Homemade Zesty Pizza Sauce | Quick and Easy Recipe

Zesty Pizza Sauce

Have you ever made homemade pizza and found your store-bought sauce to be lackluster? The sauce is always the biggest difference for me between restaurant pizza and my homemade versions. 

To be honest, the jars of pizza sauce I used to buy at the grocery store just weren’t very good.

I started making my own pizza sauce and it made all the difference in my homemade pizzas. Now I just want to eat homemade pizza every night.

If you want to bring your homemade pizza game to the next level, you need to try this super easy homemade pizza sauce recipe. It is the best pizza sauce for homemade pizza night. With tart tomatoes, zesty herbs, and loads of flavor, every pizza will be made better with a layer of homemade sauce. You’ll never buy a jar of sauce again! 



This zesty homemade pizza sauce requires just a few pantry ingredients that you probably have on hand! The recipe is very forgiving, so feel free to make substitutions and use what you have on hand.

Canned tomatoes: I like the texture of crushed. You can also crush canned whole tomatoes (I recommend San Marzanos) for a chunkier texture or use tomato sauce for a smoother pizza sauce.

Tomato paste: This tomato puree makes for a rich sauce and thickens it a bit.

Onion and garlic: We are going for the most flavorful sauce possible, so onions and garlic are a must. Onion powder and garlic powder will work in a pinch, but the fresh stuff is best. 

Dried herbs: This recipe calls for basil and oregano, but feel free to use Italian seasoning if that’s what you prefer. Fresh herbs are also welcome!

Olive oil: This is an important ingredient for a zesty sauce as oil helps extract the flavors from the herbs. It will also help us saute the onion and garlic to perfection.

Red pepper flakes: These are optional, but encouraged. For a super flavorful sauce, these red pepper flakes add a little kick.

Salt and pepper: The amount of salt and pepper you add will depend on personal preference. Some prefer a very salty sauce while others like theirs more sweet.

How to Use Pizza Sauce

To use this delicious sauce, allow it to cool completely first. 

Form a ball of risen pizza dough into a flat disk on your pizza stone or peel. Spread the sauce onto the dough in a thin layer using the back of a spoon. Allow a small margin around the edge of the pizza for a crust to form.

Top your pizza with cheese and any other desired toppings before baking your pizza.

Zesty Pizza Sauce - Applying the sauce

Other Uses for Pizza Sauce

This sauce is great for more than just homemade pizza! As a simple red sauce, it is versatile for all sorts of Italian meals. You can use this homemade sauce for all of these dishes and more.

  • Pizza sauce makes a great dipping sauce for garlic bread, bread sticks, or parmesan bread bites.
  • Use it on a toasted sandwich such as a meatball sub or a chicken sub.
  • Add it to homemade minestrone soup to thicken the soup a bit.

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Best Homemade Pizza Toppings

Homemade pizza is the best choice for pizza night because you can make it exactly how you prefer it. I particularly like to make individual pizzas so each person can make their ideal pie.

When topping your homemade pizza, it is important to resist the temptation to use a ton of toppings. While more may seem better, adding too many toppings will prevent your dough from cooking properly, leaving a raw, doughy pizza. A few toppings will go a long way in flavor and your pizza will be cooked through.

Feel free to be creative with your pizza toppings or start with some of these delicious classics:

  • Meat: Pepperoni, sausage, bacon, or chicken are guaranteed to taste delicious.
  • Vegetables: My personal favorite combination is green bell peppers, red onions, and sauteed mushrooms. You can also add olives, spinach, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and zucchini.
  • Fresh herbs: Add even more flavor with fresh basil, oregano, or thyme.
  • Cheese: Mozzarella is a classic, but you can make your pizza unique by adding other cheeses. I recommend parmesan cheese, provolone, ricotta, or feta.

Zesty Pizza Sauce - Toppings

How to Freeze Zesty Pizza Sauce

This pizza sauce will last 5-7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you would like to store it more long-term, freezing is the way to go.

I like to make this sauce in bulk and freeze it so I don’t have to make a fresh batch of pizza sauce every time I’d like to make pizza.

To freeze your sauce, pack it into single serving sizes. The amount in a serving will depend on how much pizza you make on pizza night. If you make a large quantity of personal pizzas or large pizzas, you may need 1 or 2 cups. If you will be making one small pizza, ¼ – ½ cup is probably suitable. 

Store each serving in a freezer bag or jar that is labeled with the contents and date. This pizza sauce will freeze well for a year or more.

To make a great pizza, take a serving of your homemade sauce out of the freezer and allow it to thaw on the counter for a couple of hours or in the fridge overnight.

More Pizza Recipes

Need some more inspiration for pizza night? We have you covered with all sorts of delicious homemade pizza recipes. Try them all for a pizza buffet!

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Zesty Pizza Sauce

Homemade Zesty Pizza Sauce | Quick and Easy Recipe

  • Author: Tessa Hollman



1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons onion, minced

2 teaspoons basil

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, saute onions and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  2. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Continue lightly simmering the sauce for 15-20 minutes, or until it has thickened. To make an extra thick sauce, simmer it longer, stirring regularly.
  4. Cool before using on pizza.

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