Pizza sauce is one of the easiest things to make and will perk up homemade pizzas and a variety of other recipes with its thick consistency and bright, tomatoey flavor. Sometimes, I even make a double batch to use for a super quick, pizza-inspired pasta that’s a consistent crowdpleaser.
As an added bonus, taking a few minutes to prepare this flavorful sauce at home will produce a larger quantity for a lower price than most any store-bought option–and it will taste like the expensive jars. Win win!
There’s one special ingredient that makes this sauce shine just a little brighter than many of its counterparts — grated Parmesan. Tomatoes offer their own delicious umami, and Parmesan ratchets it up another notch. Parmesan also adds a hint of natural saltiness that complements the sauce quite nicely. Plus, it adds a touch of extra thickness, which is especially helpful when spreading on a pizza crust. (A thin and watery sauce = soggy crust, and we don’t want that.😉) That said, this sauce will still be a success if you need to keep things dairy-free.
Stay tuned this weekend for a low-carb meal that includes pizza sauce and happens to be a family favorite. For other ways to enjoy this saucy deliciousness, you may wish to try one of the following:
Polenta Crust Pizza Pie
Zucchini Pizza Casserole
3 Ingredient Pizzadillas
Pesto Pasta Pizza
Meatloaf Pizza Subs
Sausage, Pepper & 2 Cheese Pizza
Baked Fusilli with Asiago
Favorite Thin Crust Gluten-Free Pizza
*A few of these recipes call for marinara sauce, but this pizza sauce offers a delicious option that doesn’t stray too far from the marinara flavor profile.
Yield: approximately 3 cups
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (not diced tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (could use a mix of dried basil, oregano and thyme)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Pour the crushed tomatoes into the saucepan. Stir in the Italian herbs, salt and pepper; bring to a simmer. (Be careful of your clothing because it may splatter; partially cover with a lid if desired.) Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or herbs as desired. (See notes for other options.)
- Use immediately or cool and refrigerate in an airtight container or jar for up to a week. Freezes well, too.
- If you have time, you may let the sauce sit over low heat for 15 minutes or so. The flavors will continue to blend and improve as the sauce sits overnight in the fridge, so feel free to make ahead.
- If you prefer a hint of sweetness in your sauce, you may add a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, or a bit more to taste, along with the other seasonings. Sugar tempers the acid of the tomatoes—which can be more noticeable in canned tomatoes--and rounds out the flavor.
- In a pinch, you may substitute 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder for the freshly minced garlic. In this case, add it with the Italian herbs.
- As another option, add a pinch or two or red pepper flakes with the other seasonings.