Pizza Sauce vs Tomatoes Sauce: All you Need to Know

tomato sauce

Passing through the streets on these summer days may leave you flooded with a familiar smell. Somebody is cooking tomatoes!

This is definitely one of the best indicators that the season of these fine fruits is in full swing. One of the eternal debating questions is; is tomato fruit or vegetable?

It is a fruit! Let’s put it this way: A fruit we gladly see and grow in our vegetable gardens. Eaten raw, or used in sauces, it is the multipurpose king of each kitchen.

This delicious sauce, the most common as the plain tomato sauce and nowadays more and more popular pizza sauce brings another question: are these two sauces the same thing?

Mozzarella Cheese

A world of differences swims between these two sauces and contrary to the common opinion of the two being similar or even identical sauces, they are two totally different things.

Aside from numerous different preparation procedures, tomato sauce has just as many different varieties and it usually comes seasoned with just a bit of different herbs and spices.

Tomato sauce we use for a variety of dishes as well as plain, while pizza sauce we put on pizza only. Also, tomato sauce is cooked while pizza sauce is not.

Tomato sauce comes with just a pinch of salt, or herbs and spices. Pizza sauce, on the other hand, has determined base ingredients and spices used.

In this article, we will lead you through the major similarities as well as differences between these two sauces.

Pizza Sauce

Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce is a typical Italian dish becoming popular globally and giving the pizza creamy and cheesy texture overflowing the soft baked bread.

Even though in many of its variations, pizza sauce will be based on tomatoes, it doesn’t have to be exclusively tomatoes.

The accent of pizza is in its topping rather than the base sauce. In many cases, it will be also the white base sauce, such as béchamel, depending on other matching ingredients which in the end form the desired topping.

If it is tomato pizza sauce, then the most common sort is a tomato puree or canned tomatoes combined with olive oil and herbs such as basil, garlic, and oregano to give it that specific and appealing pizza smell.

Pizza sauce will absorb its entire quality ingredient during the cooking in an oven and there is no need to precook it like tomato sauce.

Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce

Comparing to pizza sauce, tomato sauce is a completely different thing. It is all about the quick and light feel of tomatoes in your mouth.

Tomato sauce is one of the most common recipes used worldwide. It has a bunch of variations, including tomato puree, tomato paste, and more. Even the most basic sauce goes under many different names (tomato-basil, marinara, chunky onion-tomato, rustic, classic).

The base is, of course, tomato itself, with the skin and seeds removed then cooked with or without the addition of spices and herbs.

One of the most common options includes just salt alone and it is usually, comparing to pizza sauce, cooked for even a couple of hours, with recommended range, depending on the recipe used of 30 minutes to even 120 minutes.

Tomato flesh is soft and easy to cook and doesn’t need any thickener; on the contrary, some water may be added for thinner variations of the sauce.

Tomato sauce can be used as an addition to so many meals and so many variations that only the sky is the limit to your imagination.

It is a tasty addition to any meal, be it on a vegetable or meat basis, pasta, cocktails, or pastry dishes. Meaning, it dances well with just about anything.

The tomato sauce comes in three basic variations:

  • Long-simmering tomato-based pasta sauces will have you achieve a rich and complex flavor.
  • Barely cooked tomato sauces which have a somewhat lighter flavor and are more recognizable than fresh tomatoes. A little bit of cooking softens the tomatoes and brings out their sweetness.
  • Uncooked sauces are bright and refreshing, and are best made with thoroughly ripe summer tomatoes.

Differences Between Pizza and Tomato Sauce?

Tomato sauce Pizza sauce
  • Tomato sauce is a kind of sauce made of ripe tomatoes mixed with just salt or a combination of herbs and spices
  • It has a plain tomato base
  • This sauce goes well with a variety of dishes; meat, poultry, pasta, vegetables, cocktails
  • Tomato sauces are cooked
  • Pizza sauce is a kind of sauce we use on pizza’s only
  • It commonly has a tomato base, however, can be based on creamy white sauces such as béchamel or have a pesto base instead of tomatoes
  • This sauce goes with pizza only
  • Pizza sauces do not require precooking

Now that we fully understand the differences between the two sauces, we will give you the two basic recipes for each, allowing you to work with them in any desired direction.

Basic Pizza Sauce Recipe



  • A can of tomato sauce or tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of ground oregano
  • One teaspoon dried minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper (optional)


Take a medium bowl and mix all the ingredients together stirring for 1-2 minutes until you reach the creamy texture.

Keep the track of the cooking time as it has an impact on the thickness. Less cooking time will give you thinner sauce, while longer cooking time will give you thicker sauce.

Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe



  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 finely chopped medium onion
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped (option)
  • a small stalk of parsley and celery, finely chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 ¾ pound of fresh peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
  • black pepper and salt to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large bowl at medium heat and cook gently the onion, carrot, celery, and parsley, stir to coat. Reduce the heat to low, and leave it to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are completely softened.

Stir occasionally. Add garlic and tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper, and stirring occasionally cook for another 20 to 30 minutes until you reach the texture you want.

Related Questions

What are some hints for making tomato sauce?

To help you get that perfect special taste here are more tips to help you get that perfect tomato sauce of yours.

You can always add a bit of wine. Both white and red wine will work perfectly well adding some flavor to tomato sauce. Another good option is to consider roasting the tomatoes first.

Adding some parmesan or simply stirring in a little bit of butter will too help you achieve a more sophisticated and distinct version of a fine tomato sauce

Can I use tomato sauce instead of pizza sauce?

Tomato sauce is the sauce with a tomato base. And as such is intended for many types of dishes such as poultry, meat, vegetables, pasta, and much more. However, as its name says, pizza sauce is the best used as the pizza sauce only.

How to preserve homemade tomato sauce and pizza sauce?

Pizza sauce is to be used immediately. It is not recommended to preserve it anyway or keep it longer than needed during the cooking process.

As for the tomato sauce; both sugar and vinegar make good preservatives. You will need sterilized containers, placing them in boiling water for about 20 minutes will do just fine.

Add the sauce in, seal the container and boil again for another 10 minutes. Store it in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like