Food Perfectionist

Saucing Up Your Homemade Pizza: Best Store-Bought and Homemade Options

When it comes to homemade pizzas, one of the most important elements is the sauce. The versatility and importance of sauce cannot be underestimated, as it can completely change the taste and overall experience of your homemade creation.

In this article, we will explore the different aspects of homemade pizza sauce and also discuss some of the best store-bought pizza sauces available in the market. Whether you are a pizza connoisseur or an amateur pizza maker, this article will provide you with valuable insights to elevate your pizza game.

1) Versatility and Importance of Sauce:

Homemade pizzas are a blank canvas waiting to be painted with flavors. The sauce serves as the foundation for your masterpiece, adding depth and rich flavors to your creation.

The versatility of homemade pizza sauce allows you to experiment with different ingredients and flavors, catering to your personal taste preferences. Whether you prefer a tangy tomato-based sauce or a creamy garlic-infused one, the sauce is what ties everything together.

The sauce not only adds flavor but also plays a crucial role in providing moisture to your pizza. It prevents the crust from becoming dry and helps to distribute the flavors evenly.

It acts as a barrier between the crust and the toppings, ensuring that every bite is a burst of flavors. The right sauce can elevate even the most basic toppings, making your homemade pizza a memorable and delightful experience.

2) Pros and Cons of Homemade Sauce:

Making your own sauce can be a rewarding experience. It allows you to have full control over the flavors and ingredients used.

You can customize the sauce according to your preferences, adding or reducing spices, herbs, and sweetness. Homemade sauces are generally fresher and healthier compared to store-bought ones, as you know exactly what goes into them.

Moreover, making your own sauce gives you the satisfaction of creating something from scratch. However, there are also some downsides to homemade sauce.

It requires time and effort to prepare, which may not always be feasible, especially on busy weeknights. The consistency and flavor of homemade sauce may vary depending on your cooking skills and the availability of ingredients.

Additionally, homemade sauce may not have a long shelf life and could spoil if not used within a certain period. These factors should be considered when deciding whether to make your own sauce or opt for a store-bought alternative.

3) Best Store-Bought Pizza Sauces:

For those who prefer convenience without compromising on flavor, there are several excellent store-bought pizza sauces available in the market. These sauces are carefully crafted to bring the taste of authentic pizzerias into the comfort of your own home.

Let’s explore some of the top options:

a) Don Pepino Pizza Sauce: Made from fresh tomatoes, Don Pepino Pizza Sauce is known for its robust and tangy flavor. It is free from preservatives and additives, making it a healthier choice compared to other store-bought sauces.

This sauce is also dairy-free, making it suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions. b) Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce: If you prefer an organic option, Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce is a great choice.

Made from non-GMO tomatoes, this sauce boasts a thick and rich consistency. It is packed with the authentic flavors of sun-ripened tomatoes, making it an excellent choice for pizza enthusiasts who value natural ingredients.

c) Chef Boyardee Sauce: Chef Boyardee Sauce is a favorite among many pizza lovers, thanks to its creamy and cheesy flavor. This sauce is extremely easy to use, requiring no additional steps or preparation.

It comes in a convenient can and is ready to use straight out of the packaging. It is also free from preservatives, making it a decent option for those seeking a quick and tasty sauce.

d) Pastorelli Pizza Sauce: If health benefits are a priority for you, look no further than Pastorelli Pizza Sauce. This sauce is gluten-free, making it suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

It is also free from preservatives, ensuring a fresh and authentic flavor. With Pastorelli Pizza Sauce, you can enjoy a guilt-free pizza experience.

e) Contadina Pizza Sauce: Contadina Pizza Sauce offers a plain, no-fuss option for pizza enthusiasts. It comes in a convenient squeeze bottle, allowing you to control the amount of sauce you desire on your pizza.

This sauce can also double as a dipping sauce for breadsticks or other appetizers. While it may be simple in packaging, the taste is anything but plain.


In conclusion, the sauce is an integral part of homemade pizzas, contributing to their taste, moisture, and overall appeal. Whether you choose to make your own sauce or opt for a store-bought alternative, it is important to consider the versatility, flavors, and health benefits.

With the variety of store-bought pizza sauces available, you can easily find one that suits your taste preferences and dietary needs. So, go ahead, unleash your creativity, and elevate your homemade pizzas with a flavorful sauce that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

3) Reviews of Best Store-Bought Pizza Sauces:

a) Don Pepino Pizza Sauce Review:

Don Pepino Pizza Sauce is a popular choice among pizza enthusiasts, thanks to its delicious flavor and high-quality ingredients. Made from fresh tomatoes, this sauce brings the authentic taste of Italian pizzerias into your homemade creations.

One of the standout features of Don Pepino Pizza Sauce is its use of corn oil instead of vegetable oil or soybean oil commonly found in other sauces. Corn oil is known for its heart-healthy compounds, making Don Pepino Pizza Sauce a healthier option compared to other store-bought sauces.

The texture of the sauce is smooth and velvety, providing a perfect base for your pizza toppings. The flavors are well-balanced, with a hint of sweetness that complements the tanginess of the tomatoes.

It is not overpowering, allowing the flavors of your toppings to shine through. Whether you prefer a classic Margherita pizza or an adventurous combination of toppings, Don Pepino Pizza Sauce will enhance the overall taste and experience.

b) Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce Review:

If you value organic ingredients and are conscious about what goes into your food, Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce is the perfect choice for you. This sauce is USDA certified organic, ensuring that it is made from high-quality tomatoes without the use of synthetic pesticides or genetically modified organisms.

The rich, deep red color of the sauce is visually appealing and indicates the presence of ripe and flavorful tomatoes. The simplicity of the ingredients used in Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce is what sets it apart from other store-bought options.

With just a few simple ingredients like organic tomato puree, organic extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and organic garlic powder, this sauce delivers an authentic and natural pizza experience. The flavors are robust and well-balanced, with a slight sweetness that complements a variety of toppings.

Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce is a testament to the fact that you can enjoy high-quality, organic products without compromising on taste. c) Chef Boyardee Sauce Review:

For those looking for a fuss-free and easy option, Chef Boyardee Sauce is a convenient choice.

This sauce comes in a can, making it easy to store and use whenever you crave a homemade pizza. It is a time-saving alternative, as you don’t have to go through the process of making your own sauce.

Chef Boyardee Sauce is known for its creamy and cheesy flavor, providing a comforting and indulgent experience. The sauce is smooth and spreads easily, ensuring that every bite is evenly coated with its rich flavors.

It pairs well with a variety of toppings, especially if you prefer a more traditional cheese-centric pizza. One of the advantages of Chef Boyardee Sauce is its low carbohydrate content.

This makes it suitable for individuals following low-carb or ketogenic diets. If you’re looking for a quick and tasty pizza sauce that requires minimal effort, Chef Boyardee Sauce is a reliable option.

d) Pastorelli Pizza Sauce Review:

Pastorelli Pizza Sauce is a standout choice for health-conscious individuals who want to indulge in pizza without guilt. This sauce boasts health benefits that make it a desirable option.

It is gluten-free, making it suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Furthermore, Pastorelli Pizza Sauce is free from preservatives, ensuring a fresh and authentic taste.

The flavor profile of Pastorelli Pizza Sauce is rich and traditional, reminiscent of homemade sauces prepared with love. It has a tangy kick that adds depth and complexity to your pizza.

The sauce is thick and spreads easily, providing a generous layer on your crust. It harmonizes wonderfully with a variety of toppings, allowing you to experiment with flavors and combinations.

With Pastorelli Pizza Sauce, you can enjoy the deliciousness of pizza while prioritizing your health. e) Contadina Pizza Sauce Review:

Contadina Pizza Sauce may appear simplistic with its plain packaging, but it is a versatile and flavorful option that should not be underestimated.

The sauce comes in a convenient squeeze bottle, allowing you to control the amount of sauce you desire on your pizza. This makes it easy to evenly distribute the sauce and prevent any overpowering flavors.

While Contadina Pizza Sauce is specifically marketed as a pizza sauce, its versatility extends beyond pizzas. It can be used as a dipping sauce for breadsticks or as a base for other delicious dishes like pasta or lasagna.

The flavors are well-balanced, with a tanginess that complements a variety of toppings. The squeeze bottle packaging ensures that the sauce stays fresh and easily accessible, enhancing the overall pizza-making experience.

4) Pre-Purchase Considerations:

a) Importance of Oil in Pizza Sauce:

When choosing a pizza sauce, it is important to consider the type of oil used. Oil plays a significant role in the flavor, texture, and overall quality of the sauce.

Olive oil is a popular choice due to its rich, fruity flavor and health benefits. It adds a depth of flavor to the sauce and enhances the overall taste of the pizza.

Olive oil also contains heart-healthy compounds and contributes to a silky texture. Other vegetable oils like corn oil or soybean oil are commonly used in store-bought pizza sauces.

These oils have a neutral flavor and help to create a smooth and spreadable consistency. However, it is important to note that some vegetable oils may contain high levels of unhealthy fats.

Therefore, it is crucial to read the label and choose sauces that use healthier alternatives. b) Packaging Considerations:

The packaging of store-bought pizza sauces can vary, and it is important to consider your preferences and needs.

Glass jars are a popular choice, as they are visually appealing and provide a sturdy and safe storage option. Glass jars also help to preserve the flavors of the sauce and prevent any unwanted chemical leaching.

Cans are another common packaging option for pizza sauces. They are convenient and easy to store, making them suitable for individuals who prefer a long shelf life.

However, be mindful of any BPA content in the lining of the cans, as this chemical can be harmful to health. Plastic squeeze bottles are ideal for those who value convenience and easy usage.

They allow for precise pouring or squeezing, which is especially useful if you prefer a specific amount of sauce on your pizza. However, plastic bottles may not be as durable and may not preserve the freshness of the sauce as effectively as glass jars or cans.

c) Storage and Lifespan:

Before purchasing a store-bought pizza sauce, consider the storage requirements and lifespan of the product. Most sauces are shelf-stable and can be stored at room temperature until opened.

However, once opened, it is important to refrigerate the sauce to maintain its freshness and prevent spoilage. Additionally, pay attention to the expiration date on the packaging.

Store-bought sauces typically have a long shelf life, but it is essential to consume the sauce before it expires to ensure the best quality and taste. Be mindful of any changes in color, texture, or smell, as these can be indicators of spoilage.

d) Sugar Content:

Sugar content is an important consideration, especially for individuals watching their sugar intake or following specific dietary restrictions. Different brands and varieties of pizza sauces may have varying levels of sugar.

It is advisable to check the nutrition label and serving size to determine the amount of sugar per serving. Opt for sauces with lower sugar content if you prefer a less sweet or healthier option.

e) Versatility of Pizza Sauce:

While pizza sauce is typically associated with pizzas, it can also be used in various other dishes. Consider the versatility of the sauce and how it can be incorporated into your cooking repertoire.

Some sauces work well as dipping sauces for breadsticks or as a base for pasta dishes. If you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, choosing a sauce that can be used in multiple ways can add value to your purchase and offer a broader range of culinary experiences.


In conclusion, selecting the right store-bought pizza sauce involves considering factors such as its flavor, quality of ingredients, packaging, and versatility. The reviews of Don Pepino Pizza Sauce, Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce, Chef Boyardee Sauce, Pastorelli Pizza Sauce, and Contadina Pizza Sauce provide insights into the unique features and characteristics of each sauce.

Additionally, pre-purchase considerations, such as the type of oil used, packaging options, storage, sugar content, and versatility, should be taken into account to ensure that the sauce aligns with your preferences and dietary needs. By being well-informed and diligent in your selection process, you can elevate your homemade pizzas with a store-bought sauce that offers a delicious, convenient, and enjoyable experience.

5) Frequently Asked Questions:

a) Difference Between Pizza Sauce and Marinara:

One common question that arises is the difference between pizza sauce and marinara sauce. While both sauces share some similarities, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Pizza sauce tends to have a thicker consistency compared to marinara sauce, which is typically smoother and more liquid in texture. The reason for this difference lies in their purpose.

Pizza sauce needs to adhere to the crust and toppings without making it soggy, while marinara sauce is generally used as a dipping sauce or as a base for pasta dishes. In terms of flavor, pizza sauce is often seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices to enhance the taste of the pizza.

It typically contains ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and spices such as oregano and basil. On the other hand, marinara sauce tends to be simpler in flavor, usually consisting of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and sometimes onions.

The emphasis in marinara sauce is on showcasing the natural sweetness of the tomatoes. b) Ingredients of Pizza Sauce:

The ingredients used in pizza sauce vary depending on personal preferences and regional variations.

However, there are some staple ingredients that are common in most pizza sauces. The base of the sauce is typically made from ripe tomatoes, either canned or fresh.

Garlic, olive oil, and a variety of spices and herbs like oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes contribute to the robust flavor profile of the sauce. Some people also choose to add a touch of sweetness by incorporating a small amount of sugar or honey.

The ingredients are blended together to create a smooth and flavorful sauce that is ready to be spread on the pizza crust. c) Thickening Pizza Sauce:

If you prefer a thicker consistency for your pizza sauce, there are several methods you can employ.

One popular technique is using tomato puree instead of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. Tomato puree has a thicker texture due to its higher concentration of tomato solids, which helps to create a more substantial sauce.

Another option is to use a thickening agent such as flour or cornstarch. These can be mixed with a small amount of water or broth to create a slurry, which is then added to the sauce.

It is important to cook the sauce for a few more minutes after adding the thickening agent to ensure proper incorporation and a consistent texture. Keep in mind that the thickness of the sauce is a matter of personal preference.

Some individuals enjoy a thinner sauce that allows the flavors of the toppings to shine through, while others prefer a thick and hearty sauce that adds depth to the overall pizza experience. Experimenting with different methods and adjustments will help you find the perfect consistency for your pizzas.

d) Using Pasta Sauce Instead of Pizza Sauce:

In a pinch, it is possible to use pasta sauce as a substitute for pizza sauce. However, there are some differences to keep in mind.

The main distinction lies in the flavor and consistency. Pasta sauce is typically cooked for a longer period, allowing the flavors to meld together and develop a richer taste.

It may contain additional ingredients like onions, bell peppers, and various meats. The consistency of pasta sauce tends to be thinner compared to pizza sauce.

Pasta sauce is intended to coat the pasta, allowing it to evenly distribute throughout the dish. While using pasta sauce as a pizza sauce substitute is viable, it is important to be aware that it may result in a thinner and potentially juicier pizza.

Adjustments such as reducing the sauce or draining excess liquid from the pasta sauce can help achieve a better consistency when using it for pizza. e) Conclusion:

Cooking pizza at home is a fun and creative activity that allows you to customize your toppings and experiment with different flavors.

The selection of a suitable sauce plays a crucial role in the success of your homemade pizza. Understanding the difference between pizza sauce and marinara sauce, as well as the ingredients commonly used in pizza sauce, will help you make an informed choice.

If you prefer a thicker sauce, there are various techniques to achieve the desired consistency, such as using tomato puree or incorporating a thickening agent. However, it is essential to take into account personal taste preferences and the desired outcome when making adjustments to the sauce.

In some cases, when pizza sauce is not readily available, pasta sauce can be used as a substitute. However, it is important to be aware of the differences in flavor and consistency that may arise from this substitution.

By considering these frequently asked questions and understanding the nuances of pizza sauce, you can confidently embark on your pizza-making journey and create delicious homemade pizzas that satisfy your taste buds and culinary cravings. In conclusion, the choice of pizza sauce is a vital aspect of creating a delicious homemade pizza.

Whether you opt for a store-bought sauce or decide to make your own, factors such as flavor, consistency, and ingredients should be considered. Understanding the differences between pizza sauce and marinara, as well as exploring various options and considering personal preferences, allows for a customized pizza experience.

Additionally, knowing how to thicken sauce and the possibility of using pasta sauce as a substitute are valuable insights. So, embrace the versatility and importance of pizza sauce, and elevate your homemade pizzas with a flavorful foundation that will delight your taste buds and leave a lasting impression.

Happy pizza-making!

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