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Here's a homemade pizza sauce recipe that's just as it should be: rich, thick, and perfectly seasoned. It's healthier than store-bought, easy to make, and it's ready in just 15 minutes!
Save yourself a trip to the store when a pizza craving strikes with this easy homemade pizza sauce recipe! It's fresh tasting with a great texture like it came from your favorite pizzeria, and it's ready in no time.
It's a simple sauce with no added olive oil or tomato paste. Just a jar of tomato sauce, garlic, a pinch of sugar, balsamic vinegar, and a few seasonings. We let it simmer so it becomes nice and thick (no watery pizza sauce here)!
It keeps well so you can easily double or triple the batch and store extras in the fridge or freezer for quick weeknight meals. It's also naturally gluten-free and vegan so it's suitable for all eaters around the table.
Try it with our homemade pizza dough recipe for a delicious made-from-scratch meal!
Why you'll love it
- It's quick and easy to make
- It's rich, thick, and full of bold tomato flavor
- It's healthier than store-bought
- It keeps well – store it in the freezer for up to 3 months!
Homemade pizza sauce ingredients
You only need a short list of ingredients to make this easy pizza sauce recipe from scratch, and you're likely to already have most of them in your pantry. Here's what you'll need:
- Tomato sauce – a jar of plain tomato sauce will be the base of the sauce. Look for Italian-style tomato sauce for the most authentic taste.
- Garlic – adds wonderful dimension and flavor to pizza sauce.
- Sugar – a small amount helps to balance out the acidity.
- Balsamic vinegar – balsamic vinegar adds a bit of sweetness, depth of flavor, and mild acidity. Save your good stuff because any balsamic vinegar will work.
- Italian seasoning – we use our homemade Italian seasoning, but you can use store-bought or a mix of a few Italian herbs like dried oregano or parsley instead.
- Sea salt – is used to enhance the flavors.
- Chili flakes – dried red pepper flakes add just the slightest bit of heat. For a less spicy version (aka kid-friendly), you can omit it.
How to make the best pizza sauce from scratch
Making pizza sauce at home is a quick and easy process! Do it once and you'll never buy it from a store again. Here's how to make it in just 3 simple steps:
- Start the pizza sauce by adding the tomato sauce, garlic, sugar, balsamic, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and chili flakes to a pot.
- Bring it to a boil, then simmer the sauce until it thickens. When it starts to splatter, partially cover it with a lid. (You want the steam to escape so make sure not to cover it completely.)
- Now you've got pizza sauce! Use it right away or store it in your fridge or freezer to use later.
What's the difference between marinara and pizza sauce?
Pizza sauce is thicker than marinara sauce, and marinara is used more as a dipping sauce.
Are pizza sauce and tomato sauce the same thing?
No, pizza sauce is thicker and seasoned. Tomato sauce is just blended tomatoes. It's what we use as the base of our pizza sauce. It's also different than pasta sauce which is more watery but also tends to be seasoned.
How long does pizza sauce last in the fridge?
It will keep in the fridge in a sealed jar or container for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze pizza sauce?
Absolutely! Portion it out and store it in freezer-friendly containers or silicone bags. If freezing in a jar or container, make sure to allow a ½ inch of space at the top for expansion. When ready to use, remove from the freezer the morning of to thaw, or add it to a small pot to warm on the stove.
Can I can this pizza sauce?
There are many ways to can pizza sauce and some of them go into great detail. You'll need the right equipment, but if done properly, canning can extend the shelf life for up to a year. Head over to our rhubarb strawberry chia jam recipe for basic canning instructions.
How to use homemade pizza sauce
This is our go-to pizza sauce that we use on our spicy chorizo pizza or anytime we're making pizza.
If you have a bit of time, try our homemade pizza dough recipe, otherwise, store-bought pizza crust works, too. Sometimes we like to keep it simple with a good sauce, cheese, and fresh herbs. Other times we layer on toppings like mushrooms, olives, fresh basil, or pepperoni.
Make pizza night fun and let the kids build their own. Set up a toppings station, let them spoon their own sauce and add their own toppings, and let the good times roll!
What to serve with homemade pizza
When we have guests over, we love serving pizza with a big family-style salad!
Salads that pair well with pizza
Favorite pizza sauce recipes
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- 2 teaspoons sugar (can use honey)
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pinch chili flakes (optional)
- Add the tomato sauce, garlic, sugar, balsamic, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and chili flakes to a small pot with high sides.1 15-ounce can tomato sauce, 1 clove garlic, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, 1 pinch chili flakes
- Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce the heat to medium. Let it simmer with the lid off for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. When it starts to splatter a lot, partially cover the pot with a lid – DO NOT cover the pot completely or the pizza sauce won't thicken.
- Use the pizza sauce right away or store it in your fridge for up to 5 days. It also freezes very well!
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.