How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce
This is my new and improved version. And by 'new and improved,' I mean 'old and secret.' Here is my top-secret formula. The next time you're making homemade pizza, you might as well make some sauce too.
This is my new and improved version. And by 'new and improved,' I mean 'old and secret.' Here is my top-secret formula. The next time you're making homemade pizza, you might as well make some sauce too.
I used to go to a pizza joint in Dallas the made the best pizza ever. Their sauce made the pizza. When they closed because of the death of the owner, I asked one of the son's what made their sauce to good. He said two things that other don't use. Anchovies and caraway seeds. I made this recipe and at the last minute remembered the seeds. I added about a third teaspoon of freshly crushed Caraway seed. Man, dats some good sauce! Blender Woman, If you're that picky, cut back on the pepper, don't dog the recipe.Read More
I love spicy food, but was definitely surprised at how spicy this pizza sauce was. Maybe it well mellow out once it's on the actual pizza. One important note for you "scientist" cooks out there: that 2 to 3 minutes of cooking the fresh oregano might be too long. I would just cook the fresh oregano for maybe half a minute--in reality just until the leaves barely wilted--then add the other ingredients. I ended up with burnt oregano in my sauce. Not sure this recipe is going to stand the test of time for me. It's easy to make, and not bad, but I'm going to keep looking.Read More
I used to go to a pizza joint in Dallas the made the best pizza ever. Their sauce made the pizza. When they closed because of the death of the owner, I asked one of the son's what made their sauce to good. He said two things that other don't use. Anchovies and caraway seeds. I made this recipe and at the last minute remembered the seeds. I added about a third teaspoon of freshly crushed Caraway seed. Man, dats some good sauce! Blender Woman, If you're that picky, cut back on the pepper, don't dog the recipe.
Yep, this is the ONE. The two oreganos are key.
Another excellent recipe by Chef John. I use this sauce on my red sauce pizzas. I cooked my way through college (mostly flipping pizza dough) by cooking and this is the best red sauce I have tasted. Save yourself years of research and use this recipe- don't even think about skimping on the tomatoes.
Tried this recipe for the first time last night. Worked great! Followed the recipe to the letter. Why try and improve on the new improved recipe? Made enough for two 14 1/2 pizzas. I plan to make this again ahead of time and freeze. One note for those with (sheltered) children under the age of 14 or so. Don't let them see you drop in the anchovies. "What - what are those black oily things that look like slugs? Are those slugs?! Are you putting in slugs?!" After a few minutes of reassurance and promises I was not punkin' anyone in my family all calmed down and trusted their father. And they agreed that they could not taste the "slugs" and the sauce was delicious. I was granted permission to make this again.
I made this recipe a second time exactly as written with San Marzano tomatoes this time. It was perfect using San Marzano tomatoes and didn't need the addition of wine as I had added the first time. I used 1-1/2 Tbsp of anchovy paste this time, my preference. This pizza sauce recipe is my mainstay from here on.
Do not be afraid of the anchovies! I've made my own pizza sauce for decades. Tried a few recipes from this site, but always went back to my old standby. I don't like anchovies: not the look of them, the smell of them, nothing. I decided to go out on a limb and try this recipe. I even made it early enough in the day that, if we didn't like it, I would have time to make my old standby before dinner time. I thought that I would cook the anchovies then remove them from the sauce! Ha! Who knew that anchovies "dissolve" in the oil! I continued with the rest of the recipe, using 1/4 tsp of crushed red peppers instead of 1/2 tsp. OMG. This was THE best pizza sauce I have ever made! I hid the anchovy can from my husband so it wouldn't influence his opinion of the sauce. He agreed the sauce was very good. We did not taste anchovies, just a depth of flavor. This ol' Italian girl has a new go-to for pizza sauce!
Absolutely delicious! Well balanced. I made exactly as written with the TINY exception of using anchovy paste in a tube. I got lucky and found 2 cans of San Marzano (Cento) tomatoes in the dent bin last week and they were half off. Perfect way to use them!!
Once again Chef John another excellent recipe!! Very easy to make and the taste is the best. I agree you need to use the 2 oregano's that's where most of your flavor comes from. I will try to find San Marzano tomatoes next time though, my sauce was kind of watery even though it cooked for almost two hours. My boo-boo. I think everybody should try this you won't be disappointed. My hubby and kids want homemade pizzas every week now!! :)
This was awesome sauce. I thought I would have to add more sugar but for some reason I think the baking soda really did take out that acidic taste. Amazing. I could NOT find fresh oregano...so sadly I used 2 teaspoon of dry. It was still good but I can't wait to make it with fresh. I did use anchovy fillets but I might try paste next time for convenience and see if I notice. This is now MY traditional pizza sauce.
I love spicy food, but was definitely surprised at how spicy this pizza sauce was. Maybe it well mellow out once it's on the actual pizza. One important note for you "scientist" cooks out there: that 2 to 3 minutes of cooking the fresh oregano might be too long. I would just cook the fresh oregano for maybe half a minute--in reality just until the leaves barely wilted--then add the other ingredients. I ended up with burnt oregano in my sauce. Not sure this recipe is going to stand the test of time for me. It's easy to make, and not bad, but I'm going to keep looking.
My family loved this sauce. I chose this recipe because I needed one that didn't use tomato paste (I was out of it) and every Chef John recipe we've tried has been terrific and flexible. This one didn't disappoint. We didn't have the San Marzano brand for our tomatoes on hand, and only had dry oregano, yet it still had such a wonderful flavor. Thanks!!
Excellent! Followed recipe exactly except I didn't have fresh oregano on hand. I love anchovies but was a little hesitant about using them as it might not appeal to others. However, it gave the sauce an extra layer of flavor with no anchovy fishy taste. Will definitely make again.
Very Good. Vegetarians, so we skipped the anchovy fillets and substituted in half the caraway seeds mentioned in another review along with an equal amount of fennel seeds. Turned out really good and will be freezing the leftovers in one ladle servings for future use. Thanks Chef John!
This is better than anything out of a jar! I didn't have fresh oregano, I put in 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning and 1 teas dried oregano. We like anchovies so I put in 3, they completely dissolved and you can't taste anchovy, only a great flavor. I used a 28 oz can store brand crushed tomatoes. I let everything simmer overnight in my mini crockpot. I omitted the backing soda because I forgot. Didn't seem to need it. Fabulous and so easy!
This is the best pizza sauce! I made it for a pizza party and everyone loved it! We also have homemade pizzas every Friday night and with this sauce they surpass anything that we could order out. I followed the recipe exactly too. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.
I did not care for this recipe.
This Pizza Sauce is terrific!
Chef John you are killing me. Your recipes tend to have good base flavors, until the heat attacks me. It is so over-whelming in this recipe and others I have tried. I don't do heat well and this was crazy hot with the red pepper flakes. I had all of the ingredients but the anchovies and just added some salt. I even used the San Marzano tomatoes suggested! I planned this for a pizza, but am now going to save it for my heat loving husband in pasta or another dish this weekend. Guess, I am back to my basic no heat pizza sauce for dinner tonight. Luckily, its quick to mix up.
I made this for my first ever home made pizza - so much better than the store bought that comes on the pizza I usually buy just to add stuff to. Thanks again, Chef John!
followed recipe exactly, wouldn't change a thing. Have made this several times and always keep a topper in the freezer
Had a craving for pizza so made this for dinner! It was my first time, but I took the chance and doubled the recipe. Glad I did to make 2 pizzas which my family declared the "best in the world ever!" The only thing I changed was to halve the amount of red pepper flakes and added a pinch of caraway seeds (ground with mortar and pestle). I simmered it for 30 min while I got the toppings (sliced fresh mushrooms cooked down in dry nonfat skillet to remove moisture, lowfat pepperoni, part-skim mozzarella, black olives, thinly sliced shallots,) ready to assemble the pizzas with storebought fresh dough. With the pizzas baking for 20 min, the meal was ready in an hour- less than the time to call an order and get delivery!! Delicious.
This was the best pizza sauce ever! The only thing was Anchovies. Which I may break down and use in the future. I also used roasted tomatoes which gave it a kick!
I like to make all kinds of pizza, and this is my go to sauce recipe for deep dish pizza (let's not start the whole "That's not even pizza!" discussion again...) :) It's really tasty and I think the inclusion of the anchovies (without actually tasting anchovy) makes a massive difference for the good. I've made it several times now and each time I followed the recipe to a T and have no reason to change it. I combine this with the crust recipe from realdeepdish.com (with a slight change to replace some of the corn oil with butter) and this makes a wonderful Chicago Style pizza pie. I highly recommend it!
Delicious - I replaced anchovies with olives
I've made pizza sauce before and always found that "something was missing" but couldn't put my finger on it. The pizza place our family used to get was run by a little Italian lady and the sauce was so good. I've never been able to replicate it-until now. The "missing ingredient" was anchovy! I followed this recipe (using anchovy paste) and the type of canned tomatoes in the recipe. (pricey, but worth it) Thanks, Chef John.
Great recipe! Came out great in my VitaClay cooker! I added a splash of broth for consistency. The anchovies are a great flavor addition that gives the sauce nuance!
I'm now official your devoted groupie. Every recipe of yours is amazing, and even though this sauce seems simple, don't let it fool you--the flavor is so rich. The San Marzanos! The anchovies! Where have you been all my life? I didn't use as much red pepper flake as you do, but I will never use a different pizza sauce now. I'm finishing off the pizza as I type this. Love it. Thank you.
Really great recipe!
I have made this several times now. It is excellent. I use Worchestire instead of anchovies which seems to work well and a little less red pepper flakes (1/8 instead of 1/4 teaspoon). Awesome receipe! Thank you Chef John.
This is our go-to pizza sauce recipe! I just wish it wasn't so hard to find authentic San Marzano tomatoes in our area.
This was a really easy sauce to make, and it was a HUGE hit with my kids (even my super-picky son loved it and asked me to make it again). At first, I thought the red pepper was going to be too spicy, because it really was quite strong when the sauce was simmering. However, once it was on the pizza, it mellowed right out , and it was perfect. The only thing I would change next time would be to use a lighter flavored olive oil instead of the robust oil that I used this time.
This is the second time I have made it. This time I used anchovy paste, because otherwise the leftover anchovies would go to waste. I also didn’t use the baking soda (because I forgot it). While I loved it, my wife found it a little too hot and tangy for her taste. For the next time I may dial back on the hot pepper flakes a little, and will try to remember the baking soda.
With the exception of the San Marzano brand tomatoes, I followed the recipe as written. It was excellent. The anchovies -- the most unusual ingredient -- were subtle. I think next time I will try increase to 3, maybe 4 fillets.
I used anchovy paste instead of anchovies. Wonderful!
Best pizza sauce EVER!!!!
I did nothing to change this recipe. This my new go to pizza sauce. Great flavor! My wife loves it also. If she says it is good! Then it is. Good job! Thanks Ralph Perry Seattle, Wa.
Yup this is what I was looking for!
Love this sauce! We cook it low and slow for almost 1.5 hours. We used 4 anchovy fillets and double the garlic. Anyone that has had it says its the best - we agree!
This sauce was delicious! No need for me to look any further for a homemade pizza sauce. The only changes I made were to use Muir Glen Whole Tomatoes because I could not find the brand called for and no anchovies, this time, as I did not have any in the cupboard. My best suggestion is to have all ingredients measured and ready to go BEFORE turning on the eye. Every step is fast paced until it simmers. To ensure for the thickest and chunkiest sauce on the unbaked crust, I used a slotted spoon.
Turned out just right!
Why did I have to do this?!! Now I will never be able to 'get away' with using jar, can or leftover marinara on my pizza! LOL. It was fabulous though I must confess I used a 'motor boat' on my San Marzano's to puree it instead of my hands - time being of the essence. And yes, indeed, less is more. Great recipe that I committed to memory. Highly recommend.
IF you don't add the baking soda, this sauce is AMAZING!!! The baking soda completely kills the flavor, but does make it less acidic. So, pick your poison, I guess. So 5 stars without baking soda, about 3 with.
I didn’t have the coveted Italian canned tomatoes but stewed on hand, still delicious! Great recipe! Thanks!
Love this recipe - I make everything from scratch and this one is a keeper for sure! Very well balanced but make sure to use really good tomatoes (organic if you can).
Excellent flavor! I only added a portion of the oil, whisked that in, then added the water gradually to get it to the consistency I like. I think it would have been too runny with the full portions of water and oil as listed.
Fantastic pizza sauce. The store had no anchovies so we didn't use them and it was still incredible. I may seek them out later the next time. Made a double batch and froze 1/3 of it 2 more times along with the cheese and pepperoni as pizza kits - just thawed one and the sauce is the best part.
Love it, use it all the time
This is one of the best pizza sauces that I have had.
Good flavor, but too spicy. Next time I would not use the red peppers at all. I like the flavor of the tomatoes and oregano though.
It was really easy to make. I used my home-canned tomatoes, and used anchovy paste in place of the filets. It was very tasty!
Added a wee bit of basil, too. And dried parsley for green pop. Wish I’d had all the ingredients on hand (anchovies, Marzano , fresh oregano) to taste the original goodness. Next time!
I followed the recipe exactly. I have never had pizza sauce this good. I hate anchovies but took the plunge. They dissolve and add a fantastic depth of flavor. No anchovy taste. I’ve made this 4 times now and I make my own sour dough crust. You must use fresh sliced mozzarella on this pizza.
I had to substitute anchovy paste for the fillets, used canned plum (not san marzano) tomatoes, and I forgot the baking soda. The sauce was great anyhow and everyone loved the pizza. Really hard to go wrong with chef J.
Beautiful sauce! Thank you so much for sharing your top secret pizza sauce recipe! The best!!!
This sauce is the best. I was worried about the anchovy fillets, but there was not the fishy taste I was expecting and it gave the sauce the depth of favor needed. I like that is was a little chunky too. It was easy and fun to make. Definitely a "keeper" recipe.
I made this to go with my ricotta and roasted vegetable pizza and I won my competition at my school. 10/10 would recommend.
Really flavorful pizza sauce. I didn't have any anchovy so I substituted worcestershire sauce... seemed to work!
A delicious pizza sauce that has my kitchen smelling like a wonderful pizzeria after it’s been made. I may try adding some dry marjoram in place of dry oregano since I’m a fan of marjoram - but honestly the sauce is amazing as is!
Best sauce ever!
We used fresh basil and threw in a spicy dragon pepper - delicious!
First of all the only thing I changed was to use Anchovy Paste instead of Anchovy Fillets, because I had an open tube of the paste already. This is one of the best sauces for pizza I have ever tasted. The flavor of both the dry and fresh oregano really comes out. I almost forgot, but I did add about a 1/4 tsp. more of sugar than the 1/2 tsp. called for. I have never used the baking soda trick before, not that it will affect the taste any. Not really noticeable. No need to let it simmer all day, just about 10 mins is fine. While simmering I used an immersion blender to smooth it out. All in all this is my new go to pizza sauce, and very easy to make.
A little too much heat for my wife, but she still loved it.
Have made it 3 times each time delicious!! Took the suggestion from Dwight and added the 1/3 tsp caraway. Fantastic !!
Excellent sauce! I admit I was afraid of the anchovies but this is the secret ingredient to a a PERFECT pizza sauce!!
Haven't ordered pizza since finding this sauce. Now we make our homemade crust, this sauce and toppings and cook to perfect and cheaper perfection!
Delicious! I only had a can of crushed tomatoes on hand, so I just used that. Also, skipped the fresh oregano, as I had none on hand and I reduced the crushed pepper flakes to 1/4 teaspoon b/c I didn't want it to be too spicy for the little girls. Really, REALLY great pizza sauce...a definite keeper~YUM! Thanks for sharing. :)
Simply da bomb. Followed the recipe to the letter except for the fresh oregano, and it was easily the most flavorful sauce I have ever eaten. I substituted a semi-fresh Italian blend of spices that included oregano as I was unable to find fresh oregano anywhere. Used about 2 tbsp Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Italian Herbs from Walmart. This was only the first time I've made this recipe, and I'll make it with the fresh oregano next time to see what the difference might be. This first batch easily made enough for four to six 12" pizzas at the amount I used per pizza (about the same as what is shown on the pic above). I only made two, so I vacuum sealed the remainder and tossed it in the freezer. Hopefully it retains its flavor for the next pizza night.
Won't use any other pizza sauce. I do skip the anchovies but still excellant.
No changes needed. Hands down the best pizza sauce recipe. I use it with my homemade pizza dough. A winner every time
Wow , and I mean Wow ! Excellent the way it is written. Thanks John, this recipe needs nothing . My go to recipe , easy to make and I have not tasted better.
I loved this sauce. I added 1/4 cup finely diced onion and had to eliminate the anchovies since I did not have them but will include them the next time I make the sauce. This was so easy I don't think I will buy pizza sauce again.
Loved it, will never use commercial pizza sauce again! Wonderful, I used a quart of home grown crushed tomatoes and it was fantastic.
will no longer order take out. this is great stuff
You have to use San Marzano tomatoes. They made all the difference! Thanks Chef John for a superb pizza sauce recipe! My Favorite!
Fantastic pizza sauce....the only change I made was upping the spices because we like deep flavors.
This sauce is simmiliar to what I usually use for my pizza sauce, accept the anchovy and baking soda. Tried it Loved it!!! very good sauce.
My husband “builds” the pizzas around here, after I have provided him the dough and the sauce. This is the best sauce ever! My husband raves about it. Never again will he use a jar of pizza sauce purchased at the grocery store, and I’ll never buy one again. This recipe makes enough sauce for three pizzas. Since it’s just the two of us, we make one pizza, and I freeze two small canning jars of sauce to use in the future. Thank you, Chef John, for this wonderful recipe and for upping our pizza game!
Very good! Used on pita pizzas as well as homemade pizza dough. Great flavor!
The sauce is good. I added a bunch more seasoning and used honey instead of sugar. I also found it took a lot longer to thicken than 40 minutes.
Delicious and simple
An awesome, simple, semi spicy sauce! I think it would be great as a pasta sauce too. I did add another 1/2 tsp of sugar to cut the acidity. I made a double batch for Chef John's Chicago Style pizza.
The best pizza sauce I've ever had. Made a day ahead, let it simmer for 2 hours, cooled and refrigerated. I did use the San Marzano peeled tomatoes I will only be buying those from now on. Well worth the extra pennies. Plan on freezing the 2nd batch for next time. Thanks chief John.
Other than substituting 2 tsp dried oregano for the 2 Tbsp of fresh oregano I followed the recipe.
This is now my go-to pizza sauce. It's delicious and super easy. After making it several times, I've moved to using a heaping teaspoon of anchovy paste instead of the anchovy filets (so I don't waste the rest of little fishies), and I don't notice a difference in flavor. I also rinse out the tomato can with a splash of red wine instead of water, and I love the hint of dark flavor that adds. I could (and possibly have) eat so much from the pot that I have to make another batch for the pizza. Thanks, Chef John!
Made it exactly as written and it is absolutely amazing.
The best Pizza Sauce that I ever used. Yummy!
Very tasty sauce and easy to make.
Excellent! The family raved that this was the best part of the pizza. I used anchovy paste because that is what I had. Btw, I have never written a review.
Best pizza sauce ever. Chef John, another winner. I agree with others that the fresh oregano is key. And I used the entire can of anchovies as I didn’t know what to do with the leftover. They just melt in and give a wonderful flavor. I just also used a pinch or red pepper flake as I have a problem with spicy.
I really wanted to like this recipe but I guess I am fish-sensitive. Although most reviewers stated they couldn’t taste the anchovies, there was an off-taste which had to have come from the anchovies. My roommates really liked the sauce so maybe I was so grossed out by the mere sight of them. Other than that, it’s a great sauce. Another reviewer substituted worcestershire sauce for the anchovies. I am going to try that and report back.
Easy to make and very flavorful! Thanks for sharing Chef John!
Delish! Like others, I used anchovies from a tube, and I cut back on the red pepper to 1/4 tea. Salt brings out the distinctive flavors of the two oreganos.
The only reason I made this was because of the high praised reviews. My tastes are obviously a lot different than everyone here. If you like your sauce to be very smokey, not sweet at all and a bit salty, maybe this is for you. But my husband and I both hated it and I will continue my search for the perfect sauce.
Added dried parsley ½ teaspoon turned out great
Loved it. Added more sugar tho.
EXCELLENT RECIPE!! My wife could not stop raving about the sauce. Definitely a keeper.
Didn't defer from the recipe and it was SOOOOOO good!