Home Substitutes 10 Best Pizza Sauce Alternatives (Easy Swaps)

10 Best Pizza Sauce Alternatives (Easy Swaps)

Out of ‘za sauce? Try one of these tasty pizza sauce alternatives! 

Homemade pizza is one of my favorite dinners. After all, who can resist that perfectly-baked, tomato-y, gooey, cheesy pie? Yum.

10 Best Pizza Sauce Alternatives (Easy Swaps) featuring Homemade Pizza Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil with Pizza Dough and Cheese in the Background
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

Typically, pizza sauce is a pureed combination of tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and spices. And it is delicious. (Though some ARE better than others.)

But what if you are out of the tomato stuff? You are not out of luck. 

There are so many delicious pizza sauce alternatives available. And these substitutions are my absolute favorites. 

You may find that you like these swaps even better than the original!

Best Alternatives for Pizza Sauce

Here are 10 delicious alternatives you can spread on your pizza. From Alfredo to barbecue sauce, the options are endless. 

And so are the flavors!

I recommend you test out these flavors with a variety of meats and veggies on top. 

Who knows- you may give those big chain pizza places a run for their money!

After all, the best pizzas come with a labor of love and a little creativity.

So, what are you waiting for? Take a bite out of these fantastic pizza sauce alternatives!

A Bowl of Pesto Sauce on a Wooden Table with Fresh Basil and Nuts

1. Pesto Sauce

I will start with a classic Italian sauce- fresh pesto! Of course, you can buy premade pesto at local markets, but homemade is always better.

Though you might find several variations, there is one basic recipe. Pesto features fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, and olive oil. 

  1. Throw everything, but the oil, into a food processor and let it rip.
  2. As it pulses, add oil until you reach your desired consistency. 
    • You can add some sun-dried tomato for a bit of extra brightness.

When using pesto, I recommend going lighter than traditional sauce. Top with your favorite veggies and chicken for a tantalizing taste of Italy!

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.
A Bowl of Garlic Ranch Sauce with Thyme and Cucumber on Background on a Wooden Table

2. Garlic Ranch Sauce

Like dipping your pizza slice into ranch before digging in? Use ranch as the sauce, instead! 

Even better, use a garlic ranch sauce. It tastes fabulous with the melty mozzarella. 

You could use store-bought ranch or make your own with a simple recipe. 

A bit of mayo, garlic salt, onion powder, parsley, dill, and milk works wonders. Slather on as much as you like! 

Top it with chicken, bacon, spinach, mozzarella, and tomatoes, and this does not disappoint. #trustme

Bowl of Homemade Alfredo Sauce with Basil on a Wooden Table, Parmesan Cheese Spilled in Bottom Left Corner

3. Alfredo

Who doesn’t love a savory Alfredo sauce on their pizza? Most pizza places offer Alfredo as a sauce alternative and for good reason!

Its rich flavor pairs well with chicken. And many pizza places take advantage of that. I would, too! 

Cream, butter, and cheese create a delicious, indulgent, silky sauce.

Alfredo is a fantastic replacement for traditional red sauce if you want a more decadent flavor. 

Most toppings work well with Alfredo, but spinach and chicken are two of my faves.

A Bottle of Olive Oil Pouring on a Bowl and Fresh Olives on a Wooden Table

4. Olive Oil

Give Bianca pizza a try if you want to keep pizza night simple! Olive oil keeps it simple instead of relying on the sauce for flavor. 

It allows the other ingredients to shine but still adds a little something-something. Drizzle it over the dough, and you are good to go! 

I love the light flavor combined with mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and herbs. It is a lovely pizza sauce alternative. 

Use less olive oil compared to traditional pizza sauce. A light drizzle will be plenty for this sauce alternative!

A Bowl of Spicy Buffalo Sauce on a Wooden Table

5. Buffalo Sauce

Buffalo wings meet pizza. Who can resist the marrying of party favorites? Not me! 

If you like your food with a kick, try pizza made with buffalo sauce! Add a thin layer of sauce before adding cheese and other toppings. That’s the trick! 

Whether you opt for mild or spicy buffalo sauce, there are many toppings to match. 

Onions, jalapenos, and roasted chicken are some of my favorites for a buffalo wing-style pizza. But you can add whatever you like! 

Start with a little less sauce than you usually would. Adjust to taste. 

A Jar of Chimichurri Sauce on a Wooden Board with Parsley on the Side

6. Chimichurri Sauce

Sometimes pizza night encourages us to raid the fridge for festive toppings. Cue chimichurri sauce. 

Chimichurri is a bright and flavorful addition to pizza. Usually, it features peppers, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, garlic cloves, and lemon juice. 

(But it will still be tasty if you have a different recipe.)

Top your pizza with feta, arugula, and tender steak. These toppings provide a delicious contrast to the bright and acidic chimichurri.

You will not believe how tasty this alternative pizza sauce is until you try it!

Bowl of Black Olive Tapenade Garnished with a Black Olive on a Wooden Table and More Black Olives on the Side

7. Tapenade

Are you the person who always asks for extra olives on your pizza? Try using tapenade for the sauce instead! 

This delicious olive paste adds a unique flavor to your pizza in no time.

With various olives out there, tapenade comes in several flavors, too! Because of this, I recommend going light on the sauce before topping.

You can always add more on top before serving.

A Bowl of Ricotta Cheese with Mint Leaf on Top on a Wooden Table

8. Ricotta Cheese

Okay, I know what you are thinking. Who replaces pizza sauce with more cheese? 

But hear me out. Ricotta is a flexible cheese perfect for a DIY sauce alternative.

Combine it with herbs and spices, and ricotta creates a creamy and savory “sauce.” It is ideal for a light pizza. Topped with greens and mozzarella? 

*Chef’s kiss* Perfection.

Spread a thin layer of seasoned ricotta on the dough. Then load with mozzarella cheese and your favorite toppings.

A Bowl of Balsamic Glaze on White Background

9. Balsamic Glaze

If you enjoy a balsamic salad dressing, try balsamic glaze on pizza! Just use it in place of that tangy traditional red sauce.

The best way to do this is to make a balsamic glaze.

  1. Boil balsamic vinegar with honey or brown sugar.
  2. Cook until thick and caramelized. 

Drizzle the sauce lightly, using about half as much as traditional pizza sauce. 

This prevents too much tangy flavor that would overpower the pizza. 

Enjoy this pizza sauce alternative with a simple mozzarella and sliced tomato topping. 

Or maybe something fancier? Chicken, arugula, and peppers are yummy, too!

A Bowl of Barbecue Sauce with Herbs and Spices on a Wooden Table

10. Barbecue Sauce

It does not get much more American than a tasty barbecue-style pizza. 

By replacing pizza sauce with barbecue sauce, you deepen the flavor tenfold. 

Whichever BBQ sauce you use, it adds sweetness and spice. Perfect to partner with chicken and caramelized onions!

To make your own: 

  1. Combine tomato sauce, mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar in a pan. 
  2. Boil the mixture until thick and pasty. 

Spread a thin layer on the dough before adding cheese and toppings. 

10 Best Pizza Sauce Alternatives (Easy Swaps)

Out of pizza sauce? Try these delicious pizza sauce alternatives! With options from alfredo sauce to tapenade, you can still make one seriously tasty pie.


  • Pesto Sauce

  • Garlic Ranch Sauce

  • Alfredo

  • Olive Oil

  • Buffalo Sauce

  • Chimichurri Sauce

  • Tapenade

  • Ricotta Cheese

  • Balsamic Glaze

  • Barbecue Sauce


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious recipe with a pizza sauce alternative in 30 minutes or less!
Pizza Sauce Alternatives

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

Leave a Comment