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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Pizza Sauce Substitutes

Are you looking for an alternative to pizza sauce? You might be surprised by some of the options available.

From canned tomatoes to ranch dressing, discover the 5 best substitutes for pizza sauce so you never have to go without a delicious slice of pie.

What’s Pizza Sauce?

Pizza sauce is a classic staple in many houses, usually composed of tomato purée mixed with spices and other ingredients for flavor.

It is usually applied to the bottom layer of a pizza before adding cheese and toppings.

The sauce helps to bring all the flavors together and is an essential component of a delicious pizza.

In this article, we will explain what pizza sauce is, what it’s made of, and how you can use it best.

We will also provide a list of some great alternatives that you can incorporate into your recipes as well, so read on.

Pizza sauce typically consists of tomatoes that are puréed and mixed with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, spices (like oregano), and herbs (like basil).

More complex recipes might include ingredients like onion powder or red pepper flakes.

While there are store-bought versions available for convenience and time savings purposes, some people prefer to make their own pizza sauce from scratch using fresh ingredients.

Additionally, many cooks add their own flair by jazzing up the recipe with a special touch or personal favorite flavor combination from their kitchen pantry.

It’s important to realize that not all sauces are created equal — some recipes may be thicker or thinner than others depending on the desired consistency preference as well as the moisture content of certain ingredients used in its creation.

Sauce that has been cooked too long may appear slightly darker than those simmered just right; while hearty sauces tend to have more robust flavors than lighter versions do because they contain more herbs & spices.

Additionally, if making your own sauce it’s important to use ripe tomatoes for better results so that they provide enough sweetness which helps balance out any acidity found within them.

5 Best Pizza Sauce Substitutes to Consider

The sauce adds moisture and flavor, creating an inviting and satisfying dish.

But what if you don’t have pizza sauce on hand? Here we will discuss five of the best substitutes for pizza sauce.

1 – Pesto Sauce

Pesto sauce is a creamy, garlicky condiment often used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.

It is typically made from olive oil, garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts.

This combination gives pesto its distinctive tangy and nutty flavor.

It can be used as a pizza sauce substitute due to its bold flavor profile — more so than other substitutes.

Plus, it’s quick and easy to make – all you have to do is put the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until it forms a thick paste-like consistency.

However, like tomato sauce, pesto isn’t very spicy – so if you’re looking for that kick of heat on your pizza, you might want to try another type of substitute.

2 – Garlic Ranch Sauce

Garlic ranch sauce is a great substitute for pizza sauce when you want to add a bit of richness and tang to your pie.

This creamy, garlicky concoction is a blend of mayonnaise, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese and a few spices.

It’s quick and easy to make – combine all the ingredients in a bowl until everything is evenly incorporated.

One note: be sure to taste the sauce before adding it to the pizza – if it’s too tangy or salty, adjust the seasonings accordingly.

Use garlic ranch sauce as an alternative for classic pizza sauces in white pizzas or as a tasty twist on your favorite red-sauce pies.

3 – Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce is a bright, vibrant red-colored sauce that is made from tomatoes, onions, oregano, basil, garlic and sometimes a few other ingredients.

It’s usually quite thin in consistency and has a tangy flavor.

It is commonly used in Italian dishes such as pasta, pizza and calzone.

Marinara sauce can be easily prepared by sautéing the ingredients together before simmering them until they form a thick sauce.

While it isn’t as spicy or sweet as some other types of pizza sauces, it can still make a delicious topping for your next pizza night.

4 – Tapenade

Tapenade is a vegetable-based spread made from olives, capers, and olive oil.

This flavorful mixture can be found in jars and cans in gourmet grocery stores or specialty Italian stores.

It has a pungent yet savory flavor due to the olives and capers, making it an ideal replacement for traditional pizza sauces.

With its bold flavors, tapenade can help to elevate both traditional pizzas toppings and more experimental recipes.

Additionally, tapenade is already ready to use out of the jar, so there is no prep work involved.

This makes it one of the easiest pizza sauce substitutes available.

5 – Olive Oil and Garlic

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have access to anything that could potentially be used as pizza sauce, olive oil and garlic may be the way to go.

All you need is a drizzle of olive oil on the crust, followed by some freshly chopped garlic.

You can spread it evenly across the pizza before topping with grated cheese, fresh herbs and sliced veggies.

A maximum of two cloves is recommended for a single pizza.

If you want an additional flavor kick, you can also add spices like red pepper flakes, oregano or basil.


In sum, pizza sauce is typically a mix of tomato base and seasonings to give it flavor.

Finding an alternative can be difficult as there are few store bought products that can truly replicate the flavor of a pizza sauce.

Home cooks can use their creativity to whip up their own versions with ingredients they have on hand; substitutions like pesto, salsa or BBQ sauce can work with added garlic or herbs.

In addition, different types of cheeses (such as goat cheese or feta) and fresh vegetables may also be used in creating a delicious substitute for a traditional pizza sauce.

It’s all about finding the perfect combination of flavors that will work best for your particular tastes — so get creative and enjoy.

5 Best Pizza Sauce Substitutes to Consider

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • 1 – Pesto Sauce
  • 2 – Garlic Ranch Sauce
  • 3 – Marinara Sauce
  • 4 – Tapenade
  • 5 – Olive Oil and Garlic


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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