area is that Pomodoro sauce is cooked much longer than marinara. Thus, the flavor of the marinara may be tangier, and also, larger chunks of tomatoes may be present.

On the other hand, Pomodoro sauce may simmer for hours, meaning that the fresh tomatoes in it have more time to break down and thus, become thicker, creamier, and more smooth than marinara sauce.

Pomodoro vs Marinara Recipes

Pomodoro Sauce Recipe


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ small yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 28 ounces can whole peeled tomatoes
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ kosher salt or to taste
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • About 5 basil leaves


  1. Dice yellow onion and garlic cloves.
  2. Add to the pan your olive oil over medium heat. Then add in onion and stir until translucent.
  3. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds more.
  4. Afterwards, add a can of whole peeled tomatoes to a blender and blend until pureed.
  5. Add pureed tomatoes to the pan of onion and garlic and simmer over medium low heat for 15 minutes.
  6. Add sugar and seasonings.
  7. Cook for an additional 5 minutes before serving over noodles.


Marinara Sauce Recipe


  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, whole and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine tomatoes (undrained) with onions, peeled garlic, and spices.
  2. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat before reducing it to a simmer for 45 minutes.s
  3. Stir the mixture occasionally and crush the tomatoes along the side of the pan with a spoon every 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat. smash garlic into the sauce with a fork. Continue to tomatoes with your spoon or feel free to use an immersion blender for a smoother sauce.
  5. Add additional seasonings if desired. Serve over noodles.
Pomodoro Vs Marinara Sauce – Differences Explained

Pomodoro vs Marinara Sauce: Similar Yet Different!’

All in all, these two types of red sauce are similar yet very different. Remember that Pomodoro sauce tends to be thicker, while marinara sauce is runnier. The two are similar in taste but will differ depending on the ingredients used.

Also, recall that marinara sauce tends to cook for a shorter time than Pomodoro sauce. Thus, this can yield a difference in consistency.

I hope this helps! 

Pomodoro vs Marinara Sauce FAQs

What is the difference between Pomodoro and spaghetti?

Pomodoro sauce is a specific type of tomato sauce often used on pasta Pomodoro. “Spaghetti’ sauce, however, is a general term that can be used to refer to any type of red sauce that’s ladled over spaghetti noodles.

What is the difference between spaghetti and spaghetti Pomodoro?

Spaghetti Pomodoro will have Pomodoro sauce over it. Spaghetti sauce may have any type of red sauce (marinara, tomato sauce, or the like) ladled over it instead.

Is marinara the same as spaghetti sauce?

It can be but not necessarily. Marinara is a kind of Italian sauce that can be used over spaghetti. However, it isn’t especially known as spaghetti sauce as it is also used for other purposes.

Is Pomodoro sauce red?

Yes, Pomodoro is a red sauce!

Is Pomodoro sauce chunky?

Yes, Pomodoro is often a very chunky sauce.

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind CooksDream.com, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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