Pizza Sauce

Pizza Sauce
Classic Pizza Sauce Header

Let’s talk Pizza Sauce! I have played around with so many types it’s unreal. Trying out different Herbs & Spices, Tomato Paste, Thickeners, and whatnot. I was surprised to learn that a very good Pizza Sauce is nothing more than Crushed Tomatoes, Salt, Oil, and Basil. Sugar if you’re looking for a sweet-tasting sauce.

I have over the years developed my own personal preference and I have quite a few of them. The one mentioned above always serves as my Base Pizza Sauce to which if the mood arises I add other Herbs & Spices too or have just as is.

Pizza Sauce Consistency

You should with a ladle be able to pour the sauce. If it pours in a continuous line like a liquid it is way too thin.

If it plops too much it is far too thick. In between where it does pour like a liquid but breaks up and plops some is perfect for spreading and adhering and not letting what goes on top of the sauce slide too much.


I always just buy the large hotel cans of crushed tomatoes and they work just fine. However good quality Tomatoes for a Pizzeria are a must and if you want to mimic or even do better, it all starts with good quality tomatoes. That really is the secret to Quality Pizza Sauce.

San Marzano Tomato Sauce

San Marzano Sauce

I had a Neighbor give me homemade freshly crushed San Marzano Tomatoes, grown from his Garden. Absolutely Fantastic.

San Marzano Seeds

Planting San Marzano Tomatoes

I was so excited to see these and am planting these for my first time in 2022.

One of my Favorite Pizza Shops uses one of the Top Selling Brands of Crushed Tomatoes originating from California. These have a slightly acidic taste that carries through to the final Pizza extremely well.

Adjustments to Crushed Tomatoes

Depending on where you get your crushed tomatoes from, adjust the flavor with the below.


Either adding acidity in the form of Lemon Juice, Red Wine Vinegar, or Citric Acid.


Or to the other side with adding a pinch of Baking Soda to tone the acidity down.


Good Quality Crushed Tomatoes should be naturally sweet with a bit of acidity. Add Sugar if needed.


Sometimes the Crushed Tomatoes can be on the thin or thick side. Adding more crushed tomatoes can correct the slight consistency difference.

For a really thick sauce, you can simmer a bit to evaporate some of the water out. For a very thin sauce, you can add Tomato Sauce or Juice.

Does Pizza Sauce need to be Cooked?

Pizza Sauce doesn’t need to be cooked. The only time you would do this is to correct the consistency of the sauce if it absolutely needed it. There is such a thin amount going on the pizza which cooks fast in the oven blending the flavors anyways.

It’s not like a Pasta Sauce where you use a lot of it. The reason Pasta sauce is cooked for so long is that it often includes bones from steak or pork chops. You are in effect creating a stock inside the pasta sauce. So a Pasta sauce contains a lot of gelatin.

That’s the key difference between Pizza Sauce & Pasta sauce. Well one of them anyways.

The other difference is that Pasta sauce relies heavily on flavoring the oil and fond creation with various meats. Get this down for pasta sauce and it won’t matter much what seasonings you use.

There is no better herb that pairs well with tomatoes than Basil.

Pizza Sauce Seasoning

The base Seasoning in Pizza Sauce needs nothing more than Oil, Salt & Basil.

This is the recipe below and is what I call my Base Pizza Sauce. I use Sea Salt and a very good quality Olive Oil. Fresh Basil if I have it or Dried which I always have on hand.

In other versions or westernized Pizza Sauce, the standard seasoning is Basil, Oregano/Marjoram, Onion, Garlic, Black Pepper, Salt, Sugar and Oil, and often Citric Acid.

Extras might be Thyme, Rosemary, and more. Some of the best pizzas I ever had were nothing more than Crushed Tomatoes, Sea Salt, Basil, and Olive Oil.

Ultimately it’s your tongue’s decision. This is why we have so many Pizza Shops. Sometimes we crave one pizza shop over the other and next week it’s the other way around.

Typically Pizza Sauce does not contain stock. This should be reserved for Pasta sauce. I’ve had good pizza with chicken stock in it. I’ve also had some really good sauce made from tomato paste and water.

Pizza Sauce Ingredients

Papa John’s
Fresh vine-ripened tomatoes (our tomatoes are freshly packed from vine to can in the same day), sunflower oil, sugar, salt, garlic, spices, extra virgin olive oil, citric acid (maintains freshness).

Crushed Tomatoes, Water, Sugar, Spices, Garlic Powder, Salt, Soybean Oil, Citric Acid

Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, blend of extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil, salt, oregano, black pepper, granulated garlic and naturally derived citric acid.

Boston Pizza
I can’t seem to find. There seems to be nowhere this information is available

Little Caesars
Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Pizza Spice (Salt, Sugar, Spices, Dehydrated Garlic, Dehydrated Onion), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Modified Food Starch, Citric Acid.

Bonte Greco
Water, tomato paste, sugar, canola oil, modified cornstarch, salt, spices, mono- and diglycerides, sodium benzoate, garlic powder, caramel, dextrose, xanthan gum. May Contain: Sesame seeds, milk, egg, fish, shellfish, soybeans, wheat, sulphites.

Lebanese Pizza Sauce

Lebanese Pizza Sauce contains all of the ingredients for the base Pizza sauce here in the below recipe. It often contains minced garlic that has been sautéed in oil along with Thyme, Oregano, and Black Pepper. Sometimes with a bit of Bharat seasoning or Marjoram and Sumac from what I can tell.

Classic Pizza Sauce Pin

JAH Pizza Sauce

Delicious Base Pizza Sauce that you can add additional ingredients for the flavor you crave.
Prep Time5 mins
Course: Ingredient, Sauce
Cuisine: American, Canadian, Italian
Keyword: Base Pizzza Sauce, Classic Pizza Sauce, Pizza Sauce
Servings: 3 L
Author: JAH


  • 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes 2.84 L or 100 Oz
  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbl Sea Salt
  • 8 large Fresh Basil Leaves - – or 2-3 Tbl Dried Basil


  • Open the can and add in all ingredients. Mix Well.
  • Portion Base Tomato Sauce into Ziploc Bags and Freeze. I portion into 2 cups per bag.


This is my Base Tomato Sauce which is used as-is for Pizza or as a base to start from with Pasta Sauce and other dishes.
You can optionally add Sugar (1-2 Tbl) and a small amount of Citric Acid, Red Wine Vinegar, Lemon Juice, and /or Black Pepper.
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