Ever wondered how to make pizza sauce from scratch? Homemade pizza sauce is actually very easy to make, and the taste is far superior to anything you can buy in a jar. Follow my tips and I promise you will end up with the best pizza sauce you have ever tasted.
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Friday pizza nights are fast becoming a thing in our house. With a bucket of bread dough in the fridge, and a jar of the absolute best pizza sauce (in my not so very humble opinion) in the fridge, we can have dinner on the table in far less time than it takes to order a pizza and go pick it up. And now that Mr Grumpy has mastered his new BBQ, the quality of the pizzas we make at home is far superior to those from our local take-away.
I’ve tried many different commercial pizza sauces over the years, and have never been really happy with any of them. So now I just make my own. It is cheaper, so simple to make, and tastes far better than anything I can buy in a jar.Ever wondered how to make #pizza sauce from scratch? Follow my tips and tricks for crafting the very best pizza sauce right in your own kitchen. #vegan #glutenfree Click To Tweet
I normally use a bottle of my homemade tomato sauce (passata) as the base for my easy pizza sauce. In a pinch I have pressed a a can of chopped tomatoes into service, although I have found that the sauce takes slightly longer to cook down to a spreadable consistency. Canned tomatoes still make a great sauce, so see my tips below if this is all you have on hand.
Keep the herbs and spices to a minimum, so as not to overpower any toppings on the pizza. I only use garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, with just a sprinkle of sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. The sugar is entirely optional, so leave it out if you prefer. If I make the sauce in summer, when basil is in season, I will stir through a handful of freshly chopped basil right at the end. I leave the basil out in winter as it is harder to get hold of.
The real delight in making your own pizza sauce is that you control the thickness of your sauce. If you like a thinner consistency, then simmer the pizza sauce for a shorter period of time. To make the pizza sauce thicker, just reduce the sauce for a little longer until your preferred consistency is reached.
The Best Pizza Sauce – How To Get Ahead
Once cooked, homemade pizza sauce will last for up to a week in the fridge. The reduction of water in the sauce, and the higher acidity of the tomatoes, increases the storage time. This means you can easily make the sauce on Sunday for a planned pizza night the following Friday.
The sauce also freezes extremely well, so I routinely make larger batches and stock the freezer for the future. I like to freeze the pizza sauce in one cup portions for a family pizza night, and I also use ice cube trays for individual stovetop pizzas through the week.
And lastly, if you ever find yourself without any pizza sauce, and no time to make some, then you can just spread a thin layer of tomato sauce (passata) straight out of the bottle over the base of your pizza before you add your toppings. I have personally resorted to this strategy many times, so can attest that it still makes a great pizza.
Ingredient Substitutions for The Best Pizza Sauce
Tomato sauce is known by many names, depending on where in the world you live. As far as I can determine, tomato sauce, tomato puree and tomato passata are all the same thing, and are the best base for pizza sauce. And by tomato sauce, I do not mean the sweet/sour sauce that Australians put on chips (for some inexplicable reason), and that is known as tomato ketchup in other parts of the world.
Tomatoes are the key ingredient in any pizza sauce, but don’t let the lack of tomato sauce prevent you from making your own. I have made pizza sauce with tins of chopped tomatoes, and with chopped fresh tomatoes. I have also used tomato sauce with the herbs and spices already added in a pinch.
If fresh or tinned tomatoes are all that you have on hand, you have two options:
- puree the tomatoes, then proceed with the recipe below, or
- use the chopped tomatoes, adding a little water to the fry pan as well. The tomatoes will take a little longer to cook down but will still make a great sauce.
You could use a small amount of garlic powder in place of the fresh garlic. I haven’t tried this myself as I always have fresh garlic on hand, but can see no reason why this wouldn’t work.
Using The Best Pizza Sauce
And whilst pizza is the obvious choice for using your pizza sauce, don’t just stop there. Use it to bring a little pizza flavour to many other dishes. Why not try:
- Margherita Pizza Scrolls
- Wholewheat Pizza Braid
- Pepperoni Pizza Dip
- Meat Lover’s Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole
- Pizza Fries
The Best Pizza Sauce – Frequently Asked Questions
Is pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce the same thing? No, they are different sauces. Pizza sauce is typically a thick tomato sauce, seasoned with herbs and garlic, that is only lightly cooked. Spaghetti sauce typically contains onions, and sometimes other vegetables, and is cooked for longer periods. Spaghetti sauce can be used on pizza though, in a pinch.
What can you add to pizza sauce? You can add almost anything you want to pizza sauce, but I would adhere to the old adage of less is more. If you like things spicy, add some chili pepper or chipotle powder. Keep your seasonings for the pizza itself rather than trying to add to many things to the pizza sauce.
Can you use pizza sauce for pasta? Absolutely, although I would thin the sauce slightly with a little of the pasta cooking water to ensure that the pizza sauce will coat the pasta properly.
How do you make pizza sauce from scratch? Just follow my delicious recipe below.
How long does pizza sauce last? Homemade pizza sauce will last for up to a week in the fridge, and can be frozen for up to three months.
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Made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below.
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The Best Pizza Sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a medium fry pan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Do not allow it to colour.
- Add the tomato sauce, oregano and sugar.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. The sauce should be simmering gently.
- Simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your preferred consistency.
- Remove from the fry pan from the heat. Stir in the chopped basil if using.
- The sauce can be used immediately, or allow to cool then refrigerate or freeze until required.
Update notes: This post was updated on 16th May 2018 to include frequently asked questions and to add minor changes to the text.