Make this lively red pizza sauce recipe for your homemade pizzas! It comes together with basic pantry ingredients in about five minutes, no cooking required. It’s like magic.
This recipe yields a classic Italian red sauce base for your home-baked pizza pies. Despite its quick preparation, this sauce tastes rich and full of flavor, which further develops during the pizza’s blast in a high-heat oven.
I like my sauce to have a bit of texture to it, and this sauce strikes the perfect balance. Many pizza sauces are either thick and dull or watery and flavorless. Not this one.
I originally developed this sauce recipe for a pizza recipe in my cookbook, Love Real Food. Since I just re-shared my favorite pizza dough recipe, I’m providing my go-to pizza sauce to go along with it.
Both the dough and the sauce come together very quickly, so you can enjoy homemade pizza with minimal fuss. How about pizza tonight?
Pizza Sauce Ingredients
You’ll need just a few ingredients to make this delicious pizza sauce:
Tomato paste offers deep tomato flavor. It also thickens up the sauce. We won’t use the whole can for this recipe. I like to buy tomato paste in glass jars so I can easily refrigerate the rest. Or, transfer leftovers to a freezer bag, squeeze out the air, and freeze your tomato paste for a future recipe.
Crushed tomatoes are perfectly suited for pizza sauce. Unlike tomato purée, crushed tomatoes still have some texture. Unlike diced tomatoes, they are not too chunky or watery.
Use fire-roasted or plain crushed tomatoes, but skip the options with added flavors like basil or chilis. I always buy the Muir Glen brand of canned tomatoes because you can taste the quality.
Don’t have crushed tomatoes in your cabinet? No problem—blitz some whole peeled tomatoes or diced tomatoes in a food processor or blender until you achieve a crushed tomato consistency.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil enhances the overall flavor and texture of the sauce. Just a tablespoon will do the trick.
Fresh garlic brightens up the flavor of canned tomatoes. The sauce will taste garlicky if you try it before using, but the flavor will mellow as the pizza bakes.
Balsamic vinegar is an atypical pizza sauce ingredient, but a little splash offers subtle complexity.
Dried oregano brings home the Italian pizza sauce flavor.
Salt intensifies all of the flavors in this pizza sauce. I like my sauce a little salty, since we’re going to spread it relatively thinly across the pizza. You can scale back if you’re watching your sodium intake (and/or choose unsalted tomatoes).
Canned tomatoes vary in acidity. If the sauce tastes a bit acidic, you can balance it with a small amount of sugar (I like to use coconut or brown sugar). Depending on the batch, I often don’t need any sugar at all. The sauce should not be overtly sweet.
Make This Red Sauce & Enjoy These Pizzas
- Broccolini Almond Pizza
- Crispy Kale Pizza with Marinara Sauce (page 168) in Love Real Food
- Greek Pizza
- Ultimate Veggie Pizza
Please let me know how your pizza sauce turns out in the comments! I love hearing from you. Check out even more fun pizza recipes here.
Easy Pizza Sauce
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 ¾ cups 1x
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegan
Make this rich, red pizza sauce with basic pantry ingredients! This pizza sauce recipe is so delicious and ready in about 5 minutes. Recipe yields about 1 ¾ cups, enough for about 2 large pizzas.
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes,* fire-roasted or regular
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- Up to 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or brown sugar (optional)
- Measure the tomato paste into a small mixing bowl. Add a big splash of the crushed tomatoes and whisk until the tomato paste is fully incorporated.
- Pour in the rest of the tomatoes, then add the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, oregano and salt. Whisk to blend.
- Taste, and if the mixture is too acidic (tomatoes vary in flavor from can to can), stir in a little sugar to balance it out. Use as desired. Leftover pizza sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or you can freeze it for several months.
Recipe adapted from Crispy Kale Pizza with Marinara Sauce (page 168) in my cookbook, Love Real Food.
*Tomato options: You can also use canned whole tomatoes or diced tomatoes. Just blitz them in a blender or food processor until they resemble the crushed tomato consistency shown in the photos.