How to make a homemade pizza sauce recipe that’s sure to make pizzas taste so much better! This sauce is quick and easy to make, freezes well, and has zero mystery ingredients. 

homemade pizza sauce in a saucepan

Say hello to a nice and thick homemade pizza sauce. I so wish you could smell this sauce through the screen right now.

It’s warm, hearty and is the perfect sauce to use on homemade pizzas. Making homemade pizza sauce isn’t difficult and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming either. My recipe makes a large batch that you could use it on 3-4 pizzas depending on your sauce preference. I go light on pizza sauce (heartburn is so real at 33) so it usually lasts me for closer to 5 pizzas. Keep in mind though that it all depends on how long you simmer the sauce. The longer you simmer it, the more concentrated it’ll be.

close up of sauce for pizza

Homemade pizza sauce recipe is…

  • Vegan-friendly
  • Gluten-free
  • Ready in around 30 minutes

What you need to make homemade pizza sauce:

  • Canned whole tomatoes: I’ve made this recipe enough times now to have tested it with whole tomatoes, diced canned tomatoes, and pureed tomatoes, and though all three of these work, I still find the whole tomatoes to be the best choice for making pizza sauce at home.
  • Olive oil: a generous splash not only helps flavor the sauce, but it also helps cook and bloom all of our aromatics and spices.
  • Grated onions: You can grate the onions on a grater box, roughly chop and throw it into a food processor, or you can finely mince the onions for a heartier sauce. I use the food processor for minimum tears!
  • Pressed garlic: I use a garlic press to help with this step. It takes seconds and the garlic really works into the sauce that way.
  • Dried seasonings: My seasonings of choice are dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes. Sometimes I’ll cut back on the dried oregano a bit, especially if I’m topping the pizza with tons of toppings. However, this is your call.
  • Sugar and salt: The salt and sugar help flavor the sauce. I find canned tomatoes to be on the acidic side, so the sugar helps tame it a bit. You could omit the sugar completely if this isn’t something that bothers you.

open can of tomatoes

close up of onions and seasonings in a saucepan

Can you swap out canned tomatoes for fresh ones?

That would work. In the summertime when tomatoes are at their best, I like to use fresh Roma tomatoes for this recipe. You’ll need about 1 ½ – 1 ¾ pound of tomatoes. To prep, the tomatoes, score an “x” on the bottom of each tomato using a sharp paring knife. Add the tomato to a pot of boiling water and allow them to boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove the tomatoes carefully and place them on a plate or in a bowl. Allow them to cool. Then, peel the skin away from the tomatoes. Once that’s done, you can follow the recipe as listed.

close up of freshly made pizza sauce on spoon

How to make pizza sauce from scratch:

  1. break down the tomatoes: Using your hands squish the tomatoes in a bowl, or use kitchen shears to breakdown the tomatoes into smaller pieces. You could also just use an immersion blender and just pulse it so the tomatoes are smaller.
  2. cook the aromatics: In a saucepan over medium heat, add the grated onions, and the dried seasonings. Allow the oil to cook the onions for around 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently so nothing sticks or burns. Then, add the garlic and continue to cook for another 30 seconds. 
  3. simmer the sauce: Add the tomatoes along with the sugar and salt and allow the sauce to come to a simmer, then lower the heat and allow for it to cook for 30 minutes. You can taste the sauce and adjust with additional seasoning or salt as desired. You could also simmer the sauce for longer should you find it needs to be a little more concentrated for your taste.

pizza sauce in a jar

Can you freeze pizza sauce? 

Yes, you absolutely can! I usually use about half the sauce to make two pizzas, and once cooled, pop the rest into these take out style containers. You could also just place it in zip-top bags if you’d like and freeze it flat. That way you can stack your bags. You can keep the sauce in the refrigerator for about a week, and it lasts for 3 months in the freezer.

Ways to use homemade sauce:

Other homemade sauces to make and try:

close up of pizza sauce in a jar with a spoon

Yield: 2 ¼ cups sauce

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
How to make a homemade pizza sauce recipe that’s sure to make pizzas taste so much better! This sauce is quick and easy to make, freezes well, and has zero mystery ingredients. 
Homemade Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated onions (or finely minced)
  • ½ - ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on heat preference)
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. TOMATOES: Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and using your hands, kitchen shears, or an immersion blender, break the tomatoes down so that they’re chunky but not completely liquid.
  2. AROMATICS: In a medium saucepan placed over medium heat, heat the olive oil, grated onions, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently so nothing sticks or burns. Add garlic and continue to cook for another 30 seconds to a minute.
  3. SIMMER: Add the prepared tomatoes along with the sugar and salt. Let the sauce reach a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and allow the sauce to simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust with additional seasonings as desired. If you like a more concentrated tomato flavor you can continue to simmer the sauce for up to 15 more minutes. Ue the sauce for pizzas immediately or allow to come to room temperature before storing in containers. 

Notes

  • Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

Have you made this recipe?

I’d LOVE it if you could take a second to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. You can also share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #LITTLESPICEJAR 🙂

saucepan with pizza sauce and a wooden spoon

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