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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Pizza Sauce

Pizza night just got a whole lot spicier, folks.

There’s always that moment — you’re set to make a homemade pizza and bam, no pizza sauce in sight.

Sure, it seems like a kitchen disaster waiting to happen.

Yet, here we are, turning this ship around with some ridiculously tasty swaps.

We’ve hunted down the top five alternatives that might just make you ditch traditional pizza sauce for good.

Ready to give your pizza an unexpected twist? These substitutes promise to keep things interesting and delicious.

Buckle up, because your pizza is about to go on a flavor ride.

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.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pizza Sauce

When you're out of pizza sauce, these 5 exceptional substitutes will step up to the plate, providing the perfect balance of tangy tomato flavor and aromatic herbs for your homemade pies.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


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


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Pizza Sauce
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