Pizza is the ultimate comfort food and it is so easy to find yourself binging on one-too-many pieces. You can find hundreds of different styles of pizzas around the world.
With all the new twists on ingredients and toppings showing up, one of the most common ingredients used to make a pizza remains – tomato sauce. But what if you’re allergic or tomatoes just aren’t your thing?
What are the best pizza sauces without tomatoes? The best pizza sauces without tomatoes include barbeque sauce, pesto, caramelized onions, béchamel, hummus, ranch dressing, and even garlic olive oil.
It really all comes down to the tastes you enjoy and what toppings you like. Stick with us to learn more about these sauces and how you can use them next time you want to spice up your pizza experience.
Best Pizza Sauces Without Tomato
To help you decide which tomatoless sauces to try next, here is a breakdown of all the best ones to try!
Pesto is a classic option for those who want something different and a little more fresh-tasting on their pizza. It’s especially good for veggie pizzas with mozzarella, as the flavors blend perfectly.
The most popular pesto to use on a pizza is basil pesto. It’s readily available from most stores, but it does always taste so much fresher when you make it yourself.
Basil Pesto Recipe
- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
- Place the basil and your chosen type of nut in a food processor and pulse.
- Add in the garlic and the parmesan cheese and pulse several times, scraping the side of the food processor between pulses.
- Slowly pour in the olive oil while the food processor is running. Add it in slowly to prevent it from separating.
- Stir in the salt and black pepper.
This classic pesto recipe is easy to make up, and you can spread it over a prepared pizza base and top with your favorite toppings for an incredibly fresh-tasting pizza!
The most popular toppings used for a pesto pizza are mozzarella, feta, bell peppers, and olives. There are some pesto options other than basil, which are worth trying as well.
These include sun-dried tomato pesto, walnut pesto, pistachio pesto, and parsley and anchovy pesto. You can experiment with different pesto variants to see which you enjoy on pizza the most. Most of them can be made at home.
2. Caramelized Onions
Using caramelized onions as a sauce for pizza is really thinking out of the box. It does not have the same saucy consistency as tomato sauce or even pesto, but it is a great option to use in place of tomatoes.
When onions are slowly cooked, they start becoming caramelized. This leads to a sweet yet savory taste and soft onions that melt in your mouth.
Knowing how to caramelize onions is such a great skill to have in the kitchen, and it does help offer up an alternative pizza topping for when you want something a little different.
You really don’t need much to make caramelized onions, and the process is easy enough to follow.
Carmelized Onions Recipe
- Canola oil
- White balsamic vinegar
- Slice or dice the onions.
- Heat the oil and butter in a pan and add in the onion slices. You will need 1tsp of oil and butter mix per onion.
- Spread the onions out and let them be coated with the oil evenly.
- Reduce heat to medium-low so that the onions do not burn.
- Let them simmer for ten minutes and then add in the salt.
- Leave to cook for around 30 minutes, stirring every now and then. You need to leave them to cook long enough to brown, but not long enough to stick to the pan. Add more oil and butter if needed.
Continue to cook the onions until they are a rich, brown color. You can then add some balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan and add some extra flavor.
These caramelized onions are slightly saucy, and do add some moisture and amazing flavor to a pizza base!
3. Béchamel or Alfredo Sauce
For a simple pizza sauce option, béchamel, or white sauce, is a good choice. For all those who love to spend time in the kitchen, making a béchamel sauce is a skill that should absolutely be part of your toolbox.
Béchamel can be used to make more complex sauces or to add to different dishes, like lasagna with béchamel and ricotta.
However, when making a béchamel sauce for a pizza, you can keep it simple and only add in a few different flavors that you like or experiment and create something flavorful and unique.
To make béchamel, all you’ll need is to make a roux using flour and butter, then gradually add in milk while whisking.
It will cook down to the right consistency and you can add cheese, salt, pepper, and other seasonings to make the perfect white sauce to top on a pizza.
Another popular option is to use alfredo sauce, especially if you’re making a pizza with chicken, bacon, spinach, or cream cheese. It doesn’t just taste fantastic on pasta, it gives pizza an extra creamy consistency with a tasty kick of garlic.
It makes sense that because hummus is so delicious on pita bread, that it would be just as delicious on pizza. Hummus can either be bought from the store, or you can easily whip some up at home.
Hummus is a great option for adding some extra protein and nutrients to pizza and it tastes especially delicious when the pizza is also topped with olives, onions, peppers, and feta cheese.
- 1 can chickpeas
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice or 1 large lemon
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons water
- Add the tahini and the lemon juice into a food processor and process for a minute.
- Add in the olive oil, garlic, cumin, and salt. Process for 30 seconds.
- Drain the chickpeas. Add half to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides, add the remaining chickpeas, and process until thick and smooth.
- If the hummus is too thick, add in a little bit of water until it is the right consistency.
It is better to keep the hummus slightly thick when using it for pizza, so it does not make the pizza base soggy, and so that it is easier to spread. You can add in some paprika as well if you want to give the pizza a smokier flavor.
5. Ranch Dressing
In North America, ranch dressing has long been the perfect dipping sauce for pizza, so it’s not hard to imagine that it would make a great substitute for tomato sauce as well.
Ranch dressing adds a delightful creaminess to pizza with a tangy edge that elevates the other flavors present and creates for a unique experience.
However, you don’t have to stop there. While regular ranch pizza will certainly be enough to satisfy your pizza craving, there are many other flavors of ranch you can try with your pizza for an extra burst of flavor.
Here are a few ranch flavors that work great on pizza:
Ranch sauce is often used as a dip for pizza, so you can cut out the middle man and spread the ranch sauce straight onto the base instead!
Other creamy dressings, though less popular, work as dips and substitutes as well, including creamy Italian, Southwest, green goddess, and Caesar dressing.
You can choose to make your own ranch sauce, but it definitely helps to have a bottle or two stored in the fridge for when you need a fuss-free sauce for a pizza.
6. Garlic and Olive Oil
If you are looking for a subtle and light pizza sauce, we recommend a simple combination of garlic and olive oil.
You can drizzle some beautiful golden olive oil over the pizza and sprinkle some freshly chopped garlic on top. Keeping it simple is best, so top it off with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar.
This works best with light tasting toppings like mozzarella, chicken, arugula, and tomatoes (if you’re okay with tomatoes on top of your pizza instead of lurking underneath).
If you want more substance, you could add in some caramelized onions to the pizza. This is an amazing combination, which is completely free from tomato.
You can use many different ingredients, as the garlic and olive oil are not overpowering and go well with many flavors.
Honorable Mention – Barbecue Sauce
Barbecue sauce actually does contain tomato paste, and anyone who is avoiding tomatoes for issues of food sensitivity should still stay away from this option.
However, we can’t end this article without mentioning this delicious substitute for tomato sauce. If you’re just not a fan of the taste of tomato, you won’t have to worry because the ingredients of BBQ sauce completely mask it.
It is both sweet and tangy and brings a great smokey flavor and a little bit of spice to the rest of the pizza.
Tomato paste is also not the same as tomato sauce, and there won’t be any tomato chunks in your BBQ sauce.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can make your own barbecue sauce. The beauty of it is that you can really play with the ingredients and ratios to make a barbecue sauce suited to your personal tastes.
The basic ingredients of a barbecue sauce are:
- Red pepper flakes
- Brown sugar
- Tomato paste
These can be mixed together and even cooked with some olive oil to make a rich, smoky sauce, but once again you can play around with the ingredients.
For those who do not want to make their own barbecue sauce, you could buy a bottle of barbecue sauce to keep in the fridge to easily whip up a delicious pizza.
Recommended: Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce
Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce is an original recipe that is loved by many.
The smoky, sweet sauce is amazing to use as a dip, in meals, or on pizzas.
It adds a whole new dimension of flavor and really is one of the best barbecue sauces to keep stocked in your pantry.
Recommended: Open Pit Barbecue Sauce
This authentic spicy blend is made with a vinegar-based red sauce, which has that traditional barbecue taste.
It is an essential ingredient to keep in your pantry for all your outdoor grilling sessions and homemade pizzas.
It offers a quick and easy base for your pizza in next to no time. Barbecue sauce gives the pizza a smoky taste and a sweet flavor that pairs so well with many different toppings.
Pizza Sauce Vs Pasta Sauce – What’s the Difference?
Pizza sauce is uncooked tomato sauce, whereas pasta sauce is cooked. Pasta sauce is usually slow-simmered and contains more herbs, such as basil.
Pasta sauce is also sweeter, richer, and has a deeper flavor than pizza sauce. It is there to give flavor to the pasta, while pizza sauce is just used as a base for the other ingredients which end up stealing the show.
Pizza sauce is quicker and easier to make than pasta sauce.
Can I Use Ketchup Instead of Pizza Sauce?
As much as it pains us to say this, yes, you can technically use ketchup as an alternative to pizza sauce. However, just because you can use ketchup in place of pizza sauce, does not mean that you should.
Ketchup is too sweet and devoid of robust, garlic and herb flavors, so it should only be used on pizza when you are completely out of options and have no other pizza sauce substitutes.
If this is the case, we recommend adding extra ingredients such as Italian seasoning and oregano, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic to make it a bit more similar to pizza sauce.
Can You Freeze Homemade Pizza Sauce?
Yes, you can freeze pizza sauce. It is a good idea to make a big batch of pizza sauce at home and then freeze single portions to use at a later stage.
This saves you having to make the pizza sauce from scratch later on, and gives you easy access to amazing pizza sauce, ready to be used in next to no time.
It is best to leave the frozen pizza sauce to sit in the fridge overnight to thaw, but if you do not have time to do that, you can place it in warm water to thaw through in a short period.
You can then spread it on the pizza, top it with ingredients, and cook it as usual.
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