Different Types of Pizza Sauces: A Guide to Enhance Your Pizza Experience

If you’re looking for a delicious way to take your pizza game up a notch, why not try out some of the different types of pizza sauces available? From classic red sauce to white garlic alfredo, there are countless ways to make every slice as flavorful and unique as possible. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring different types of pizza sauces out there and providing insight into which ones might best suit your palate. So let’s get started by taking a deep dive into the wonderful world of pizza sauces!

What Is Pizza Sauce?

Pizza sauce is a tomato-based sauce that is specifically made for use as a topping on pizzas. It serves as the base layer of flavor and moisture for the pizza, and it’s typically spread over the pizza dough before adding toppings and cheese. Here are some key characteristics of pizza sauce:

  • Tomato Base: Pizza sauce is primarily made from tomatoes, which can be in the form of fresh tomatoes, tomato puree, or canned tomato products. These tomatoes are typically cooked down and blended to create a smooth and thick sauce.
  • Seasonings: Pizza sauce is seasoned with various herbs and spices to enhance its flavor. Common seasonings include garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sometimes red pepper flakes for a hint of heat. The exact seasoning blend can vary depending on regional preferences and the pizza style being made.
  • Consistency: Pizza sauce should have a relatively thick consistency to prevent it from making the pizza crust soggy during baking. It should spread easily but not be too watery.
  • Sweetness: Some pizza sauces may contain a small amount of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and create a slightly sweet undertone.

How Many Calories In Pizza Sauce?

The calorie count in pizza sauce varies based on the brand, recipe, and serving size. A quarter-cup (approximately 60 grams) of commercially produced pizza sauce has 20 to 40 calories on average. The calorie value of homemade pizza sauce might vary depending on the components used and the serving size.

It’s vital to remember that pizza sauce has a low-calorie count when compared to other pizza components like crust, cheese, and toppings. The total calorie count of a pizza will vary depending on the size, thickness of the dough, amount of cheese and toppings, and sauce utilized calculate the total calorie content of a pizza, you would need to consider all of these components together.

Read more: How Many Calories Are In A Slice Of Pizza?

What are the most popular pizza sauces

Different Types of Pizza Sauces

Pizza is a universally loved dish, but did you know that the sauce is just as important as the toppings? From classic tomato sauce to white sauce with garlic, there are a variety of sauces to choose from to give your pizza that perfect savory flavor.

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is a fundamental component of many pizzas, serving as the flavorful base that ties together the toppings and cheese. It is typically made from ripe tomatoes, although canned or pureed tomato products are commonly used. To create pizza tomato sauce, the tomatoes are often simmered and blended with seasonings like garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and sometimes a touch of sugar to balance the acidity. The resulting sauce is spread evenly over the pizza dough before adding other ingredients.

The tomato sauce on a pizza contributes a rich and tangy tomato flavor, while also adding moisture and preventing the crust from becoming dry during baking. It serves as the canvas on which various toppings are placed, allowing for endless creativity and customization in pizza making. While classic tomato sauce is a staple, variations like marinara, Neapolitan, spicy, and herb-infused sauces offer unique flavors to suit different preferences. 

Tomato-based sauces, such as marinara or pizza sauce

White Sauce

White sauce, often known as white pizza sauce, is a delicious alternative to typical tomato-based pizza sauce. Instead of using tomatoes, this creamy sauce is made with heavy cream, butter, garlic, and a blend of herbs. White sauce has a thick, velvety texture that is an excellent canvas for pizza toppings. Its flavor profile is a harmonic mix of creaminess, slight tanginess, and garlic undertones that provide a refreshing alternative to the tomato sauce often seen on pizzas. White sauce is a versatile option that is popular among people looking for an alternative to the traditional red sauce. It goes well with a variety of toppings, including spinach, mushrooms, artichokes, chicken, and a variety of cheeses.

Cream-based sauces, such as Alfredo or Béchamel

Red Sauce

Next to White Sauce, Red sauce is another different type of pizza sauce, a versatile and delicious addition to any meal. Whether it’s used as a topping for pizza or mixed into pasta dishes, it brings a rich and tangy flavor that is hard to resist. The deep red color adds an element of warmth and comfort to any plate, making it a popular choice for comfort foods like lasagna and meatballs. From classic marinara to spicy arrabbiata, there are endless variations of this beloved sauce. While it’s easy to purchase a jar at the grocery store, making your own homemade red sauce can elevate your dishes to a whole new level.

Pesto Sauce

Pesto sauce over pizza is a refreshing change from standard tomato-based sauces, with a blast of fresh, vivid tastes. Pesto is a green sauce made with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese that is mixed to form a smooth, herbaceous paste. When used as a pizza sauce, it adds a unique twist to the flavor profile of the pizza. Pesto sauce has a robust and fragrant flavor that is distinguished by the brightness of basil, the nuttiness of pine nuts, and the savory depth of garlic and cheese. This sauce works well with a range of toppings, such as sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and grilled chicken, to create a pizza that is both fresh and savory. Pesto pizza is a favorite among those who appreciate the vibrant taste of basil and are looking to explore different and delicious pizza flavors beyond the classic tomato sauce.

Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce on pizza is a creamy and indulgent departure from the traditional tomato-based sauces. Alfredo sauce is typically made from butter, heavy cream, garlic, and grated Parmesan cheese, creating a rich and velvety texture. When used as a pizza sauce, it imparts a luxurious and savory flavor profile. Alfredo sauce complements a variety of toppings, with popular choices including grilled chicken, spinach, mushrooms, and bacon. The creamy sauce pairs exceptionally well with cheeses like mozzarella and provolone, adding to the overall richness of the pizza. Alfredo pizza offers a delightful contrast to traditional tomato-based pies, making it a favorite among those seeking a more decadent and creamy pizza experience.

Arrabbiata Sauce

Arrabbiata sauce is a spicy and flavorful tomato-based sauce that originates from Italian cuisine, particularly the region of Lazio. While it’s traditionally used as a pasta sauce, it can also be a unique and delicious addition to pizza.

Arrabbiata sauce gets its spicy kick from red chili flakes, which are typically sautéed in olive oil along with garlic to create a fragrant and fiery base. This sauce is then simmered with canned tomatoes, salt, and sometimes additional herbs like parsley or basil to balance the heat.

When used as a pizza sauce, arrabbiata sauce can add a zesty and bold flavor to your pie. It pairs well with a variety of toppings, especially those that can complement or contrast with the spiciness. Common toppings for arrabbiata pizza include spicy Italian sausage, pepperoni, red bell peppers, onions, olives, and even fresh basil or arugula to add freshness and balance.

Arrabbiata pizza offers a unique flavor profile that caters to those who enjoy a bit of heat in their pizza. If you appreciate spicy and bold flavors, incorporating arrabbiata sauce into your pizza can create a mouthwatering and satisfying experience.

Buffalo Sauce

Another different type of pizza sauce is: Buffalo sauce is a fiery, tangy condiment that has become a staple for enthusiasts of spicy foods across the world. Its origins lie in the bustling city of Buffalo, New York, where a local chef first whipped up a batch of the fiery sauce in the 1960s. Since then, it has taken on a life of its own and has become a beloved flavoring that can be added to an array of dishes, including chicken wings, sandwiches, and even pasta. Whether you like it hot or mild, there is no denying the flavor explosion of buffalo sauce. With the perfect balance of heat and acidity, this sauce has captured the hearts and taste buds of millions of food lovers.

Salsa Sauce

Salsa sauce, originating from Mexican cuisine, makes for a vibrant and zesty addition to the world of pizza, This flavorful condiment, typically crafted from a blend of tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro, and spices, introduces a burst of bold tastes when used as a pizza base. Salsa’s medley of sweet, spicy, and tangy notes can transform an ordinary pizza into a fiesta of flavors. It pairs harmoniously with a variety of toppings, including seasoned ground beef, jalapeños, black beans, corn, red onions, and Mexican cheeses, creating a Tex-Mex or southwestern-inspired pizza. Whether using classic tomato-based salsa or exploring variations like fruity mango or smoky chipotle salsa, this fusion of flavors appeals to those seeking a lively and dynamic twist on the traditional pizza experience. Salsa pizza brings a taste of Mexico to the world of pizza, offering a vibrant and unforgettable culinary adventure.

Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is a versatile and delicious addition to any kitchen. Originating from Naples, Italy, marinara sauce is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and various herbs such as basil and oregano. What makes this sauce unique is its simplicity and ability to complement a variety of dishes, from classic spaghetti to homemade pizza. It can also be used as a dipping sauce or marinade for meats and vegetables. With its bold and robust flavor, marinara sauce is a perfect staple for any pantry.

What is the best type of sauce for pizza? 

Pizza sauce selection is primarily influenced by individual taste and topping choices. On the other hand, tomato-based sauce is a traditional and popular choice. It offers a tasty combination of sharpness and sweetness and goes well with a variety of toppings.

  • For those who prefer a distinctive and fresh flavor, pesto sauce is another well-liked choice.
  • Garlic and olive oil can provide a basis for the pizza that is flavorful but not overpowering.
  • While BBQ sauce gives a sweet and tangy flavor that fits well with meats like chicken or bacon, Alfredo sauce adds a creamy and decadent choice that goes well with some toppings like poultry or veggies.
  • The sauce that tastes the greatest to you is ultimately the best sauce for pizza.
What is the best type of sauce for pizza 
What is the best type of sauce for pizza

How does the choice of pizza sauce affect the flavor of the pizza?

The sauce plays a crucial role in the overall flavor and has a big impact on the finished product. There are many various kinds of pizza you may make depending on the sauce you use. A typical marinara sauce, for instance, will have a more acidic and sour flavor, whereas a BBQ sauce will have a sweeter and smokier flavor. A plain pizza may be entirely changed into something special and delectable with the addition of the correct sauce. 

How long can pizza sauce be stored in the refrigerator?

While the answer may vary depending on the specific sauce and how it was prepared, most pizza sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. After that, it’s important to discard any remaining sauce to avoid the risk of foodborne illness. So whether you’re whipping up a homemade pizza or using the leftover sauce for a marinara dish, make sure you’re safely storing your pizza sauce to keep your family happy and healthy.

How To Make A Delicious Sauce At Home?

There’s nothing quite like a homemade sauce to elevate your favorite dish. While some sauces may seem intimidating to make, creating your own sauce at home can be easy and delicious. Here’s a basic recipe for a versatile and tasty homemade sauce that you can customize to suit your preferences:


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14-ounce) of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of sugar (to balance acidity) or red pepper flakes (for a touch of heat)


  1. Heat the Olive Oil: In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. You can also use butter or a combination of both for added richness.
  2. Sauté the Garlic: Add the minced garlic to the hot oil and sauté for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. Be careful not to let it brown, as overcooked garlic can become bitter.
  3. Add the Tomatoes: Pour in the crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce and stir well to combine with the garlic.
  4. Season: Add the dried basil and oregano to the sauce. If you prefer a slightly sweet sauce, you can also add a teaspoon of sugar at this point to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you like a bit of heat, you can sprinkle in some red pepper flakes.
  5. Simmer: Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This allows the flavors to meld, and the sauce will thicken slightly.
  6. Taste and Adjust: Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning to your liking. You can add more herbs, salt, or sugar if needed.
  7. Serve: Use the sauce immediately over your favorite pasta, as a pizza sauce, or as a base for various dishes. If you’re making a large batch, you can store the leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze it for longer storage.

Should You Buy The Premade Sauce Or Make It By Yourself?

There are certainly pros and cons to both options. On one hand, buying a premade sauce can save you time and effort, as it’s already been prepared for you. On the other hand, making sauce yourself gives you the freedom to customize it to your exact preferences, and can often result in a fresher, tastier product. Ultimately, the decision comes down to a matter of personal preference and priorities. If you’re short on time and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of control over the final product, buying premade sauce might be the way to go. However, if you’re passionate about cooking and value having complete creative control over your dishes, then making the sauce from scratch may be the more satisfying route.

Which Pizza Brands Offer The Best Sauce?

With so many pizza brands out there, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones have the best sauce.

Domino’s: Domino’s is a global pizza chain known for its sweet and tangy tomato sauce. Their sauce complements a range of toppings and crust styles.

Papa John’s: Papa John’s is celebrated for its signature pizza sauce, which has a slightly sweet and robust tomato flavor. It’s often described as a good balance of tanginess and sweetness.

Pizza Hut: Pizza Hut offers a sauce that’s known for its bold tomato taste and smooth consistency. It’s used in various pizza styles, including pan, stuffed crust, and traditional hand-tossed.

Papa Murphy’s: Papa Murphy’s, a take-and-bake pizza chain, is praised for its fresh and flavorful pizza sauce. Since you bake their pizzas at home, you have control over the sauce’s application.

Little Caesars: Little Caesars is known for its classic tomato sauce, which has a simple and familiar tomato taste that pairs well with their pizza offerings.

Blaze Pizza: Blaze Pizza is known for offering high-quality, customizable pizzas with a variety of sauce options, including classic red, spicy red, white cream, and pesto.

Can you mix different types of pizza sauces

Can pizza sauce be used for other dishes besides pizza?

In addition to pizza, many other dishes can benefit from the taste boost that pizza sauce can provide. Pasta dishes, casseroles, and even sandwiches can benefit from the rich tomato base and herbs and spices it contains.

  • Topping homemade meatballs with this sauce or spicing up a traditional grilled cheese sandwich is simply ideal.
  • Additionally, it can be used as a dipping sauce for snacks like breadsticks, chicken fingers, and mozzarella sticks.

Conclusion: Different Types of Pizza Sauces

Pizza sauces come in a variety of flavors and textures, from the classic tomato sauce to unique flavored white and pesto sauces. If you’re feeling adventurous or trying to watch your weight, you can also find recipes for healthy and low-calorie pizza sauces. Offering endless possibilities, pizza sauces can liven up an entire dish. You can pick up a delicious premade sauce at the grocery store that is perfect for a quick-fix dinner, but if you want to get creative in the kitchen, making your own sauce is not only easy but it will bring more flavor into your dish. Experimenting with different sauces will help take your pizza experience to the next level; whether you want some zest, balance with spices and herbs, or something creamier with ricotta cheese and egg – there are endless possibilities – which one will you choose? Find out which brands have the best-tasting sauces and let us know in the comments below. Let’s give pizza lovers everywhere the gift of deliciousness together


Is pesto sauce a good option for pizza?

Pesto sauce can be a delicious and flavorful option for pizza, especially if you’re looking for a non-tomato-based sauce. However, it’s important to keep in mind that pesto can be quite strong and may overpower certain toppings.

How can I make a spicy pizza sauce?

To make a spicy pizza sauce, you can add ingredients like crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to your base tomato sauce. You can also experiment with adding other spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika to enhance the flavor.

Is white pizza sauce the same as Alfredo sauce?

While there are similarities between white pizza sauce and Alfredo sauce, they are not exactly the same. White pizza sauce typically contains a blend of cheeses, garlic, and herbs, whereas Alfredo sauce is typically made with cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese.

How do I choose the best pizza sauce for my toppings?

When choosing a pizza sauce for your toppings, it’s important to consider the flavor and texture of the sauce. For example, a thicker sauce may be better suited to heartier toppings like meat and vegetables, while a lighter sauce may work well with more delicate toppings like seafood or fresh herbs.

What are the ingredients in BBQ pizza sauce?

The ingredients in BBQ pizza sauce can vary depending on the recipe but typically include a base of ketchup or tomato sauce, along with vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and various spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.

Can I use the marinara sauce as a pizza sauce?

Yes, the marinara sauce can be a great option for pizza sauce, especially if you prefer a tomato-based sauce. Just be aware that marinara sauce tends to be thinner than pizza sauce, so you may want to cook it down or add a thickening agent like tomato paste.

How can I adjust the thickness of my pizza sauce?

If your pizza sauce is too thin, you can try cooking it down over low heat to reduce the liquid content. Alternatively, you can add a thickening agent like tomato paste or cornstarch to help thicken the sauce. Just be sure to add these ingredients gradually to avoid making the sauce too thick or pasty.




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