Zesty Pizza Sauce

1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, saute the onions, red pepper flakes and garlic, in olive oil, 3-5 minutes or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining spices and stir. Cook 30-40 minutes on low or until thickened to the point when you run a spoon across the bottom of the pan “parting” the sauce and virtually no liquid trickles into the middle. The thicker the sauce, the less likely your pizza will be soggy, even if your crust is very thin.

My thoughts:

I know that some people are tempted to use bottled pizza sauce but homemade is so easy (and cheap!) to make, there is really no reason not to. It does take a bit of time but it is mainly hands off and really not much more time than it takes to preheat the oven and assemble your toppings. If you are making homemade crust, make this while the dough is going through the second rise. It is fine if it is closer to room temperature than hot when you ladle it on the pizza.

Refrigerate any leftovers for a future pizza or calzone or toss with some hot pasta for a quick meal or snack.


  1. This is easy and cheap, I love it! Thanks.

  2. as someone who has used bottle sauces maybe a handful of times in life (i AM italian, afterall…lol)..i couldnt agree with you more. homeade sauce is super easy and much cheaper… and some recipes dont even take that long!

  3. I have a similar sauce, it has more herbs and some other things, but I use fire roasted tomatoes. They add a nice smokey flavor that I love.

  4. Kelly- what brand of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes do you use? I haven’t been able to find them crushed.

  5. I have to try this!! I keep hearing how easy is. That looks great!!

  6. Homemade is the best. I make a similar one. I add fennel! I want pizza now:)

  7. Oooh perfect pizza sauce. Or even a great marinara.

  8. I agree it’s so easy to make your own. Why buy?

  9. I love fresh tomato sauce. The first time I made my own I vowed never to use jar sauce again!

  10. How about a pizza dough recipe to go along with the yummy sauce recipe??

  11. MajorHavoc- I already have one pizza dough recipe posted here but come back tomorrow for a new variation.

  12. Rachel – Muir Glen makes a very nice fire roasted crushed tomato that has the added benefit of being organic. Here is a link: muirglen.com/products/product_detail.aspx?cat=5&upc=7-25342-29043-7

  13. Thanks Kelly- our local store sells the diced but not the crushed Muir Glen. I will have to try and track it down.

  14. Thanks for the recipe – I made pizza twice in the past week and wished I had homemade sauce. I should take the time on the weekend to make a bunch and freeze it to have during the week.

  15. Tried the sauce tonight on the Black Pepper/Garlic pizza dough – really good, thanks!

  16. I’m going to make this tomorrow – as long as I can freeze it flat in ziplock bags. How much do you think it takes to cover a pizza? (I like to go light with the sauce and heavy on the bake time.)

    Also – have you ever frozen the dough? If I had the sauce and dough frozen and on hand I might not call Papa John’s on Friday nights …

  17. Abby- I haven’t frozen the sauce or the dough before but it is worth a shot. The sauce made 2 pizzas with just a little leftover.

  18. I’m gonna try it. I can’t think of any reason the sauce wouldn’t freeze. And I’ve read that you can freeze fresh pizza dough….