Can You Use Pasta Sauce On Pizza?

Pizza is one of the most popular dishes in the United States and so many people love to make homemade pizza. One of the keys to making the most delicious pizzas is getting the pizza sauce right and there are so many options.

You can make your own pizza sauce with a food processor or buy store-bought sauce, but what if you don’t have the ingredients or store-bought sauce in your pantry?

You may wonder if you can use another popular Italian sauce and substitute pasta sauce for pizza sauce.

In this article, we will look at whether you can use pasta sauce on pizza. Pasta sauce can be substituted for pizza sauce in a pinch, but you will find that there are a few differences between pasta sauce and pizza sauce.

Can You Use Pasta Sauce On Pizza?

If you don’t have any pizza sauce available and you don’t have the ingredients available to make your own, then you can use pasta sauce.

Pasta sauce can be a very convenient substitute. It’s available in so many different forms so you probably have a jarred pasta sauce in your kitchen at all times. You may even have a refrigerated or frozen sauce hidden away somewhere!

However, pasta sauce will make your pizza taste very different. For this reason, we don’t recommend using pasta sauce unless you have no other choice. If you’re a homemade pizza lover you will find pasta sauce to be very disappointing.

Pizza Sauce Vs Pasta Sauce

Let’s begin by looking at the difference between pizza sauce and pasta sauce. At first glance, they may seem very similar. Like pizza sauce, many pasta sauces such as spaghetti sauce and marinara sauce are a tomato sauce.

The main base of all of these sauces is tomatoes, whether it is fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, or pureed tomatoes.

However, there are so many more differences. We will look at these in more detail as they will explain why pasta sauce is not an effective substitute pizza sauce.

Can You Use Pasta Sauce On Pizza


Pizza sauce is a thicker sauce than pasta sauce. This makes it easier to spread across pizza dough and pizza crust.

Although it’s a thick sauce, pizza sauce isn’t so thick that it becomes difficult to spread. It sits on top of the pizza dough instead of being absorbed and is the perfect thickness for pizza.

On the other hand, pasta sauces are often thinner. It doesn’t matter if it’s spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce, pasta sauces are usually a thinner sauce.

This helps the sauce cover the cooked noodles of pasta more effectively. Pasta sauce doesn’t work as a properly thick pizza sauce and you may find it sinks into the pizza dough as well.

Pizza needs a thick tomato sauce that is halfway between a sauce and tomato puree. This is a better base for your toppings and especially ones such as mozzarella cheese.

When making homemade pizza, thicker sauces are easier to work with than ones with a thinner consistency as well. You don’t want your sauce to run off your pizza crust when you transfer it to the oven, after all!


Pizza is made from very basic ingredients and pizza sauce is no different. A pizza base can be made from only flour, yeast, salt, and water, and it is usually the toppings that are the most interesting part of a pizza.

This is why pizza sauce is kept simple as well. It doesn’t need to be complicated and you will find that your pizza will suffer if the pizza sauce is too complicated.

A simple tomato sauce with a mellowed-out tomato flavor is all you need! The best pizza sauce is one that is kept simple.

In contrast, pasta sauce has many more ingredients in them. Cooked pasta has a very neutral taste and it is the pasta sauce that brings most of the flavor.

In dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, for example, both the pasta and the ground beef are flavored by a spaghetti sauce that is full of Italian seasoning such as fresh oregano.

This is the main difference you will notice if you use pasta sauce instead of pizza sauce. You will be surprised at how many more ingredients and flavorings even the most simple marinara sauce has compared to the average pizza sauce.

Pizza Sauce is Uncooked

Another main difference between pizza sauce and pasta sauce is that pasta sauce is cooked for a long time. It’s cooked before it even touches the pasta.

Pasta sauce can have a wide variety of ingredients included, such as seasonings like fresh herbs, roasted garlic, Italian spices, and a variety of different forms of tomatoes, like crushed tomatoes, tomato chunks, or tomato puree.

To get these ingredients to combine correctly and release their flavors, pasta sauce needs to be well-cooked.

Pizza sauce, however, should be completely uncooked when it is placed on the pizza.

The few ingredients that are in pizza sauce are normally mixed together in a food processor or immersion blender to make a smooth consistency instead of being cooked together as pasta sauce ingredients are.

It’s an uncooked tomato sauce that only cooks on the pizza itself.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we looked at whether pasta sauce can be used as a pizza sauce. We compared pizza sauce vs pasta sauce and found there are many differences. One of the biggest differences is the pasta sauce taste and this is the main barrier to using pasta sauce as pizza sauce.

If you’re serious about making the best pizza at home, then we recommend putting away the spaghetti sauce and instead finding a pizza sauce recipe so you can make your own.

Get your food processor out and make your own pizza sauce full of zippy tomato flavor. If you don’t have the time, use jarred pizza sauces instead.

We hope that our article about pizza sauce vs pasta sauce has helped to answer your questions!

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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