Can I Use Pizza Sauce for Pasta?

Pizza is one of the most popular and widely eaten snacks around the globe. It has become such a fave that a good number of pizza lovers have made pizza at home at some point and many will still do so. It is not uncommon to have leftover pizza sauce after making your pizza; while it is not an issue at all in pizzerias where a large number of pizzas are produced daily, people who make pizza at home often ask what they can do with their leftover pizza sauce. 

What happens when you finish cooking your pasta and discover that you’ve run out of pasta sauce, and all you have in the pantry is pizza sauce? Can you use pizza sauce for pasta? What else can you use pizza sauce for, apart from making pizza? I have answers to all these questions and more in this article. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Can I Use Pizza Sauce for Pasta? Is It Interchangeable?

Yes, you can use pizza sauce for pasta. However, you need to cook pizza sauce and add other ingredients to get it to taste like pasta sauce, since pizza sauce is usually uncooked and less seasoned, while pasta sauce is already cooked and flavored. Although both sauces are different, they are both tomato-based sauces that have been used interchangeably in many instances, most especially by home cooks.

What’s the Difference Between Pizza Sauce and Pasta Sauce?

Although both are tomato-based sauces, there are some differences between pizza sauce and pasta sauce. Let’s have a look at them as outlined below:


Pizza sauce is generally uncooked with only basic ingredients (tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and some herbs) while pasta sauce is more robust and has a lot more going on. Unlike pizza sauce, pasta sauce has a lot of additionalingredients likefresh herbs, dried herbs, chili, anchovies, cheese, and even fish sauce – just to make it very flavorful.

Method of preparation

As stated earlier, pizza sauce is an uncooked tomato sauce that is spread on the pizza crust and allowed to cook as the pizza bakes. This allows the sauce to lose its raw flavor and give that fresh tomato flavor you expect in a good pizza. Pasta sauce, on the other hand, has a more complex flavor which is developed by cooking/simmering it for a long time. This cooking process eliminates the fresh flavor associated with pizza sauce, leaving you with a sauce that has a subdued caramelized tomato flavor instead.


Pizza sauce is relatively thick, unlike pasta sauce which is thinner to allow for a more effective coating of the pasta.

Can I Substitute Pizza Sauce for Marinara?

Yes, you can substitute pizza sauce for marinara. However, marinara sauce is generally not as thick as pizza sauce, so you will have to thicken the marinara sauce when substituting for pizza sauce.

Read also: What to Put in Ramen Instead of Seasoning

What Else Can I Use Pizza Sauce For, Other Than Pizza?

There are other ways by which you can use your leftover pizza sauce. These include:

  1. Preparation of salsa: Add some marinara with hot sauce, lime juice, chopped onions, and black beans to your leftover pizza sauce, blend everything into a puree, and there, you have your salsa ready to be eaten as a dip for your crispy snacks.
  2. Meat barbecue: You can braise your meat with leftover pizza sauce to enhance the rich taste of your meat. You can also use leftover pizza sauce to make meatball sandwiches.
  3. As a base for pasta sauce: You can also use pizza sauce for pasta, that is, as a base to prepare pasta sauce.
Does Pizza Sauce Need to Be Cooked?

No, pizza sauce does not necessarily need to be cooked before use. It cooks as the pizza bakes in the oven.

Is Pizza Sauce Thicker Than Pasta Sauce?

Yes, pizza sauce is thicker than pasta sauce. Normally, it SHOULD be thicker than pasta sauce. Why? In pizza making, the sauce is spread on top of the pizza dough and cooked simultaneously with the dough and toppings. While a thinner sauce will tend to run off the pizza crust and make it soggy in the oven, a typical thick pizza sauce prevents the dough from getting too soggy while the pizza cooks.
Read also: Why Is My Spaghetti Sauce Watery?

Can I Use Pasta Sauce for Pizza?

Yes, you can use pasta sauce for pizza, but it will give different results. Your pizza will still taste good if you use pasta sauce, but the flavor will be different from what you’re used to. This is why pizzerias make pizza sauce specifically for pizza, rather than just using pasta sauce. 

Can You Use Dolmio Sauce for Pizza?              

Yes, you can use dolmio sauce for pizza, but do not expect your pizza to taste as it would if you used pizza sauce.

Can You Use Ragu As Pizza Sauce?

No, you cannot use ragu as pizza sauce. Ragu is a meat-based sauce usually served with pasta.

With these exciting pizza sauce ideas mentioned above, I bet your leftover pizza sauce will never go unused! While it is okay to use pizza sauce for pasta (only after cooking the pizza sauce, of course), I must say that it is completely up to you to decide whether to use pasta sauce for pizza or not. Pasta sauce gives your pizza a mellowed-out tomato flavor, but pizza sauce gives it a fresh tomato flavor associated with a good pizza sauce. But, as I said earlier, it is up to you to decide. 

By Luong Tan

Luong Tan, the creative and passionate founder of Bourbono, is a multi-talented individual with a deep love for the culinary arts. An accomplished food blogger, cookbook author, and former Ambassador of US cuisine in Vietnam (2015-2016), Luong has been on a mission to share his appreciation for food with the world.

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