10 Best Pizza Sauce Substitutes

Pizza Sauce

We may be in love with pasta, however, we will always have a weak spot when it comes to pizza. Actually, Italian cuisine is full of amazing dishes and the list is endless so it is really hard to pass.

We all enjoy pizza, especially the homemade one, that is just taken out of the oven. The smell of baked pizza mixed with the ingredients and sauces used, makes your mouth water, and just by the thought of it you get lost in it.

There are many toppings that you can use to create a unique pizza and many recipes to choose from. Furthermore, besides the toppings, one thing is very important and that’s the sauce.

The first thing that comes to mind is pizza sauce. Tasty and perfect for pizza just as the name suggests. This sauce is made of a few ingredients including canned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic.

It is easy to create at home and to find in the store. However, if you don’t have it at hand or you want to try something else, is there a way to replace pizza sauce?

Can I replace pizza sauce? Yes, pizza sauce has both non-tomato-based and tomato-based substitutes. The first ones include Pesto, Muhammara, Gremolata, Alfredo, Ricotta cheese, Tapenade, Extra virgin olive oil.

You can also use some tomato-based substitutes like barbecue sauce, marinara sauce, or pasta sauce. Go through the list and choose what suits you and your pizza best.

Let’s learn more about these substitutes and make a wise pick!

Best Substitutes for Pizza Sauce

Now that we know that pizza sauce can be replaced, meaning there are suitable replacements, all you have to do is take a look at our top 10 substitutes that will come in handy for your next pizza baking.

With our list, you have the chance to choose between some non-tomato-based sauces and similar tomato-based sauces like the pizza sauce.

Moreover, you can make something nice for your friends and family at your next gathering and surprise them with a special type of pizza.

1. Pesto

Pesto pizza

Commonly used especially with pasta, a topping that will fit perfectly with pizza is pesto. The nice smell and taste of pesto will give a nice touch to your pizza.

You can always add other toppings such as mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, or anything else that comes to mind. The flavors will mix together and the pizza will be great.

2. Muhammara


A second option to replace pizza sauce is Muhammara, a traditional Mediterranean sauce made from hot peppers, toasted walnuts, olive oil, cumin seeds,  vinegar, red bell peppers, garlic, and some water.

Muhammara has a smokey and tangy taste based on the used ingredients, and the texture is not that watery. This way you’ll give your pizza a nice turn and taste.

3. Gremolata


Gremolata is a green Italian sauce that will help replace pizza sauce successfully. If you enjoy a zesty flavor with a combination of lemon and garlic then this is the sauce for your pizza.

It is made of parsley that needs to be chopped first, garlic, and lemon zest. Use it to make a nice pizza and add some additional topping of your own choice.

4. Alfredo

Alfredo would be another option to replace pizza sauce.

It may not be considered a healthy option. However, it will make your pizza so creamy and rich that you wouldn’t be able to resist it.

It has a bit of a complex taste, but it will add a nice touch and richness to your pizza. 

5. Ricotta cheese

Mascarpone vs Ricotta

There are many pizza toppings and sauces that you can add instead of pizza sauce and ricotta cheese is one of those.

Yet another Italian type of cheese that has a creamy texture and amazing taste. It is perfect for many savory dishes, pizza is included. It will melt nicely and your pizza will have an incredible taste and smell.

6. Tapenade


Another Mediterranean creation that is yet another replacement for pizza sauce is Tapenade.

It is a complex, tasty, and exotic sauce that will fit nicely with the rest of the ingredients in your pizza. It is a mix that can be spread all over the pizza.

By adding Tapenade you add extra smell and taste, and you’ll make your pizza hard to resist for anyone not to try it.

7. Extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is the other thing that can be put in pizza instead of pizza sauce.

Just sprinkle all over your pizza to add crust and texture. The taste will be wonderful and the pizza crust would be unique.

Also, extra virgin olive oil is considered a healthy option which means your pizza will be healthy.

Tomato-based sauces

Since the previous options are nothing like pizza sauce in the texture and ingredients, here are some amazing tomato-based options that will help you make a bold, rich pizza.

Basically, the sauces give extra flavors to the pizza, which means you have the option to create something incredible. Choose some of the other sauces and make a choice.

8. Barbecue sauce

barbecue sauce

You may not think of bbq sauce as a replacement for pizza sauce, but actually, it will be good to mix it with the other ingredients added to the pizza.

You need to be careful how much you add, because the taste may be overpowering. This is typically used as a marinade for meat, but it’s not excluded from adding it to pizza.

If you enjoy the taste of bbq sauce, adding sweet and smoky flavor will make your pizza unique and tempting not to try it.

9. Marinara sauce

Marinara sauce is another tomato-based sauce that is considered as an option when it comes to pizza sauce and pizza. The tomatoes in the marinara need to be peeled off and blended smooth if you make it at home.

However, the marinara sauce needs to be cooked before adding to the pizza. It can replace pizza sauce and it can be combined with many ingredients by your own choice. 

10. Pasta sauce


Lastly on our list of options to replace pizza sauce is the pasta sauce.

This is another type of sauce that you may not consider as an option and may not come to your mind, but it would be incredible for your pizza.

It is easy to make it at home and it’s not just for pasta. As you add it to your pizza you add extra richness and taste to it. Use the pasta sauce at any time. 

Related Questions

Can I substitute spaghetti sauce for pizza sauce?

You can use spaghetti sauce for pizza sauce at any time. Make sure that you reduce the water in order to make it thicker.

Can I use tomato sauce instead of pizza sauce?

You can easily replace the tomato sauce with pizza sauce. Tomato sauce is uncooked and will be better on your pizza. 

Can I use pasta sauce for pizza?

Pasta sauce is suitable for pizza and may provide surprising results. However, be aware that the pasta sauce is usually cooked before use, unlike pizza sauce to get delicious results.

What sauces can you use on pizza?

If you want to try something else instead of tomato-based replacements you can use hummus, pesto, buffalo sauce, garlic ranch sauce, and even marinara sauce.

Can I use ketchup as pizza sauce?

It is not recommended for you to replace ketchup with pizza sauce since it does not have any of the ingredients in the recipe.

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