Simple Homemade Pizza Sauce from Tomato Paste

pizza sauce from tomato paste in a wood bowl


Making homemade pizza sauce from tomato paste is so easy and simple! That’s why I love this recipe. You don’t have to resort to buying it in the stores. By using ingredients you probably already have, you can make this pizza sauce from tomato paste recipe from pantry staples and ensure you’re using only the best and healthiest ingredients.


I have to admit, my mom is the person who turned me on to making my own pizza sauce. She refused to buy store-bought pizza sauce, and always made her own. It was always the best too.


In this pizza sauce recipe, I’ll show you how to make your own simple pizza sauce from tomato paste, the ingredients you’ll need, the difference between different Italian-style red sauces, and more.


Pizza Sauce vs. Marinara

Is pizza sauce marinara? Is pizza sauce the same as marinara sauce? Generally, they are not the same. However, you can use marinara sauce as a substitute for pizza sauce when needed.


Marinara sauce is a tomato-based sauce used for pasta dishes and spaghetti. It’s usually made with a variety of different fresh or canned tomato products and seasonings, like basil and oregano. However, pizza sauce tends to be thicker and doesn’t always need to be cooked when making it. That’s because the cooking for pizza sauce happens in the oven when it’s on the pizza.


Overall, pizza sauce and marinara are very similar and often use the same or similar ingredients. However, the way these sauces are cooked and prepared, and how they are ultimately served, make them different.


Pizza Sauce vs. Spaghetti Sauce

Is pizza sauce the same as spaghetti sauce? No, pizza sauce is not the same as spaghetti sauce. Spaghetti sauce is the same as marinara sauce, which is used for spaghetti and pasta dishes.


Why Make Homemade Pizza Sauce From Scratch

Homemade pizza sauce from scratch is a lot healthier and cheaper to make! It usually costs anywhere from $1 to $5 less while enabling you to use ingredients you already have in your pantry.


Plus, homemade pizza sauce from scratch won’t have any preservatives in it, so what you make at home will be a lot more natural and better for your health. You’ll have a lot more control over what you put in it too!


pizza sauce from tomato paste in a bowl with cheese


Ingredients for Pizza Sauce from Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste: In this pizza sauce from tomato paste recipe, I call for one 6 oz. can of tomato paste. This will act as the base for the sauce and give it the flavor and thickness of classic pizza sauce.


Whole Peeled Tomatoes: Not all pizza sauce from tomato paste recipes have this ingredient. However, this is something my mom always added to her sauce to give it an extra pop of flavor and freshness, and add some texture to the sauce. This pairs well when making homemade pizza. In this recipe, I call for one 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes. Break them up with your hands before adding them to your sauce.


Garlic: It wouldn’t be pizza sauce if there wasn’t garlic. I add six cloves of minced garlic to make it extra spicy and flavorful.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Adding extra virgin olive oil will give it a peppery, almost grassy flavor, and a fruity aroma. Essential to pizza sauces, it will also add moisture to the sauce to prevent it and the pizza dough from drying out during the cooking process.


Honey: In this pizza sauce from tomato paste recipe, you can add honey, or even sugar to make the sauce taste sweeter. Honey will balance out the sour acidity of the tomatoes and round out the flavor profile well. I prefer using honey as it’s more natural than refined white cane sugar.


Oregano: Use dry oregano to give your pizza sauce from tomato paste recipe that classic flavor. You can also add dry thyme, basil, and onion powder if you want. Although, I don’t call for those spices in this recipe.


Red Pepper Flakes: Crushed red pepper flakes are a simple ingredient added to increase the spice level of the pizza sauce. If you don’t like your food spicy, you can reduce the amount used in this recipe or not use it at all. If you don’t have red pepper flakes on hand, you can substitute it for chopped fresh peppers, cayenne pepper, or chopped whole dried peppers.


Salt and Pepper: Use salt and pepper to taste. I usually add anywhere from ½ to 1 teaspoon of each.


pizza sauce from tomato paste close up


How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce from Tomato Paste

Cook the Aromatics By Infusing Them in Olive Oil: Heat a medium or large frying pan over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Heat it up until the olive oil is warm and fragrant. Let it simmer for approximately 5 minutes until the garlic becomes soft and the spices become fragrant. What this will do is infuse the oil with the spices, and give more flavor to the pizza sauce.


Add in the Tomato Paste: After infusing the olive oil with the spices, add in the whole can of tomato paste. Stir to combine. This should take no longer than a couple of minutes.


Break Up Whole-Peeled Tomatoes and Add to Sauce: Open a can of whole peeled tomatoes and pour them into a bowl. Using your hand, squeeze and break apart the whole tomatoes so that their juices come out and the flesh is broken apart into smaller pieces. This will add an extra bite of tomato when you make homemade pizza.


Then pour the tomatoes into the pan and stir to combine.


Let it Simmer: Let the whole sauce simmer for at least 10 minutes, before taking it off the stove. This will marinate all the flavors together to make a delicious pizza sauce!


Start Using It On Pizza: Once you take the pan off the heat, let the pizza sauce cool down to room temperature. Start using it on pizza dough, or store it in an air-tight container in the fridge.


Pizza Sauce Substitutes

If you don’t have pizza sauce on hand or you don’t want to make it or buy it, there are a lot of pizza sauce substitutes you can make.


The most common substitute is using marinara or spaghetti sauce. It tastes very similar to pizza sauce and will work very nicely with pizza dough and toppings.


If you are low on ingredients, you can also just mix tomato paste with water (add enough water for your desired sauce consistency), spices, and extra virgin olive oil. You can add any spices you like, including dried oregano, dried thyme, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Some home cooks even add a teaspoon of vinegar. Just mix all of these ingredients together in a small bowl with a spoon, and you have your sauce.


You can even create a simple tomato sauce by blending or breaking down fresh tomatoes in a pan. Add olive oil and some seasonings, let it simmer, blend it, and then you’ll have perfectly fresh pizza sauce.


pizza sauce from tomato paste close up side view


Different Types of Pizza Sauces

Besides tomato-based pizza sauces, there are lots of sauces you can use when making homemade pizza. They are:



How Long Does Pizza Sauce Last in the Fridge?

When stored in an air-tight container, pizza sauce from tomato paste can last up to a week, sometimes longer.


If you want your pizza sauce from tomato paste recipe to last more than two weeks, then I recommend freezing it.


Can You Freeze Leftover Pizza Sauce?

Yes, you can freeze pizza sauce! Freeze in an air-tight container or Ziploc bag.


More Italian-Style Recipes


pizza sauce from tomato paste in a wood bowl

Simple Homemade Pizza Sauce from Tomato Paste

Audrey Sommer
This homemade pizza sauce from tomato paste recipe takes no more than 20 minutes. Make this instead of buying pizza sauce in the stores, and enjoy a more flavorful, healthy, and cheaper sauce.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 3 pizzas


  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz. whole peeled tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Pour the 28 oz. can of whole peeled plum tomatoes into a bowl. Squeeze and rip apart the whole peeled tomatoes with your hands. Set aside. You can skip this step if you’re using a can of crushed tomatoes.
  • Heat a medium or large frying pan over medium heat. Add in the olive oil, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and oregano. Let the spices simmer in the oil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low if you have to. You need to be careful as not to burn the oil and spices, but you want the oil in the pan to be warm and fragrant through this step. What this will do is infuse the oil with the spices, and give more flavor to the pizza sauce.
  • Add in the tomato paste and mix into the olive oil. This should only take a couple of minutes.
  • Add in the whole peeled tomatoes and honey. Stir to combine.
  • Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Once it’s done simmering for 10 minutes, you can use it for pizza right away, or you can store it in an air-tight container for up to 1 week, and use it as you make pizza.


  • If you want to reduce the cooking time in this pizza sauce recipe, you can instead add all of the ingredients to a blender and pulse to combine. This would reduce all of the cooking time on the stove, and reduce overall time to no more than 5-10 minutes. It’s not essential that the sauce cooks before being added to homemade pizzas, as it will continue cooking in the oven. However, simmering the pizza sauce can produce a more flavorful sauce.
Keyword easy, Homemade, Pizza Sauce, Pizza sauce from tomato paste, Pizza sauce from tomato paste recipe, Simple, Tomato-based sauce
Audrey Sommer
Audrey Sommer

“We don’t live to eat, but eat to nourish our body and mind.”

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