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No-Cook Tomato Sauce for Pizza

homemade pepperoni pizza

In the comments recently, Karen asked:

What kind of tomato sauce do you buy for your pizza?

And once I shared that I use a no-cook sauce, Becca asked:

Do you drain the tomatoes before blending or do you keep the liquid in? Is there a certain brand that works best or one that’s cheapest? Do you ever need to add anything to thicken the sauce? Have you ever tried it with fresh tomatoes?

I almost answered this in Monday’s Q&A post, but then I thought that it would be a pain to find and link to in the future. So, I’m giving it its own post, even though this will be short.

I got this idea from a Cook’s Country recipe for grilled pizza, and it’s been my go-to for a fresh-tasting pizza sauce ever since. I’ve modified it a little, but the basic idea is the same.

grilled pizza with fresh basil

The grilled pizza from Cook’s Country

It’s super easy, uses pantry ingredients, costs almost nothing, and takes about 5 minutes to blend up. Lots of good features there!

Do you drain the canned tomatoes first?

Yep, I do drain the tomatoes first and that usually turns out a sauce that is not too watery.

Does the brand of tomatoes matter?

Not in my experience! I’ve made this plenty of times with store-brand diced tomatoes (usually from Aldi!) and it’s been just fine.

Can you use fresh tomatoes?

I have never used fresh tomatoes for this sauce because that would definitely change the 5-minute time frame. It’s way quicker to open a can of tomatoes than it is to prep fresh tomatoes.

Also, using canned tomatoes means that you can make this sauce any time of year.

Can you freeze this sauce?

I have tried freezing it before*, and the sauce got more watery once it thawed. So, I don’t recommend freezing.

*this is an example of the low-stakes “try it and see” method I recommend!

This sauce is so fast to make, though, it’s not a big deal to make a batch every time you need it.

Also, it doesn’t make a ton, so you probably won’t have tons of leftovers to worry about preserving.

Scroll down for the printable recipe!

tomato sauce

No-Cook Tomato Sauce for Pizza

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Blend canned tomatoes with a handful of other ingredients, and you've got a fresh sauce for pizza!


  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until sauce is smooth.
  2. Taste and add more salt and sugar if necessary.


This is usually enough for two of my homemade pizzas.

The amount of salt you need will vary depending on the brand of tomatoes you buy; definitely do a taste test and adjust as necessary!

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 6Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 82mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 0g

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Wednesday 21st of December 2022

Easy enought!

I myself like to use plain tomato paste. If I feel really fancy I might add basilic, oregano and garlic powder to it. But plain works just fine too.


Wednesday 21st of December 2022

This is very similar to how I make pizza sauce. I find it even easier to use crushed tomatoes, no draining or blender required this way. I like to use an Italian herb mix plus a bit of onion and garlic powder to taste. So simple my non-cooking husband can whip it up. :)


Thursday 22nd of December 2022

@Rachel, I was going to suggest the same thing. I think America's Test Kitchen suggests crushed tomatoes. Since I have a large family opening a large can works well for me.

Meira @ meirathebear

Wednesday 21st of December 2022

Such a good idea! We used leftover pasta sauce, but sometimes we don't have any and it's a pain to make just for pizza.

For anyone working outside the home, I strongly recommend smittenkitchen's pizza dough. You assemble it the night before and it rises slowly at room temperature. I use bread flour, and it comes out great with very little effort--I do knead it briefly by hand in the bowl, but there's no other kneading; no flouring the countertop, just knead everything together by hand for 90 seconds, and have pizza for dinner tomorrow! It's the only way I can make pizza on a weeknight.


Wednesday 21st of December 2022

I used to can my own tomato sauce and if it separated after a while in storage, I poured off the watery liquid, making it easier to thicken. But like Hp, I added a small can of tomato paste, and that thickened it without long simmering. If I had no home canned sauce, I used commercially canned tomato sauce and tomato paste. I always dumped some Italian seasoning blend in my sauce, put in fresh basil shreds if basil was growing and I never added sugar (that's a habit after decades with a diabetic - leave out the sugar when you can). Either way - home canned or store bought ingredients, it made a quick sauce that the family enjoyed.

Another way to thicken sauce is to bake it in an open pan, stirring occasionally, but that is not even remotely like a short-cut.


Wednesday 21st of December 2022

I need to learn to make a gluten free pizza at home since there will be no frozen ones from Costco. I will try this. Basil instead of oregano for me.


Wednesday 21st of December 2022

@Blue Gate Farmgirl, Thanks! I will save this and give it a try.

Blue Gate Farmgirl

Wednesday 21st of December 2022


This is my family's go-to recipe. I serve it to non-GF guests and they love it. I mix it in my kitchenaid artisan mixer. I believe I got it off Linda Etherton's blog 1o years ago and I have modified it to using 2 flours instead of 4, since I live in the boonies. Best to you and your pizza endeavors in the New Year!

1 C Bob’s Redmill 1 for 1 GF blend 1 1/4 C Tapioca Starch 1/2 tsp Guar Gum or xanthum gum ½ tsp salt 2 tsp brown sugar 1 scant Tbsp instant yeast 2 Tbsp oil 2 egg whites 3/4 C warm milk

Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir on low to combine. Add egg whites and oil, mixing on low. Add Milk and yeast. Mix on high for 2 minutes. Spray pizza pan with pan spray. Pour dough and pat into corners with dampened hands. Let dough rise for 20 minutes. ( I place on top of the toaster oven - set to warm).

Half way thru the rise, set oven to convection roast 400 *F. After 20 minute rise, bake for 8 minutes on lowest rack. Now you add sauce, toppings and cheese. Bake for another 8 minutes on the top rack. Slice while warm.

This recipe also makes delicious bread brushed with oil, sprinkled with italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Bake 15 minutes. Similar to foccacia bread. I also use it to make calzones.

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