Our Very Favorite Homemade Pizza Sauce

This easy classic homemade pizza sauce simmers for a good long time to allow the tomatoes, garlic, and oregano to mingle and meld. Freeze the leftovers so you have pizza sauce at hand whenever you have a hankering for good homemade pizza.

Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

We all know a great pizza must have a perfect crust. Chewy with a few crispy bits here and there; delicious flavor all its own.

But an amazing “pie” is just as much about the pizza sauce, too.

Our Very Favorite Homemade Pizza Sauce - This easy classic homemade pizza sauce simmers for a good long time to allow the tomatoes, garlic, and oregano to mingle and meld. Freeze the leftovers so you have pizza sauce at hand whenever you have a hankering for good homemade pizza.

(I remember as a kid, making those English muffin pizzas [totally a legit quick dinner!] with – yes – ketchup in place of the sauce. Red sauce is red sauce, right?! Uh, no. Not even close. So gross.)

In my opinion, a great classic pizza sauce has a pronounced tomato flavor (with a pinch of sugar to both highlight tomatoes’ sweetness and also balance the acidity), a good amount of garlic, a nice hit of earthy oregano, a slight bit of heat, and, well, not much else. Simple is better.

This homemade pizza sauce recipe, slightly adapted from Sunset magazine, calls for either fresh or diced tomatoes – fresh can be better, but diced are still absolutely terrific. Just start with good tomatoes and your sauce will be all the better for it. (And, of course, canned whole tomatoes will work too).

The key to the recipe, other than the simple list of meaningful ingredients, is the time it takes to simmer uncovered. It cooks for an hour and a half, allowing the flavors to mellow and meld and the sauce to thicken to the perfect consistency. And then I like to hit it with the immersion blender to make it nice and smooth.

Our Very Favorite Homemade Pizza Sauce - This easy classic homemade pizza sauce simmers for a good long time to allow the tomatoes, garlic, and oregano to mingle and meld. Freeze the leftovers so you have pizza sauce at hand whenever you have a hankering for good homemade pizza.

Making it kid-friendly

Making this sauce for kids? Consider leaving out the red pepper flakes, or only adding a small pinch. I like to make two separate batches – one with more heat for the adults, and no heat for the kiddos. If you end up with leftover sauce, try freezing it for easy homemade pizza-makin’ later on.

Our Very Favorite Homemade Pizza Sauce

Yield: 4 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

This easy classic homemade pizza sauce simmers for a good long time to allow the tomatoes, garlic, and oregano to mingle and meld. Freeze the leftovers so you have pizza sauce at hand whenever you have a hankering for good homemade pizza.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about two or three large cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano (if using fresh, add at the end of the cooking time)
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes (undrained) or 2 pounds diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar,ย honey, or agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this makes for a lot of heat, which we love, but I recommend you start out with 1/4 teaspoon or even just a generous pinch if you're unsure)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil.
  2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute. If you're using dried oregano, add that along with the garlic. If you're using fresh, add it to the sauce at the end of the cooking time.
  3. Increase the heat to medium. Add the tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
  4. Leave over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Reduce heat to low for a nice simmer.
  5. Simmer uncovered for 90 minutes.
  6. Stir in fresh oregano, if using.
  7. Allow the sauce to cool to a safe temperature and then, using an immersion blender or working in batches with a blender,
  8. If using fresh oregano, stir that in after the hour and a half cooking time.

Refined sugar-free option:

Replace the granulated sugar with honey (if not vegan) or agave syrup. Try not to leave this little bit of sweetener out entirely, though. It really helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
Adapted from Sunset Magazine

Our Very Favorite Homemade Pizza Sauce recipe - I make this at least once a month!

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Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.

96 Responses to “Our Very Favorite Homemade Pizza Sauce”

  1. Do we have to take the seed out when making it it fresh tomatoe? Thanks

  2. I don’t have a blender. Not necessary cause it rocked. Also, I’d like to say emphasis on the garlic. I did 2 large cloves, not nearly enough and did only half recipe. Used 1lbs of fresh Roma tomatoes. I DE-skinned them first, a step that is necessary if not using a blender. Either way great recipe, easy to do. Also had to add water a few times during the simmering process. I’d assume this part would vary depending on the type of tomato you use.

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  4. I LOVE this recipe…it’s so easy (which is great when dealing with an active 2-year-old)! My husband and I have not been able to find a great pizza joint since we moved, but now we can make our own pizza! Will definitely share with my Facebook friends.

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  7. Mine turned out really good, and tasted amazing! But i don’t think i did it right though; mine turned orange haha

    • Oh weird! Did you use fresh tomatoes? Mine can vary in color depending on the type of tomatoes I use. I’m glad it still tasted good, though! I say, keep making it orange if you can. It can be your signature. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. What’s the best way to store the sauce and how long does it keep?

    • Hi Ken, it’ll keep in the fridge for 3-ish days (airtight container), or I like to freeze it in silicone muffin tins, then plop the frozen pucks into a zipper bag. Then on pizza night, I just pull two or three out of the freezer to thaw. I’ve kept it in the freezer for up to 6 months with no problems.

  10. Just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for this recipe! Our family finally dipped our toes into making homemade pizza, and I think we will rarely be going back to store-bought! I did want to share that I made this recipe in an even easier way that just involves getting one pot and one blender dirty (lazy and simple, just the way I like it). I just blend the raw garlic (whole cloves) with some of the tomatoes to make it just liquidy enough to blend well. After that, I add rest of the tomatoes and blend it all up. Then just pour that into the pot, add your ingredients to that (minus oil, though I suppose I could still add some for extra flavor), reduce, and then DONE! It was so yummy, my picky husband couldn’t stop raving about this pizza (which I’m sure was in large part due to the yummy sauce), Anyways, thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. This looks wonderful! I can’t wait to try it out on my grilled pizzas! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Do I need to blanch the toms first to get rid of the skins? (I hope not:)

  13. This recipe is so solid that it turned out great with a little bit of this and a little more of that. Used my son’s Bullet because our Betty Crocker blender is a piece of [expletive deleted].ย 
    Wife taught me to toss the tomatoes into boiling water for 15 sec then iced water. Most of the skins split and pulled right off. Looked watery at first but the 90 min simmer took care of that.
    Yum.

  14. This was delicious, and even great the next day tossed with some leftover spaghetti, kale and chickpeas ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. How long can it last in the fridge or freezer? Thanks

  16. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for the recipe! ย How many pizzas do you think I could cover made as is? ย 

    • Hi Marian, it really depends on how much sauce you like! When I make a single batch, it’s usually enough to cover both of our (smallish) pizzas for pizza night plus enough left over for a couple more pizzas down the road.

  17. I made this yesterday! Wonderful!

  18. I’m ten and I was making a pizza for my family and I found this recipe and tried it, my family loved the sauce they thought it was amazing!!!!!! the best homed sauce I have ever made.

  19. Can this recipe be used for canning?

    • I’m very leery to use any recipe for canning that hasn’t gone through a rigorous testing process (such as those in the Ball Blue Book). Whether or not a recipe is safe for canning relies in part on the pH balance of the contents so it’s important that a recipe is tested and then given the green light. So I would say “no” but I do freeze it and find it works great.

  20. If you want to can it add lemon juice to each jar to increase acidity. Quart= 2 Tablespoons, pint= 1 Tablespoon, 1/2 pint= 1& 1/2 teaspoons. Process quarts in hot water bath for 30 min. if hot pack; pints and 1/2 pints for 15 min. if hot pack.

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