Best Pizza Sauce

I was so excited to tell you about the pizza recipe yesterday (yes, I get excited about recipes) that I completely forgot to give directions about the great pizza sauce. Now, you could go to the store and pick up whatever jar is labeled “pizza sauce” and put that on your pizza and call it a day. But that would be bad. That would make me unhappy.

You just went to the trouble of making pizza dough. If you wanted the easy way out, just order a pizza. Show this dough some respect and put something a little better than processed, bland pizza sauce on it.

Quick and easy pizza sauce.

Quick and easy pizza sauce.

I’m not going to ask you to oven-roast your tomatoes, or even use fresh tomatoes, but by all means go ahead. This recipe is about getting the best possible flavor for the least possible effort. We are going to stick with canned tomatoes. The quality is consistent year-round and probably better than what you can get in the off season.

Canned tomatoes.

Canned tomatoes.

This sauce will be more vibrant and will taste fresher – nothing like the dull paste of whatever is put into the prepared, preserved pizza sauces. So pick up a can of crushed tomatoes, some olive oil and a few herbs and spices that you probably already have in your panty. Mix, heat, and spread on your pizza.

Fans of simple recipes will like this one. There is all of one step.


1 (28-oz) can Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes (with basil)
3.5 tbsp olive oil
3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 3/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

  1. Combine everything into a large skillet and bring to a simmer over medium to medium low heat. Let simmer, uncovered, for about 15-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced slightly and looks thicker.

To save some time and to get the process moving quickly you can follow these steps:

1. Put everything but the garlic and tomatoes into the pan on med-low heat.

1. Everything but the garlic and tomatoes goes in a pan on med-low heat. The spices will infuse their flavors into the olive oil.

Mince the garlic and then add it to the pan. The other spices/herbs will have infused their flavors into the olive oil.

2. Mince the garlic, add it to the pan. Let cook 30-45 seconds (just the time it takes to do the next step!).

Open the can of crushed tomatoes and stir into the skillet. Try to give the garlic at least 30-45 seconds to release some flavor.

3. Open the can of crushed tomatoes and stir into the skillet.

The thickened sauce, after about 20 minutes.

4. The sauce will thicken after about 20 minutes.

If you like a less chunky sauce, blend all (or just half) in a blender after it has cooled. I like my sauce to have small bits of tomato, so I skip this step. I also don’t want to clean a blender. Anyone want to buy me a stick blender?

One teaspoon of red pepper flakes doesn’t make for a particularly hot sauce, but if you really don’t like heat, reduce this to about 1/2 teaspoon. Don’t eliminate the red pepper completely though, as there is just something about red pepper flakes that completes a pizza sauce.

If you have a splatter screen, use it. Otherwise you will end up with red splashes all over your stove top from the bubbling tomato sauce. If you don’t have a splatter screen, you can make the sauce in a large pot. Most of the bubbling will splash onto the walls of the pot instead of your stove top.

This recipe will make enough for several pizzas. I make the full amount and freeze the rest until I need it.

Two Birds, One Stone: I’ve also used this as a pasta sauce in a pinch…


1 Response to “Best Pizza Sauce”

  1. 1 Tinir April 21, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    This was pretty good. Thanks for sharing.

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