How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe -
How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe
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How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce
See Chef John’s secret formula for making pizza sauce. See more
  • READY IN 55 mins

How to Make Homemade Pizza Sauce

Recipe by  

"This is my new and improved version. And by 'new and improved,' I mean 'old and secret.' Here is my top-secret formula. The next time you're making homemade pizza, you might as well make some sauce too."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 3 cups Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    35 mins

    55 mins


  1. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a saucepan; stir anchovy fillets into olive oil and cook, stirring often, until the fillets begin to sizzle, about 1 minute. Mix garlic into oil and cook just until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add fresh oregano and reduce heat to low; cook until oregano is wilted, 2 or 3 more minutes.
  2. Mix red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and tomatoes into olive oil mixture. Bring sauce to a simmer and season with salt, sugar, and black pepper. Turn heat to low; simmer sauce until thickened and oil rises to the top, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir baking soda into pizza sauce, mixing until thoroughly combined.
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  • Cook's Notes:
  • I think San Marzano tomatoes from Italy are the world's best sauce tomatoes, without a doubt.
  • The baking soda is supposed to mellow out the sauce a little bit, make it less acidic, and possibly prevent heartburn.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 19, 2014

I used to go to a pizza joint in Dallas the made the best pizza ever. Their sauce made the pizza. When they closed because of the death of the owner, I asked one of the son's what made their sauce to good. He said two things that other don't use. Anchovies and caraway seeds. I made this recipe and at the last minute remembered the seeds. I added about a third teaspoon of freshly crushed Caraway seed. Man, dats some good sauce! Blender Woman, If you're that picky, cut back on the pepper, don't dog the recipe.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 06, 2014

I did not care for this recipe.

Mar 22, 2014

Yep, this is the ONE. The two oreganos are key.

Jan 17, 2014

I helped my 9-year-old make this sauce (exactly as written) for one of our pizzas. Her eyes widened as she tasted the result of her work. Mine did as well. Thanks for sharing this Chef.

Mar 22, 2014

I made this recipe a second time exactly as written with San Marzano tomatoes this time. It was perfect using San Marzano tomatoes and didn't need the addition of wine as I had added the first time. I used 1-1/2 Tbsp of anchovy paste this time, my preference. This pizza sauce recipe is my mainstay from here on.

Mar 07, 2014

Absolutely delicious! Well balanced. I made exactly as written with the TINY exception of using anchovy paste in a tube. I got lucky and found 2 cans of San Marzano (Cento) tomatoes in the dent bin last week and they were half off. Perfect way to use them!!

Apr 06, 2014

Once again Chef John another excellent recipe!! Very easy to make and the taste is the best. I agree you need to use the 2 oregano's that's where most of your flavor comes from. I will try to find San Marzano tomatoes next time though, my sauce was kind of watery even though it cooked for almost two hours. My boo-boo. I think everybody should try this you won't be disappointed. My hubby and kids want homemade pizzas every week now!! :)

Aug 14, 2014

My family loved this sauce. I chose this recipe because I needed one that didn't use tomato paste (I was out of it) and every Chef John recipe we've tried has been terrific and flexible. This one didn't disappoint. We didn't have the San Marzano brand for our tomatoes on hand, and only had dry oregano, yet it still had such a wonderful flavor. Thanks!!


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  • Calories
  • 54 kcal
  • 3%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 4.9 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • < 1 mg
  • < 1%
  • Fat
  • 3.7 g
  • 6%
  • Fiber
  • 1.1 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 1.2 g
  • 2%
  • Sodium
  • 194 mg
  • 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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