Homemade Pizza Sauce

Homemade Pizza Sauce is so easy and flavorful, you will never go back to store-bought again. This easy pizza sauce from scratch with crushed tomatoes, wine, and garlic is the best pizza sauce recipe you will find. Ready in 30 minutes.

Welcome to my baby. My gem. The best pizza sauce recipe I have had, EVER, lovingly made at home. Eating healthier with fewer preservatives (I go through those phases too) was the impetus for me here in making up my own homemade pizza sauce. But now that I have done it, from now on forever and ever, the flavor of my homemade pizza sauce will be the motivator. It just tastes so damn good.

uncooked pizza dough with sauce spread on, on a black pizza stone

Pizza sauce vs spaghetti sauce

So what is the difference anyway between pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce. Why go to the trouble of specifically making pizza sauce rather than just opening a jar of spaghetti sauce?

In general, pizza sauce is thicker than a marinara. It has less water content and a bit more tomato paste. We want this for pizza because who wants watery pizza sauce? Not you, that’s who. Me neither.

Other than the water content, my pizza sauce is very similar to my Homemade Marinara Sauce in flavor. Wine, garlic, seasoning, tomatoes… hey, if a formula works, it works. So I stuck with it.

ladle scooping up cooked sauce

What makes this sauce the best?

Sure there are all kinds of recipes out there, but THIS one is the best for 2 reasons:

This recipe uses crushed tomatoes as its base, not tomato sauce or tomato paste. We still use a little paste to thicken, but that is a minor thing.

The result is a sauce that is not tomato-pasty-thick as others. Instead, the flavor is light and fresh and real with a gorgeous freshness even though we are using canned tomatoes.

A little red wine brings a lot of umami. Funny thing happens when you add a little extra layer of flavor. You deepen the flavor in a perceptible but not obvious way.

Certain ingredients deliver umami to elevate a recipe. A touch of anchovy paste to salad dressing is a perfect example. Mushrooms and sun-dried tomato are ingredients I use a lot for this. And red wine.

collage of 4 photos showing preparation: upper left, garlic in the pan; upper right, wine pouring into the pan; lower left, wine and garlic combined; lower right; assembled sauce ready to simmer


The ingredients all together for this recipe are EASY.

  • Olive oil. Brings creaminess yumminess, and is also necessary to cook the garlic. Use extra virgin olive oil and make sure it is real olive oil, not a knock-off.
  • Garlic. The garlic is lightly sautéed to take the raw bite off.
  • Red wine. A key to this recipe as discussed above. Use a deep rich red wine and not a sweet one.
  • Canned crushed tomatoes. Get the best quality tomatoes your budget will allow. I grab a bunch when they go BOGO at the grocery store.
  • Tomato paste. This is our thickener.
  • Seasonings: salt, Italian, and red pepper flakes. Always adjust to taste, especially salt.
  • Honey.

Tomatoes come with a tart/tangy acidity, so sauces typically need at least a little sugar to take that edge off. I used honey for the flavor.

marble board on which are 4 small glass bowls showing ingredients: honey, italian seasoning, salt, and crushed red pepper

Steps for preparation

Making homemade sauce is so easy, you have no excuse not to try it at least once. Promise.

  1. Sauté garlic in the olive oil. (1 minute)
  2. Add the wine and simmer. (1 minute)
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer. (20 minutes)

That’s it! Can you believe it? How stinking easy is that.

The 20 minute simmer is necessary to blend and deepen the flavors and make the magic happen. Yeah, there are “5 minute” recipes out there, but think about it – you are making sauce, for pizza. It needs a little love, it needs a little simmer simmer, and then you will love it all the more. So allow the extra couple minutes because it makes a world of difference in the flavor.

top down view into pan with finished recipe

Last Tips

This sauce can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Storage container should be one resistant to staining (such as a mason jar) or you’ll end up with an orange container.

I recommend using a garlic press to make mincing the garlic a snap.

Always simmer tomato sauces on low because they will bubble and splatter. Stir regularly to make sure it does not burn on the bottom either.

This sauce can be frozen for use within a couple months. Cool completely prior to transferring to a storage container.

I have used this recipe to cover 3-4 large pizzas. The recipe yields a little over 2 cups. If you want your sauce thinner and to stretch to 4 pizzas, use 1/2 cup sauce for each. If covering 3 pizzas, you can be more generous.

sauce layered on pizza dough

Need pizza ideas to put this sauce to use?

image for pinterest with text overlay of recipe title


Can homemade pizza sauce be frozen?

Homemade pizza sauce can be frozen in a resealable freezer bag for up to 2 months.

What is the best way to store homemade pizza sauce?

Store pizza sauce in the refrigerator in a mason jar with a lid for up to 1 month. Alternatively, sauce can be stored in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid, but the sauce will likely stain the plastic.

homemade pizza sauce on uncooked pizza dough

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Homemade Pizza Sauce is so easy and flavorful, you will never go back to store-bought again. This pizza sauce from scratch with crushed tomatoes, wine, and garlic is the best pizza sauce recipe you will find. Ready in 30 minutes.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: best pizza sauce recipe, homemade pizza sauce, pizza sauce from scratch
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Authur: Erica
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 61kcal



  • In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute briefly (~1 minute) until lightly golden. Add the wine and simmer a minute to deglaze and boil off the alcohol.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add the remaining ingredients. Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors and thicken the sauce.
  • Taste and adjust for salt and sweetness, adding a little sugar if necessary if the sauce is too acidic.
  • Use immediately or refrigerate and keep up to a week. This sauce can also be frozen.


This pizza sauce recipe yields enough for 3-4 large pizzas, depending how thick you layer your sauce.


Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g

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