Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce

Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce

This recipe has revolutionized my homemade pizzas. I realize that’s a bold statement, but that’s how strongly I feel about this pizza sauce. In the past, when making homemade pizza, I would automatically default to margarita pizza (our favorite), or some sort of pesto pizza. The reason was that any store-bought pizza sauce we tried just didn’t live up to our expectations and consequently brought the whole pizza down. Then I found this quick and easy pizza sauce recipe in a recent Cook’s Illustrated magazine with the result that we’ve had homemade pizza more times in recent months than I can count.

Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce

At first glance I wasn’t sure this was the recipe I was looking for. It seemed too simple. Shouldn’t I have to buy hard to find ingredients? Or at least cook something? But I figured at most I was losing 5 minutes of my day and a can of tomatoes, so I decided to try it. And now I don’t know if I’ll ever try another pizza sauce recipe. We love it, and Mike swears it tastes better than take-out (strong words in this house). We’ve had it combined with my favorite homemade pizza dough, used it to make pizza toast in the toaster oven, and most recently I discovered that bagel chips dipped in pizza sauce is a delightful combination. Best of all, you can freeze the sauce and defrost as needed. Give it a try and let me know if it revolutionizes your homemade pizzas!

Quick and Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce

Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce


  • 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and liquid discarded
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 medium garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

from Cook's Illustrated, January 2011

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  1. Oh delish, simple is always better in my opinion!

  2. Oh thank you for this recipe. I have been looking for a pizza sauce recipe but had no idea whether any of them were good or not. The search is over now that I've found yours and I especially love that there's no cooking involved in making it.

  3. Never made homemade pizza sauce! My husband will love this.

  4. oh this is great to know – I've been looking for a good recipe!

  5. I've been looking for a good pizza sauce recipe! I'm definitely going to try this! Yes!

  6. I like that you put a little splash of vinegar in it. Nice.

  7. that pizza looks fantastic.I may give it a try for hubs sometime.

  8. Beautiful photos, Megan!! I love a good pizza sauce. We typically use garlic, tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Might have to give this one a try.

  9. I love this recipe, I've made it a ton!

  10. Love this homemade pizza sauce Megan! Wish I could have a pizza right now 🙂

  11. Thanks for the recipe. I'll have to try it out. We make homemade pizza nearly weekly and have a quick and easy sauce as well. It's not perfect and I wouldn't say it's better than take-out but so far, we enjoy it enough to eat it. However, next time, I'll definitely give yours a try since you gave it such rave reviews. If you want to see the one we've been using, the crust and sauce recipe can be found here: http://everydaymealstoshare.blogspot.com/2010/06/quick-and-easy-pizza.html

  12. I don't have a food processor. What can I do instead?

  13. Bonnie – I've also used an immersion blender and it came out fine. Possibly a little more liquid, but the pizza was great. A blender is another good option. Good luck! 🙂

  14. My hubby and I usually don't put sauce on our pizza, but just make white pizzas instead. But this sauce looks awesome and I think we need to try the sauce!

  15. I usually buy pizza sauce and never love it – so I can't wait to try this! I'd love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight at http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

  16. You don't even have to stew the tomatoes or anything?! I have been waiting to find a recipe just like this! Yay!!

  17. I've definitely bookmarked this recipe. Sounds great!

  18. Wow! It always seems to me that its the simple recipes that always go the farthest in the flavor dept. This pizza sauce is perfect and I think it would go great with many food items!!

  19. As soon as I saw this post, I emailed it to my husband. He made the sauce yesterday, and we enjoyed it with stromboli last night. It was so tasty, and it saves us from having to buy lackluster pizza sauce at the store!

  20. Great recipe! I love homemade tomato sauce, but never tried to make it in advance before. Will try this soon. Thanks!

  21. Thanks so much for passing along the recipe!! I bookmarked it so I can give it a try the next time we make pizza. It sounds wonderful!! 🙂

  22. adventuremeg – So glad you liked it! And so nice that your husband made it for you 🙂 I'm going to show this comment to Mike…hint hint 😉

  23. I do trust ATC! Looks great.

  24. This looks great! We haven't made pizza at home for quite while and I'm convinced it's because Trader Joe's isn't convenient anymore to where we live (we depended on their pizza sauce). “Better than take-out” is high-praise indeed when it comes to pizza! I'm convinced… and will totally give this a try!

  25. Thanks!! This is just what I needed for my homemade pizza this week! YUM!!

  26. Now I'm craving pizza! Your pizza sauce looks so good and I love how simple it is. I'll have to try it out! 🙂

  27. Bookmarking this one, for sure! We make pizza every couple of weeks at home.

  28. Shared this recipe on my blog today!

  29. Hi Megan! I was just making the week's menu this morning and asked Anna for ideas. She said pizza and I said no…then later wondered aloud what to make and she said, “Mom, I GAVE you an option and you said no.”
    But, with your rave review of this sauce, we'll definitely add pizza in! I always have those ingredients! Hope you're doing great!

  30. I made this pizza sauce and it tastes sooo good, but it came out a bit thin. What could I do to thicken it up? Yours looks pretty thick in the pictures.

  31. Mara – I noticed it was watery once when I made it recently as well. I think it might have to do with the type of tomatoes you use. I used Red Gold for the pictures here, and I've had the best results with those. The time it turned out watery I used a store brand. Other than that, just make sure you drain the tomatoes very well.

    Missy – I hope you guys like the pizza and it lives up to Anna's expectations! You'll have to let me know how it turns out 🙂

  32. That makes sense – thanks for the suggestions. I did use store brand canned tomatoes so that may be it. I'll also be sure to drain the heck out of them next time. Thanks!

  33. Fab, fab, fab! We made this for dinner tonight and thank you for our new favorite sauce. C is very picky about red sauce (like scrapes it off from under the cheese most of the time) and he really liked it! And Anna was pleased, too. =)
    We like a thin, bubbly type of crust so used a Bobby Flay recipe our newspaper printed. Paired with a nice red, this was a great dinner! I think we'll go back to weekly pizza nights again. =)
    Thanks for the inspiration, Meg!

  34. I agree–this does sound easy, but sometimes the simplest of recipes are the best. I can't wait to try this next time I make homemade pizza 🙂

  35. Missy – So glad you liked this! And that it met Chris and Anna's approval too 🙂 Hope you guys are doing well!

  36. Made this sauce for our pizza last night. It was yummy. I'm going to blog about it soon, I will put a link back to your blog. thanks.

  37. I tried your sauce… I have to say it is a little too acidic. Added 1/2 cup of sugar and I think it works. I worked in 3 different pizza restaurants in the past (as a cook & manager) and I know a little about pizza sauce.

  38. I think this sauce is fantastic. Not sure I would add 1/2 cup of sugar to it. It is pizza sauce, not kool aid. Best, easiest pizza sauce I have made and I have tried and tried and tried, especially wasting time and effort, cooking the sauce. It is not necessary as this sauce is a home run and can be made in minutes, right before you need it if need be.

    If you are looking for an uncooked pizza sauce recipe that will make your pies a hit, this is it.

  39. My husband loves pizza, especially on football Sundays. I made this in the AM for pizza tonight (with your homemade dough too). We loved the sauce! I used store brand tomatoes, but I drained them really, really, really well, and it came out perfectly!! I also used Pizza Seasoning instead of Dried Oregano. (I make my own pizza seasoning and store it in an air tight container: 4 tablespoons dried oregano, 2 tablespoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion salt or garlic salt).

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  42. I tried this recipe tonight along with the homemade pizza dough. My family raved about it. I didn’t read the recipe thoroughly enough and did not drain the tomatoes. It was still delicious! I will remember to drain them next time- Thanks!

  43. I forgot to drain the tomatoes the first time I made this and realized it as soon as I turned on the blender. I tasted it and it was not so great. I didn’t want to waste it, so I decided to just reduce it on the stove. Let me just tell you this is my new secret to improving upon this already-excellent sauce. It was so full of flavor, my husband was in heaven! The kids don’t eat the pizza edge so I dipped them in a little leftover sauce and it was so delicious! Thank you for posting this, Megan!!

  44. How long does this sauce good for if left in the refrigerator? I used it a week ago and loved it by the way but I wanted to make more pizza this week but I wasn’t sure if the sauce was still good to use??

    • I’m so sorry I”m just replying to your comment now! I’m sorry I’m way too late to help you out. I generally wouldn’t keep it for a week, but I’m always worried about that stuff. I always freeze it after a couple days if we haven’t used it up. I generally will leave it for about 5 days, but that’s my own opinion and not based on any scientific reasoning whatsoever. 🙂

  45. i made this sauce this morning,it was so easy to make and tastes heavenly. it is in the refrigerator waiting for the homemade crust and cheese. i liked that it is a no cook recipe,saves me time and wont heat up the house until you need to bake the pizza. any leftover sauce will be frozen for the next pizza we make.

  46. I am not usually a Coooks Illustrated fan. The recipes needlessly complicated. But I gotta say I love this recipe.

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  49. This is excellent! I used it on homemade pizza today and it was exactly what I was looking for — easy, flavorful, and not bitter-tasting (like I find a lot of the sauces made with tomato paste are). I used a 14-oz can of diced tomatoes, no salt added, and a 14-oz can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, with the liquid pressed out in a strainer. I also added some fresh basil. I’ve frozen the rest. Thanks for posting this!

  50. Amazing!! Didn’t feel like using the usual tomato paste, so was looking for something with very little (if any!!) cooking time, and this was perfect! It really made the pizza. Hubby couldn’t believe it wasn’t a slow-cooked for hours sauce! Thank you for sharing! That ones going in the forever cookbook!

  51. Tried your recipe yeaterday – I really goofed up and forgot to drain the tomatoes;( But the sauce was easy to make and even though it was thin it tasted great! Any suggestions to thicken it up now? Happy to find your site! Thank you Megan!

  52. I made this using crushed tomatoes and it was fabulous! I didn’t have to get out the blender…just stirred everything together.

  53. thanks 4 the recipe i’m going to try it !! it looks east and tasty

  54. This is my go to pizza sauce its fresh and light making it tonight Just love it 🙂 thanks for the recipe.

  55. Absolutely love this sauce! I adjusted a bit to fit our preferences but still great as is. Here’s what we like: Add 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, reduce salt to 1/2 tsp. if using table salt not Kosher or sea salt, sub balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar and add sugar or artificial sweetener to balance the acidity of the tomatoes, if needed. Add sugar/sweetener about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. at a time then taste before adding any more; repeat as needed. Tip: After opening tomatoes, push lid into can and press like heck while turning can over while draining into a cup; set aside. After mixing sauce, if it is too thick, add back liquid slowly until reach preferred consistency. Discard any unused liquid.

  56. I must not have drained my tomatoes well enough because mine turned out a little watery but I simmered it down for a little bit on the stove and it turned out great. Next time I’ll be sure to really drain those tomatoes! Thanks for sharing this recipe. It was quick, easy, and very tasty!

  57. I kept looking at this recipe and could not make up my mind.I could not understand the red wine vinegar in it. Anyway I decided to try it. The only change I made was to use Mexican oregano. All I can say is WOW!! This sauce is fantastic!! It is now the new house pizza sauce.

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  59. Hi! Tried this tonight on my pizza, its very tasty but unfortunately mine came out very liquid despite the fact that I drained the canned tomatos… hmmm maybe adding in some mushrooms or something could thicken it up!

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  61. How much does this make?

  62. This looks so much better than the one I make. Trying this one next.

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