Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

$2.70 recipe / $0.90 per cup
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.85 from 94 votes
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I’ve made homemade pizza sauce before but I wanted one that was even thicker and richer because I had some big plans to dip things in it (and by “things” I mean pizzadillas). Dipping sauces have to be really thick or else they won’t hang on to whatever is being dunked in them. But I also love a good, thick pizza sauce on my pizzas. A thick pizza sauce gives all the flavor without making the dough soggy. No watery pizza sauce here, folks!

Overhead view of a sauce pot full of pizza sauce with a wooden spoon in the center.

Ingredients for Pizza Sauce:

To make this super thick and rich pizza sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Olive Oil & Garlic: Garlic sautéed in olive oil provides a deep base flavor for this pizza sauce.
  • Crushed Tomatoes: Canned crushed tomatoes provide the bulk of the volume of the sauce. The crushed texture is smooth enough that you won’t have chunks in your sauce, but still has enough texture to prevent the sauce from being too thin.
  • Tomato Paste: A little dollop of tomato paste helps thicken the sauce even further and provides a super concentrated tomato flavor to the sauce. No weak sauce here!
  • Seasonings: We keep the seasoning pretty simple with just a little basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and a little sugar to help balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Oh! And a pinch of crushed red pepper too, for a little kick. ;)

How Much Sauce Does This Make?

This homemade pizza sauce recipe makes three cups, which is about 3 large pizzas or 12 dipping portions (or like, six pizza sandwiches). The sauce freezes great so go ahead and freeze some of it and then you won’t have to make a batch the next time you want a pizza!

How to Use Homemade Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce is great for a lot more than just pizzas! This super thick and rich pizza sauce recipe is my new go-to red sauce. Use it for meatball subs, eggplant or chicken parmesan, or just for dipping breadsticks. It’s a quick, easy, all-purpose red sauce for smothering and dipping. Here are a few other great ways to use your Homemade Pizza Sauce:

How to Store Leftover Pizza Sauce

If this pizza sauce recipe is more sauce than you need for one meal, go ahead and freeze the remainder of the sauce. I suggest using a quart-sized freezer bag. To reheat, just tear away the freezer bag and empty the frozen pizza sauce into a small sauce pot. Reheat over low, stirring often, until it is heated through.

Close up of a wooden spoon full of pizza sauce held over a sauce pot.
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Homemade Pizza Sauce

4.85 from 94 votes
Use this Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe to make your own sauce at home in minutes with just a few pantry staples. Use now, or freeze for later!
A wooden spoon in the center of a sauce pot full of homemade pizza sauce.
Servings 3 cups
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 25 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.26)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes ($1.47)
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste ($0.59)
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar ($0.05)
  • 3/4 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp dried basil ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper ($0.05)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper (optional) ($0.02)


  • Add the olive oil and garlic to a sauce pot and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, basil, oregano, some freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill), and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  • Cover the pot, allow the pot to come to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes minimum, or up to 30 minutes (I often let it simmer as I prepare my pizza dough).

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To freeze this sauce, first cool it completely in the refrigerator, then transfer to quart-sized freezer bags or freezer-safe resealable containers and freeze until solid. Simply reheat over low heat in a sauce pot, with a lid to minimize evaporation, and stirring often, until heated through.


Serving: 3CupsCalories: 157.17kcalCarbohydrates: 33.13gProtein: 7.03gFat: 2.6gSodium: 1200.1mgFiber: 7.83g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce – Step By Step Photos

Garlic and Olive Oil for Pizza Sauce

Sauté one clove of minced garlic (or two if you like things garlicky!) in 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat for one to two minutes, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant.

Tomatoes, spices, and herbs in the sauce pot
Add one 28oz. can crushed tomatoes, one 6oz. can tomato paste, 1/2 Tbsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, some freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce pot.

Finished Thick and Rich Pizza Sauce with a wooden spoon in the pot.
Stir the ingredients together, place a lid on top, then allow it to come up to a simmer. Once simmering, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes minimum (I sometimes let it simmer longer while I’m preparing the pizza dough and the flavor just gets sweeter and deeper).

Side view of a pot full of pizza sauce with a wooden spoon in the center.
Close up of a wooden spoon full of pizza sauce held over a sauce pot.

Try These Homemade Pizza Recipes:

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  1. We make pizza regularly, just about every week, and this sauce quickly replaced all others I’ve tried. It’s great as written, though often, I blitz whatever vegetables I have on hand to sneak some extra nutrients in for picky kiddos. I sauté them first and then carry on with the recipe as written. Carrots, mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper work nicely.

  2. I make essentially the same sauce, except with a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, instead of crushed, and fresh herbs if I have them. I do not cook it at all. Just whirl the ingredients in a food processor and it’s done. It has a nice fresh tomato flavor.

  3. Been trying different sauces for over 5 years from my own mixtures to different ones online I found this one a couple weeks ago and didn’t have the crushed tomatoes just diced I mashed them with a potato masher and it was ok but I got the crushed tomatoes this week it is terrific finally got a sauce my daughter likes