The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cheap, super easy, and delicious pizza sauce

laura seim's picture
laura seim

Cheap, super easy, and delicious pizza sauce

I made my first homemade pizzas not too long ago and came up with this for the sauce and it turned out fabulous and tasted like authentic Italian pizza! I don't know if this is the right place to put it, hopefully it is. So here's what I used:


1 small can of fire roasted tomatoes (14-15 oz can)

2 Tbsp chopped garlic

1 Tbsp olive oil

1-2 tsp Italian herbs

1 Tbsp basil

(can add pinch of salt if you'd like but I found it unecessary since the tomatoes are already salted - and I like salt)


drain most of the tomatoes' juice, then puree in blender or with immersion blender, add garlic, oil, and herbs. stir with a spoon and spread over your pizza dough followed by toppings.

authentic Italian pizza is made with fresh mozzarella (the kind packed in water), but it's great with shredded mozzarella too. shredding your own is best because the pre-shredded stuff is usually tossed in cornstarch (and it's more expensive).

this makes enough for 4 - 15 in pizzas.



Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

What brand of Italian seasonings do you like?  Also, is your basil fresh or dry?

Stu B.

laura seim's picture
laura seim

Right now I just use Tone's because that was the brand available at Sam's club :) I don't necessarily have a favorite. I use freeze dried basil from "Litehouse", that's the one I'm more picky with. Fresh would be better but that's what I keep on hand and since I live 30 minutes from everything I tend to use what I have on hand. When it comes to dried herbs "Litehouse" is my favorite, the colors are more vibrant than other dried herbs and taste more like fresh.


Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

Thanks for the reply.  I have a source of Tone's too.  I am lucky as far a basil goes.  I happen to grow orchids in a controled enviornment of an orchidarium.  I reserve a corner for herbs.  Basil grows real well there and I have a source all winter.  Summer it's in the garden between the rose bushes with the thyme, rosemary, sage and oregano.  stu

laura seim's picture
laura seim

I'm trying to master bread right now, but gardening is the next one on my list! There's nothing like growing your own food. Sounds like you got an ideal spot. We just had the town tractor dig up a spot in our yard last year, but all the grass and weeds and seeds came up all together and I didn't know what was what! It's work in progress (to say the least).

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi There from Australia,

My sauce is similiar in recipe but I have a little garden area so in the spring /summer I usually grow my tomatoes. Usually it is the Italian "Roma" tomato that I use. It is so full of flavour like no other that I have grown and eaten. They also cook better than other tomatoes styles. I also grow little cherry tomatoes or tiny toms tomatoes which I use in a salad. The following method is a good way to store your tomatoes when you have excess stock. I cook and freeze the sauce for the winter when I make "Osco Busco" with a mushroom risota. We also grow parsley, chives and oragano in garden pots.

For the two of us at home 2 roma  and 2 cherry style tomato plants are more than enough for the season.


 Getting back to the recipe.


Fresh tomatoes, fresh garlic, your choice of fresh herbs, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Or if garden fresh is not available use canned diced tomatoes, minced garlic from shop bought jar and mixed dried herbs.  Again salt & pepper to taste. You may have or use shop bought dried mixed herbs which are a lot stronger in taste to fresh so use sparingly.                        Optional Small splash of dry white or red wine. 

1. All the fresh tomatoes you require roughly chopped and diced. I keep the skin on others remove it. Your choice.

2. I cup of your choice of  chopped mixed fresh herbs to taste. Or shop bought mixed dried herbs.

3. Rough chop 2  cloves of garlic for every 3 to 4 tomatoes you are using.

4. Heat 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan and add tomatoes. Add salt & pepper to taste.

5. When tomatoes start to break down add garlic and cook in the stewing tomatoes. Add chopped herbs a little at a time and check for taste. Specially with dried herbs.

6. Keep cooking your mixture down till you loose about a 1/3 of the moisture.

7. When cooked and ready  let the mixture cool and process with blender stick or food processer. 

This can be used straight away but if allowed to stand for 24 hrs the taste melds together a lot more. We freeze in packet size for pizzas or larger quantities for pasta sauce dishes or other Italian dishes requiring tomato sauces. Heavens we even place in a soup bowl and add some sour cream and have tomato soup with a crusty ciabaccia.

Hope this helps..............Cheers............Pete.






1.5 cup

laura seim's picture
laura seim

This method and recipe sounds wonderful. Last year tomatoes are what grew best in our gardern (the ones our dog didn't steel!). We got boatloads of cherry tomatoes, so maybe this year I might just do this with the all the extra tomatoes and can the sauce in jelly jars!

Thanks for the tips :)

maggie664's picture

Thank you Laura for the recipe - now I know why my recent pasta sauce seemed  a bit bland! Roasting the home grown tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt  and tipping off any extraneous juice afterwards will make all the difference. Am planning to make heaps for the freezer as our part of NZ has had a wonderful summer and the garden is begging to be releaseed of its produce.

laura seim's picture
laura seim

Hi Maggie,

I don't know what you use for a pasta sauce, but here is my recipe which is again cheap, easy, and in our opinion here pretty yummy. Thought maybe you'd like it :)

1 very large sweet onion (finely chopped)

2-3 Tbsp of chopped garlic (optional, I've done it with and without)

1 lb of ground meat (I've used beef, turkey, pork, and combinations)

1-2 Tbsp olive oil (for flavor only, not necessary)

3 lg 28oz cans of roma tomatoes ( you can use fresh tomatoes about 5-6 lbs)

1 lg can of tomatoe sauce, or couple Tbsp of tomatoe paste

fresh/dried basil (I use a lot! because I love basil!)

Italian herbs (2-3 Tbsp)


Knorr chicken bouillon (cubes or powder, this is the secret ingredient! the sauce is just not the same without it, brings great flavor. but this stuff is pretty salty so use this instead of salt. for this size batch I'll use 2-3 cubes, or 2 heaping Tbsp of powder. use more if you like it more salty, less if you like it less salty)


brown meat, drain fat, add onions, and garlic. add olive oil, stir, cook covered few minutes.

puree the tomatoes with juice with immersion blender/food processor, add to meat and veggies with tomatoe paste/sauce, add bouillon, cover and simmer on medium heat 1-3 hr.

add herbs, simmer another hr.(You don't have to simmer it that long, I do though, I plan my sauce day and start in the morning and simmer it almost all day)

This sauce is best the next day, but great like this too.

You can play with it and add shredded carrots and zucchini for extra nutrition.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi Laura,

Yep, I know what your talking about...........I have a King Charles Spaniel. Once he smells the sugars in a vine ripening tomato it's a race between us to see who gets it first. 

I forget to say we had a wild cherry tomato plant come up in the garden that we let grow. We didn't feed it and was watered when it rained. It was so hardy and provided us with the best crop out of all the others that were purchased. These cherry tomatoes when in excess  were also cooked with the larger roma as well..............Cheers............Pete