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The 5 Best Substitutes for Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce is an integral part of many delicious Italian dishes, but what is the best way to cook and use it?

Those wondering how to make the most of this classic ingredient need to look no further.

Pizza sauce can be used for much more than simply putting on pizza dough: its flavor adds a unique twist to traditional pasta dishes and makes a great dip.

If you’re out of pizza sauce but don’t want to miss out on the zesty taste, there are plenty of alternatives available too.

From tapenade to Alfredo sauce, find out the top five substitutes for pizza sauce here.

What’s Pizza Sauce?

Pizza sauce is a type of tomato-based condiment which originated in southern Italy.

It has since become a staple of pizza cuisine, having been adopted and adapted to fit different regional tastes and preferences.

Pizza sauce typically has an intense tomato flavor with a hint of acidity, providing a tangy taste that complements the dough and toppings.

Texture-wise, pizza sauce usually has a smooth purée or paste consistency.

This makes it the perfect companion for coating flatbreads such as pizza crust, but it can also be used as a dip or spread depending on your desired consistency.

Thinned down with stock or cream and seasoned to taste, pizza sauce can be incorporated into various recipes, including baked pasta dishes and casseroles.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pizza Sauce

If you are looking for a tasty alternative to traditional pizza sauces, there are five great options you can use that will make your pizza taste just as delicious.

1 – Pesto Sauce

Pesto sauce is an Italian condiment made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil.

Its slightly sweet flavor and creamy texture make it a wonderful accompaniment to many dishes such as meats, vegetables, pasta, and pizzas.

To replace tomato-based pizza sauces with pesto sauce, simply spread the pesto on the crust before adding other toppings.

Any leftover pesto can be refrigerated or frozen for up to a week (or longer).

With its fragrant aroma and flavorsome taste, you have no reason not to give this delicious sauce a try.

2 – Garlic Ranch Sauce

Garlic ranch sauce is a savory blend of garlic and a combination of creamy, tangy ranch-style ingredients.

This delicious condiment adds bold flavor to any meal.

Its complex taste combines the pungent sharpness of garlic with the tartness of buttermilk and a tasty herbal blend of dill, chives, parsley, and onion powder.

Its creamy texture compliments recipes like beef dishes or serves as an ideal dip for vegetables or fried items.

It can also be used as an interesting alternative to traditional pizza sauce.

If you’re looking for a twist on pizza night, just substitute your favorite cheese and toppings over a layer of garlic ranch sauce for instant flavor.

3 – Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is the classic Italian condiment that gives dishes a delicious burst of flavor.

This simple sauce is made with just a few ingredients- tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, herbs, and seasonings.

It has a robust flavor and smooth texture that comes from slowly simmering the ingredients until they are bubbling and ready to be served.

Marinara sauce can be used as an excellent substitute for pizza sauce; top it off with mozzarella cheese and your favorite veggies or proteins for an easy Italian-style meal.

Now you have your very own homemade “pizza shop” style marinara- make sure to take a picture before diving in.

4 – Tapenade

Tapenade is a Mediterranean condiment made from a blend of olives, capers, herbs, and spices in an anchovy or olive oil base.

The typical flavor is slightly salty, but you can adjust the intensity of the saltiness by adding more or less olive oil to it.

Tapenade has a slightly chunky texture with bits of capers and olives.

Its uses range from served as a spread on bread to mixing with pasta dishes.

It’s even possible to use tapenade as a pizza sauce – simply spread the tapenade onto pizza dough before topping it with cheese and other toppings for a unique taste experience that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

5 – Olive Oil and Garlic

Olive oil and garlic are two well-loved ingredients that can easily be combined to add flavor and nutrition to any dish.

Olive oil is full of healthy fats, vitamins, antioxidants, and other important nutrients; the brand, quality, and age can ascertain different levels of taste.

Garlic pairs perfectly with olive oil as it brings in a robust depth of flavor along with potent health benefits.

The oil is recognizable for its distinct yet subtly smooth taste that pairs nicely with the boldness of garlic.

Together they act like a delicious duo in various dishes, whether added separately or together as a pair.

Additionally, as a great substitute for pizza or pasta sauce, one could simply mix olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, and oregano.

The outcome will not only be delicious but also healthier than traditional sauces.


In conclusion, pizza sauce is a versatile condiment that can be used in a variety of dishes.

There are many alternatives to pizza sauce, from pesto and garlic ranch to marinara and tapenade.

Olive oil and garlic are also a great choice for adding an extra depth of flavor to any dish.

Each substitute has its own unique taste and texture that can be used to enhance the flavor of a homemade pizza.

So why not switch it up and give one of these delicious sauces a try? You won’t regret it.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pizza Sauce

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pizza Sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Pesto Sauce
  • Garlic Ranch Sauce
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Tapenade
  • Olive Oil and Garlic


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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