Tomato sauce for homemade pizzas is one of the all-time easiest DIY projects. It's made with just a few ingredients — canned tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil — and a quick blitz in the blender or food processor. You can even freeze it in single pizza-sized portions to make things all the easier for yourself on Pizza Night!
Here is your step-by-step recipe, with everything you need to know to make homemade pizza sauce tonight.
Use Canned Tomatoes
Canned tomatoes are just great for making homemade pizza sauce. You can use whole or diced tomatoes, but make sure no spices or herbs have been added. You want basic, everyday, plain tomatoes here! Fresh tomatoes can be used too, but can make a watery sauce; use only paste tomatoes, or squeeze the tomatoes of excess liquid before blending.
Any variety of tomatoes works just fine for making pizza sauce, even your grocery-store brand. For the authentic Neapolitan pizza experience, however, pick up a can of San Marzano tomatoes. They're a little sweeter and meatier than other varieties, and they can really level-up your sauce game on Pizza Night.
Don't Cook the Sauce!
This pizza sauce is ready to be used as soon as it's blended — no cooking needed! Spoon it right onto the pizza, cover with additional toppings, and bake. If you'd like a thicker sauce, strain the tomatoes from their juices before blending.
This isn't just for convenience; a no-cook sauce will actually taste better on your pizza, giving you that fresh, zippy tomato flavor, even after it has been baked in a hot oven. To hear a pizza pro explain this even better than we can, watch this 1-minute video with Brandon Pettit of Seattle pizzeria Delancey:
To make pizza sauce, you'll need:
1 32-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes,6 to 8 garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil
How To Make Homemade Pizza Sauce
Makes about 4 cups
What You Need
1 32-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes
6 to 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more to taste
Blender or food processor
Muffin tin, if freezing
Freezer bag or container, if freezing
Combine the tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, some black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil in a blender or food processor. Use both the tomatoes and their juices, or drain the tomatoes for a slightly thicker and more concentrated sauce.
Puree the sauce: Blend the ingredients until they're completely pureed. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides as needed.
Give the sauce a taste: Taste your sauce, and add more salt, fresh-cracked pepper, or olive oil to taste. Blend a few more seconds to combine.
Use the pizza sauce: This sauce is ready to be used as is — no cooking required. Just spoon it onto a round of pizza dough and use the back of the spoon to smooth it out. This amount of sauce makes enough for eight medium pizzas, depending on how much sauce you like on your pizza.
- Refrigerate unused sauce for up to a week.
Freeze any extra pizza sauce for up to 3 months: Spoon any unused sauce into muffin tins. Freeze until solid, then pop the frozen cubes out of the mold and transfer to a freezer container. Thaw overnight before using on pizza, or microwave the cubes in 30-second bursts until they melt into a sauce.
This post has been updated — first published October 2012.
(Image credits: Kelli Dunn)