10 Sensational Substitutes for Pizza Sauce (Try These First)

I’m always looking for ways to make pizza taste better. I love pizza, but I don’t always love the taste of pizza sauce. It can be a little too tangy or acidic for my liking.

So when I’m out of pizza sauce or just not in the mood for it, I like to use one of the substitutes from this list.

Substitutes for Pizza Sauce

  1. Pasta Sauce
  2. Marinara Sauce
  3. Barbecue Sauce
  4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. Tapenade
  6. Ricotta Cheese
  7. Alfredo
  8. Gremolata
  9. Muhammara
  10. Pesto

Pasta Sauce

You may not think of pasta sauce as a substitute for pizza sauce, but in some cases, it can be a great replacement.

For instance, if you’re looking for a lower-fat option, pasta sauce is a good choice. It also has less sugar than many pizza sauces.

If you’re looking for more of a flavor boost, try using a robust pasta sauce like a fra Diavolo or arrabbiata. These sauces can add some zing to your pizza.

Just be aware that you may need to adjust the amount of sauce you use, as pasta sauces are usually quite a bit thicker than pizza sauce.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on the spices in your pasta sauce, as some can be quite powerful.

Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is a versatile red sauce that can be used as a substitute for pizza sauce.

While it is traditionally made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs, the ingredients can vary depending on the region or the cook’s preferences.

This sauce is a good choice for those who are looking for a quicker and easier way to get their pizza fixed.

The sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to a week, making it a great option for busy weeknight dinners.

Additionally, this sauce can be used on other Italian dishes such as pasta or lasagna.

For a heartier meal, try adding some ground beef or sausage to the marinara sauce before spreading it on your pizza crust.

Barbecue Sauce

One surprising ingredient that can be used as a pizza sauce substitute is barbecue sauce.

Barbecue sauce is already full of flavorful spices, and it can add a touch of sweetness to a pizza that traditional tomato sauce cannot provide.

In addition, barbecue sauce is thicker than pizza sauce, so it can help to prevent the dough from getting soggy.

As a result, this unexpected ingredient can be a great way to create a delicious and unique pizza.

Of course, it is important to experiment with different brands and flavors of barbecue sauce to find the perfect balance for your pizza.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil can be a great substitute for pizza sauce. It has a similar consistency and can be easily spread on pizza dough.

Additionally, olive oil is packed with healthy fats and antioxidants, which may provide some health benefits.

Using olive oil as a pizza sauce substitute can also add a unique flavor to your dish.

If you’re looking for a change from traditional tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil is a great option.

Just be sure to balance the other flavors in your recipe so that the olive oil doesn’t overpower the taste of your pizza.


Tapenade is a delicious olive spread that makes an excellent substitute for pizza sauce.

Tapenade is a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, and it is especially common in France.

It is made from olives, capers, anchovies, and olive oil, and it has a rich, savory flavor. This makes it a perfect match for the other toppings on a pizza.

Tapenade is also very versatile. It can be used as a dip, a spread, or even a sauce.

And because it is made from healthy ingredients like olives and olive oil, it is a much healthier option than many other pizza sauces.

Ricotta Cheese

There are a few reasons you might want to substitute ricotta cheese for pizza sauce.

Perhaps you’re looking for a lower-fat alternative to traditional pizza sauce, or you might be trying to lighten up a dish.

Ricotta is also lower in fat than traditional pizza sauce, so it can help to reduce the overall fat content of your dish.

Additionally, ricotta is often lighter in color than pizza sauce, so it can brighten up a dish.

However, one downside of using ricotta is that it can make your dish moister than if you had used pizza sauce.

In terms of flavor, ricotta is fairly neutral, so it won’t greatly alter the taste of your dish.

However, it can add a touch of creaminess and sweetness. If you find that your dish needs more flavor after substituting ricotta for pizza sauce, you can always add additional toppings or spices.


Alfredo is a great substitute for pizza sauce if you are looking for something with a little more zing.

This sauce is full of flavor and has a bit of a kick to it. While it may not be traditional, it is a delicious alternative that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Alfredo is also a great choice if you are looking for a healthy alternative to pizza sauce.

This sauce is lower in calories and fat than traditional pizza sauce, and it is also dairy-free.

You can use Alfredo in any recipe that calls for pizza sauce, or you can simply enjoy it on its own.


Gremolata is a versatile and flavorful substitute for pizza sauce. This zesty condiment is made with fresh garlic, lemon zest, and parsley.

It can be used as a topping for pizza or pasta, or as a flavorful addition to sandwiches and salads.

Gremolata is an ideal substitute for pizza sauce because it is packed with flavor and has a bright, fresh taste.

Additionally, it is low in calories and fat-free, making it a healthier option than traditional pizza sauce.

When substituting gremolata for pizza sauce, keep in mind that the flavors will be more pronounced.

If you are looking for a milder flavor, simply adjust the amount of garlic and lemon zest used in the recipe.


Muhammara is a delicious roasted red pepper and walnut dip that originates from Syria. This thick and creamy dip can be used as a substitution for pizza sauce.

The benefits of using Muhammara as a pizza sauce are that it is lower in sugar has no added preservatives, and is full of flavor.

This flavorful dip is also suitable to be used as a pasta sauce, on crostini as an appetizer, or even as a condiment on sandwiches or wraps.

Muhammara is a great alternative to traditional pizza sauce because it is still packed with flavor but without all of the added sugar and preservatives.

When using Muhammara as a pizza sauce, there may be a slight color change but the flavor will remain the same.


Pesto is a popular sauce made from basil, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.

It is often used as a topping for pasta or pizza, but it can also be used as a substitute for pizza sauce.

There are several advantages to using pesto as a pizza sauce substitute.

First, pesto has a bolder flavor than traditional pizza sauce, so it can be used to add more depth of flavor to a dish.

Second, pesto is already prepared and does not require any additional cooking time.

Lastly, pesto can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for later use.

Commonly Asked Questions When Choosing Substitutes for Pizza Sauce

What is the best pizza sauce substitute?

The best pizza sauce substitute will depend on your personal preferences. Some people may prefer to use a pasta sauce, while others may prefer barbecue sauce or olive oil.

Ultimately, the best pizza sauce substitute is the one that you enjoy the most.

What are some common substitutes for pizza sauce?

Some common substitutes for pizza sauce include marinara sauce, barbecue sauce, and olive oil.

Each of these ingredients can provide a delicious and unique flavor to your pizza.

What is the best way to use a pizza sauce substitute?

The best way to use a pizza sauce substitute will depend on the specific ingredient that you are using.

Generally, it is best to spread the sauce evenly over the pizza dough. However, you may need to experiment with different ratios or methods to find the perfect way to use your pizza sauce substitute.