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The Best Thick Homemade Pizza Sauce


No homemade pizza is complete without Homemade Pizza Sauce! Our version uses pantry staples to create a thick, incredibly flavorful sauce that is easy to make and is guaranteed to be the best tasting pizza sauce you have ever had.

A bowl of thick homemade pizza sauce with a wooden spoon.

Why We Love This Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe 

We’ve been making homemade pizza for years, but only recently started making our own pizza sauce. It just seemed like the crust and the toppings were the stars, and the sauce played a supporting role that wasn’t worth the extra effort.

I was wrong.

After finding our cupboard bare of store-bought sauce I did a quick search for homemade pizza sauce. After a bit of tweaking, I came up with a sauce that is thick, packed with flavor, easy to make, and uses pantry staples. And the classic flavor profile works deliciously well on pretty much every pizza we have tried it on! Trust me- it’s time to kick the store-bought sauce to the curb.

A bowl of pizza sauce near pizza dough rolled out onto a pizza stone.

Ingredients for Homemade Pizza Sauce:

  • Crushed Tomatoes– Crushed tomatoes give the perfect texture to your pizza sauce.
  • Tomato Paste– Tomato paste helps to thicken the sauce.
  • Olive Oil– Olive oil adds a smooth texture and delicious flavor.
  • Garlic– Fresh garlic is an essential ingredient- go ahead and measure with your heart!
  • Sugar– Sugar helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Italian Seasoning– We found that dried Italian seasoning gave us the best flavor.
  • Onion Powder– Because we didn’t want onion chunks in our sauce, we used onion powder.
  • Salt & Pepper– To season. We used sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
Ingredients for homemade pizza sauce.

How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce:

  1. Cook the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for just a minute or two, until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
  2. Simmer the sauce. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a low boil, then simmer for at least 10-15 to thicken the sauce and allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Spread on your pizza! Spread on your pizza, or use as a dipping sauce! Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Enjoy!
Process shots for how to make pizza sauce from scratch.

Tips & Suggestions:

What is the difference between pizza sauce and marinara sauce?

Pizza sauce and marinara sauce are very similar, and call for many of the same ingredients. The main difference is in the texture. Pizza sauce is thicker than marinara sauce, allowing you to get a thick coating of flavor on your pizza crust!

Can you substitute marinara sauce for pizza sauce?

Yes! You can absolutely use marinara sauce in place of pizza sauce in a pinch. Because it is thinner, you might not get quite the same overall flavor, but you’ll still end up with a tasty pizza.

Can I use tomato sauce instead of crushed tomatoes?

You can substitute tomato sauce, however, the flavor isn’t as good. We recommend sticking with crushed tomatoes.

More pizza sauce variation ideas:

  • For a bit of heat, try adding 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Add fresh basil
  • Stir in some parmesan cheese
  • Add additional seasonings like dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, or fennel
Pizza dough on a pizza stone spread with thick and delicious homemade pizza sauce.

More Delicious Pizza Recipes:

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4 from 31 votes

The Best Thick Homemade Pizza Sauce

No homemade pizza is complete without Homemade Pizza Sauce! Our version uses pantry staples to create a thick, incredibly flavorful sauce that is easy to make and is guaranteed to be the best tasting pizza sauce you have ever had.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 3 cups sauce
Calories: 56kcal



  • In a deep skillet or sauce pot, add the olive oil and garlic cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine everything. Turn the heat to medium high until it begins to simmer, and then reduce heat to low and cover. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes (you can simmer it for up to an hour).
  • Remove from heat and spread on pizza dough. If you have extra, you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Just store in an airtight container. Enjoy!


Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 393mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 365IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword : homemade pizza sauce


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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Recipe Rating


I love spinach!!!!!! Two of my favorites with the frozen kind are spinach dip and spinach quiche! Can you make it healthy for us Amy?

Great idea! I wonder if my son would notice the difference. He’s got a surprisingly sensitive tongue when it comes to tastes. I always add sweet potato puree to our pizza sauce. Too much, and he notices. If I can hit it just right, though…

I’ll try spinach puree next time. Thanks!

my kids are the same way. they know it is in there because the love blending it up but there is much less murmuring going on at the table when hidden by cheese. i use 2% cheese on our pizza and it melts great…the fat free variety doesn’t melt… maybe one day they will make it where it will…

I use frozen spinach all the time. love it. I’ll have to try blending it in pizza sauce. I actually make a great spinach quiche with a brown rice crust. Sometimes I’ll use barley or oat groats or any other leftover grain I have on hand. Turns out fabulous.

What a great idea!! I am going to do this…maybe my little Taco Man will eat healthier if I just trick him into it!! Thanks Amy!

Heather, I have tried to email you so many times since you’ve been commenting on my site, and my emails always get rejected. So I hope you come back here for my responses. I don’t want you to think I’m ignoring. But in a simple answer… fresh! I love fresh mushrooms.

I used to make this in college all the time for my roommates. It was one of my favorite meals! What a great healthy treat for kids!

So Sorry Amy, I am having e-mail problems right now. But yes I do check back for your responses. I check back everyday for new ideas. 🙂 Thanks a ton – Heather

K, so I recognize this was put up a year and a half ago, but somehow I just found it. My question is: can you use fresh spinach for this too? (If I were to chop it up in our blendtec, so it still gets really tiny?)

I tried this using the frozen spinach, but the sauce turned an obvious green colour. No fooling the kids with this one! But I could hardly taste it, so I may do it again for my husband and I.