What Are the Different Types of Pasta Sauce?

Last Updated on February 9, 2023 by Lauren Beck

Pasta sauce is a staple in many households, and there are a multitude of different types of pasta sauces to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for something simple or something bold, there is a pasta sauce that will fit the bill. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what are the different types of pasta sauce, as well as answer some frequently asked questions about pasta sauce.

11 Types of Pasta Sauce:

  1. Marinara sauce: A classic tomato sauce that is made with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and herbs.
  2. Alfredo sauce: A creamy sauce made from heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and garlic.
  3. Pesto: A sauce made from basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.
  4. Vodka sauce: A creamy tomato sauce that is made with vodka, cream, and parmesan cheese.
  5. Carbonara sauce: A creamy sauce made from egg yolks, parmesan cheese, and bacon.
  6. Bolognese sauce: A meat-based sauce that is made with ground beef, onion, carrot, and tomato.
  7. Arrabbiata sauce: A spicy tomato sauce made from tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  8. Puttanesca sauce: A bold sauce made from tomatoes, anchovies, olives, capers, and red pepper flakes.
  9. Mushroom sauce: A sauce made from sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and heavy cream.
  10. Sun-dried tomato sauce: A sauce made from sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, and herbs.
  11. Tomato basil sauce: A simple sauce made from tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil.

Is There Vegan Pasta Sauce?

Yes, there are many vegan pasta sauce options available. Some popular options include marinara sauce, arrabbiata sauce, and tomato basil sauce. To make sure a pasta sauce is vegan, check the ingredients list for any animal products such as cream or cheese.

Does Pasta Sauce Have Gluten?

It depends on the pasta sauce. Some pasta sauces, such as marinara sauce, are naturally gluten-free. However, others, such as carbonara sauce or alfredo sauce, may contain gluten if they are made with flour or contain gluten-containing ingredients such as parmesan cheese. Always check the label or ask the manufacturer to confirm if a pasta sauce is gluten-free.

Can You Use Pasta Sauce for Chili?

Yes, pasta sauce can be used as a base for chili. Simply add ground beef or chicken, beans, and any other desired chili ingredients to the pasta sauce and simmer until everything is heated through.

How to Make Marinara Sauce?

homemade marinara sauce

Making marinara sauce is simple and easy. Simply heat olive oil in a saucepan, add chopped garlic and cook until fragrant. Add canned tomatoes, salt, and any desired herbs, and let the sauce simmer until it has thickened. For a smoother sauce, you can use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.

How To Make Pasta Sauce With Milk?

To make a creamy pasta sauce with milk, start by cooking garlic in a saucepan with olive oil. Add heavy cream and parmesan cheese to the saucepan and whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in any desired herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Can You Make Pasta Sauce With Canned Tomatoes?

Yes, canned tomatoes are a common ingredient in many pasta sauce recipes, including marinara sauce and arrabbiata sauce. 

Can You Use Salsa as Pasta Sauce?

Salsa is a popular condiment made from tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, and spices, and it is often used as a dip or a sauce. It is not traditional pasta sauce, but it can be used as a sauce for pasta [1]. 

To make salsa pasta sauce, simply mix your favorite salsa with a little bit of heavy cream or olive oil, and heat it in a saucepan until it is heated through. You can add some fresh herbs, like cilantro or basil, for added flavor.

This type of pasta sauce is perfect for those who like a little bit of spice and are looking for a healthier alternative to traditional pasta sauces that are often high in fat and calories. Salsa is naturally low in calories and fat and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a great choice for a healthy pasta sauce.


Pasta sauce is an essential component of any pasta dish, and there are many different types of pasta sauce to choose from. Whether you prefer a rich and creamy alfredo sauce, a tangy and flavorful marinara sauce, or a spicy and bold salsa sauce, there is a pasta sauce for everyone. Consider trying a few different types of pasta sauce to find your favorite, and be sure to keep an eye out for gluten-free, vegan, and low-carb options for those with special dietary needs. With so many delicious pasta sauces to choose from, you can enjoy a different pasta dish every night of the week!


Lauren Beck
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