The Best Store-Bought Pizza Sauces for Your Friday Night Pizza

Don Pepino Pizza Sauce is our top pick for pizza night

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The Spruce Eats / Amelia Manley

The Spruce Eats Top Picks

The fresh, zippy taste of Don Pepino Pizza Sauce makes it our top pick to top your pizzas. The Ragú Homemade Style Pizza Sauce is also a great sauce and is widely available.

Before you reach for the jar of marinara sauce in your cabinet on pizza night, there’s something you should know: Pizza sauce and pasta sauce are not the same thing. Sure, they’re close—and interchangeable in a pinch—but there is an inherent difference. Pizza sauce is essentially an uncooked tomato sauce; pasta sauce is typically low-simmered to develop a deeper flavor. The lack of precooking ensures pizza sauce has a bright, tomato-forward taste. That said, you don't need to rely on garden-fresh tomatoes for a killer pizza sauce. Today, there are plenty of no-fuss store-bought options that taste just as good.

Here are the best of the best pizza sauces you can buy.

Best Overall: Don Pepino Pizza Sauce

Don Pepino Pizza Sauce

Amazon

What do buyers say? 84% of 3,200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

If you're going to go with one sauce, go with a classic made from Jersey-Fresh tomatoes. Don Pepino's pizza sauce, which has a total of just five ingredients—tomatoes, corn oil, salt, spices, and garlic powder—is free from some of the extra ingredients you sometimes find in store-bought products, including preservatives, starches, artificial sugar, added color, gums, and citric acid. Plus, the product is made with corn oil, rather than olive oil.

Finally, the sauce is packaged in a fun, retro-looking can that’s easier to store than big, bulky glass jars.

Serving Size: 0.25 cup | Calories Per Serving: 40 | Sodium: 125 milligrams | Total Sugar: 3 grams

Best Budget: Ragú Homemade Style Pizza Sauce

RAGÚ Homemade Style Pizza Sauce

Amazon

Just because you’re looking to keep your grocery bill in check, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. Look no further than Ragú’s Homemade Style Pizza Sauce. Each 14-ounce jar in this four-pack yields plenty of sauce for more than a handful of pies yet rings in at less than a couple of dollars per bottle.

Still, the flavor and the consistency is comparable to other pizza sauces. This is mostly thanks to the fact that, like other great pizza sauces, the formula hinges on vine-ripened tomatoes, olive oil, and spices—not much else. There are also no artificial flavors, added colors, or high fructose corn syrup.

Serving Size: 0.25 cup | Calories Per Serving: 30 | Sodium: 260 milligrams | Total Sugar: 3 grams

Best Chunky: Williams Sonoma San Marzano Pizza Sauce

Williams-Sonoma San Marzano Pizza Sauce

Williams Sonoma

This pizza sauce is unique because it gets its sweet and delightful flavor from the world-renowned San Marzano tomatoes—a variety of plum tomato known to be well-balanced and nuanced in flavor. Beyond the tomatoes, the ingredient list is abbreviated—extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, basil, black pepper, and citric acid—to let that natural flavor shine through. 

The consistency is spot on, too. The sauce is thick and slightly chunky, but consistent. You won’t get large chunks in some spots and a thin sauce in others. Instead, it spreads beautifully, so each bite is just right.

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons | Calories Per Serving: 30 | Sodium: 150 milligrams | Total Sugar: 5 grams

Best for Kids: Contadina Pizza Squeeze Original Pizza Sauce

Contadina Pizza Squeeze Original Pizza Sauce

Amazon

Making pizza is one of the most fun family activities you can do in the kitchen, but there’s a price to pay: It can be a very, very messy endeavor. This pizza sauce really shines because it comes in an easy-to-use squeeze bottle. Rather than fiddle with spoons that inevitably lead to spills, kids can get a good grip on the packaging and squeeze sauce right where it needs to be (less work for you later).

It’s not all about convenience, though. The budget-friendly sauce tastes great, has a desirable consistency, is packaged in the USA, and is non-GMO.

Serving Size: 0.25 cup | Calories Per Serving: 30 | Sodium: 340 milligrams | Total Sugar: 3 grams

Best Keto: Rao's Homemade Pizza Sauce

Rao's homemade pizza sauce new labels

Rao's Specialty Foods

Though you will spend a bit more for each jar of this pizza sauce, it’s worth the expense. Rao’s Homemade Pizza Sauce is a premium product that’s a better fit than most for the health-minded consumer. 

One of the sauces with the lowest amount of sugar, this slow-simmered sauce is bursting with flavors, thanks to a combination of whole peeled tomatoes and Italian cherry tomatoes, as well as olive oil, Italian spices, and a medley of fresh vegetables like carrots and onions. And, like other great sauces, the consistency is nice and thick so it spreads evenly and plentifully atop pizza dough.

Serving Size: 0.25 cup | Calories Per Serving: 40 | Sodium: 170 milligrams | Total Sugar: 2 grams

Best Jarred: Paesana Classic Pizza Sauce

Paesana Pizza Sauce

Instacart

Once you taste this classic pizza sauce, it’s pretty clear that the product is manufactured by a family-owned company. Each batch in the single-serve jar is made with plenty of care, using a fairly short list of ingredients—just imported Italian plum tomatoes, fresh onions, olive oil, tomato paste, fresh garlic, salt, sugar, spices, citric acid, and fresh basil. 

Though the jar is smaller than some other comparable products, it’s actually a positive attribute—each jar contains just the right amount for a large sheet pan pizza. You won’t be scrounging for more, and you won’t have a small leftover amount that you don’t know what to do with.

Serving Size: 0.25 cup | Calories Per Serving: 35 | Sodium: 180 milligrams | Total Sugar: 2 grams

Best Canned: Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce

Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce

Instacart

Just because you’re opting for a canned pizza sauce doesn’t mean you can’t get a quality, organic product—and this pizza sauce is proof. It’s made with vine-ripened tomatoes that lend a sweet, balanced flavor. Plus it has a nice, thick texture that spreads over dough like butter.

The USDA-certified organic and non-GMO sauce doesn’t have additives like sugar either—just a handful of simple ingredients, including extra-virgin olive oil, onions, sea salt, basil, oregano, black pepper, and garlic. 

Serving Size: 0.25 cup | Calories Per Serving: 45 | Sodium: 250 milligrams | Total Sugar: 3 grams

Final Verdict

Don Pepino Pizza Sauce is an overwhelmingly popular choice because it will help you recreate your favorite slice at home. If you want a great jarred sauce, look no further than Paesana Classic Pizza Sauce.

What to Look for in Store-Bought Pizza Sauces

Ingredients

As with most products, your best bet is usually an item with a shorter ingredient list. Most sauces will start with a tomato base and include spices, oil, and a preservative. “I would avoid sauces with lots of unknown ingredients," says Frank Linn, owner/chef of Frankly Pizza in Kensington, Maryland. "If you can't pronounce it, you may not want to eat it. Sauces with the least amount of ingredients are best."

Type of Sauce

The type of sauce you choose can dramatically change the type of pizza you’ll be having for dinner. Are you looking for a white pizza? You’ll want to look for a cream-based/white sauce. Are you hoping to make a margarita pizza? You’ll want a classic tomato sauce with just a little bit if sweetness. In the mood for a pesto pizza? You’ll want to shop for pre-made pestos instead.

Sodium

Sodium can often be on the higher end when it comes to pre-packaged foods, so you’ll want to check that nutrition facts panel before adding the pizza sauce to your cart. It's good to be aware of how much added salt is already in the sauce, so you can be careful and not add too much extra salt later when you’re assembling the pizza (many popular pizza toppings can be high in sodium too!). 

FAQs

How can you make store-bought pizza sauce better? 

According to Linn, you can spruce up your store-bought pizza sauce with other ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen, “such as dried herbs and spices, things like red pepper flakes, dried oregano, dried basil, or maybe some garlic or onion powder.” He warns against using garlic salt, however, “because sometimes the store-bought sauces already contain a lot of sodium.”

Can you freeze store-bought pizza sauce? 

Yes, you should have no problem freezing any extra pizza sauce you have on hand, says Linn. 

Can you use store-bought alfredo sauce instead of pizza sauce?

When it comes to trying other sauces on your pizza, Linn says “experiment away!” Whether it’s alfredo sauce or getting creative with different cheeses (Linn suggests Gruyere or Parmesan), pizza is a relatively forgiving dish and it’s hard to go wrong.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited food content for various publications over the course of the last 10 years. She also holds a culinary degree from the French Culinary Institute.

This roundup was updated by Alyssa Langer, who is a registered dietitian and foodie, always curious about the next food or ingredient craze and hungry to learn and try more. Having worked in cookbook publishing, CPG label data, nutrition writing, and meal kits, her diverse background and varied interests provide a unique perspective that fosters clear, well-researched, and trustworthy reviews.

Updated by
Alyssa Langer
Alyssa Langer
Alyssa is a licensed registered dietitian who covers food and kitchen products. She has written for EatingWell, Martha Stewart, and more and has worked on many America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks.
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  1. United States Department of Agriculture. Can GMOs be used in organic products?

  2. United States Department of Agriculture. Labeling organic products.

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