Pizza Sauce vs Pasta Sauce | Can You Use Pasta Sauce Instead of Pizza Sauce?

Pizza Sauce vs Pasta Sauce

Pizza sauce and pasta sauce may seem the same to people who don’t cook. But people who love to cook up the flag bearers of Italian cuisine (pizza and pasta) understand that the two are different indeed. They vary in seasonings, tomatoes used, and methods of cooking. They also serve different purposes (it’s there in the name).

Pizza sauce is made with tomato sauce and paste and is a lot more flavorful. It has a lot of flavorful seasonings like garlic salt, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and oregano. The pizza sauce is uncooked, so it cooks along with the pizza. Pasta sauce, on the other hand, is made with crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basic seasonings. The pasta sauce has a thinner consistency, so it can cover the pasta noodles and is cooked. 

The way you can completely understand the difference is by making the sauces at home. The pizza sauce has a thicker consistency so that the pizza dough doesn’t become soggy. While the pasta sauce is thinner as it needs more water content to cover the pasta noodles. Also, the pasta sauce recipe doesn’t have intense flavors. It’s because you add the seasonings of your choice to the pasta while the pizza mostly leans towards toppings. 

But some questions still arise. Are the two interchangeable? What will happen if we use one instead of the other? Which one’s better? How can you make these sauces at home? There are a lot of questions that need answers. So, the responsibility falls on my delicate shoulders to end this debate. Let’s see more about the pizza sauce and pasta sauce, along with the recipes of the two. 

What Is Pizza Sauce?

Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce is something that you apply to your pizza base before you dress it beautifully with toppings. But I am sure you knew that. So, I’ll tell you how to make a delicious and flavorful pizza sauce at home.

You’ll need tomato sauce and tomato paste to make the pizza sauce. Then, you need to add different seasonings and herbs to it. As I said, the pizza sauce is uncooked because it cooks along with the pizza. The beauty of homemade pizza sauce is that you get to adjust the seasonings according to your preference. It is also very easy to make and gets ready in just 5 minutes.

What Equipment Will You Need To Make Pizza Sauce?

  • Mixing Bowl – Use the mixing bowl to make the sauce.
  • Whisk – Use the whisk for mixing. If you want, you can use a wooden spoon too. 

How Much Time Will You Need To Make Pizza Sauce?

Preparation TimeCooking TimeTotal Time
5 Minutes5 Minutes

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Pizza Sauce?

  • Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste – Mix tomato sauce and tomato paste for the sauce but make sure the tomato sauce is smooth and not chunky. 
  • Seasoning (Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Granulated Sugar, and Italian Seasoning) – Make the sauce more flavorful by adding different kinds of seasoning to it.
  • Dried Herbs (Oregano and Basil) – Add a herby taste to the sauce by adding dried herbs to it. You can add fresh herbs if you want. 
  • Red Pepper Flakes – If you want the sauce to be hot, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to it. 
Pizza Sauce on dough

Steps To Make Pizza Sauce

1. Some Tomato and Some Seasoning

All you need to do is add your tomato and your seasoning to a bowl and mix. Take a mixing bowl and add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Add garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, ground pepper, and sugar to it. This will give the sauce a sharp flavor. 

Also, add Italian seasoning, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes to it. This will add earthy and herby notes to the sauce. Mix them until they are fully combined and that’s it. Your pizza sauce is ready. 

Nutritional Information

Calories34 kcal
Fat0.7 g
Saturated Fat0.3 g
Trans Fat0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat0.3 g
Sodium 219 mg
Potassium 223 mg
Carbohydrates 5.5 g
Fiber1.3 g
Sugar2.4 g
Protein1.4 g

How Will The Pizza Sauce Look And Taste Like?

The pizza sauce has a tomato red color and the persistent taste of tangy tomatoes. The other flavors come from the seasoning and herbs. These flavors go really well with the cheese that you top the pizza with. 

Recipe Card

Pizza Sauce spread on dough

Pizza Sauce Recipe

The pizza sauce is a tomato-based sauce. It is made with tomato paste, tomato sauce, herbs, and seasoning. It is thick in consistency and is flavorful.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Dips and Sauces
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 34 kcal

Equipment

  • Medium Bowl
  • Whisk

Ingredients
  

  • 15 oz. Tomato Sauce (smooth)
  • 6 oz. Tomato Paste
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ½ tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • Dried Oregano (to taste)
  • Dried Basil (to taste)
  • Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • In a mixing bowl, add the tomato sauce and the tomato paste. Add garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, ground pepper, and sugar to it.
  • Also, add Italian seasoning, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes to it. Mix them until they are fully combined and that’s it. Your pizza sauce is ready.

Nutrition

Calories: 34kcalCarbohydrates: 5.5gProtein: 1.4gFat: 0.7gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 219mgPotassium: 223mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 2.4g
Keyword Pizza Sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Alternatives To Pizza Sauce

The traditional sauce used for the pizza is the red sauce with tomatoes (the one that I mentioned). But if you don’t have the pizza sauce available or just want to experiment with some of the sauces, there are many popular alternatives for that.

You can use pesto sauce to give your pizza a herby flavor. The green sauce will give a fun color to the usual red pizza. If you want a sauce that has strong flavors, you can use sweet chili sauce, barbeque sauce, chimichurri sauce, or even Buffalo Wild Wing sauce. These might sound a bit unusual but paired with the perfect toppings; they make for a great base sauce. 

If you want something mellow, you can use ricotta, ranch, or just some alfredo sauce. For intense flavors, you can also use tapenade or balsamic glaze. 

Here’s a list of the above-mentioned alternatives.

  1. Pesto
  2. Sweet Chili Sauce
  3. Barbeque Sauce
  4. Chimichurri Sauce
  5. Buffalo Wild Wing Sauce
  6. Ricotta
  7. Ranch
  8. Alfredo Sauce
  9. Tapenade
  10. Balsamic Glaze

What Is Pasta Sauce?

Pasta Sauce

Now, pasta sauce can be of many types. But here we are talking about tomato pasta sauce. The tomato pasta sauce is made with crushed tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes add the needed water content for the sauce. The sauce has to be both cooked and of thin consistency. 

The sauce should still be thin after simmering it for some time. This is why the sauce should have a high-water content. The sauce is made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basic seasoning like salt, pepper, and, optionally, red pepper flakes. Let’s see the complete recipe for the tomato pasta sauce.

What Equipment Will You Need To Make Pasta Sauce?

  • Large Pot – Add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, along with the butter and seasoning, to the pot and cook the sauce in it.
  • Wooden Spoon and Knife – Use the wooden knife for stirring and the knife for dicing and chopping vegetables.

How Much Time Will You Need To Make Pasta Sauce?

Preparation TimeCooking TimeTotal Time
10 Minutes10 Minutes20 Minutes

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Pasta Sauce?

  • Crushed Tomatoes – You want the pasta sauce to be chunky and have high water content. So, you need crushed tomatoes for that. 
  • Onion and Garlic – Add a sharp taste of onion and garlic to your sauce by sauteing them in oil. 
  • Olive Oil – The pasta sauce needs to be cooked. So, cook the onions and garlic along with the tomatoes in the oil. 
  • Butter – Add some richness and fatty goodness to the sauce with some butter. 
  • Water – Dilute the sauce with some water. 
  • Dried Basil – Add a touch of herby taste with dried basil. 
  • Kosher Salt and Granulated Sugar – Make the sauce sweet and salty with these. 
  • Red Pepper Flakes – If you want to add some hotness, add some red pepper flakes to it. 
Pasta Sauce with spaghetti

Steps To Make Pasta Sauce

1. Sauce Allum-Ni

Heat oil in a large pan and cook onions in it for three minutes. After that, add garlic and stir for about 2 minutes but don’t let it burn. Then, season it with some red pepper flakes, basil, sugar, and salt. Stir it a bit and then add butter to it.

2. Crushed From Ma Head To-ma-toes

Now, it’s time to add the crushed tomatoes. Add ½ cup of crushed tomatoes and stir them. Reduce the heat and then add the remaining can of tomatoes. For required consistency, add ¼ cup of water or some more if needed.

3. Sim Simmer Simmest

If you are short on time, simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes. If you have more time, cook the sauce for 1 hour. But make sure that you maintain the needed consistency and don’t let the sauce become thick. With this, Your delicious pasta sauce is ready to use. 

Nutritional Information

Calories66 kcal
Fat2.1 g
Saturated Fat0.3 g
Trans Fat0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.9 mg
Monounsaturated Fat0.4 g
Cholesterol2.6 mg
Sodium 577 mg
Potassium422 mg
Carbohydrates9.8 g
Fiber2.4 g
Sugar6.5 g
Protein1.8 g

How Will The Pasta Sauce Look And Taste Like?

The pasta sauce has a deeper red color than the tomatoes as it is cooked. It has a flavor of onion and garlic along with basic seasoning and herbs. The rich taste comes from butter. As the sauce is cooked, the flavors get time to merge well. This sauce helps you make delicious pasta. 

Recipe Card

Homemade Pasta Sauce

Pasta Sauce Recipe

Pasta sauce is a sauce of thin consistency and is made by cooking crushed tomatoes. Other than tomatoes, the sauce has onions, garlic, herbs, and seasoning.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dips and Sauces
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 66 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Pan
  • Wooden Spoon and Knife

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (28-ounce) can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 medium Onion (finely diced)
  • 5 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Butter
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Basil
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a large pan and cook onions in it for three minutes. After that, add garlic and stir for about 2 minutes but don’t let it burn.
  • Then, season it with some red pepper flakes, basil, sugar, and salt. Stir it a bit and then add butter to it.
  • Add ½ cup of crushed tomatoes to the pan and stir them. Reduce the heat and then add the remaining can of tomatoes. For required consistency, add ¼ cup of water or some more if needed.
  • Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes. If you have more time, cook the sauce for 1 hour. Your delicious pasta sauce is ready to use.

Nutrition

Calories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 9.8gProtein: 1.8gFat: 2.1gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.9gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 2.6mgSodium: 577mgPotassium: 422mgFiber: 2.4gSugar: 6.5g
Keyword Pasta Sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Can You Use Pizza Sauce Instead of Pasta Sauce? 

As both these sauces are tomato-based, you can use them interchangeably but with a little tweaking. The pizza sauce is thick and flavorful. For it to be used as a pasta sauce, it needs to be diluted. This will make it thinner and will mellow the flavors. Then, add some oil so that it can cook the flavors. 

Heat oil in a pan, saute onions in it, and then pour the dilute pizza sauce into it. Simmer it for a few minutes so that it gets cooked while not altering the consistency. If you want the pasta sauce to be chunky and not smooth all the way, add canned crushed tomatoes to it. Cook it for 10 minutes and you have delicious pasta sauce.

Can You Use Pasta Sauce Instead of Pizza Sauce?

The answer to this question is affirmative as well. Yes, you can use pasta sauce instead of pizza sauce. Pasta sauce has a thinner consistency than pizza sauce, but it has well-cooked flavors. With some alterations, you can use the pasta sauce to cover your pizza base. 

First, the pasta sauce is usually chunky. So, you need to smoothen it out in a food processor. The next thing you need to do is add some more flavors to it by adding some seasoning. It already has the flavors of garlic, onions, and basic seasoning. So, add some dried herbs and seasoning to it. Also, you can cook it on simmer for some time to thicken it. With these simple steps, you’ll get a delicious and flavourful sauce for your pizza. 

Is Marinara Sauce Similar To A Pizza Sauce or Pasta Sauce?

Marinara sauce

Marinara sauce is also a tomato-based sauce with a strong garlic flavor. Marinara is thinner than pizza sauce but slightly thicker than pasta sauce. But it is closer to pasta sauce in making and consistency than it is pizza sauce. 

Marinara sauce, like pasta sauce, has garlic flavors and is cooked. But it still isn’t as flavorful as the pasta sauce used for spaghetti. Still, marinara sauce is primarily used as a pasta sauce or as a dip. It wouldn’t be that great to use marinara as a pizza sauce.

Final Thoughts

So, after all this debate, I am sure you want to know who won in the contest of pizza sauce vs pasta sauce. I must say, the pizza sauce is more versatile than its competitors. It is flavorful, thick, and uncooked. It adds fresh flavors to the pizza as it cooks at a high temperature. It can be cooked and diluted to make a flavorful pasta sauce. I think in today’s debate of pizza sauce vs pasta sauce, pizza sauce wins. 

Tell me in the comments who do you think won this contest. I’d love to hear from you. For more such intense debates (try mellow), stay tuned!

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