Have you bought a jar of pizza sauce from the grocery store, but you want it to be thicker than it is? Perhaps you even made your own using fresh tomatoes and herbs, but you’re disappointed in how watery it turned out.
No matter how you obtained the pizza sauce you have in your possession, if you want to make it thicker, there are some super-easy ways you can do so. This article aims to equip you with this very knowledge so you can make your pizza sauce, or any other tomato-based sauce, as thick as you desire.
We will finish up the article with two delicious pizza sauce recipes you can try out, one being for vegetarians and the other for carnivores.
How to Thicken Pizza Sauce
We’ve compiled all of the ways for thickening pizza sauce to make it easy for you to scour the article and figure out which method or methods will work best for you. You are sure to have some hearty and full pizza sauce after utilizing these simple tricks.
Keep in mind that with any of these thickening agents, you should add a little at a time, blending it with the pizza sauce as you go. This will prevent you from adding too much and making your sauce overly thick, and it will assist you in getting the agent combined with the sauce better.
1 – Cook Longer
One way you can thicken up a pizza sauce, or any sauce, for that matter, is by cooking it on the stovetop or in a crockpot. This will help evaporate more moisture from the sauce.
If you use the stovetop to do this, put the heat on low, and let the sauce simmer for as long as it takes to get it to the desired thickness. If you are using a crockpot, you can put it on the low heat setting and let your sauce thicken up for a while.
Keeping the heat low in either case will allow you to cook the pizza sauce without it burning, as it may take several minutes to get thicker.
If you made your own pizza sauce, you can keep it from getting too thick at the start by draining the tomatoes you use. This will make reducing the pizza sauce take less time.
2 – Vegetables
You can make your pizza sauce heartier, healthier, and more delicious by adding some chopped vegetables or herbs to it. Some favorite additions include onion, more tomatoes, fresh basil, minced garlic, and fresh oregano.
The bigger you chop your veggies before adding them to the sauce, the thicker they will make it. However, keep in mind that if you make the pieces too big, it might be too much flavor for one pizza.
3 – Meat
If you’re not big into vegetables, and you are more of a carnivore, you can also use meat to make your pizza sauce heartier.
Simply add some ground beef, turkey, pork, or chicken to the sauce. You can also get creative and throw in some Italian meat that has been chopped up, such as salami.
This will not only thicken your pizza sauce, but it will make it much more flavorful.
4 – Cheese
Similar to adding veggies, herbs, or meat to your sauce, you can also opt for adding cheese. You can help your sauce keep its smooth consistency much easier by using this, and it adds a creaminess that is hard to pass up.
Shred some fresh parmesan, mozzarella, or any other cheese that would work well with the flavors of your pizza, and throw it in the sauce while it’s on the stovetop. Heat the sauce with it until the cheese has completely melted, making sure to stir it to combine the two together.
You should notice a big difference in the pizza sauce after the cheese has finished blending with it.
5 – Tomato Paste
If you have a can of tomato paste sitting in your cupboard, it can be a very useful ingredient to add to your pizza sauce to make it thicker.
Pour the tomato paste into your pizza sauce over low heat on the stovetop, and blend them together while they are being heated.
This is also a great trick for making any tomato-based sauce thicker.
6 – Olive Oil
You can use any oil or fat to thicken sauces, but for pizza sauce, it is advised that you use olive oil for the best flavor combination. This can greatly affect the viscosity of your pizza sauce.
Simply add it while the sauce is over low heat on the stovetop, and get the oil to combine well with the sauce. You can also add the sauce and the olive oil to a blender and mix the two ingredients together this way.
This is not necessarily the healthiest option, but it will certainly get the job done.
7 – Cornstarch Slurry
Although adding straight cornstarch to pizza sauce is not the best idea as it does not work well with the tomatoes, you can make a cornstarch slurry using water, which can be added to your sauce. One great thing about this method is that it will not change the taste of your pizza sauce at all.
To make the slurry, combine equal parts of the cornstarch and water. Next, slowly add the cornstarch slurry to your pizza sauce over low heat on the stovetop, stirring the sauce as you add it.
Once the sauce has become as thick as you would like it to be, you can remove it from the heat and spread it onto your pizza crust.
8 – Egg Yolk
It makes sense that egg yolk would thicken up pizza sauce, or any sauce, considering it is so thick itself. However, there is a certain technique you must use if you opt for using yolk as your thickening agent.
Since egg yolk cooks so quickly when heated up, you will need to heat up your pizza sauce, and then add some warm sauce to a bowl along with a bit of the yolk. After you combine a little at a time, you can add the yolk and sauce mixture to the pot of pizza sauce.
Using yolk will affect the flavor of your sauce a bit, but it is a very useful ingredient for thickening sauces, and you might actually prefer the flavor.
9 – Roux
Making a roux to thicken your pizza sauce can cause it to be creamy, so if this sounds tasty to you, perhaps this is the best method for you to utilize. All you need is a bit of flour and some form of fat, though typically butter is used.
You need equal parts of both ingredients. For the best results, heat up the roux in a saucepan over the stove prior to adding it to your pizza sauce.
Once you have combined the roux with your sauce, you should have a hearty and slightly creamy pizza sauce to add to your rolled out dough.
10 – Mashed Potatoes
This might seem like a weird ingredient to add to your pizza sauce. However, since mashed potatoes are quite neutral when it comes to taste, they can effectively make your sauce thicker while not changing the flavor much, if at all.
Due to potatoes being full of starch, they work in the same way as cornstarch and other thickening agents. Using mashed potatoes in your pizza sauce can also add a nice smooth texture to it.
You might even find that you prefer your pizza sauce to have mashed potatoes in it and add them to all of your future sauces.
Homemade Pizza Sauce
In this section, we have provided you with some delicious pizza sauce recipes that you can try out at home. You can use the methods above to make the recipes thicker.
First, you can read about how to create a sauce that does not include any meat, and following that is a pizza sauce that has meat in it. Feel free to try out both of these recipes as each one is delicious in its own way.
Vegetarian Pizza Sauce
For those vegetarians reading, and for people who simply do not want meat in their pizza sauce, this recipe is a great one to try on your homemade pizza pie.
This particular recipe makes about three cups’ worth of pizza sauce. Here is what it requires:
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- A few pinches of black pepper
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
First, mince your garlic, and then place a pot over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the two tablespoons of olive oil and your minced garlic to the pot, and cook them for a couple of minutes, or until the garlic has softened and releases a nice aroma.
Next, add the crushed tomatoes to the pot with the oil and garlic, along with the basil, salt, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Combine the ingredients together in the pot.
Once everything is mixed together well, you can cover the pot with a lid. After it starts to simmer, you should turn the heat down on the stove to low.
Let the pizza sauce simmer for another 15 to 30 minutes with the heat on low. The longer you let it simmer, the thicker it will be.
Feel free to prepare the pizza dough while you let the sauce simmer to perfection. After it has gotten as thick as you would like it to be, you can remove the sauce from the stove and spread it onto your crust.
You can also hold on to your homemade pizza sauce for later use by freezing it after letting it cool first.
Pizza Sauce for Carnivores
This meaty pizza sauce recipe is perfect for those people who are mostly carnivores at heart. Keep in mind that you can always substitute the ground beef and pork in the recipe for other ground meats.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 4 green bell peppers
- 2 onions
- 1 can tomato purée or ground whole pear tomatoes
- 1 cup dry wine
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup garlic
- 1/4 cup dried basil
- 1/4 cup fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
The first thing you need to do is cut up your herbs and vegetables. You should core and then chop up the green bell pepper, finely cut up the garlic, crumble the dried basil, and chop up your two onions.
Once these steps are completed, pour half a cup of olive oil into a big pot. Set the pot aside, and pull out a saucepan.
In this saucepan, combine the ground pork and beef, and sautée the meat with the onion, garlic, bell pepper, fennel, and wine until the ground meat is finished cooking. This should take around 20 minutes.
Now, add the tomatoes or tomato purée, salt, sugar, black pepper, and basil to the sautéed meat. Get the sauce to a point where it is boiling, and then lower the heat to get it down to a simmer.
Let the sauce sit on the stovetop and simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half. For a thicker sauce, opt for letting it simmer for longer.
Now your meaty sauce is ready to put on your rolled out pizza dough.
As you can see, there are so many ways to thicken up your pizza sauce that it can be difficult to choose just one method. Keep in mind that you can absolutely utilize more than one method to get your pizza sauce to be heartier.
Perhaps you would like to add meat, cheese, and extra veggies to your pizza sauce. It is really up to you and your personal preferences.
Just make sure that your sauce does not get too thick, or it might be difficult to spread evenly on the pizza crust.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.