Pizza Sauce Homemade & Store Bought

I make lower carb pizza using low carb tortillas that I either char on a stove gas burner or pan fry. I then top with sauce and cheese and sometimes meat (sausage, pepperoni, prosciutto) whatever I have laying around and then finish under the broiler. I usually have homemade marinara in the fridge but not always. I’d like to have something in a can or jar (shelf stable) that I can have at the ready. Any recommended brands? Also, any good recipes either cooked or uncooked? The less effort the better. I’ll trade convenience for a slight loss of quality. Thank you very much!

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Cento makes a crushed tomatoes that comes in an aseptic box that works for me for a quick pizza. Whatever isn’t used gets frozen in 1/2 or 1 cup containers for later use.


Just like with pasta sauce, the only brand I use to sub for homemade is Rao’s.

As for homemade - garlic, onion, tomato paste, red wine, crushed tomatoes, s&p, oregano.


I would imagine a jarred/bottled sauce of any kind will be less good than homemade, but in the before times, when I still worked in an office and didn’t have the time, energy, or (frankly) desire to make with the home cooking, A decent hot dinner was often one of those Bobolli packaged crusts, a swirl of Contadina ‘Pizza Squeeze’ sauce, some preshredded mozz and a couple of shakes of parm-in-a-can and oregano.

The sauce is on the sweet side, sticks around for months in the fridge, and is… fine. It’s tomatoes, garlic, onion, the usual jarred tomato sauce ingredients.

Not a gourmet item by any stretch, but good enough for “I want something that resembles actual food and doesn’t taste terrible”.


I use Jim Lahey’s 3-ingredient red sauce . I’ve used everything from fancy to generic brand canned tomatoes and this works for me every time.

Just tomatoes (canned or fresh), salt, and a glug of good olive oil.


Any store bought sauce will be vastly improved by smidge of sugar and some dried basil and oregano with time for those to hydrate.

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If you live in Wegmans territory, their store brand pizza sauce is our favorite - we’ve tried homemade and keep going back to this. I prefer the chunky but the taste of the two is similar.
(Ignore the “add a note” stuff, I was trying to get images and could only do that by adding them to a shopping list!)

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I bought Cento San Marzano Passata (maybe DOP) several years ago. I have been unable to find it locally or on Amazon. It was terrific right out of the jar. It would be perfect for a pizza sauce.

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I’ll have to look at the boxes I have in my pantry closet when I get home tonight to see exactly what I have - I’m pretty sure it’s NOT San Marzano Passata. I think it’s either just “crushed tomatoes” or “Pasta Sauce”. I often find them at Ocean State Job Lot for $2.00/box. Pretty sure they’re smaller than what I’m seeing online for Cento, like this:

HOWEVER - in Googling “Cento San Marzano Passata”, Cento themselves has them for $3.99/bottle.

So that’s a possibility for you, if you want to buy in bulk.

Combine ketchup with Italian seasoning blend (like the one below) for a quick faux pizza sauce. Add a bit of EVOO if you’d like, but not necessary.

Quick and easy; not gourmet, but then you already knew that.


Yuck. I’d rather use BBQ sauce on a pizza with bacon and pineapple… plus chicken, onion/green pepper if you have it them on hand.

I just use canned diced tomatoes, briefly pureed with an immersion blender. I like the bright taste that I haven’t found in more processed sauces.


I’ve done this as well. A small can of them, whirled up and doctored as you want with dried herbs and tomato paste to thicken does a pretty good job standing in for pizza sauce.

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Wegmans is coming to my city, Norwalk, CT in 2024. Can’t wait! Now all we need is a Publix.


Use cream cheese instead , or tapenade, or no sauce, fresh tomato slices instead
Just putting up some different options.
I’m not a fan of most tomato sauces. Too sweet for me.
But if you want to stay with tomato base, then canned tomatoes (multifunctional). Blitz & improve :slight_smile:

We actually prefer regular Rao’s marinara to the Rao’s pizza sauce.

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for a lot us that have gone down the pizza rabbit hole, scalfani crushed are the best, easy to find canned tomatoes. I empty the can into a fine mesh metal sieve, drain, push the tomatoes through with the back of a wooden spoon to a bowl which results in a thin pizza sauce. pinch of salt, pinch of oregano, evoo and grated hard cheese optional.

if that’s too much work, stick an immersion blender into the can until it’s thinned out, add spices and off you go.

if you have access to a restaurant depot, you can purchase (arguably) better canned tomatoes in a big can and freeze individual serving amounts. give a shout if you want me to take you through that.



Rao’s is our clear choice winner; Marinara the most favored. We’ve tried Mezetta too, and it’s good, but not AS good.

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I use one can of cento crushed tomato . I think it’s 14 oz. One clove of garlic pureed with salt using a knife to chop and crush . All into a bowl . Then I add basil with the stem attached, a nice handful . I let this combine flavors for a little over a hour. I then remove the basil . No cooking.Sauce is ready to go . I am not a fan of cooked basil


If we’re tossing in our pizza sauce recipes, here’s mine:

1 can 28oz san marzano style tomatoes. Cento is good.
empty into mesh sieve. remove tomatoes and place back into the can. let the puree drain a little. scrape the solids back into the can.
take remaining liquid and reduce in saucepan 'til you have a tablespoon or so of tomato paste. Add back to the can.
Add in 1 tsp each: majoram, dried oregano, dried basil, granulated sugar.
1 tablespoon grated parm (you can use the cheap stuff)
1/4 tsp crushed chili flakes
salt + pepper to taste.
break up to desired consistency by fork or use immersion blender for super smoothness.

Let sit covered in fridge for a couple of hours. Preferably overnight.

I use this whole quantity on a 12" deep dish pizza. At 30-40 min baking, it turns into a concentrated, sweet, cooked sauce.

For a 14-15" thin crust, I’ll use about 4-5oz of the same sauce. Given the shorter cooking time (12-15 min or so) and the cover of cheese, the sauce stays a little thinner and retains some of its uncooked (well, LESS cooked) tomato freshness.