20 Best Store-Bought Pizza Sauces of 2023 [Taste the Magic]
Ah, pizza! The tantalizing aroma of a freshly baked pizza wafting through the house never fails to evoke cherished memories and spark the unending debate of what makes the perfect slice. As a bona fide pizza enthusiast, I've always believed that the secret to a great pizza lies in its sauce - that rich, tangy, and hearty element that ties all of the flavors together. From the classic margarita to the most inventive gourmet concoctions, a well-crafted pizza sauce truly elevates the pie to new heights of deliciousness.
I must admit though; my kitchen escapades have often involved an array of homemade sauces, tweaking recipes, and learning from experience. However, the fast-paced world we live in doesn't always lend itself to leisurely afternoons spent simmering sauces on the stovetop. So, I decided to embark on a quest to discover the ultimate store-bought pizza sauce that could effortlessly add that perfect burst of flavor to my homemade pizzas.
As a committed pizza connoisseur, I owe it to myself (and fellow pizza lovers!) to explore the myriad options available in the market. Join me as I walk you through a treasure trove of store-bought pizza sauces, evaluating the flavors, textures, and ingredients, and savoring the distinct notes of each contender.
From well-known brands to niche options, and organic choices to unique flavor profiles, I have left no stone unturned in my quest to uncover the best store-bought pizza sauce. So, whether you're a newbie in the kitchen or a seasoned pizza maker looking to streamline your process, read on to discover your new go-to pizza sauce for a truly scrumptious homemade treat.
Also Read: Best Popeyes Sauces
20 Best Store-Bought Pizza Sauces in 2023
Through my rigorous taste tests and experiences, I’ve managed to narrow down a list of some spectacular store-bought pizza sauces that impressed me with their flavor, texture, and overall quality. The top contenders stood out from the rest, and they are as follows:
1. Ragu Pizza Quick Traditional Sauce
This classic staple is a go-to sauce for many pizza enthusiasts, and it's not surprising why. Ragu’s Pizza Quick Traditional Sauce boasts a well-balanced flavor that leaves a lingering, satisfying taste on the palate. The robust tomato base is perfectly complemented by the expertly added oregano and basil, making it a versatile sauce that pairs beautifully with any pizza toppings. The texture is neither too thick nor too runny, making it an easy-to-spread delight for your pizza creations.
Standout features: Robust tomato flavor, expertly balanced spices, easy-to-spread texture
2. Mutti Pizza Sauce
Hailing from Italy, known as the home of pizza, Mutti Pizza Sauce has a certain authenticity to it—a rich and flavorful profile with ripe tomatoes and a beautiful consistency. The taste is pure, focused, and not overly seasoned, which allows the other pizza toppings to shine. You can easily add your own twists by incorporating some freshly crushed garlic or a dash of red pepper flakes to deepen the flavor.
Standout features: Authentic Italian flavor, ripe and fresh tomato taste, customizable profile
3. Rao's Homemade All-Natural Pizza Sauce
Rao's homemade goodness has garnered quite a fan following, thanks to its range of delicious sauces. Their all-natural pizza sauce is no exception. Made with a blend of sun-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, and a hint of garlic, Rao’s Homemade Pizza Sauce tastes just like grandma’s secret recipe. Its whole, slow-simmered tomatoes provide a delightfully chunky texture, ensuring that each bite is full of flavor.
Standout features: All-natural ingredients, chunky texture, fresh and vibrant flavors
4. Don Pepino Original Pizza Sauce
Another classic on this list, Don Pepino Original Pizza Sauce has been around for over six decades, and its recipe hasn’t changed since. This timeless sauce is made from vine-ripened tomatoes, which give it a distinct sweetness and tang. The texture is smooth and silky, similar to a traditional marinara sauce, ensuring a seamless spread on any crust. It’s a great base to build upon if you’re looking to add your own unique blend of herbs and spices.
Standout features: Sweet and tangy vine-ripened tomatoes, smooth and silky texture, classic recipe
5. Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce
When it comes to well-known brands, Classico is a name that stands tall. With a reputation for using quality ingredients and offering a variety of tomato-based sauces, their traditional pizza sauce is no exception. Perfectly seasoned with a blend of basil, garlic, and oregano, Classico’s pizza sauce evokes memories of homemade sauces simmered for hours. The thickness and consistency make it a breeze to spread and ensure that all your toppings stay put.
Standout features: Quality ingredients, well-seasoned flavor profile, optimal consistency
6. Williams Sonoma San Marzano Pizza Sauce
The first thing you'll notice with Williams Sonoma San Marzano Pizza Sauce is the depth of flavor from the San Marzano tomatoes sourced straight from Italy. Enhanced with garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and a variety of handpicked Italian herbs, this sauce offers a delightful complexity in both taste and aroma. It's perfect for turning your homemade pizza into a gourmet delight.
Standout features: Imported San Marzano tomatoes, rich and complex flavor, gourmet quality
7. Yo Mama's Classic Pizza Sauce
Don't be fooled by the playful name; Yo Mama's Classic Pizza Sauce is a serious contender in the world of fantastic pizza sauces. Handcrafted with non-GMO vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, and a unique blend of spices, this sauce delivers a full-bodied and robust flavor. It's a versatile option for your pizza nights, as well as for dipping your breadsticks or garlic knots.
Standout features: Non-GMO ingredients, handcrafted, versatile for both pizza and dipping
8. Hunt's Garlic & Herb Pizza Sauce
Hunt's Garlic & Herb Pizza Sauce adds a delightful twist to the traditional flavor profile, thanks to the infusion of garlic and a mix of tasty herbs. This sauce creates a robust and aromatic base that is perfect for a garlicky white pizza or as an alternative to a traditional red sauce. The slightly thicker texture also ensures even distribution across your pizza crust.
Standout features: Garlicky flavor profile, aromatic herbs, thicker consistency
9. Otamot Organic Pizza Sauce
For those looking for a deliciously unique and healthy option, Otamot Organic Pizza Sauce is the answer. Loaded with ten different types of vegetables like carrots, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and more, this sauce delivers a powerhouse of nutrition without compromising on taste. Each spoonful bursts with flavor and a natural sweetness that's both appetizing and guilt-free. Going organic has never tasted this good!
Standout features: Made with ten types of vegetables, healthy and nutritious, natural sweetness from vegetables
10. Pomi Pizza Sauce
Straight from Italy, Pomi Pizza Sauce brings a taste of the Mediterranean to your homemade pizza. Made from a blend of Italian tomatoes, fresh basil, and a hint of extra virgin olive oil, this sauce is a refreshing and zesty option. Its bright flavors will dance upon your tongue, making it an excellent choice for a simple Margherita pizza or a flavorful Mediterranean-style pie.
Standout features: Authentic Mediterranean taste, a blend of Italian tomatoes and fresh basil, refreshing and zesty flavor profile
11. Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce
Muir Glen is a brand that believes in organic and sustainable farming, and their organic pizza sauce is a testament to that. Made from vine-ripened organic tomatoes, this sauce has a subtle, yet rich flavor that works well with various combinations of toppings. The natural sweetness of the tomatoes showcases their high-quality ingredients and careful processing.
Standout features: Organic tomatoes, natural sweetness, sustainable farming practices
12. 365 Everyday Value Organic Pizza Sauce
As the in-house brand of Whole Foods Market, 365 Everyday Value's organic pizza sauce lives up to the company's standards of providing quality products at affordable prices. This sauce strikes the perfect balance between tangy and sweet flavors, with a smooth, velvety texture that spreads easily onto any crust. Made with only certified organic ingredients, you can feel good about using this sauce for your homemade pizzas.
Standout features: Affordable, balanced flavor, certified organic ingredients
13. Cento San Marzano Organic Pizza Sauce
Cento’s San Marzano Organic Pizza Sauce uses the famous San Marzano tomatoes, known for their sweetness and low acidity levels. This simple, yet flavorful sauce emphasizes the natural flavors of the prized tomatoes. While it may be on the pricier side, the sauce's quality is well worth it. The chunky texture adds an extra layer of depth to your pizza, making each bite a delightful experience.
Standout features: San Marzano tomatoes, simple and natural flavor, chunky texture
14. Contadina Pizza Squeeze Original Pizza Sauce
Contadina's Pizza Squeeze Original Pizza Sauce is not only an environmentally-friendly option in terms of ingredients but also when it comes to packaging. The squeezable bottle reduces waste and makes it easy to control the amount of sauce used on your pizza. This sauce is made from vine-ripened tomatoes and seasoned with Italian herbs, giving it a traditional and authentic taste. The smooth texture and convenient packaging make this sauce a winner for those looking for a sustainable and flavorsome option.
Standout features: Eco-friendly packaging, Italian seasoning, smooth texture, and traditional taste
Also Read: Carl's Jr Sauces
15. Mario Batali Pizza Sauce
The famous celebrity chef's pizza sauce, Mario Batali, lives up to its name with its delicious and daring take on pizza sauce. This sauce boasts a robust tomato base with a kick of crushed red pepper flakes for a subtle hint of heat. It rounds out the flavor with garlic, basil, and oregano in perfect harmony. Mario Batali Pizza Sauce is a go-to option for those looking for an elevated pizza-eating experience.
Standout features: Celebrity-chef approved, spicy kick, well-rounded flavor
16. Pastorelli Pizza Sauce
Pastorelli Pizza Sauce offers a unique experience with its smooth texture and delicate combination of imported Pecorino Romano cheese, olive oil, onion, and garlic. It's a satisfying option for those seeking a sauce with a unique flavor profile that departs from the traditional marinara. The award-winning formula, made from 100% all-natural ingredients, has been a well-kept secret since 1952.
Standout features: Unique cheese-infused sauce, smooth texture, all-natural ingredients
17. Paesana Classic Pizza Sauce
Paesana's Classic Pizza Sauce delivers a rich and savory flavor that could make any homemade pizza shine. Made with San Marzano tomatoes, imported olive oil, and a blend of spices, this sauce adds authentic Italian flair to your pizza creations. The thickness of the sauce helps it cling to the crust and toppings, ensuring every bite is packed with flavor.
Standout features: Authentic Italian ingredients, rich and savory taste, optimal thickness
18. Sclafani Pizza Sauce
This thick and chunky sauce is made with Italian whole peeled tomatoes, ensuring you get bursts of flavor in every mouthful. Sclafani Pizza Sauce combines tangy tomatoes with fresh garlic, onion, and culinary herbs to create a complex and savory taste profile that is sure to satisfy any pizza connoisseur. The chunkiness of this sauce lends well to pizzas with heartier toppings.
Standout features: Chunky texture, complex flavor profile, Italian whole peeled tomatoes
19. Mezzetta Pizza Sauce
Bursting with rich flavors of sun-ripened tomatoes, Mezzetta Pizza Sauce is a versatile option for your pizza night. The hints of garlic and onion, combined with the pleasant acidity of tomatoes, elevate this sauce to new heights. Its unique texture allows it to double as a dipping sauce for crusts or breadsticks, making it a versatile addition to your kitchen.
Standout features: Rich tomato flavor, subtle seasoning, versatility as a dipping sauce
20. Barilla Traditional Pizza Sauce
Barilla is a brand synonymous with quality Italian ingredients, so it's no surprise they also have a delicious pizza sauce. Their traditional pizza sauce features ripe tomatoes, expertly seasoned with herbs like basil and oregano. The sauce is not overly chunky, ensuring that it blends seamlessly with your chosen toppings. Barilla’s sauce is also gluten-free, making it an excellent option for those with dietary restrictions.
Standout features: Quality Italian ingredients, well-seasoned, gluten-free
How to Jazz Up Your Store-Bought Pizza Sauce?
So you've found your favorite store-bought pizza sauce, but you want to add a personal touch to make it extra special. Fear not, my pizza-loving friends! I've got you covered. Here are some fantastic ways for you to spruce up your store-bought pizza sauce and make it your own!
1. Add Fresh Herbs and Spices
Don't underestimate the power of fresh herbs and spices. They can elevate any store-bought pizza sauce to new heights. Some of my go-to additions include:
- Fresh basil: A classic choice for any pizza sauce, it adds a burst of freshness and flavor.
- Crushed red pepper flakes: For those who like it spicy, add a pinch of these fiery flakes.
- Freshly minced garlic: No pizza sauce is complete without garlicky goodness.
- Oregano: Enhance the sauce's flavor by adding some dried oregano.
2. Mix in Additional Ingredients
Give your store-bought pizza sauce a boost by adding extra ingredients that complement its flavor. Here are some options to try:
- Sautéed onions: Caramelize some onions and mix them into your sauce for a savory twist.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Chop them up and add them for a tangy, sweet, and salty flavor.
- Olives: Finely chop some olives and stir them in to create a Mediterranean flair.
- Anchovy paste: Add a small amount of this umami-rich paste to create a richer, more complex flavor.
3. Adjust the Sauce's Consistency
The perfect pizza sauce consistency is a matter of personal preference. Some like it thick, while others prefer it thin. Here's how to adjust the consistency of your store-bought pizza sauce:
- For a thicker sauce, cook it in a saucepan over low heat to reduce and thicken it.
- For a thinner sauce, add a splash of water, chicken broth, or tomato juices.
4. Pair with Different Pizza Crusts and Toppings
Don't be afraid to get creative with your pizza crusts and toppings. Different crusts and toppings call for different types of sauce. Pair your jazzed-up sauce with various pizza crusts, such as:
- Thin crust: A perfect opportunity to let your sauce shine without being overshadowed by a thick crust.
- Thick crust: Your jazzed-up sauce can support the weight of all the toppings you desire.
- Whole wheat or gluten-free crust: Health-conscious pizza lovers will appreciate the extra effort you put into customizing the store-bought pizza sauce.
Experiment with various toppings, too. You may discover combinations that are simply divine when paired with your jazzed-up sauce.
There is no limit to how creative you can get when jazzing up your store-bought pizza sauce. With these tips and tricks, you'll be enjoying your unique and customized pizza sauce in no time.
Best Store-Bought Pizza Sauce for Different Diets (2023)
A good pizza sauce is the foundation for any delicious pizza. But if you have specific dietary needs or preferences, it can be challenging to find the perfect store-bought pizza sauce that caters to your requirements. In this section, we'll explore different pizza sauces that accommodate various diets, from low sodium and gluten-free to vegan and keto-friendly options.
Best Low Sodium Options
For those who need to watch their salt intake, there are several low sodium pizza sauces available in the market. When choosing a low sodium option, make sure to check the label for sodium content. Here are some recommendations:
- Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce: With only 115 mg of sodium per serving, this sauce is an excellent low sodium option.
- Victoria Pizza Sauce: Contains 125 mg of sodium per serving, making it another low sodium choice.
Best Gluten-Free Options
Most pizza sauces are naturally gluten-free, but it's essential to check the label to ensure no gluten-containing ingredients have been added. Some gluten-free pizza sauces include:
- Pastorelli Pizza Sauce: Certified gluten-free and made with a simple list of all-natural ingredients.
- Paesana Classic Pizza Sauce: Another gluten-free sauce that uses whole Italian tomatoes.
Best Vegan and Plant-Based Options
Selecting a vegan or plant-based pizza sauce is relatively easy, as most sauces are made without animal products. However, it's important to verify that there are no hidden ingredients that could be non-vegan, such as cheese or anchovy paste. Some vegan-friendly options are:
- 365 Everyday Value Organic Pizza Sauce: A delicious sauce made using only plant-based ingredients.
- Rao's Homemade All-Natural Pizza Sauce: This sauce is not only vegan and plant-based but also free from soybean oil.
Best Keto-Friendly Options
The main challenge when looking for a keto-friendly pizza sauce is finding one with low sugar and carbohydrate content. Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Otamot Organic Pizza Sauce: Though marketed as a pizza sauce, its low sugar content also makes it a suitable option for those following a ketogenic diet.
- Yo Mama's Classic Pizza Sauce: Offers a no-sugar-added tomato sauce without compromising on taste and quality.
It's possible to find store-bought pizza sauce that accommodates various diets without sacrificing flavor. Be sure to read the labels and try different low-sodium, gluten-free, vegan, and keto-friendly options to find the one that best fits your dietary preferences and taste buds.
Exploring Regional Flavors in Pizza Sauce
When it comes to pizza, different regions boast of their unique styles and distinct flavors. The pizza sauce plays a significant role in adding a touch of authenticity to these regional specialties. In this section, we'll explore some of the regional flavors in pizza sauces that you can find or even recreate at home.
1. New York Style Pizza Sauce
New York-style pizza is famous for its thin, foldable crust and delicious, tangy sauce. The signature sauce combines canned crushed tomatoes, oregano, garlic, basil, and a hint of sugar. Here is a table to simplify the ingredients:
|Crushed tomatoes||28 oz|
|Garlic powder||1/2 to 1 tsp|
|Basil||1/2 to 1 tsp|
|Sugar||1 to 2 tsp|
This sauce has a strong tomato flavor, with just the right balance of sweet and tangy notes. The slight sweetness pairs perfectly with the crunchy crust and melty cheese of a classic New York slice.
2. Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Sauce
This iconic pizza style from the Windy City features a thick, buttery crust and generous toppings, all finished with a rich tomato sauce. This sauce is made with coarsely crushed tomatoes, often with chunks of tomatoes left intact, and flavored with oregano, fresh basil, garlic, and a touch of crushed red pepper. The sauce is a bit thicker and chunkier than its New York counterpart, which allows it to stand up to the hefty amount of toppings.
Originating from Naples, Italy, Neapolitan pizza is the oldest and simplest pizza variety. The sauce relies on the natural flavors of San Marzano tomatoes, known for their incredibly rich and sweet taste. For true Neapolitan pizza sauce, you only need tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and a few leaves of fresh basil.
3. California Gourmet Pizza Sauce
California gourmet pizza is known for its creative toppings and unique flavor combinations. The sauce typically features a lighter, more herbaceous quality with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, and a mix of Italian herbs. Sometimes, this style of pizza even skips the traditional tomato sauce altogether, opting for pesto or other inventive bases to create truly unique pies.
Regional pizza sauces bring an exciting and diverse range of flavors to our taste buds. So next time you make a pizza at home, why not try replicating one of these regional sauces to transport yourself to a different pizza-loving city?
Price vs. Quality: Comparing Pizza Sauce Value
Finding the perfect store-bought pizza sauce involves striking a balance between price and quality. Often, you may encounter a wide range of options with varying price points. In this section, we'll examine how to make the best choice when it comes to the value of the pizza sauces available.
Don Pepino Pizza Sauce: This sauce is beloved for its delicious taste and affordable price. Known for its smooth texture and tangy tomato flavor, Don Pepino won't break the bank. Retailing at around $1.60/15-ounce can, this sauce is an excellent choice for value-conscious pizza.
Contadina Pizza Squeeze Original Pizza Sauce: Another affordable option that doesn't skimp on flavor, Contadina Pizza Sauce retails around $2.50/15-ounce squeeze bottle. The convenient squeeze bottle design makes it easy to use and helps avoid making a mess when spreading.
Mid-Range Priced Sauces
Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce: Made from organic, sun-ripened tomatoes, Muir Glen offers a quality sauce priced around $3.50/15-ounce can. This sauce contains premium ingredients and provides a rich, flavorful taste that pairs well with various pizza toppings.
Barilla Traditional Pizza Sauce: Known for its rich flavor and overall quality, Barilla's sauce is priced at approximately $4.00/14-ounce jar. This sauce is perfect for those looking for a good balance between price and quality ingredients.
Premium and Gourmet Options
Rao's Homemade All-Natural Pizza Sauce: Priced at around $8.00/13-ounce jar, Rao's sauce is made with high-quality ingredients and boasts an authentic Italian flavor. This premium sauce is perfect for those interested in investing in a more luxurious pizza night at home.
Williams Sonoma San Marzano Pizza Sauce: Another gourmet option, retailing at about $13.00/18.5-ounce jar. This sauce is made with San Marzano tomatoes, an Italian variety praised for their sweet and tangy taste, perfect for pizza making.
The Price Tag and Its Effect on Taste and Quality
When comparing pizza sauce value, it's essential to consider the ingredients, taste, and overall experience the sauce provides compared to the cost. Budget-friendly options may not always contain premium ingredients, but they can still be quite tasty. Conversely, gourmet options can offer a unique and authentic dining experience but may come at a higher price point.
Also Read: Jack in the Box Sauces
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the shelf life of store-bought pizza sauce?
The shelf life of store-bought pizza sauce can range from 6 to 12 months when unopened, depending on the brand and packaging. Once opened, the sauce should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 5-7 days.
Can store-bought pizza sauce be used for other dishes besides pizza?
Yes, store-bought pizza sauce can be used for several other dishes, including pasta dishes, calzones, pizza-inspired appetizers, as a dipping sauce for breadsticks, and even as a marinade for proteins and vegetables.
How can I enhance the flavor of store-bought pizza sauce?
To enhance the flavor of store-bought pizza sauce, consider adding fresh herbs, spices, and additional ingredients such as minced garlic, sautéed onions, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, or a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Which pizza sauce is best for a vegetarian or vegan diet?
Many pizza sauces are naturally vegetarian, but for a vegan diet, opt for a sauce that does not contain cheese or other animal-derived ingredients. Double-check the label to ensure it is certified vegan, or look for brands that specifically cater to vegan diets.
Is there a significant difference in taste between organic and non-organic store-bought pizza sauce?
While some people may not notice a significant difference between organic and non-organic store-bought pizza sauce, others may find that organic sauces have a fresher, more robust flavor. Organic sauces may also have fewer additives and preservatives, which can contribute to a cleaner, more natural taste.
How can I find the best store-bought pizza sauce within my budget?
To find the best store-bought pizza sauce within your budget, start by comparing prices at your local grocery stores and online retailers. Look for sales and discounts on various brands, and don't be afraid to try less expensive, lesser-known brands. Reading customer reviews may provide additional insights into the quality and flavor of a particular sauce, allowing you to make an informed decision.
Can I prepare pizza sauce at home with the same quality as store-bought pizza sauce?
Yes, it is possible to prepare pizza sauce at home that tastes just as good, or even better, than store-bought pizza sauce. Using fresh, high-quality ingredients and experimenting with different flavor combinations can result in a homemade pizza sauce that is tailored to your personal preferences. However, store-bought sauces offer the convenience and time-saving benefits of having a ready-to-use option when preparing a pizza at home.
After trying out so many store-bought pizza sauces, I can confidently say that they can indeed serve as the perfect base for scrumptious homemade pizzas. By finding the right sauce that matches your taste preferences, you can conveniently recreate your favorite pizza flavors in the comfort of your home. Whether you're a fan of organic ingredients or wild about garlic-infused flavors, there's a pre-made pizza sauce out there that caters to your unique taste.
As you embark on your pizza-making journey, don't be afraid to mix and match sauces and ingredients, or even get creative with your toppings. Having a store-bought pizza sauce as a starting point allows you to spend more time perfecting your crust or experimenting with new and exciting pizza topping combinations. It's an excellent way to bring your friends and family together around the dinner table, as they can also have fun customizing their pizza creations.
In a world where convenience and flavor often battle for dominance, it's great to know that store-bought pizza sauce can give you a sense of satisfaction as if you had made it intricately from scratch. As a pizza lover, I appreciate the ease and reliability these sauces provide while still giving me the flexibility to enhance their flavors with my personal twist.
So next time you crave a homemade pizza night, don't hesitate to grab one of these store-bought sauces off the shelf. And remember, the key to a fantastic pizza starts with a great pizza sauce – the foundation that holds together those mouthwatering flavors and textures.