Marinara or Spaghetti Sauce for Lasagna? | Which Reigns Supreme?

Marinara and spaghetti sauce are both great for lasagna. If you prefer a lighter, fresher taste, then marinara sauce is the a great choice. If you want a more robust and hearty flavor, then spaghetti sauce may be the better choice. Ultimately, it comes down to what you like and what you think will work best with the other ingredients in your lasagna recipe.

Marinara sauce is a tomato-based sauce that is commonly used on pasta dishes. It is prepared with tomatoes, garlic, onion, and sometimes other vegetables such as olives. Marinara sauce typically does not include meat like other sauces such as Bolognese or Alfredo. On the other hand, spaghetti sauce is a meat-based sauce that is thicker and heartier than marinara sauce.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Sauce

When making lasagna, the sauce you choose is just as important as the pasta and cheese. The sauce is what brings all the flavors together and can make or break your dish. In this section, I will discuss the importance of choosing the right sauce for your lasagna.


The flavor of your sauce is crucial to the overall taste of your lasagna. Marinara sauce is typically simpler and has a lighter, fresher flavor. It is made with just a few ingredients, such as tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil.

Spaghetti sauce is usually thicker and has a richer, more complex flavor. It often contains additional ingredients, such as meat, herbs, and spices.

When deciding which sauce to use, consider the other ingredients in your lasagna. If you are using a lot of bold flavors, such as spicy sausage or sharp cheese, a heartier spaghetti sauce may be the better choice. However, if you want the flavors of your other ingredients to shine through, a simpler marinara sauce may be the way to go.


The consistency of your sauce can also impact the overall texture of your lasagna. Spaghetti sauce is usually thicker and heartier, which can make for a more filling and dense dish. It is also less likely to make your lasagna watery.

Marinara sauce, on the other hand, is thinner and more liquid. This can create a lighter and more delicate dish, but it can also make your lasagna more watery if you use too much sauce.

When choosing your sauce, consider the texture you want for your lasagna. If you want a hearty and dense dish, choose a thicker spaghetti sauce or a marinara with a thicker consistency. If you want a more delicate dish with a liquid sauce, a thinner marinara is usually a better option.

Marinara Sauce: Pros and Cons


Using marinara sauce has many benefits when it comes to making lasagna. Here are some of the pros:

  1. Marinara sauce is a simple tomato-based sauce that is easy to make from scratch or find in stores.
  2. It has a light and fresh taste that complements the richness of the cheese and meat in lasagna.
  3. It is versatile and can be used in other dishes like pasta, pizza, and meatballs.


While marinara sauce has many benefits, it also has a few drawbacks. Here are some of the cons:

  1. Marinara sauce can be too thin for some lasagna recipes, making it difficult to hold the layers together.
  2. It may not have enough flavor for those who prefer a more robust sauce with added herbs and spices.
  3. Marinara sauce can be too acidic for some people, causing heartburn or other digestive issues.

Overall, while marinara sauce has its pros and cons, it can be a great option for lasagna if you prefer a lighter, fresher taste. However, it may not be the best choice for those who prefer a thicker, more flavorful sauce with added ingredients.

Spaghetti Sauce: Pros and Cons


I find that spaghetti sauce is a great option for lasagna because it has a thicker consistency than marinara sauce. This means that it can hold up to the layers of pasta and cheese without becoming too watery.

Spaghetti sauce typically contains more herbs and spices than marinara, which can add a lot of flavor to the dish.

Another advantage of using spaghetti sauce is that it often contains meat, which can make the lasagna more filling and satisfying. Ground beef or sausage can be added to the sauce to make it even heartier.

If you prefer a more complex flavor profile, spaghetti sauce is the way to go. It can contain a variety of ingredients such as onions, garlic, and mushrooms, which can enhance the taste of the lasagna.


One downside of using spaghetti sauce for lasagna is that it can be higher in calories and fat than marinara sauce. This is because it often contains meat and other ingredients that can add to the calorie count.

Another potential issue with spaghetti sauce is that it can be too thick for some people’s tastes. If you prefer a lighter sauce, marinara may be a better option.

Finally, if you are looking for a quick and easy option, spaghetti sauce may not be the best choice. It can take longer to prepare than marinara, especially if you are adding meat or other ingredients to the sauce.

Which Sauce is Best for Lasagna?

While both marinara and spaghetti sauce can be used for lasagna, there are a few factors to consider when deciding which one to use for this classic dish.

Factors to Consider

When it comes to choosing a sauce for lasagna, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Consistency: Marinara sauce is typically thinner and more acidic, while spaghetti sauce is thicker and has a sweeter taste. Consider the consistency you prefer in your lasagna.
  2. Flavor: Both sauces have their own unique flavor profiles. Marinara sauce is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs, while spaghetti sauce often includes meat, onions, and peppers. Consider the flavor you want to impart in your lasagna.
  3. Cost: Spaghetti sauce can be more expensive than marinara sauce, especially if you opt for a brand with meat or other added ingredients.

Taste Test Results

Both sauces can work well in lasagna, but the final decision ultimately comes down to personal preference. Marinara sauce provides a lighter, tangy taste that lets the other ingredients shine through, while spaghetti sauce provides a heartier, more savory flavor that can stand up to meat and cheese.


If you are looking for a simpler, lighter sauce, then marinara is a great option. It is made with basic ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil and does not contain any meat or additional vegetables. If you want a thicker, heartier sauce with added flavors, then spaghetti sauce is the way to go. It typically contains meat and sometimes includes additional vegetables like onions and bell peppers for added depth of flavor.