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How to Make Pizza Sauce | Best Pizza Sauce

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This is the Best Pizza Sauce recipe, and it is so easy! The tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper flakes make your taste buds sing. I even have a secret to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. After you try this homemade Pizza Sauce recipe, you’ll want to keep it on hand!

If you’re a pizza lover like me, try The Best Easy Calzones full of pepperoni, sausage, and cheese! Here’s Penne alla Vodka—you’re going to love the sweetness of the tomatoes. And if you’re in the mood for chicken, try Easy Chicken Parmesan—ready in 30 minutes!

Square image of best pizza sauce in glass sealing jar with lid.

Pizza is a favorite and keeping extra homemade pizza sauce in the freezer, makes it extra simple to whip out whenever you have the craving. This easy Pizza Sauce is a winner for parties, family get-togethers, or even for a date night.

Primary Ingredients

It’s easy to keep these delicious ingredients on hand for this simple recipe! Open the pantry, and you’re practically done! Measurements in the recipe card at bottom of post.

Ingredients for best pizza sauce L-R grated onion, crushed canned tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, sugar, butter and garlic.
  • Canned crushed tomatoes | Tomatoes are at the heart of this recipe. You will NOT want to use tomato paste, but pureed tomatoes, or whole canned will work. See notes in variations below and how to use fresh tomatoes.
  • Butter | regular or unsalted will do, but use the good stuff for the best pizza sauce ever!
  • Onion and garlic | No Italian dish is complete without onion and garlic. If you want to try something new, use leeks for their great onion flavor.
  • Seasoning | Salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes are my trio. But you can use basil with equally good results.
  • Sugar | That’s right! This is the secret ingredient to cut the acidity of tomatoes, but it’s purely optional. Both granulated or brown sugar work! It’s just a touch!


You can double this delicious recipe! And freeze the second batch for another day to save even more time.

  • Melt the butter in your saucepan over medium heat. I love the taste of real butter compared to margarine.
  • Add in the onion, oregano, salt, and optional red pepper flakes; stirring until golden. This only takes about 5 minutes.
Process shots for best pizza sauce, melted butter in saucepan with grated onion and garlic, adding dried oregano to pizza sauce.
  • Add in the garlic, and stir until fragrant! It only takes about 1-2 minutes! And your house is going to smell so delicious!
Adding red pepper flakes and crushed tomatoes to the saucepan for best pizza sauce.
  • Add the tomatoes and optional sugar. I love to use Organic all-natural cane sugar.
  • Allow your sauce to simmer for about 30 minutes until the sauce reduces to about 2 ½ cups for a single batch. That’s it! You’ve got your Best Pizza Sauce!


  • Spaghetti sauce | Most red tomato-based sauces will work as a variation, in a pinch. Here’s Grandpa Frank’s Spaghetti Sauce to use as an alternative for your pizza, however most pasta sauces are thinner and will result in a soggier pizza.
  • Pesto | Fresh pesto is another great option for your pizza! Try it with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella!
  • Whole San Marzano Tomatoes | If you only have whole tomatoes, go ahead and use them, use the same quantity and just whir near the end with your immersion blender.
  • Homemade Pizza Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes | Is your garden bursting with fresh plum or Roma tomatoes? These are the best to use in homemade pizza sauce and you can replace the canned tomatoes with about 2 lbs of fresh tomatoes. Simply rinse and simmer for at least 30 minutes before blending with an immersion blender, adjusting salt and spices as needed. Then simmer until reduced.
Jar of homemade pizza sauce with lid, best pizza sauce recipe.

TFC Pro Tips

  • A heavy bottom saucepan | a quality pan keeps your food from scorching. Circulon is known for quality products, and this pan can be used on any stovetop and in the oven.
  • Use the right tool for the job | A box grater is all you need here, this almost pulverizes the onion, so you don’t have kids complaining about onions in their sauce!
  • Silicone Cooking Utensils | Silicone is great! You don’t have to worry about adding BPA to your meal!
  • Freeze it! | That’s right. If you make a double batch, cool the pizza sauce completely and store it in freezer containers. It can last up to six months! These glass containers won’t stain and are oven, dishwasher, freezer, and microwave-safe. Or scoop 1 – 1 ½ cups into freezer quart baggies and freeze flat, don’t forget to label!
Spreading Best Pizza Sauce on pizza dough.

This recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I thicken my pizza sauce? 

First, simmer it on your stovetop a little longer. If you still want to thicken it, you can add a small amount of starch like cornstarch, tapioca, or potato.

Are tomato sauce and pizza sauce the same thing?

Nope! Tomato sauce is missing herbs and simmering time to blend the flavors. Your pizza is going to be way more flavorful if you use my best pizza sauce recipe. Plus, you will have a more interesting flavor than a plain tomato sauce!

What can easy pizza sauce be used for?

Pizza sauce can be a dip for appetizers, relish for eggs, and can even be added to meatloaf and soup. It’s so flexible, you’ll find tons of places to use it!

Can I use pasta sauce for pizza?

I would not recommend it, marinara sauce is quite a bit thinner and will yield a soggier crust. Homemade pizza sauce is thicker, holds together and has incredible flavor and will not make the crust soggy.

Image of pretty jar with pizza dough in background, best pizza sauce.

Pizza Dough Recipe

Don’t forget to get your homemade pizza dough going at the same time, it will take less time to ready this no rise pizza dough than it will to make the sauce and it’s so worth it!

Crazy about homemade sauces?

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below the recipe!

Square image of best pizza sauce in glass sealing jar with lid.

Best Pizza Sauce

Author: Kathleen • The Fresh Cooky © 2021
5 from 4 votes
This is the Best Pizza Sauce recipe, and it is so easy! The tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper flakes make your taste buds sing. I even have a secret to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. After you try this homemade Pizza Sauce recipe, you’ll want to keep it on hand!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 2 ½ cups
Calories 28 kcal


  • 2 TBL butter, regular or unsalted
  • 1 small onion, grated on a cheese grater (about ⅓ of a cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional, but so good
  • 1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes*
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated or brown sugar, optional


  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Then add grated onion, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned/golden, about 5 minutes. During the last 2 minutes, add minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and sugar if using, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to simmer or low and allow to simmer until the sauce is thick, fragrant and rich in color, about 30 minutes. The sauce should reduce to about 2 ½ cups at this point, if it looks like more, continue simmering until it reduces further. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use. 
  • Spread on pizza crust and build pizza as desired. This pizza sauce works great on deep dish pizzas, thin crust, regular crust, even on french bread or store bought pizza crust. Note: allow to cool 15-20 minutes before using on thinner unbaked crusts, to avoid soggy crusts.
  • If not using sauce immediately, cool completely and store in airtight container or freezer baggie until ready to use. Refrigerated keeps 4-6 days, frozen up to 3 months. 

✱ Kathleen’s Tips

*Pureed tomatoes will work as well, or I have also used whole San Marzano tomatoes and blended them for a minute in the blender. You may also use fresh plum or Roma tomatoes, about 2 lbs. 
If using fresh tomatoes, add when you would add the canned tomatoes and simmer at least 30 minutes, then blend with immersion blender or in regular blender in batches (careful it’s hot) until desired texture.
If a smooth sauce is desired, using an immersion blender or regular blender; blend until smooth or desired texture. 
I like to double this recipe and freeze in 1-1 ½ cup portions for future pizza recipes. Cool sauce completely and place in freezer containers, be sure to mark your sauce so you don’t have mystery tomato sauce.
This recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction .


Serving: 1 Calories: 28 kcal Carbohydrates: 4 g Protein: 1 g Fat: 1 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Cholesterol: 3 mg Sodium: 162 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 2 g

Nutrition Disclaimer

The Fresh Cooky is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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  1. Fridays are our family pizza night, and we made this sauce on a lark last week. We all LOVED it, so we’ll now be adding it to our tradition! Thank you for the excellent recipe!

  2. We are having pizza night tomorrow! Already have my sauce made and it is so delicious! Hopefully, it will be here tomorrow because I am having a hard time not digging in now!

  3. Homemade pizza is almost a weekly occurrence in my house, but I next to never make my own sauce. I definitely need to try yours! Thanks for all the great tips.