Savory Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe From Scratch Under 30 Minutes

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Making Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe is a great way to elevate your pizza night. My best advice is to use fresh ingredients. When in doubt, trust the classics: tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil. Simmering the sauce is a good idea, allowing the flavors to meld. Whereas store-bought sauces might contain preservatives, homemade sauce is pure and flavorful. You don’t need any artificial additives for a memorable taste. Great for any pizza base. Remember to spread it generously. If you need more clarification about the right consistency, it is better to aim for a thicker sauce. Yet, always prioritize taste over texture. I’d recommend trying it yourself to taste the difference.

Ever struggled to replicate that authentic taste from your favorite pizzerias or the sauce you savored during your travels through European and Middle Eastern countries?

Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

I once found myself in a rustic eatery in Italy, completely mesmerized by the sauce’s rich flavor on a slice of pizza. 

I later encountered a similar taste at a friend’s house in the heart of the Middle East. The common thread? 

Both were homemade pizza sauces. Whereas store-bought sauces often left me wanting, these homemade varieties had an unbeatable authenticity. 

My kids constantly request that unforgettable flavor. I’ve found the answer in my kitchen. By creating your homemade pizza sauce, you can bring those global flavors right to your dining table. 

It’s a great way to ensure fresh, quality ingredients, and, when in doubt, making it at home offers an unmatched personal touch. Dive in, and I’d recommend savoring every bite.

What Is Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe?

Homemade pizza sauce is a tomato-based concoction made from fresh ingredients, typically including tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil. 

Turning to a homemade recipe is a good idea when in doubt about the authenticity of flavors in store-bought versions. 

It is better to control what goes into your sauce, ensuring no preservatives or unnecessary additives. 

A well-made homemade sauce can elevate the entire pizza experience. Great for any pizza variety, it offers a rich and tangy base. My best advice? Don’t skimp on quality ingredients; they make all the difference.

History Of Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe 

In its earliest forms, pizza existed long before the sauce we recognize today. Ancient civilizations, including the Greeks and Egyptians, ate flatbreads with toppings. 

Yet, as we know it, the modern pizza sauce finds its roots in Naples, Italy. When tomatoes were introduced to Europe in the 16th century, they were thought to be poisonous. 

However, by the late 18th century, enterprising Neapolitans began to top their flatbreads with tomatoes. 

This innovation is an excellent contribution to what we now recognize as pizza. I’d recommend paying homage to these Neapolitan pioneers when savoring homemade pizza sauce; their culinary vision changed pizza forever.

Interesting Facts About Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

  • Origin of Tomatoes: Tomatoes, essential for pizza sauce, originated in South America, not Italy.
  • San Marzano Tomatoes: Hailed as the best for making pizza sauce, San Marzano tomatoes grow in the volcanic soil of Mount Vesuvius.
  • Health Benefits: Homemade pizza sauce is great for health due to the lycopene in tomatoes, which can have antioxidant properties.
  • Olive Oil Quality: Extra-virgin olive oil can boost flavor and nutritional value.
  • Spices Over Time: While basil and garlic are popular now, early sauce versions might have had different seasonings.
  • Storage Potential: When doubting its shelf life, remember that homemade pizza sauce can be frozen and retain its flavor for months.
  • Versatility: Beyond pizza, this sauce is also great for pasta dishes and dipping. I’d recommend experimenting!
jar and Ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce? 

Homemade pizza sauce, while rooted in Italy, has seen regional adaptations globally:

  • USA: In Chicago’s deep-dish style, the sauce is chunkier and often placed atop the cheese.
  • Brazil might include sweet corn or green peas, reflecting local tastes.
  • India: The sauce is often spiced with local herbs and spices like cumin and coriander.
  • Middle East: Za’atar, a blend of dried herbs, might be sprinkled in for an added kick.
  • Japan: The sauce can include soy or teriyaki for an Eastern twist.

What Will Make You Love This Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe? 

The allure of homemade pizza sauce lies in its unmatched freshness and depth of flavor. 

Firstly, the freedom to choose quality ingredients ensures no artificial preservatives or additives. 

When in doubt about flavor, remember the personal touch of home preparation allows for experimentation, enabling you to craft a sauce tailored to your palate. 

The richness derived from ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and robust olive oil is great for pizza enthusiasts seeking an authentic taste. 

Moreover, the sauce’s versatility extends beyond pizzas; it’s equally delectable in pasta dishes or as a dip. Remember, there’s an inherent joy in creating from scratch. 

I recommend trying homemade pizza sauce; the experience and outcome might become a kitchen favorite.


Ingredients List

Garlic cloves, minced3
Olive or vegetable oil3 tablespoons
Tomato puree1 (29 ounce) can
Crushed tomatoes1 (28 ounce) can
Brown sugar2 tablespoons
Italian seasoning1 tablespoon
Dried basil1 teaspoon
Salt1/2 teaspoon
Crushed red pepper flakes1/2 teaspoon

Ingredient Tips 

  • Garlic: Opt for fresh garlic over bottled for a more robust flavor. Crush it just before use.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil provides a richer aroma and flavor.
  • Tomato Puree: When in doubt, select puree with no added salt or sugar for a natural taste.
  • Crushed Tomatoes: Using tomatoes with no added citric acid can provide a more authentic flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: Adjust the amount according to taste; it’s meant to balance the acidity of tomatoes.
  • Italian Seasoning: Freshly ground spices elevate the flavor profile.
  • Dried Basil: Whereas fresh basil is aromatic, dried basil offers a concentrated taste.
  • Salt: Prefer sea salt or Himalayan pink salt for a mineral-rich touch.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Adjust based on desired heat. If you need more clarification about the spiciness, add gradually.

What Are The Variations Of Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe?

Homemade pizza sauce can be tailored to suit various palates. Here are some popular variations:

  • White Pizza Sauce: Made with milk, flour, garlic, and often cheese, it’s a creamy alternative to tomato-based sauces.
  • Pesto Sauce: A blend of basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, and olive oil, it offers a fresh, herby twist.
  • Barbecue Pizza Sauce: Incorporates barbecue sauce for a smoky, tangy flavor, great for chicken toppings.
  • Spicy Arrabbiata: Boosts the heat with extra red chili flakes or fresh chilies.
  • Olive Tapenade: Ground olives, capers, and olive oil combine for a salty, rich base.
  • Alfredo Sauce: A creamy blend of butter, cream, and parmesan, it pairs well with various toppings.

When in doubt about which to choose, experimenting with different variations can be a fun culinary journey!


Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • Heat the olive or vegetable oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  • Add the minced garlic to the saucepan and sauté until tender but not browned.
  • Carefully stir in the tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, dried basil, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  • Once combined, increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer, uncovered. Continue simmering for 30 minutes or until the sauce reaches your desired thickness.
  • After cooking, remove from heat and let it rest for 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Ferment Method 

Not applicable to this recipe.

Scaling The Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe 

Scaling a recipe, whether up or down, requires careful adjustments to maintain flavor balance. For the homemade pizza sauce:

Scaling Up

  • Double or triple ingredients proportionally.
  • Use a larger saucepan to accommodate increased volume.
  • Simmering time might slightly increase for consistency, yet don’t overextend, as flavors can intensify too much.

Scaling Down

  • Halve or reduce ingredients proportionally.
  • Use a smaller saucepan to prevent over-reduction.
  • Simmering time may decrease slightly; monitor closely to prevent over-thickening.

When in doubt about seasoning, adding gradually and tasting along the way is a good idea. My best advice is always to prioritize taste over quantity.

Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads? 

Certainly, the versatility of homemade pizza sauce extends beyond pizzas.

  • As a Marinade: It’s a good idea to use this sauce for marinating meats, especially chicken or pork. The acidity of tomatoes can help tenderize, while the herbs and spices impart flavor.
  • Dipping Sauce: This sauce is excellent for breadsticks, grilled vegetables, or mozzarella sticks. Its rich texture and tangy taste make it a popular choice.
  • Dressing for Salads: While unconventional, when in doubt, you can thin it slightly with olive oil or vinegar and use it on pasta salads or robust green salads.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe? 

Homemade pizza sauce, with its rich flavors, pairs well with a multitude of dishes:

  • Pizzas: A given! The sauce is foundational, whether a classic Margherita or a meat-loaded pie.
  • Pasta: As a base for spaghetti, lasagna, or stuffed shells, it adds depth and tang.
  • Calzones & Strombolis: These folded or rolled pizzas benefit from the sauce inside and as a dip.
  • Meatball Subs: Drizzle the sauce over meatballs in a sandwich for a hearty meal.
  • Bruschetta: A twist on the classic using the sauce atop toasted bread.
  • Chicken Parmesan: It’s a good idea to layer the sauce over breaded chicken and mozzarella.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Add a spread inside for a pizza-flavored treat.
Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe? 

Homemade pizza sauce is a staple in many classic dishes that have won hearts globally:

  • Margherita Pizza: A timeless trio of sauce, mozzarella, and basil on a thin crust.
  • Lasagna: Layered pasta sheets interspersed with sauce, meat, and cheese.
  • Eggplant Parmesan: Breaded eggplant slices layered with sauce and cheese.
  • Meatball Sub: Juicy meatballs smothered in sauce, nestled in a sub roll.
  • Calzones: Folded pockets of pizza dough filled with cheese and sauce.
  • Sicilian Pizza: Thick-crust, rectangular pizza with a generous spread of sauce.
  • Spaghetti Marinara: Pasta drenched in a simple tomato-based sauce.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe Offers?

Homemade pizza sauce boasts a symphony of flavors that dance on the palate:

  • Tangy: The ripe tomatoes provide a vibrant acidity that’s unmistakably refreshing.
  • Sweet: Ingredients like brown sugar balance the sauce’s tartness, offering a mild sweetness.
  • Herbaceous: Elements like Italian seasoning and basil infuse the sauce with a green, aromatic essence.
  • Spicy: Including red pepper flakes introduces a subtle heat that lingers.
  • Umami: Rich in glutamates, Tomatoes bring out this savory taste sensation.
  • Garlicky: Fresh garlic imparts a pungent and aromatic profile.
  • Earthy: Olive oil grounds the sauce with its rich, earthy tones.
Jar and Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life? 

Yes, homemade pizza sauce can be stored and preserved for future use.

  • Refrigeration: After cooling the sauce to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. It’s a good idea to consume it within 5-7 days when stored in the fridge.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, portion the sauce into freezer-safe containers or bags. This method is great for preserving the sauce for up to 6 months. Remember to leave some space in the container for expansion.
  • Canning: The sauce can be canned using a pressure canner, extending its shelf life to a year or more.

What Are The Substitutes For Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe? 

If you find yourself without homemade pizza sauce, several alternatives can step in:

  • Marinara Sauce: A simple tomato sauce with herbs, it’s the closest substitute in flavor and texture.
  • Pesto: Made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan, it offers a fresh and herby alternative.
  • Alfredo Sauce: A creamy concoction of butter, cream, and cheese, it’s great for a rich, white pizza base.
  • Barbecue Sauce: Adds a tangy and smoky flavor, especially with chicken or bacon toppings.
  • Salsa: A chunky salsa can be a vibrant replacement for a spicy twist.
  • Olive Tapenade: A salty, briny spread made from olives and capers.
  • Hummus: A creamy chickpea spread, it adds a Middle Eastern touch.
Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce? 

Adjusting the consistency of homemade pizza sauce is straightforward:

To Thicken

  • Simmer Longer: Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered. Extended cooking reduces moisture and thickens the sauce.
  • Tomato Paste: A spoonful can enhance the richness and thickness.
  • Cornstarch Slurry: Mix cornstarch with cold water, stir it into the sauce, and then heat until it thickens.

To Thin

  • Water or Stock: Add gradually until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Tomato Juice: Adds volume without diluting flavor too much.
  • Olive Oil: Besides consistency, it imparts a velvety texture and rich taste.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

Whether to serve the homemade pizza sauce cold or warm largely depends on its intended use:

  • For Pizzas: Room temperature or slightly warm is ideal. This ensures even baking without making the dough soggy.
  • As a Dipping Sauce: Both cold and warm versions work. The warm sauce can elevate mozzarella sticks or breadsticks, whereas a cold sauce can be refreshing during hot weather.
  • For Pasta: Warm the sauce to coat the pasta evenly and heat the dish.
  • In Sandwiches or Wraps: Room temperature or cold is a good idea to prevent making the bread or wrap soggy.

When in doubt, consider the dish’s texture and the diner’s preference before deciding on the sauce’s temperature.

Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values 

The homemade pizza sauce, made from fresh tomatoes, herbs, and olive oil, is low in calories but rich in antioxidants, vitamins, especially vitamin C and lycopene, and beneficial plant compounds. Its minimal sugar and fat content make it a heart-healthy choice.

What Are The Total Calories In Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe? 

The total calories in homemade pizza sauce largely depend on the specific ingredients and their quantities. 

On average, a typical homemade pizza sauce, made with tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, and a touch of sugar, might contain around 30-50 calories per 1/4 cup serving. 

It’s a good idea to check individual ingredient labels or use a nutrition calculator if precise caloric information is desired, especially when adapting or modifying recipes.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe 

Homemade pizza sauce is versatile and can cater to various dietary needs. However, be mindful of the following dietary restrictions:

  • Vegan: Most versions are vegan-friendly, relying on plant-based ingredients.
  • Gluten-Free: Typically gluten-free, but always verify ingredient labels, especially with store-bought tomato products.
  • Low-Carb: While tomatoes contain natural sugars, the sauce can fit into a low-carb diet in moderation.
  • Paleo: Fits well, but omit any refined sugars or non-Paleo additives.
  • Nut-Free: Generally safe unless cross-contaminated.
  • Low-FODMAP: Adjust by reducing or omitting garlic for those sensitive to FODMAPs.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

Making homemade pizza sauce is generally straightforward, but there are common pitfalls to avoid:

  • Overcooking: Excessive simmering can rob tomatoes of their fresh flavor and make the sauce too thick.
  • Under-seasoning: Neglecting to season appropriately can result in a bland sauce.
  • Rushing the process: Not allowing the sauce to simmer for enough time can prevent flavors from melding.
  • Using Low-Quality Ingredients: Fresh, ripe tomatoes and good olive oil make a difference.
  • Skipping Sugar: Even a touch helps balance the acidity of tomatoes.
  • Not tasting as you go: It’s a good idea to adjust seasonings gradually and taste often.
  • Overloading on herbs: Too much can overpower the tomato’s natural flavor.
  • Not adjusting acidity: Some tomatoes might need a pinch of sugar or a splash of vinegar to balance.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce? 

Leftover homemade pizza sauce can be innovatively repurposed:

  • Stuffed Peppers: Fill bell peppers with rice, veggies, and sauce, then bake.
  • Bruschetta: Spread on toasted bread top with cheese or fresh veggies.
  • Shakshuka: Use the sauce as a base for this Middle Eastern poached egg dish.
  • Soup Base: Enhance tomato or vegetable soups.
  • Savory Oats: Mix into oatmeal for a unique breakfast twist.
  • Bloody Mary Mix: Add to your favorite Bloody Mary recipe for depth.
  • Rice Flavoring: Stir into cooked rice for a tangy side dish.
  • Sauce for Meat: Coat or marinate meats before grilling or baking.
Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed 

While making homemade pizza sauce doesn’t necessarily require specialized equipment, having the following tools can enhance the process and outcome:

  • Large Saucepan: Ensures even cooking and prevents spillage as the sauce simmers.
  • Wooden Spoon: Ideal for stirring, preventing the sauce from sticking to the pan’s bottom.
  • Garlic Press: Extracts maximum flavor from fresh garlic.
  • Measuring Spoons and cups: Ensures accurate ingredient proportions.
  • Blender or Immersion Blender: Useful if you prefer a smoother sauce consistency.
  • Fine Mesh Sieve: Strains out seeds or chunky bits, if desired.
  • Glass Jars: For storing leftovers, ensure an airtight seal.
  • Ladle: Helps in transferring or serving the sauce.
  • Heat-resistant Spatula: Scrapes every bit of sauce, reducing waste.
  • Thermometer: Checks sauce temperature if you’re into precise cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Fresh Tomatoes Instead Of Canned Ones?

Yes, fresh tomatoes can be used. Opt for ripe, flavorful varieties. Blanch, peel, and crush them before adding them to the saucepan.

How Can I Make My Sauce Less Acidic?

Add a pinch of baking soda or more brown sugar to reduce acidity. Using sweeter tomato varieties, like San Marzano, can also help.

Is It Possible To Make This Sauce Without Garlic Due To Allergies?

Absolutely. While garlic adds flavor, it can be omitted or replaced with alternatives like onions or a touch of asafoetida for a similar depth.

Can This Sauce Be Made Ahead Of Time For A Party Or Gathering?

Making it a day or two in advance can allow the flavors to meld better. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it before serving.

How Do I Achieve A Spicier Pizza Sauce?

Increase the amount of crushed red pepper flakes, or add chopped chilies or cayenne pepper to the sauce during cooking.

Savory Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe From Scratch Under 30 Minutes

5 from 3 votes
Course: Sauces


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Cooking time




Rest Time



Homemade Pizza Sauce, crafted from fresh tomatoes, aromatic herbs, and rich olive oil, offers a tangy and flavorful base for pizzas. This versatile sauce, simmered to perfection, elevates pizza and complements various dishes. This sauce delivers genuine Italian flair to every bite when in doubt about authenticity.


  • 3 3 Garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 tablespoons 3 Olive or vegetable oil

  • 29 ounce 29 Tomato puree

  • 28 ounce 28 Crushed tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Crushed red pepper flakes

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation: Gather all your ingredients. Ensure tomatoes are well-cleaned and all herbs are measured out.
  • Garlic: Heat olive or vegetable oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add minced garlic and sauté until tender but not browned, which usually takes 2 minutes.
  • Add Tomatoes: Pour the tomato puree and crushed tomatoes, stirring well to combine with the garlic.
  • Add Seasonings: Stir in brown sugar, Italian seasoning, dried basil, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Simmer: Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Allow the sauce to simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Check Consistency: As the sauce simmers, it will thicken. Simmer until you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Taste And Adjust: Taste the sauce near the end of the simmering time. Adjust seasonings, adding more salt, herbs, or sugar to taste.
  • Cool And Store: Once cooked, remove the sauce from the heat. Allow it to cool down to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer it to an airtight container or jar.
  • Refrigerate Or Freeze: Store the sauce in the refrigerator if not used immediately. For longer storage, consider portioning and freezing the sauce.
  • Use: When ready to use, reheat if necessary and spread or incorporate into your chosen dishes.

Recipe Video


  • Tomato Varieties: Opt for ripe, high-quality tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are a choice for many due to their sweet flavor and low acidity.
  • Fresh Herbs: While dried herbs are convenient, access to fresh basil or oregano can elevate the sauce’s flavor. Remember, you’ll typically need to use three times the amount of fresh herbs as dried.
  • Spice Levels: Adjust the crushed red pepper flakes according to your heat preference.
  • Natural Sweeteners: If you’re avoiding refined sugars, honey or agave syrup can be used as alternatives to brown sugar.
  • Acidity Balance: If the sauce is too acidic, a pinch of baking soda can help neutralize it.
  • Sauce Consistency: If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender to puree it directly in the pot.
  • Storage: Always use a clean spoon when extracting sauce from its storage container for maximum freshness.
  • Freezing Tip: Consider freezing the sauce in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. This way, you can easily thaw the exact amount you need.
  • Scaling: The recipe can be easily doubled or halved based on your needs.
  • Experimentation: Feel free to customize! Additions like capers, anchovies, or roasted bell peppers can make the sauce unique to your taste.

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Welcome, fellow flavor enthusiasts to the world of Sauce Chick, where every flavor tells a tale of creativity, passion, and the harmonious fusion of spices and sauces.

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