Pizza sauce can be super simple – just crush tomatoes and add oregano! (Basil and garlic are also good additions to ‘red’ sauce.) Or it could be a complex marinara with a massive spice mix.
You might even opt for a ‘white’ cheese sauce. You could choose to make your sauce sweet, savory, spicy, earthy, or something in between. Today, we’ll explore sweet pizza sauce.
No, it’s not that Iron Mike, but this sweet pizza sauce still packs a punch. The secret is brown sugar. It brings out the saccharine flavor without overpowering your others herbs and spices. Honey helps sauce hold together, as does minced carrot. The herbal notes come from basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme while the cloves and pepper give your sauce its kick.
2. Ultimate Savoury and Sweet Pizza Sauce
When you can’t decide between the sweet and the salt, try both! This sauce balances the two taste elements beautifully. It has the usual suspects – oregano and basil. It also has grated parmesan. Another secret ingredient is minced anchovies – though if you don’t want a fishy sauce, you can Worcestershire sauce instead. For a salt-facing sauce, leave out the sugar.
This sweet pizza sauce has the standard basil, oregano, and olive oil. But it adds brown sugar, parmesan, and butter, so the sauce feels extra creamy and luxurious. The recipe has pepper flakes and uses onion powder rather than fresh onions. It combines tomato paste and tomato sauce to heighten thickness and flavor. Pre-season the oils in a slow cooker for best results.
4. Susan’s Sweet Pizza Sauce
Olive oil is a common base for pizza sauce. It’s healthy and it gives that authentic Italian feel. It also uses tomato paste – which is drier and more concentrated than fresh or canned tomatoes. To account for that, sauces that rely on paste must have water or another additional source of liquid. Add a little at a time or your sauce will soon turn into soup!
Tomato puree is a convenient starting point for red pizza sauce recipes. It already has the right consistency so all you’re doing is adding flavor. The sweetness in this ‘senior sauce’ comes from honey and brown sugar. But if you don’t like honey, you can replace it with corn syrup – assuming you don’t mind its processed starch and additives. Honey is more natural.
6. Chef John’s Secret Pizza Sauce
Here’s another recipe that sneaks some fish into your marinara. It’s just a dash though – no one will know it’s in there unless you tell them. And it’s anchovy so it’s unlikely to trigger shellfish allergies. The recipe incorporates both dry and fresh oregano. No basil though. Another tip is to add a pinch of baking soda to counterbalance excess acidity in the sauce.
When your sweet tooth needs a healthy fix, honey is your go-to. It’s natural – though not necessarily organic because the bees may have fed off chemically-treated flowers. Remember though – honey has more calories than sugar (64 vs 49 per tablespoon). But it’s sweeter so you can use less of it. The recipe also has marjoram and three kinds of pepper for extra spice.
8. Five-Minute Pizza Sauce
Some of us simmer our pizza sauce for an hour – or at least thirty minutes. Others prefer it raw. So if you don’t mind your marinara barely cooked, try this 5-minute sweet pizza sauce recipe. It relies heavily on garlic and only uses a teaspoon each of salt, sugar, and mixed spices. It has fresh tomatoes and processed tomato paste so you don’t need to add water.
Onion powder might have preservatives, so this recipe starts with dehydrated onions for you to crush at home. It also has tomato paste, diced tomatoes, parsley, oregano, and basil. When you cook your sauce using whole, sliced, or diced tomatoes, you may choose to blend the sauce after it cools. This gives the sauce a smoother texture, but it’s an optional step.
10. Two-way Indian Pizza Sauce
Indian food is flavourful because they make many of their ingredients from scratch – even cheese (they call it paneer). So you can do the full version of this sauce but when you’re in a rush, try the raw ketchup-based shortcut that seems built for American kitchens! In both versions, the spice mix includes the usual basil and oregano plus paprika, garlic, and chili.
The guests arrive in 5 minutes and you forgot the pizza sauce! Here’s a simple fix. It’s vegan and it has nine ingredients so you won’t feel like you’ve skimped. Also, consider getting red spatulas specifically for your pizza sauce prep. It saves hours of dishwashing grief. This no-cook sauce has tomato paste + sauce, oregano, onion + garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
12. Easy No-Cook Sweet Pizza Sauce
Adding ketchup to pizza sauce often means you can leave out the honey or sugar. Ketchup is a good go-to for ‘raw sauce’. You can also a few teaspoons to sweeten cooked sauces. But no-cook recipes can still use fresh fruit. This one uses canned tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, garlic, basil, and pepper (black, red, or both). No oregano. Just mix everything in a blender.
Sauces with onions and fresh garlic take longer. They’re fussier too because you need to tend the onions carefully, ensuring you get the right color and texture (e.g. transparent vs caramelized vs golden brown). So if you’re the type of cook that prefers to toss everything in the pan and cover, you will love this recipe. Simply simmer the whole lot for half an hour.
14. Grandma Gina’s Italian Pizza Sauce
We all know grandma’s food slaps different. So for a pizza sauce with class and authenticity, try this Italian Nonnina Gina’s version. It’s a long video … but it’s worth the wait, both in cooking and watching. And she shows you how to make the pizza too (yes, she prays for the dough to rise right!) The sauce has peeled tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano, and fresh basil.
Cinnamon is an interesting (and unexpected) way to add some sweetness to your pizza sauce. This recipe uses a lot of sugar and a little cinnamon. Enrich this flavor with regular pizza sauce ingredients – basil and oregano. The recipe uses onion and garlic in their powdered forms. This is less fussy, more concentrated, and the powder fuses faster into the sauce.
16. Hebbar’s Sweet Pizza Sauce
Canned tomatoes have a stronger flavor than fresh ones because lots of them have additives. But if you want to go organic, use fresh tomatoes and blanch them, peel, mash or blend, then add the recommend pizza sauce spices. In this sweet pizza sauce recipe, half the tomatoes are blended and the other half are deseeded, chopped, then added to the sauce.
No time to simmer your sauce? Try this 5-minute recipe that needs no heat (though you do need electricity). Put crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and fresh garlic into your food processor and pulse until well mixed. Crushed tomatoes often have intrinsic sweetness, but if the sauce isn’t saccharine enough for your palate, you can add sugar.
18. My Crazy Sweet Pizza Sauce
However you choose to pronounce it, turmeric isn’t something you’d expect in pizza sauce. But it does have an earthy sweetness, and apart from sugar and ketchup, turmeric heightens the sucrose in this sauce. Blanch the tomatoes so they’re easier to peel and crush. Mash them in that same boiling water then add turmeric, oil, and everything else. Whisk to mix.
Pizza sauce needs to be smooth enough to cook fully but thick enough to avoid soggy dough. And if you plan to use your sweet pizza sauce as a dip, it needs to be even thicker. To achieve that result, this pizza sauce is simmered for half an hour to reduce and slightly congeal it. But not too much. Adding tomato paste to the crushed tomatoes also helps ‘stiffen’ your sauce.
20. One-Pot Sweet Pizza Sauce
A common tactic for pizza sauce is to boil the tomatoes in very little water then add the other ingredients. But it’s easy to ‘overdose’ your liquid levels and make your sauce too soupy. So this sweet pizza sauce recipe skips the boiling. And unlike many recipes that skimp on garlic, (four measly cloves?!? That’s nothing!) this one uses 8 to 10 chopped cloves. Perfect!
In a sweet pizza sauce recipe, the sugar can come from honey, ketchup, sugar, or even sweet veggies like beetroot and carrot. This recipe uses tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and dried herbs (basil, oregano, parsley). It has sugar too. And it’s a no-cook recipe so the garlic is in powdered form – much easier to mix in a bowl since it won’t be heated.
22. Vito’s Real Tomato Sauce
Because you’re making Napoli-Style pizza, you want to use San Marzano canned tomatoes. If authenticity matters to you, use imported cans from Italy (as opposed to San-Marzano-Style cans like DiNapoli, which often ship from New Jersey or California. This three-ingredient sauce has tomatoes, sea salt, and basil added directly into the can. Mix with a hand blender.
We’ve seen a sauce with 9 ingredients. Here’s one with 8: plain tomato sauce or puree, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and maple syrup. The latter is unexpected but oh so good for natural sweetness. You could add more salt or pepper flakes as optional ingredients if that suits your palate. Mix and blend in a food processor.
24. Foodie Tomato Sauce for Pizza
For sauces that use whole tomatoes, skinning can be tricky. Many home cooks end up using tongs or tweezers to sift the peels out after the sauce is cooked – which is annoying. Instead, cut a shallow ‘x’ on the base of your tomatoes (before blanching or boiling) and use them for peeling. Simmer the sauce for 60 to 90 minutes then use it chunky or mash it if you prefer.
For no-cook pizza sauce recipes, you’re better off using canned tomatoes. The preservatives and process of canning make them seem less raw. Powdered garlic/onion and dried herbs are ideal as well because they mix into the cold tomatoes more easily. This pure-essentials recipe only has tomatoes, (fresh) basil, salt, pepper, and oil. Just mix, mash, and smush it all.
26. Matt’s Homemade Pizza Sauce
For this recipe, your sauce mixture is first blended then fried. And it uses a combination of whole and pureed tomatoes, both canned with sauce or juice. Using this can-juice makes the sauce smoother and more flavourful than adding plain water. This sweet pizza sauce recipe has fennel and parmesan plus pizza sauce components (oregano, basil, Italian seasoning).
Would it surprise you that Italians prefer their pizza sauce raw? And they don’t add sugar either. Their sauce style is surprisingly simple. We already saw Vito from Prova’s version – the one where he just added salt and basil to a can of crushed tomatoes. This version has cherry tomatoes, sea salt, parmesan, fresh basil, oregano, and olive oil. Just mix and mash.
28. Sweet Adjeley’s Pizza Sauce
For those of us who want our sweet pizza sauce cooked, here’s an alternative. It uses 6 garlic cloves – which may seem like a lot. But we’ve seen recipes on this list with 18 to 20 cloves! So use as much (or as little) as your system can digest. This recipe has ginger too. And oregano. If you like your sauces hot, add pepper flakes or cayenne then blend, fry, and simmer the batch.
Must sweet pizza sauce recipes have sugar? Not necessarily. But it helps to balance out the flavors. So you can use more or less than the recipe recommends, depending on your taste. This recipe only has one teaspoon of sugar plus chili flakes. The garlic is listed in tablespoons rather than cloves, so you can play with those portions as well. Especially if you love spice.
30. Detroit-Style Pizza Sauce
We Americans can get pretty fierce about our regional pizzas. Whether it’s deep-dish ‘casserole’ pizza from Chicago or ‘skinny crust’ wide-base pizza from New York. This Detroit sweet pizza sauce has a one-pot recipe that’s heavy on onion powder. It has both crushed and whole tomatoes so it’s a sauce with a lot of body. Most of the herbs can be dried or flaked.
Let’s close with an aptly-named sauce to soothe your hunger pangs. It’s not a quick recipe – it needs 30 to 40 minutes on the stovetop. The basic ingredients are sliced onions, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. You could use canned ones or overripe fresh ones – preferably plum. If you’re using fresh tomatoes, you’ll need tomato paste for extra sugar.
What’s your favorite sweet pizza sauce recipe? Tell us about it in the comments!
31 Sweet Pizza Sauce Recipes
Ultimate Savoury And Sweet Pizza Sauce
Susan’s Sweet Pizza Sauce
Chef John’s Secret Pizza Sauce
Five-Minute Pizza Sauce
Two-Way Indian Pizza Sauce
Easy No-Cook Sweet Pizza Sauce
Grandma Gina’s Italian Pizza Sauce
Hebbar’s Sweet Pizza Sauce
My Crazy Sweet Pizza Sauce
One-Pot Sweet Pizza Sauce
Vito’s Real Tomato Sauce
Foodie Tomato Sauce For Pizza
Matt’s Homemade Pizza Sauce
Sweet Adjeley’s Pizza Sauce
Detroit-Style Pizza Sauce
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