Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce vs Hearty Marinara

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Last updated on March 16, 2023


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Believe it or not, I was young once, and in my youth, I consumed a lot of Domino’s pizza. 

In fact, almost every sleepover I had while growing up featured a classic Domino’s cheese pizza with robust inspired tomato sauce.

Of course, at that point, I had no clue there were other sauces to choose from. I was just grateful to be shoveling slice after slice down and laughing with friends.

But, needless to say, I sure liked what I was eating. 

However, not everyone is satisfied with the status quo. So, this article is for those with advanced tastebuds who want to switch up their Domino’s order and try something a little sweeter. 

If you’ve been wondering if there really is a difference between the robust inspired tomato sauce and their hearty marinara, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll go over the ingredients, the cooking methods, the tastes, and just about anything else you can think of. 

So, when your next sleepover rolls around, you’ll know what sauce to order to make the perfect pie. 

Domino’s Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce Ingredients


There’s no time to waste (it’s pizza time somewhere), so let’s get right to it. 

Here are the ingredients listed on their website for the robust inspired tomato sauce: 

  • Tomato puree

  • Sugar

  • Salt

  • Spices

  • Garlic

  • Soybean oil

  • Citric acid

I wish I could give you the juicy details on what those spices are, but unfortunately, such knowledge is top-secret.

This coveted, sacred recipe remains the holy grail of pizza sauces. Onion powder? Oregano? We may never know.

Aside from the mystery spices, this recipe is pretty straightforward and what one would imagine a pizza sauce would contain.

Tomatoes, sugar, salt, spices, all of that fits the bill. The nice bite of garlic really takes it up a notch and is part of what makes this sauce the OG.  

With these ingredients in mind, the next step is to try and recreate them at home and cook up that pie in your oven or on a pizza stone. Or just order another pizza from Domino’s. Up to you! 

Domino’s Hearty Marinara Sauce Ingredients


Now, the hearty marinara is heartier in that it contains a few more ingredients than the robust inspired tomato sauce. 

Domino’s has the following ingredients listed on their website for the hearty marinara sauce: 

  • Tomato

  • Tomato puree

  • Onions

  • Sugar

  • Romano cheese

  • Parmesan

  • Carrot puree

  • Salt

  • Celery puree

  • Garlic

  • Spices

  • Butter

  • Olive oil

  • Citric acid

  • Sunflower oil

  • Natural flavor

  • Xanthan gum

With added vegetable purees and cheese, the hearty marinara promises a more complex flavor profile. 

Plus, there’s butter, and butter makes everything better. 

The real question is: what’s the natural flavor?

The Difference?


There are several differences to note, namely in the ingredients and the taste. 

One can assume that they are also cooked differently, as marinara sauce is generally far easier to make than a hefty tomato sauce. 


The marinara sauce features several more ingredients than the robust inspired tomato sauce. However, the base of tomato puree, sugar, salt, spices, and garlic remains the same. 

Unlike the robust sauce, the marinara has cheeses and some pureed vegetables thrown in there, as well as some butter.

These additions make for a far more complex flavor profile: hints of salty cheeses and the sweetness of carrot puree.

That being said, the hearty marinara is not as rich or robust (aptly named, yes?) as the robust inspired tomato sauce. 

The classic robust sauce features garlic and tomato flavors more than any other. It’s rich, strong, and packs a bit of a punch.

If you’re worried about the lack of parmesan, the layers of melted cheese on top more than make up for it. 


The robust sauce has a richer flavor, whereas the marinara is a little tangier. Many say it spreads thicker than the marinara, which can, at times, be a bit watery.

I like to think of the robust as a zesty, herbaceous sauce, while the marinara is its lighter, more delicate cousin. 

Plus, the marinara has lots of cheese in it, so expect those salty, cheesy bites of parmesan and romano too.

The marinara sauce is also sweeter–hello added vegetable purees. Depending on the batch, it could also be a little chunky or a little watery. It just depends!  

So, to summarize: 

  • The robust sauce is garlicky, herbaceous, and rich. 

  • The hearty marinara is less spicy, but it is sweeter and cheesier.

If you want to try the marinara sauce without fully committing, you can always get it on the side as a dipping sauce. 

Now, what I really care about is which one tastes better cold and which one has to be reheated. ‘Cause if it doesn’t taste good cold, then it doesn’t belong in my fridge!

Which is Generally Liked More? Why?


I’ve gotta preface this by saying it all depends on your personal tastes! 

Think about it this way: if you get watery eyes after one drop of Sriracha, then you wouldn’t like hot wings.

Or if you’re a total spice fiend and the taste of sugary sweetness makes your teeth hurt, then a trip to the candy shop may not be the best idea.

All this to say, to each their own and no hate either way!

Although both sauces are versatile, it seems like the robust inspired sauce is generally more well-liked simply because of its bold flavor.

The sweetness of the marinara sauce can be a nice change of pace, especially when paired with spicier toppings. Contrast goes a long way in cooking.

For example, spicy pepperoni and the hearty marinara would contrast beautifully with each other. 

Still, the hearty marinara is just not as much of a classic as the robust inspired sauce. 

Other Frequently Asked Questions


Is Domino’s robust inspired tomato sauce vegan?

Yes, it is! The robust inspired tomato sauce is vegan-friendly, but it does contain soy, which is another common allergen. 

Is Domino’s hearty marinara sauce vegan?

It is not. The hearty marinara sauce contains butter, which is derived from cow’s milk. It also has romano and parmesan cheese, so even more dairy!

So, any vegans and lactose intolerant folks out there better beware and stay away!


Before calling your local Domino’s or ordering online, remember that you have options! If you want a richer, more garlicky flavor, go with the classic, iconic robust inspired tomato sauce. 

But, if you want to switch things up and sweeten up your life, try the hearty marinara for a spin! See what you think. 

Either way, we’re all for experimenting here at Robust Kitchen, and hope you have fun along the way. 

Happy eating! 


About the author, Dolly

Dolly is a student at Goldsmiths, University of London and an avid cook. After managing a miniature organic farm for a year, she fell in love with the art of cooking and the taste of homegrown greens. Dolly first became plant-based eight years ago, and she is now a full-blown vegan; her plant-based journey has made her creative and experimental in the kitchen. If she’s not writing or cooking, Dolly can be found on her front porch, strumming her guitar and singing for anyone who will listen.