The best homemade Pizza Sauce recipe! Once you try this super simple, perfectly flavorful recipe you’ll never look back!
Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe
A DIY recipe that’s perfect for busy days! This quick and easy pizza sauce from scratch is made of basic ingredients, most all of which you likely already have on hand.
And no waiting hours for a sauce to simmer here. Instead we add tomato paste to thicken it up.
The best kind of recipe right? I’m all about simplifying things when possible for easy weeknight dinners.
This sauce is naturally vegan, has has intense tomato flavor, it’s deliciously seasoned with fresh garlic, and it has the best Italian herb taste.
It also has a great consistency because to me that is key to a perfect pizza sauce. I want the sauce to still exist once the pizza is done baking rather than all of it being absorbed into the crust.
What’s not to love here? It’s a delicious recipe you’ll have on repeat!
Pizza Sauce Recipe Ingredients
Only SIX ingredients to make this (plus salt and pepper)! They are:
- Extra virgin olive oil: This type of olive oil has the most flavor but if standard olive oil is what you’ve got that will work too.
- Garlic: The fresh garlic used here adds so much flavor to the sauce. If you want a more mild garlic flavor you can reduce to 1 tsp.
- Tomato paste: A crucial ingredient. This adds a rich, concentrated tomato flavor and really thickens up the sauce.
- Canned crushed tomatoes: I highly recommend this option vs. tomato sauce. I’ve done a side by side taste test and crushed tomatoes definitely won.
- Dried oregano: A key seasoning in pizza sauce, don’t skip this herb.
- Fresh basil: Another highlight to this sauce. It really livens up the flavors.
- Salt and pepper: As always add this to taste, just be careful not to overdue it. Remember there’s salt in the dough and toppings as well.
How to Make Pizza Sauce
Only THREE straighforward steps to prepare it:
- Saute garlic in oil in a saucepan just briefly.
- Stir in tomato paste and let cook 1 minute while stirring.
- Off heat stir in crushed tomatoes, oregano, fresh basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
How long does pizza sauce last in the fridge?
Pizza sauce should last about 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Can I use tomato sauce?
While it is possible to use tomato sauce the flavor isn’t as good as crushed tomatoes. So I do recommend sticking with the canned crushed tomatoes.
If you can’t find the standard size (15 oz) can of crushed tomatoes you can just measure out 1 3/4 cups from a larger (28 oz) can the reserve the rest for another recipe in the fridge or freezer (or make a double batch of this pizza sauce, making enough for 4 pizzas).
- If you don’t have access to fresh basil then yes you can use dried it just won’t taste quite as fresh. Use 1 1/2 tsp dried basil.
- On the other hand you want to use all fresh herbs then that’s another option too, and it tastes delicious. Use 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh oregano.
- Try it with fresh tomatoes. To do so, peel then seed and crush fresh Roma or San Marzano tomatoes in a food processor (measure out proper amount needed).
- Substitute with whole canned Roma or San Marzano tomatoes if that’s what you have, crush in a food processor.
- Add other Italian style seasonings. Herbs like thyme, marjoram, fennel or rosemary.
- Stir some finely shredded or grated Parmesan or Romano cheese cheese right into the sauce for another boost of flavor.
- Try the sauce with red pepper flakes to taste for a nice little kick of heat.
- For an even thicker sauce use a little more tomato paste, if you want it thinner then reduce the tomato paste amount used.
How to Freeze Pizza Sauce
- Measure out the amount you’ll want for each pizza then pour into airtight food storage containers, make sure there is at least 1/2-inch at the top for sauce to expand as it freezes.
- Label container (I usually just use tape and a permanent marker) with the current date.
- Freeze up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then the next day use over your pizza dough.
Can You Use Pasta Sauce for Pizza?
No, I don’t recommend it. Though marinara sauce and pizza sauce are both tomato based the two sauces actually have a few main differences:
- One of the main differences is the consistency of the sauces. Marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce is thinner while pizza sauce is generally thicker (which makes for a non-soggy crust).
- Pizza sauce usually includes an oregano based flavor whereas spaghetti sauce has more of a basil seasoned flavor.
Looking for a White Pizza Sauce Recipe?
Try the white Alfredo style sauce I use on this pizza.
Tips for the Best Pizza Sauce
- Don’t skip the brief saute for the garlic. This removes the harsh bite, which would otherwise overpower the sauce. On the other hand don’t brown it or it will taste bitter!
- Also saute the tomato paste to help rid it of that tin-like flavor. This also helps add a deeper tone to it, somewhat of a caramelization.
- Use fresh basil and fresh garlic for best flavor.
More Favorite Sauce Recipes to Try
Follow Cooking Classy
- 1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add garlic and saute 10 seconds, then add tomato paste and stir garlic in.
- Cook and stir for 1 minute, spreading paste along bottom of pan and stirring while cooking.
- Remove from heat, stir in crushed tomatoes, oregano, fresh basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.* If using as a dip then heat sauce through.
- Spread over pizza dough or store in the fridge up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months.
- *Not every can of crushed tomatoes and paste will taste the same, some may be more acidic than others. To balance this out you can add a pinch or two of sugar as needed.
- For a little kick to the sauce add a few pinches of red pepper flakes.
- If you love herby flavors you can also add in other herbs to taste such as thyme, rosemary, marjoram or fennel seed.
- Pair this sauce with my pizza dough recipe for a perfect homemade pizza!