I have two homemade pizza sauce recipes here on Kitchen Treaty – first, we have this one right here, the best pizza sauce recipe ever, basically (I previously titled this recipe Our Very Favorite Homemade Pizza Sauce, and that still holds true!) I’ll tell you up front that this pizza sauce recipe is a bit of a time investment, but trust me. It’s TOTALLY WORTH IT.
This homemade pizza sauce takes an hour and a half to make, but most of that is simmer-time on the stove. All of that simmer time results in an incredibly rich, hearty, flavor-bomb of the very best pizza sauce ever. SO GOOD.
(If you’re short on time, I have a pizza sauce recipe for that, too! Check out my 5-Minute No-Cook Pizza Sauce recipe. That one is delicious too!)
What Makes this Pizza Sauce the Best Pizza Sauce?
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.
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.
Best Pizza Sauce Ingredients
This homemade pizza sauce recipe, slightly adapted from Sunset magazine, calls for:
- Fresh or diced tomatoes – fresh can be better, but diced are still absolutely terrific (and how I make it the majority of the time). Just start with good tomatoes and your sauce will be all the better for it. (And, of course, canned whole tomatoes will work too).
- Olive oil
- Oregano – a must in pizza sauce!
- Sugar (or honey or agave) – sounds weird, but a small amount helps neutralize the acidity of the tomatoes
- Crushed red pepper flakes for a bit of heat (adjust to your preferences!)
- Salt & pepper
How to Make It
To make it, simply cook the garlic and oregano in the olive oil (mmmm, makes the house smell so good), then add the tomatoes, sugar, crushed red peppers, salt and pepper. Then – and this is the key to the best pizza sauce – cook it loooow and slooooow. Really let that pizza sauce become who it was meant to be.
I like to make a double batch and freeze individual portions for future Friday pizza nights, when we make our individual homemade pizzas and enjoy a movie while we wind down for the week.
You’re going to want to make this one again and again. Because an amazing “pizza” isn’t just about the crust – it’s about an incredible pizza sauce, too.
The Best Pizza Sauce Recipe Ever
- 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 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (undrained) (or 2 pounds diced fresh tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (can substitute 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
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil.
- 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.
- Increase the heat to medium. Add the tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
- Leave over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Reduce heat to low for a nice simmer.
- Gently simmer uncovered for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in fresh oregano, if using that instead of dried.
- Allow the sauce to cool to a safe temperature and then, using an immersion blender or working in batches with a blender, puree sauce.
- Assemble pizza using your delicious homemade sauce, or refrigerate until ready to use. Keeps well in the fridge for about 4 days. I love to freeze this sauce in individual-pizza portions, too.