The 7 Best Pizza Sauces for Your Next Homemade Pie

There are many different styles of pizza sauce, and it’s all about preference. Do you prefer sweet or unsweet? Herbs or no herbs? Basil or oregano? Some pizza sauces are made by emulsifying olive oil directly into the sauce, while others feature no oil whatsoever. And the tomatoes? Aside from the many different types and their unique flavors, you can decide to cook your pizza sauce or not. Cooking sauce unlocks some of the tomato’s deeply savory, smoky flavors, while using raw, canned tomatoes produces a brightly acidic, fresh taste. There is no right or wrong way to make pizza sauce, but as far as how they taste? That, friends, we can judge.

For this taste test we ate pizza sauce right from the jar. We judged it based on its flavor, viscosity, ingredients, and style. There’s a wide range of pizza sauce out there, and we tried to match the best sauce with the best pizza style. Check the list.

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best pizza sauce

Best of the Best

Pomi Pizza Sauce

There’s a ton of great flavor here. It’s easy to just take some sugar and dried herbs and add them to some tomatoes, but Pomi really went the extra mile. We all appreciated that ambition. There’s a deep umami flavor in this sauce that the additional olive oil enhanced even more. My guess is the sauce was cooked to achieve that lovely savory taste. Also, this is the only product here that also lists laurel (code for bay leaf) in the ingredients. As a result, there is a subtle piney, herby, peppery flavor. Pomi Pizza Sauce tastes like a fresh, homemade marinara sauce made with love and great ingredients. You could even use this on pasta and it would work. Good pizza sauce is multi-purpose, in my opinion. And this is good pizza sauce.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best pizza sauce

Best with Pepperoni

Rao’s Pizza Sauce

This is what I’m talking about. Rao’s Pizza Sauce feels super meaty, with a strong umami flavor that you don’t really get from other brands of pizza sauce. Lots of people dislike cooked pizza sauce, but not me. Cooking the tomatoes unlocks a deep savory flavor that I am fond of. Rao’s has olive oil in it too, so the luxury factor here is turned up even more. Plus, there’s a subtle garlic taste and some nuanced herbaceousness from the seemingly fresh basil and oregano. This is a great product. Rao’s just knows red sauce, dude.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

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best pizza sauce

Best Olive Oil Flavor

Paesana Pizza Sauce

Paesana Pizza Sauce contains a good helping of olive oil emulsified into it, so you know I love the flavor. The tomatoes are a little chunky too, so there’s an added bonus of really good texture. It’s got a rustic, homemade vibe to it that we all adored. Plus, it’s seasoned really well. I agree that Paesana is definitely a tier below Rao’s and Pomi, but it’s at the top of that second tier. Because of the strong olive oil taste, I’d match it with some vegetables or plain cheese.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

best pizza sauce

Best with Anchovy

Cento Fully Prepared Pizza Sauce

I cackled at the image on the front of the can, which is a pizza topped with anchovies and olives. Personally, I would destroy that briny and fishy pizza, but those are some bold toppings. Cento thinks I’m a freak, and you know what? They’re right. This sauce is thick and pureed, almost like a tomato paste but a little thinner. The taste is very condensed and contains a hint of sweetness. It’s basic, but I dig it, and it would go especially well with strong flavors (like anchovies and olives). The price is damn good, too.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

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best pizza sauce

Best with Pineapple

Mezzetta Italian Plum Tomatoes Pizza Sauce

This pizza sauce is herby and tart rather than sweet. It’s also quite salty, and there’s a nice layer of oil on top as well. I love seeing olive oil emulsified into any type of sauce. It adds an extra layer of richness to the tomatoes that feels straight-up opulent. That said, I actually think it could use a bit of sugar or tomato paste to balance out its bitter qualities. This would go great with some pineapple. Mezzetta’s pizza sauce does a lot right, but it doesn’t do everything right. You need to work with it.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

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best pizza sauce

Best for a Meat Lovers

Prego Pizzeria Style Pizza Sauce

I believe this is the first time a Prego product has made a list. “This isn’t the worst thing in the world,” was the note I made during this tasting. There is something comforting about this pizza sauce—it’s herby, acidic, and has a pronounced sweetness that some people prefer. When it comes to pizza, I’m not a snob about low-brow stuff. I dip my pizza crust in ranch. And one of my favorite pizzas back home is a vegetable pizza that’s a doughy crust with diced broccoli, ranch, and a cheddar/mozzarella cheese blend. Prego is mild and definitely Midwestern, but I think it deserves some love. Pile it sky high with meat and cheese, and you won’t notice much difference

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

7/10

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best pizza sauce

Best for a Plain Cheese

Don Pepino Pizza Sauce

Don Pepino pizza sauce made a bunch of other lists, so I felt compelled to check it out. I love the ribbed can and the cartoon chef holding a can of sauce with his own likeness on it (a true Russian doll scenario), but otherwise, I thought this product came up a bit short. The strong tomato flavor is nice, but that’s all it really has. It contains “Jersey fresh” tomatoes, but I don’t think that makes this product superior in any way. The price is hard to beat, though.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • Pineapple on pizza for the win!

    Reply
  • My favorite is DeLallo brand. I will have to look for these other brands to check them out.

    Reply
  • Well I accept that everyone has their own “tastes”. But you’re wrong this time. My family made their own pizza sauce for 75 years. When I first opened the Mezetta sauce I said “This smells exactly like pizza sauce, NOT pasta sauce”. It is perfect as it comes out of the jar. By the way Don Pepino is a travesty and would not be worth the purchase at 1 cent a can.

    Reply
  • “Don Pepino pizza sauce made a bunch of other lists…” Wat!?! What other lists than pizza sauces?!?

    It’s impressive that three of the leaders are from cans. I would have thought the jars would do much better.

    Reply