5 BEST Pizza Sauce Substitutes in Recipes

Pizza sauce is one of the most iconic staples of Italian cuisine.

This spicy, tangy sauce is a go-to accompaniment to pizza or pasta dishes and greatly enhances the flavor profiles of many meals.

But have you ever wondered how to make your own pizza sauce, or what are some ideal substitutes when you don’t have any?

Learn about these two topics in this article and discover the top five alternatives for pizza sauce.

From simple ingredients like crushed tomatoes to more versatile products, such as Italian pesto, these options all add extra zest to your favorite recipes.

So, whether you’re trying to master homemade pizza sauce or seeking alternatives for a quick fix, this article has it all.

What’s Pizza Sauce?

Pizza sauces are a unique and flavourful part of the world’s many great pizza recipes.

It is typically made out of tomatoes, spices, and herbs that provide a thick, rich texture.

The ingredients used vary but usually consist of olive oil, tomato paste, oregano, garlic, basil, and various other seasonings to give the sauce its distinct flavor.

The sauce itself offers a tangy and slightly sweet taste profile – a perfect complement to the classic cheese pizza when it’s melted together.

Preparing this amazing condiment requires placing all ingredients in a food processor and blending until smooth before simmering for about 10 minutes.

For cooks who wish to incorporate more texture into their pizzas, they can also add diced onions or bell peppers during the pureeing process as an enhancement.

Using freshly-made pizza sauce is sure to take any pizza recipe to the next level.

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5 BEST Pizza Sauce Substitutes in Recipes

If you’re looking to mix it up with your pizza recipes, there are plenty of alternatives to traditional pizza sauce that can give your dish a unique and delicious flavor.

From pesto to salsa, the possibilities are endless.

To help you get inspired, here’s our list of the five best substitutes for pizza sauce in recipes:

1 – Pesto

Pesto, an Italian classic, has been a staple for home chefs for years.

Made up of fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and plenty of cheese, it’s a delightful sauce that fits perfectly in many recipes.

Its signature creamy texture is thanks to all the rich ingredients it contains.

When eating pesto, you’ll be able to taste the savory and intense flavor from the combination of garlic and cheese that merges together, creating a delectable umami flavor.

Pesto can be made simply at home by blending all these ingredients together or store-bought when time is limited.

There are so many possibilities with what you can do with this sauce, though; swapping out pizza sauce with pesto can completely change your topping game – roasted mushrooms and goat cheese become gourmet when they come in contact with a bed of pesto.

2 – Garlic Olive Oil

Garlic olive oil is a flavorful and delicious ingredient that has recently become a popular favorite of home chefs everywhere.

It has a distinctively pungent garlicky flavor that compliments an array of dishes from Italian cuisine to classic American cheese pizza.

Most store-bought garlic olive oils have been infused with fresh or roasted garlic and essential quality olive oil.

For those looking to make their own, it takes only a few simple steps: finely chop several cloves of garlic, heat them in high-quality extra virgin olive oil, and strain out the large pieces when cooled.

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This combination makes for a delightful dip served alongside roasted potatoes and vegetables, as well as an oftentimes used substitute for traditional red sauce when making pizza.

Its unique taste adds more depth to any dish, while its richness can be balanced out by any number of herbs or spices.

3 – Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is one of the most unique and versatile dairy products around.

Easily substituted for cream cheese, ricotta has a higher moisture content which gives it a less tart flavor, making it ideal for baking in both sweet and savory applications.

It has a more grainy texture than cream cheese but can be whipped for an even dispersal in whatever you are preparing.

Unlike other cheeses, ricotta does not require pressing or aging and requires only freshly made curds mixed with whey from the manufacturing process to form an ideal texture and creamy flavor.

For example, ricotta can make up a delicious pizza sauce by combining it with crushed tomatoes or puréed vegetables.

With its neutral taste yet smooth texture, why wouldn’t you use ricotta as your next cooking ingredient?

4 – Ranch Sauce

Ranch sauce is a creamy, white condiment that has become a popular favorite across the US.

Its tasty, tangy flavor complements a wide variety of dishes, from salads to wraps to pizza.

Its main ingredients consist of mayonnaise and buttermilk, which provide the key attributes that make it so good – creamy texture and tantalizing taste.

A homemade version of Ranch sauce can easily be made – all you need to do is mix together mayonnaise and buttermilk with dried seasonings such as parsley, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder.

For something out of the ordinary (and delicious), try substituting ranch sauce instead of pizza sauce.

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The result is something out of the ordinary – a tangy twist on an old flavorful favorite.

5 – Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri sauce is one of the most underrated condiments known.

Created in Uruguay and Argentina, this amazing sauce offers a variety of flavors that can liven up almost any kind of dish.

The sauce itself has a unique flavor, consisting mostly of parsley, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

This combination creates an aromatic and tangy flavor that is unlike anything else.

In terms of texture, it is quite thin, with small bits of herbs sprinkled throughout the mix, making for a unique experience for those tasting it for the first time.

For a more versatile approach to its usage, this flavorful sauce can be used instead of pizza sauce as well.

All you need to do is chop some parsley, oregano, and garlic in a food processor and add some olive oil until well blended, which can easily substitute as your go-to pizza topping.


In conclusion, pizza sauce is a staple ingredient in most Italian and American dishes.

But if you’re looking to shake things up a bit, there are several delicious alternatives that can be used as a substitute.

From garlic olive oil to ricotta cheese to ranch sauce and even chimichurri – the possibilities for creativity are endless.

With the right combination of flavors, you can make a delicious pizza that will have everyone coming back for more.

5 BEST Pizza Sauce Substitutes in Recipes

5 BEST Pizza Sauce Substitutes in Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 – Pesto
  • 2 – Garlic Olive Oil
  • 3 – Ricotta Cheese
  • 4 – Ranch Sauce
  • 5 – Chimichurri Sauce


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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