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This homemade pizza sauce is made with ingredients you’ll already find in your pantry, including crushed tomatoes and Italian herbs and spices. This pizza sauce is gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly. Enjoy it with a grain-free homemade pizza crust and your favorite toppings for your next family pizza night

Photos by Quin Liburd

Oh hey, remember me? Your friendly neighborhood grain free dessert chef? Yeah, I imagine some of you are squinting and shaking your heads, because it’s been… awhile. 

Throughout quarantine, I learned the hard lesson that many other working moms were faced with: Burnout is a real thing. With a toddler in the house, and my husband and I both working from home, a complicated move somewhere in there, and some health stuff going on that I haven’t really talked much about, there hasn’t been much room in my day or my brain to do more than simply survive. 

If you’re new here, you should know that this website is my hobby, which I do in my spare time and creative energy – both of which, these last several months, has been pretty elusive. If you’re a parent, you probably know what I’m talking about.

Suddenly, six months went by with barely a whisper of life here and I had to face the facts: things may not get better for a long, long time and the pause I initially thought I was taking here turned into an indefinite absence.

I never wanted to shut down A Clean Bake (honestly, just the thought made me want to cry). But balancing a full-time job, a family, and this site on top of it (you’d be shocked how much work it takes to keep this site running) was impossible.

I thought long and hard about it – how much could I do here? How much should I do? – and decided, with the help of the amazing A Clean Bake Instagram community, that the most fundamental, most me aspect of this work is the recipes, and everything else was negotiable. 

If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s when to ask for help. 

Food photography was an easy choice for outsourcing because it is the #1 most time consuming part of this site and, although I really enjoy it, it has stared to become a burden to find the time and creative energy to cook, style, shoot, clean, and edit the photos. There is a reason that many cookbooks and magazines have dedicated food photographers, writers, editors, and recipe developers. Doing it all is damn near impossible.

My first call (ok well Instagram DM, but you know what I mean) was to one of my all-time favorite food photographers, Quin, who you may be familiar with from her food blog Butter Be Ready. I found her on Instagram a year or two ago (check her account out; it’s stunning) and have been obsessively stanning her (Gen Z’ers, did I use that right?) ever since. It was a no-brainer. And, much to my delight, she was available and interested in working together! So please join me in welcoming Quin to the ACB team! 

Quin photographed this two-part pizza series for me last week, and I’ll be sharing the crust with you tomorrow. Be sure to leave a comment below and let her know what you think of the photos! 

OK that was the food-blogger-est introduction to this stupid-simple pizza sauce, so let’s (finally) talk about the recipe. 

How To Make Homemade Pizza Sauce 

This pizza sauce recipe is made from one of my favorite things in my cupboards: pantry ingredients. 

My pantry and deep freezer have kept my family well-fed throughout quarantine. As you know, I have been a longtime fan of freezer and pantry cooking, and it has really come in handy these last several months. In our house, and in Illinois in general, we’ve taken the shelter in place order very seriously, so there have been no unnecessary trips to the grovery store for this family in months and months. (I miss it.) But on the plus side, I’ve gotten even more resourceful when it comes to putting together pantry ingredient recipes and freezer ingredient recipes, and this, as it turns out, is both.  

This homemade pizza sauce recipe is made from 100% non-perishable ingredients — no fresh tomatoes, grated parmesan, fresh basil and oregano, fennel, or anything else that could spoil in sight. Instead, you’ll need just a can of tomatoes, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and chili powder (if you like a little extra heat). This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so you’ll likely be able to freeze half of the batch for your next pizza night. 

You can make this in your slow cooker, or in a saucepan. For the slow cooker method, simply whisk all of the ingredients together, cover, and cookie. To make your tomato sauce on the stove, Whisk the ingredients together in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until it’s reduced to two cups (no need to puree the ingredients in a food processor beforehand). If you’re trying to multitask and get dinner done while doing 50 0ther things (as I find myself doing more often than not), I highly recommend the slow cooker method. 

Recipes FAQs: Tips for Best Pizza Sauce Success 

Hopefully, you find this easy pizza sauce recipe incredibly simple and straightforward. However, if it’s your first time making a homemade pizza sauce — rather than buying a jar of red sauce at the store — hopefully these tips and tricks set you up for success.

  • Can I use tomato paste as a substitute for tomato sauce? If tomato paste is the only thing in your cupboards, then technically yes, you can (I’ve just never tried it). Mix one part water, one part paste, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, as described here, for the same tomato flavor.
  • Can I substitute any of the seasonings? I prefer this sauce just the way it is. However, I always encourage readers to use what they have on hand. If you have red pepper flakes but no chili powder, swap them out. If you don’t have garlic powder, use one to two minced cloves of garlic (to your preference) or replace it entirely with onion powder. If you want to use a fresh onion, mince one small white or yellow onion, and it in a bit of olive oil before adding the remaining ingredients (except the onion powder, which you should omit). For a smoother sauce, puree in a blender or food processor before simmering. 
  • How else can I use this recipe? For an appetizer, use my grain-free, homemade pizza dough recipe to make breadsticks, then use this recipe as a dipping sauce/condiment on the side. You could also combine your favorite pizza toppings, spaghetti squash, and your homemade pasta sauce for a veggie-loaded pizza casserole.
  • Is this recipe low-carb? Yes. If you look at the nutrition facts below, you’ll see it contains just 1 gram of sugar and 2 grams of carbs, making it a low-carb recipe.
  • Do you have other pizza recipes on this site? Of course! If you enjoyed this sauce, you might enjoy these other delicious recipes: paleo thin crust pizza and grain-free grilled pizza. I also have quick marinara sauce, and quinoa spaghetti with roasted tomatoes, which might appeal to you. And, don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the grain free pizza crust recipe. Once you have that, the sky’s the limit!
  • Where can you buy the ingredients in this recipe? If you can’t find the ingredients already stored in your cupboards and are trying to avoid the grocery store, you could order each ingredient on Amazon (since they’re all non-perishable). 
  • Can you store or freeze this recipe? Yes! This recipe makes enough sauce to cover three pizzas. If that’s too much for your family to consume in a single evening, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to three months. Simply be sure to allow the sauce to completely cool prior to freezing.

Enjoy This Easy Pizza Sauce Recipe at Your Next Pizza Night 

There’s no need to buy store-bought pizza sauce when you can make it on your own.

This easy pizza sauce recipe is sugar-free and gluten-free, and uses just five ingredients — all of which can be found in your kitchen cupboards. Simply saute on the stovetop or in the slow cooker for an easy dish.

For serving, smother over your favorite grain-free crust, top with your favorite toppings and mozzarella cheese, then return to the oven. Once the cheese is melted and bubbly, it’s ready for serving.

Continue to Content

5-Ingredient Homemade Pizza Sauce

Yield: About 2 1/4 cups, or enough for three 12″ pizzasPrep Time: 3 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Additional Time: 2 hours Total Time: 2 hours 23 minutes

This homemade pizza sauce is made with ingredients you’ll already find in your pantry, including crushed tomatoes and Italian herbs and spices. This pizza sauce is gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly. Enjoy it with a grain-free homemade pizza crust and your favorite toppings for your next family pizza night. 


  • 3 cups crushed tomatoes (one 28 ounce can)
  • 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional, to taste)


  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a saucepan, or in the bowl of a slow cooker.
  2. If using a slow cooker, cook two hours on low with the cover on, then stir and let cool 30 minutes.
  3. If using the stove, simmer until reduced by about 1/4 (so, slightly more than 2 cups should remain).


  • This recipe makes enough sauce for three small pizzas. If you aren’t making three, you can completely cool the extra sauce, then freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Cuisinart 3-In-1 4-Quart Multi-Cooker
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Celtic Sea Salt, Fine Ground Resealable Bag, 8 oz
Nutrition Information:

Yield: 24Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 10Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 123mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave me a comment and rating, or tag me on Instagram using @nora_acleanbake or #acleanbake!

© Nora (A Clean Bake)Cuisine:Italian/Category: Sauces and Dressings