This perfectly thick, rich, and delicious Pizza Sauce recipe is a must for your homemade pizza. So easy to make with pantry staples and way better than store-bought.
Spread this sauce over our popular homemade pizza dough with your favorite toppings for the best pizza ever!
For every single person who makes our beloved pizza dough, there’s someone who asks if we have a homemade pizza sauce recipe to go with it. And we do! This is it, loaded with deep rich tomato-herb flavor and the best consistency for spreading.
Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe
What’s in pizza sauce? This quick and easy pizza sauce from scratch is made with simple pantry items and only simmers for a short amount of time. The end result is fantastic with such little effort. Ingredients you’ll need:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements)
- Extra-virgin olive oil: Used to sauté the garlic and adds richness.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic for great aromatics and flavor.
- Tomato paste: This adds a rich, deep tomato flavor and helps thicken the sauce. Don’t skip it.
- Canned crushed tomatoes: A mixture of diced tomatoes and tomato puree that provide the best flavor.
- Balsamic vinegar: Slightly sweet, dark, richly flavored vinegar that gives the sauce a little more depth.
- Sugar: We always include a little sugar in our tomato-based sauces. It helps balance the acidity from the tomatoes and vinegar.
- Dried oregano: A pretty key herb in pizza sauce.
- Dried Italian seasonings: Our homemade Italian Seasoning is the perfect blend of dried herbs that lends additional flavor.
- Salt and pepper: A must for a flavor.
- Red pepper flakes: We love a pinch of cracked red pepper flakes. It adds just a hint of heat, but doesn’t make the sauce spicy.
How to Make Pizza Sauce
This sauce is so easy to make. You simply sauté the garlic in olive oil until fragrant, add all the other ingredients to the pot, stir, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes until thickened, stirring every once in a while to prevent scorching.
Let it cool and then use as desired, or store it in the refrigerator or freezer for later.
How Much Sauce for Pizza?
This recipe makes approximately 3 cups. About 1/2 cup for a 12-inch pizza is a good amount of pizza sauce to use. You don’t want much more than that or the crust will get soggy. The sauce freezes really well, so if you won’t be using it all at once, no worries – store it for another time! (See below for instructions.)
Can You Use Pasta Sauce for Pizza?
We don’t recommend it. Marinara sauce and pizza sauce are both tomato-based, but pizza sauce uses undiluted tomato paste, making it considerably thicker than pasta sauce, which you need for pizza dough. If your sauce is thin and runny, your crust will get soggy. Pasta sauce has a higher water content, making it thinner and ideal for, well, coating pasta. We also don’t really recommend using pizza sauce for pasta. I mean, you can. But we much prefer our Homemade Spaghetti Sauce for that – it’s amazing.
Storing Pizza Sauce from Scratch
How long does pizza sauce last in the fridge? If not using this homemade pizza sauce right away, allow it to cool completely, then store in a tightly sealed glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last about 5 days.
Can you freeze pizza sauce? Yep! We recommend portioning it out, so you don’t need to thaw more sauce than you need when it comes time to make a pizza. Measure the amount you’ll want for each pizza, then pour into airtight freezer-safe containers, leaving at least a 1/2-inch gap at the top, since the sauce will expand as it freezes. Or you can also measure into quart-sized freezer bags. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Reheat: If you want to reheat the sauce, simply place over low heat in a small pot (with a lid to minimize evaporation), stirring often, until warmed through.
Uses Beyond Pizza
Pizza sauce isn’t just great on pizza! Use it as a dip for these:
Homemade Pizza Sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- Freshly cracked black pepper , to taste
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes , or to taste
- Warm the olive oil and garlic in a sauce pot over medium heat for about 1 minute, or just until the garlic is fragrant, stirring so it doesn't burn.
- Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, oregano, Italian seasonings, some freshly cracked pepper (about 5 cranks of a pepper mill), and the red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, cover the pot with a little gap, so steam can vent, then reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for 15-20, stirring every so often so it doesn't scorch.
- Remove from heat, cool, and use as desired on homemade pizza dough or as a dip for garlic bread!