Simple Pizza Sauce

Canned tomatoes vary in salt content, so season the sauce with just a pinch of salt to start, and then gradually add more to taste. When seasoning with the red wine vinegar, add just enough to make the flavor really sparkle; the sauce shouldn’t taste tangy.–Brigit Binns

LC Who Woulda Thunk? Note

Who woulda thunk that a homemade pizza sauce could be so silken, so simple, so toss-out-every-other-sauce satiating? Yet everyone who tried this recipe commented on how uncommonly lovely this sauce is, whatever the pizza creation they teamed it with, whether a plain pie or a mammoth meatball monstrosity. One even went so far as to describe it as “silky but not overpowering in flavor.” But don’t take our word for it. Taste for yourself.

Simple Pizza Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes about 2 3/4 cups


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt


  • 1. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic scorch or the resulting sauce will taste bitter.
  • 2. In a nonreactive bowl, stir together the garlic and its oil along with the tomatoes and their juices, the dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, pepper, water, and 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Taste and season with salt and additional vinegar as desired. Use right away or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

  1. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Jackie G.] Bottom line, this sauce is a winner. Here we go with another case of, “How can something so simple be so good?” And how can a tomato sauce be so good when it is not cooked at all? The answer to both of these riveting questions is, “Because it is.” Make this and taste it. Of course, you need to use top-quality canned crushed tomatoes. I waited to add the water to the sauce until after I tasted it. After tasting the sauce, I did not add the water. I wanted the full-on tomato taste.

    I made a double batch of this sauce. We used it for the pizzas that we made and also to dress a batch of meatballs that I made a couple of days later. I could eat this sauce on its own with a spoon. (I actually did.)

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Send it along. Covet one of those spiffy pictures of yourself to go along with your comment? Get a free Gravatar. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.


Daily Subscription

Enter your email address and get all of our updates sent to your inbox the moment they're posted. Be the first on your block to be in the know.

Preview daily e-mail

Weekly Subscription

Hate tons of emails? Do you prefer info delivered in a neat, easy-to-digest (pun intended) form? Then enter your email address for our weekly newsletter.

Preview weekly e-mail