How To Thicken Tomato Sauce For Pizza?

When it comes to perfecting homemade pizza, one crucial element is the tomato sauce. But if you’re tired of facing the problem of how to thicken tomato sauce for pizza, don’t worry – you’re not alone. 

In this blog post, we’ll share some tried and tested techniques related to tomato sauce for pizza so you can achieve that perfect balance of flavors and textures in every slice. 

Say goodbye to runny sauces and hello to scrumptious pizzas!

Description Of Tomato Sauce For Pizza

Tomato sauce for pizza is a flavorful blend that often includes a mix of ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs, garlic, and onions. The sauce’s distinct flavor profile can range from subtly sweet to intensely savory, determined by the variety of tomatoes and herbs used.

While the flavor of the tomato sauce is essential, its consistency also plays a vital role in the overall pizza experience. Let’s learn some signs of ideal consistency:

1. The sauce maintains a robust and vibrant red color, indicating a good concentration of tomatoes.

2. A thick consistency that nicely coats the back of a spoon without dripping too quickly.

3. The sauce retains its shape when spooned onto a plate, indicating it isn’t overly watery.

4. A balanced blend of flavors with no single ingredient overpowering the rest.

5. The sauce does not separate into liquid and solids after sitting for a while.

6. It spreads evenly on the pizza dough without soaking into it.

7. The sauce maintains its texture and consistency even when cooked at high pizza oven temperatures.

What Causes Watery Tomato Sauce?

Several factors can lead to a watery tomato sauce:

1. Excess water in the tomatoes: Some varieties of tomatoes naturally contain more water than others. Using these can make your sauce watery.

2. Insufficient cooking time: Tomato sauce needs ample time to simmer so that excess moisture can evaporate. Cutting short the cooking time can leave you with a thin sauce.

3. Adding extra liquids: Adding too much wine, broth, or water to your sauce can dilute it.

4. Not draining canned tomatoes: If you’re using canned tomatoes and don’t drain them properly, the excess liquid can result in a watery sauce.

5. Rush in blending: Blending the sauce immediately after cooking can lead to a watery consistency. Allowing it to cool first can help thicken it up.

6. Lack of thickening agents: Not using any thickening agents like tomato paste or starch can result in a thinner sauce.

But don’t worry, we have various ways to turn this watery tomato sauce into just the right consistency. Read the next part!

How To Thicken Tomato Sauce For Pizza?

Let’s delve into the practical steps on how to thicken tomato sauce for pizza, ensuring a well-structured, flavorful base for your homemade pies.

1. Cook It Down

One of the most straightforward methods to thicken your tomato sauce is simply to let it simmer for a longer period. This process allows the excess water to evaporate, leaving behind a thicker, more concentrated sauce.

Start by leaving your sauce to simmer on a low heat uncovered. Keep an eye on the sauce to ensure it doesn’t burn, stirring occasionally to help evaporate the excess water evenly.

If your sauce typically cooks for 20 minutes, try extending the cooking time to about an hour.

2. Add Cheese

Cheese not only adds a depth of flavor to your sauce but also acts as a fantastic thickening agent. Parmesan cheese is an excellent choice because it melts well and blends into the sauce, giving it a thicker, creamier texture.

To use cheese as a thickening agent:

– Grate it finely before adding it to your sauce

– Add a small amount at a time, stirring until all the cheese has melted into the sauce before adding more.

This method of thickening is ideal if you want a thicker sauce and don’t mind a slightly cheesy flavor profile.

3. Add Cream

The cream is an excellent thickening agent that also adds a touch of richness to your tomato sauce. It’s particularly useful when you’re aiming for a creamier texture and a milder flavor.

To use cream, simply stir in a splash of heavy cream, half-and-half, or even whole milk into your sauce, and let it simmer for a few minutes. The fat in the cream will help bind the sauce together, increasing its thickness.

But remember, the addition of cream changes the flavor profile of your sauce, so it might not be the best choice if you’re aiming for a traditional, tangy tomato sauce.

4. Add Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is essentially concentrated tomatoes, which makes it an excellent choice if you want to thicken your sauce without altering its flavor too much. When added to tomato sauce, the paste increases its viscosity and richness.

Simply stir in a tablespoon or two into your sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes. The paste will be incorporated into the sauce, thickening it and enhancing its tomato flavor.

Be cautious not to add too much at once; instead, add gradually while tasting to ensure you maintain the desired flavor balance.

5. Use a Roux Or a Slurry

A roux or a slurry can serve as a reliable thickening agent for your tomato sauce. Here’s how to use them:

5.1 Roux

– Melt butter in a separate pan, then add an equal amount of flour.

– Stir until the mixture forms a paste

– Add it to your sauce, stirring continuously to ensure it’s evenly distributed. The roux will thicken the sauce as it cooks.

5.2 Slurry

– Combine equal parts of cold water and starch in a separate bowl.

– Mix until the starch is fully dissolved, then add the slurry to the sauce.

– Stir constantly until the sauce thickens.

Remember, when adding either a roux or a slurry, add a small amount at a time, allowing the sauce to simmer for a few minutes before adding more.

The Step-By-Step Procedure To Make a Thick Tomato Pizza Sauce

Creating a deliciously thick tomato sauce for your homemade pizza is easy and rewarding. This guide will help you achieve the perfect consistency and flavor for your pizza sauce:

Start with key ingredients:

– Minced garlic clove

– 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes)

– 2 tbsp of olive oil

– ½ tbsp of sugar

– ½ tsp of dried oregano

– 1 tsp of dried basil

– 6 oz. can of tomato paste

– A pinch of crushed hot pepper

– ¾ tsp of salt

– Black pepper to taste

Cooking Process:

– Step 1: In a saucepan, heat olive oil and cook minced garlic until it’s soft.

– Step 2: Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, oregano, basil, tomato paste, salt, hot pepper, and black pepper.

– Step 3: Stir the mixture well, cover the saucepan, and let it simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

Adjust the ingredients as needed to fit your taste. This method is perfect for the way to thicken tomato sauce for pizza, offering a rich, flavorful sauce.

Practices For Storing Thickened Tomato Sauce

Storing your thickened tomato sauce properly is essential to maintain its freshness and flavor. Here are a few tips on how to store your sauce:

1. Allow the Sauce to Cool

Before storing your thickened tomato sauce, it’s crucial to let it cool down first. Placing a hot sauce directly into the refrigerator can raise the overall temperature, which can potentially lead to food spoilage.

Also, a sudden temperature change might affect the texture of your thickened sauce. Allow the sauce to cool at room temperature, but aim for no longer than two hours to maintain food safety.

2. Refrigerate

Once the sauce has cooled, it’s time to store it in the fridge. Pour the sauce into an airtight container or a jar with a tight seal to maintain freshness.

The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. However, if you notice any signs of mold or an odor, it’s best to discard it.

Always use a clean spoon when taking out some sauce to avoid introducing bacteria.

3. Freeze

If you won’t be using all the sauce within a week, freezing is an optimal way to extend its shelf life. To freeze your sauce, follow these steps:

– Step 1: Divide the sauce into portions. This not only helps in easy thawing but also ensures you only defrost the amount you need.

– Step 2: Pour each portion into a freezer-safe container or bag. Allow some room at the upper part since the sauce will enlarge as it freezes.

– Step 3: Seal the containers or bags securely and label them with the date before putting them in the freezer. The sauce can be frozen for up to 4 – 6 months for optimal flavor but is safe to eat beyond this time if stored properly.

4. Thaw Safely

Thawing your frozen tomato sauce correctly is vital to ensure it’s safe to eat and retains its flavor and texture. Here’s how to do it:

– Step 1: Move the frozen sauce from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. This gradual thawing method aids in preserving the quality of the sauce.

– Step 2: If you’re in a hurry, you can immerse the sealed container in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the sauce is thawed.

– Step 3: Another quick method is using the defrost function on your microwave. If you choose this method, be sure to stir the sauce every couple of minutes to ensure even thawing.

– Step 4: Once thawed, reheat the sauce over low heat on the stove, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a safe temperature of 165°F. Remember to consume thawed sauce within 2-3 days and never refreeze thawed sauce for safety reasons.


In the quest for the perfect pizza, mastering the art of thickening tomato sauce is a game-changer. This guide on how to thicken tomato sauce for pizza equips you with the know-how to elevate your homemade pizza experience.

Remember, the thickness of your sauce can define the overall texture and taste of your pizza. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, these tips and techniques offer the versatility to suit any palate.

So, the next time you’re in the kitchen, remember these insights and transform your pizza into a culinary masterpiece.

Happy cooking!

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