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Friday, February 1, 2013

Easy, Fresh-Tasting, No-Cook Pizza Sauce

Yesterday I promised you pizza sauce, so today I give you pizza sauce.

I’ll admit, when I make homemade pizza, I usually just grab a jar of pasta sauce from the pantry. Because I’m lazy like that. But the pizza sauce I made this week was so easy and so good that even my lazy bones could handle it. It’s homemade pizza sauce from here on out!

America’s Test Kitchen has an episode about homemade pizza, trying to replicate New York-style thin crust at home. Now that I have my food processor, I finally gave the recipe a try. The recipe promised a no-bounce-back dough, no air bubbles and lots of flavor. I ended up getting a sort of bouncy dough, more air bubbles than I’ve ever had in any pizza crust I’ve ever made, and lots of flavor. That’s two strikes…at least it wasn’t an out, but it was definitely only a single! I obviously did something wrong along the way (ATK’s recipes are usually so fool-proof!), but the process was super involved, so I probably won’t try that crust recipe again. I’m sticking with my pizza crust recipe. It’s easier and turns out great every time.

But not all was lost on this experiment! In the episode, ATK shared a quick and easy pizza sauce recipe that also utilized the food processor (I’m sure you could use a blender if you are food processor-less). People, this sauce is wonderful. It tasted awesome. It was so easy to make. It doesn’t cook until it is actually cooking on the pizza, so the flavor is super fresh. And I loved the texture – a small, uniform chunkiness that is perfect for pizza. I am super excited about this recipe and can see using it with pasta dishes as well!

Easy, Fresh-Tasting, No-Cook Pizza Sauce
From America’s Test Kitchen, with my notes
Recipe type: Main Dish, Sauce
  • - 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (when I took notes watching the episode I swore they said undrained tomatoes, so that is what I've always done. but one commenter says it was drained. I've always liked the texture of the sauce, but when I freeze and defrost it is a tad watery, so I am going to try drained next, take your pick. drained may work better in the end!)
  • - 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (I used my garlic press)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (Jane note: I actually did ½ teaspoon dried basil and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning instead and it was delicioso)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  1. Add all ingredients to your food processor then process for 20-30 seconds. Refrigerate ½ hour before using on pizza.



  1. 1
    Amanda L

    Call me crazy but to me air bubbles are a requirement for superb pizza.

    • Jane Maynard

      it was so funny, on the ATK episode, christopher kimball kept saying “air bubbles” like it was a naughty word! 😉 they don’t bother me, either, as long as you have crispy, chewy crust! I think they are trying to avoid bread-like texture, which makes sense, but air bubbles in and of themselves don’t see too evil to me either! 😉

  2. 2

    Thank you Jane! Can’t wait to try this. I will not be attempting the dough, but for sure will use this sauce!

  3. Not gonna lie, we mostly use Boboli and jarred sauce for “homemade” pizza night, but I definitely will give this sauce a whirl! When I am feeling up to it, I love the pizza dough recipe in the book that came with my KitchenAid mixer. Sometimes those back-of-the-box, manufacturer-type recipes are really good. I bet your new food processor came with some yummy ones, too!

    • Jane Maynard

      I haven’t had boboli in years, but it was my favorite dinner when I was in high school! 🙂

      also, I love recipes on the backs of boxes for appliances and food…they want there stuff to produce good results, so they are often fab! I’ll have to look through my kitchenaid mixer book for the pizza crust recipe to check it out!

  4. 4

    We use either boboli crust, they have a thin version that is great, or I make a refrigerator one, I’m a whimp when it comes to making yeast dough! I’m scared! I might try this sauce, usually my “homemade” sauce consists of opening a can of tomato sauce and adding Italian seasoning and garlic powder. But lately the ragu jar has been $1 so that’s so inexpensive I can’t pass it up.

  5. I’m curious whether the sauce was watery at all? I used to make something similar to this, but I always felt like I had to cook it to reduce it down, which was a pain. This looks so easy.

    • suzanne, your comment got lost in my inbox! sorry about that!

      it was not watery. when I was making it, I almost drained the tomatoes because I worried it would be, but it ended up not being water, it was a great consistency. if you ARE worried, maybe drain off about half of the water from the can of tomatoes and I think you will have a good balance, but I also feel like it worked great with the tomatoes undrained. hope that’s helpful!

  6. 6

    i just love america’s test kitchen! thanks for tryin’ it out for me. 🙂

  7. 7

    Thanks for the sauce recipe, sounds simple and easy! Just a heads up for homemade pizza night at our house, I stop at our small chain local pizzeria and purchase 2 dough balls for that great pizza crust without the hassle!

  8. 8
    Chantal Phillips

    I liked This Week for Dinner and Kitchenaid on Facebook, followed you on twitter and pininterest 🙂

  9. 9
    Stephanie P.

    Here’s a link to my favorite NY Style Pizza dough–and other pizza dough recipes–from a former ATK alum, now Serious Eats editor. Kenji’s NY Style will also make use of your new food processor 😉 it’s super easy, and time-friendly, you can keep it in the fridge up to 5 days, or even freeze it.

    I look forward to making another recipe on that list, his Foolproof Pan Pizza looks delicious too.

    To those who fear yeast, please DON’T! Pizza is one of the cheapest doughs to make, usually costing less than $1, sometimes less than 50 cents, if you screw it up, you’re not breaking the bank, and chances are you’ll still be able to eat the results.

    Not living in a pizza haven, I turn out the best pizza in small town Ohio from my own kitchen, cheaper than any boring takeout, or preservative-filled pre-made dough. Find recipes for the types of pizza you like to eat, NY Style, pan, thin crust, focaccia, etc. and try it out, you won’t go back. To make truly outstanding pizzas, invest in a pizza stone for your oven, they aren’t very expensive and you’ll get a fantastic crust.

    Jane, another CI pizza recipe my family loves is No Roll Pizza Bianca, very focaccia like, bakes on a sheet pan so is family friendly because you can do different toppings for each half, or even each quarter. My favorites are simple roasted garlic and rosemary with a balsamic vinegar drizzle; roasted vegetables; or classic pizza sauce with any combo of mushrooms, pepperoni, banana peppers, and sauteed red onions. You can find the recipe here, or at ATK if you have a membership, (not my blog):

  10. 10

    Do you think this recipe is enough for one or two pizzas? Or more? I make one with tomato paste, but I think this sounds so tasty with more chunks of tomato!

    • DEFINITELY enough for two pizzas…I used about 1-2 cups of sauce for my two 12-inch pizzas and had tons of sauce leftover. planning to use the extra sauce in ziti this week! 🙂

  11. I love making my own pizza sauce when I have the time. I usually make a cooked sauce, but I really like the idea of a fresh sauce. I’m definitely going to try this one soon!

  12. 12

    Hey Jane. I make a similar pizza sauce, love it, but don’t love cleaning out my food processor. I have a cheapo immersion blender and it does the job perfectly with far less clean-up required. Something about the fresh-tasting sauce makes the pizza taste gourmet to me!

    • Jane Maynard

      megan, love the idea of using the immersion blender – might have to give that a whirl!

      and, agreed, the sauce makes such a big difference!

  13. 13

    Too easy and SO SO SO good! I was shocked.

  14. 14

    I had just watched ATK’s show where they made the NY style pizza and the “No Cook Pasta Sauce” and wanted to get the printed recipe and found your site.

    The first thing I noticed was that the tomatoes in your recipe were “un-drained”, where the recipe from ATK used drained.

    As it turns out this is the same recipe that I have been using and have found that the sauce is way to runny if you don’t drain the tomatoes, especially for on a pizza dough.

    • good feedback! it’s funny, I don’t find the sauce runny when it’s freshly-made, but when I freeze it and use it later it is definitely too runny, so I may start draining the tomatoes. I think that’s a great adaptation.


  15. 15
    le moo

    I made this and it came out pretty bad. I followed everything in the instructions and even read the recipe from ATK. The resulting sauce was a bit too astringent from the raw garlic I think. I cooked it to tone it down and it still was fairly bitter even after adding some sugar. I think powdered garlic would give a less raw flavor.

    oh wellz. thanks for posting though everyone else on the site seemed to like it.

    • bummer! sorry you didn’t like it. I LOVE this sauce and have had several people I know in real life who use it all the time. It just tastes super fresh to me, and our family loves fresh garlic. maybe that’s it and it’s just a preference thing. anyway, thanks for your comments, I”m sure it will be helpful for some…although I do still love this sauce to pieces! 😉

  16. 16

    We love this pizza sauce. It’s a staple at our house! Love also that it’s no cook!

  17. 17

    Hi Jane,

    Yes, the addition of the other herbs is quite alright. You have the basic ATK recipe here. I really thought there was sugar in it, too. I do add a scant dash of sugar to this. I used to cook my pizza sauce but this is my recipe I’ve used for many years, since I discovered it. BTW-ATK’s grilled pizza recipe is fun, too.
    My dough recipe I’ve used for years is Alton’s and the honey inclusion is Wolfgang’s. It makes a difference:

    Make 2 Pies

    3 C KAF Bread Unbleached
    1.25 C 110 degree water
    1 packet yeast
    1 tbls salt
    1 tbls EVOO
    1 Tsp honey
    1 tsp honey

    Basic mix. Either by hand, or as I do, pulse in the Cuisinart. Looking for just sticky, not batter, but not hard. Let that rest in the fridge for at least 2 days, up to 4 to develop. Never 1 day.

  18. 18

    I believe the episode for the pizza sauce I watched included anchovy’s. The little secret ingredient that takes this sauce to another level.

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