Once you discover how EASY it is to whip up a thick, rich homemade pizza sauce that tastes like it’s been simmering for hours in only 10 MINUTES, you’ll never go back to buying store-bought again! Garlic, herbs, red wine, and tomato paste pump up the flavor in this easy, freezable recipe.
Pizza has to be my favorite food of all time. Sometimes I eat it two night in a row. And I’ve been known to eat it cold from the refrigerator for breakfast.
And to me, what makes a pizza is its sauce.
I prefer a pizza with red sauce (as opposed to a white pizza), and love when the sauce is rich and tomatoey, slightly sweet, and full of garlic and herb flavor. Lucky for me, I have the perfect recipe for this! And best of all, you only need about 10 minutes to make it.
Why is homemade pizza sauce better than store-bought?
Sure, you can buy pizza sauce at the store. But making it is so much better. Here’s why:
- It’s cheaper. This recipe makes enough sauce for 3-4 full size pizzas (freeze or can the rest of it!) and costs only about $3 to make the whole thing!
- It’s usually healthier. You control the ingredients going in, and many store-bought sauces have lots of added sugar.
- It’s yummier. Almost everything made from scratch is.
How to make it taste like it’s been simmering for hours
Usually, an excellent homemade tomato sauce (like this marinara recipe) simmers for a good, long while, which allows the flavors to develop more intensely. Slow cooking tomato sauce enhances the sweetness of the tomatoes and makes it taste richer, while at the same time thickening the sauce due to reduction.
But sometimes, you just need things quick and easy. Here’s what makes this quick and easy pizza sauce taste so amazing:
- Heat the fresh minced garlic and Italian seasoning in olive oil before adding the other ingredients. This will infuse the oil with all the flavors and distribute it evenly throughout the sauce, while at the same time mellowing out the raw garlic flavor.
- Use red wine and simmer it until it’s a bit reduced, to add a deep, rich flavor.
- Add just a little bit of sugar. I added honey to my sauce, but you can use regular ol’ sugar if you want. This helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and enriches the flavor.
- Use tomato paste. The concentrated flavor of tomato paste goes a long way in this sauce, and it helps thicken the whole thing up to be the perfect consistency for a pizza (spreadable, but not too liquidy).
- Use good quality canned, crushed tomatoes. When using canned tomatoes, I almost always go for the imported from Italy San Marzano kind. They are more naturally sweet than others. I like Cento, Tutto Rosso, and San Marzano brands the best.
How to make homemade pizza sauce
Just sauté the minced garlic and dried herbs in some olive oil (gently, for only about 1 minute). You don’t want to burn the garlic. Then, add some red wine and reduce for another minute or so.
Finally, add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, season with salt and pepper, and throw in a little sugar or honey if you want. That’s it! SO easy.
How to store it
I like to freeze my sauce divided into three or four 8-oz. mason jars which are the perfect size for a large pizza.
If you’re into canning things, you can also can this sauce and keep it in your pantry (although I haven’t personally tried this).
It will also stay good in your fridge for about a week in an airtight container. This is great if you just need a little at a time, like if you’re making english muffin pizzas for lunch. It’s also great as a dipping sauce for things like arancini or homemade calzones!
Recipes to use with homemade pizza sauce
- Loving the from-scratch taste of this sauce? Try making homemade whole wheat pizza dough!
- I love using this red sauce on Homemade Hawaiian Pizza, Buffalo Mushroom Naan Pizza and Sausage Breakfast Pizza.
- You can also use it as a thicker alternative to marinara sauce in stuffed portobello mushrooms or roasted eggplant parmesan stacks.
Check out all my homemade sauce recipes here.
Did you make this quick and easy homemade pizza sauce recipe? Please click the stars below to comment and Rate this Recipe
10-Minute Homemade Pizza Sauce
- medium pot
- Heat the olive oil (1 tablespoon) in a medium saucepan on medium heat and sauté the minced garlic (2 cloves) and Italian seasoning (1 teaspoon) for one minute or until fragrant, stirring consistently so the garlic doesn't burn.
- Add red wine (1/4 cup) and simmer for another minute, stirring frequently, or until wine has reduced by about half.
- Add remaining ingredients, stir, cover, and simmer on low for about 5 minutes or until heated through. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste and add the honey or sugar, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- If you don't have Italian seasoning, you can use dried oregano, thyme, and/or basil. You can also use fresh herbs if you prefer- if you do this, use 1 tablespoon instead of 1 teaspoon.
- Storage: I like to store this sauce in 8 oz. mason jars in my freezer, which is the perfect amount for a large pizza. Although I've never tried it, you can also can this sauce and store it in your pantry.
- Wine alternative: if you prefer to not use wine, just skip that step and move right on to adding the other ingredients.
This recipe originally appeared on Bowl of Delicious in April 2015 as “Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce.” It’s been updated with new photos, an improved recipe, and more pertinent information in the post.