Homemade Pizza Sauce

Homemade pizza sauce is incredibly easy to make and provides the best depth of flavor for homemade pizzas. This simple tomato sauce will have you making restaurant-quality pizzas straight from your own kitchen!

a spoon spreading pizza sauce on dough.
This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links support A Joyfully Mad Kitchen at no additional cost to you. I receive a commission if you choose to make a purchase through these links.

Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

Homemade pizza sauce is just the thing to take pizza night to the next level! The incredible flavor of fresh ingredients makes a huge difference in the outcome of homemade pizza.

We love Friday night pizza nights, but sometimes I really don't want to eat all of the sub-par ingredients that typical pizza is made with. Making it at home helps me feel confident that I'm feeding my family good food with good quality ingredients. 

Not to mention, authentic pizza sauce and this homemade pizza dough recipe make the most delicious-tasting pizza ever! Once you try it, you won't return to that jar of pre-made stuff.

I've tried a lot of good pizza and a lot of bad pizza. And the main difference in their quality was the pizza sauce. And of course, the best part: fresh mozzarella cheese.

This simple sauce is the best combination of all the right ingredients. You'll find most of these things in your pantry or spice cabinet already! No need to run to the grocery store and get something extra fancy to make a great pizza.

Why You'll Love this Recipe

You'll love this recipe, for a few reasons:

  • This easy recipe won't have the additives, preservatives, and excess sugar that store-bought pizza sauce has. Only the best ingredients to make the best flavor!
  • The flavor of homemade pizza sauce is so delicious! It tastes really authentic and is so much better than anything you can buy at the store.
  • Pizza sauce stores really well, and even freezes well! It's a great make ahead item that you can use later for a quick weeknight dinner.

This pizza sauce makes enough for two to three pizzas, depending on the size of your pizza crust and how saucy you like your 'zas!

Pizza Sauce vs. Marinara

So, what's the difference between pizza sauce and marinara sauce? They seem pretty similar, right? Well, there are a few main differences!

Authentic pizza sauce is typically sweetened with a touch of sugar. It has a thicker consistency so that it does not make pizza crust soggy. Pizza sauce can hold up under lots of toppings and won't make the melted cheese slide all over the crust.

Marinara sauce is usually a more savory flavor and has a thicker consistency. It is often used as a dipping sauce for things like breadsticks and cheesy bread.

You can use marinara sauce as a pizza base, but you will likely find that the tomato flavor will be a bit overpowering. Marinara sauce could also cause the pizza crust to not bake as crispy as you'd like, and melted cheese may slide off the crust more easily.


These simple ingredients are all you need to make the best pizza sauce recipe:

  • tomato sauce
  • tomato paste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • dried oregano
  • dried basil
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • sugar
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • black pepper

Substitutions and Variations

Give this pizza sauce an extra bold flavor by using fresh herbs instead of dried. Fresh basil and fresh oregano would be perfect replacements for the dried version this recipe calls for. You can also add some fresh parsley into the mix!

You can make your own tomato sauce with roasted tomatoes and use it in this recipe! Just follow the instructions on my post to roast the tomatoes, then add them to a medium saucepan. Add some water or stock to the saucepan and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Blend until smooth and use as called for in this pizza sauce recipe!

Fresh garlic cloves and fresh onion will taste amazing in this sauce! If you do add fresh garlic and onion, just reduce the amount of garlic powder and onion powder you use.

Thin crust pizza dough flatly rolled out on parchment paper.

How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce

In a medium bowl, mix together tomato sauce, tomato paste, olive oil and all of the spices. Mix well with a fork or spoon until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Let the sauces sit for about 15-20 minutes. Letting the sauce sit allows the flavors to meld together a bit and the liquid in the tomato sauce to settle.

Olive oil being spread over a unbaked pizza dough with a basting brush.

While you wait, get your pizza ingredients ready. Prepare the dough, and then brush it with oil.

Then spread it the pizza sauce all over your pizza crust.

pizza sauce spread on an uncooked dough.

Add mozzarella cheese and all your favorite toppings on top.

Put that puppy in the oven and the best homemade pizza will be ready shortly.

two slices of pizza on a white plate.

Recipe Using Homemade Pizza Sauce

Use this sauce as the pizza base on thin crust pizza dough, on an authentic Neapolitan pizza, a Margherita pizza, and any other pizza you want!

You can also make spaghetti sauce with leftover pizza sauce. Serve on your favorite noodles with baked chicken meatballs.

Pizza sauce could also be a delicious base for tomato soup or minestrone soup. Spread pizza sauce on English muffins and add mozzarella cheese and mini pepperonis to make English muffin pizzas!

You can use this pizza sauce to make calzones, pizza pockets or in any recipe that calls for pizza sauce.

Even though marinara tends to be a better dipping sauce, there's nothing that says you can't use pizza sauce! Dip ricotta stuffed sausage meatballs, breadsticks, cheesy garlic bread and so much more in this Italian pizza sauce.

Tips for Success

Here are some tips and tricks for making this pizza sauce:

  • If you'd like to add fresh tomatoes to this delicious sauce, incorporate them using an immersion blender (affiliate) or food processor. Blend until smooth and there are no chunks left in the sauce.
  • When storing leftovers, write the date it was made so that you'll always know how old the sauce is!
  • Adjust the heat level of this pizza sauce by adding more red pepper or reducing it. You may want something more spicy depending on the type of pizza you're making!

No matter what style of pizza you're making, fresh sauce makes a world of difference. Make some M&M cookie bars for dessert and then you'll feel like you've gotten an order straight from your favorite pizza place!

a small jar of pizza sauce with basil leaves on blue tiles.


Can you use pasta sauce for pizza?

Pasta sauce is typically a better substitute for pizza sauce than marinara sauce. The flavor profile is very similar and the consistency is close as well. So if you choose to use pasta sauce as pizza sauce, make sure that you don't use one that has lots of chunks in it. A smooth and blended pasta sauce will be the best substitute!

Is it worth it to make your own pizza sauce?

Absolutely! Making your own sauce allow you to control the the amount of sugar, salt, herbs, spice, and so much more. You can adapt the sauce to fit your personal preferences and make it meld with whatever pizza you make. Homemade sauce is way better than the bland sauce that are sold in stores!

More Tomato Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

a small jar of pizza sauce with basil leaves on blue tiles.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Homemade pizza sauce is really easy to make and has an incredible flavor! You'll love how tasty this sauce is on your homemade pizza.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Madison Wetherill


  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, tomato paste, olive oil and spices. Mix well until all the ingredients are fully combined.
  • Let the sauce sit for about 15-20 minutes before spreading on pizza crust.


This pizza sauce makes enough for two to three pizzas, depending on the size of your pizza crust and how saucy you like your 'zas!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 29kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 280mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.