Our Pros Found the Best Store-Bought Pizza Sauce Brands

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Making pizza at home? After testing 10 brands, our Test Kitchen found the best store-bought pizza sauce options for your at-home pizza parties.

Pizza Sauce In PackagingTaste of Home

Sure, everyone loves a good delivery pizza here and there, but making your own pizza at home is just way more satisfying—plus you can get the toppings just right.

To make your pizza nights really exceptional, you need quality ingredients—including mozzarella cheese, crust and sauce. Sauce from scratch is delicious, but you don’t always have the time to stir up a batch of homemade (though if you do, we recommend this five-star pizza sauce recipe). That’s when you reach for a jar or can of store-bought pizza sauce!

But do you know which sauce will really make your homemade pizzas good enough to rival your favorite pizza joint?

Looking for the Best Store-Bought Pizza Sauce

Our Pros Found The Best Store Bought Pizza Sauce Brandstaste of home

There are so many pizza sauce brands out there, so our Test Kitchen had to do some research to find the best. We looked at popular brands and then put them head-to-head in a blind tasting.

For this test, each sauce was sampled atop a pizza crust with just a sprinkle of cheese; think of it as a pared-down version of the pizzas you’d make at home. Our testers really wanted to appreciate the nuances of each sauce and see how they’d hold up to basic pizza components. Our team also kept these criteria in mind.

  • Flavor: Does the sauce taste of fresh tomatoes? Is it properly salted? What other herbs and spices have been added, and how do they taste? Is the sauce something you’d enjoy on pizza?
  • Texture: What is the texture of the sauce like? Is it smooth or a bit more rustic? Is it thick enough for spreading across pizza dough or is it a bit thinner like a marinara?
  • Appearance: We know that all these sauces will be covered with cheese and plenty of toppings, but our Test Kitchen still wanted a sauce that looked delicious. So, is the sauce tempting? Bright red? Are there any flecks of herbs or seasonings?

Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Pizza Sauces

After eating 10 pieces of pizza, our Test Kitchen decided on the four brands that would have them going back for another slice.

Best Pizza Sauce Overall: Rao’s Homemade Pizza Sauce

Rao’s Pizza Sauce In Jar, In Small Bowl, On PizzaTaste of Home

Want a sauce that reminds you of your favorite fancy pizzeria? That store-bought sauce is Rao’s.

Rao’s (also the maker of our Test Kitchen’s favorite marinara sauce) tasted the freshest and most homemade of any of the nine other options in this test. Is there any higher praise than that? When it comes to any store-bought item, we’re all craving scratch-made taste.

What made Rao’s really stand out was the fresh tomato flavor as well as oregano and garlic. All these ingredients were visible in the sauce—even a few tomato seeds which made this brand feel like the real deal. Our Test Kitchen team also noticed some hints of olive oil as well which gave the sauce a great taste and good texture.

This sauce stands out and won’t get lost—even with a great homemade crust and fresh mozzarella.

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Best for Basil Fanatics: Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce

Classico Pizza Sauce In Jar, In Small Bowl And On Pizza SlicesTaste of Home

Is Margherita pizza your go-to? Well, basil-lover, you’ll want Classico Traditional Pizza Sauce for your next pizza night.

Classico’s take on pizza sauce had a thick, rich texture and a deep red color that our Test Kitchen staff really appreciated. What was most notable, however, was the herb-forwardness of this sauce. Basil was the most prominent taste (outside of the jammy tomato flavor). Our crew also detected a great balance of oregano and black pepper. No tweaks needed to this sauce! Just grab a good pizza crust—try these healthy cauliflower picks—and get cooking.

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Best Organic Option: Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce

Muir Glen Pizza Sauce In Can, Sin Small Bowl And On PizzaTaste of Home

If you prefer to eat organic, try Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce. This sauce was packed with robust tomato flavor—almost as if the sauce was reduced a bit to really amp up the taste of the produce. But tomato isn’t the only flavor you’ll find inside this can. Testers noticed a great balance of garlic as well.

Muir Glen’s pizza sauce was thicker than most we tried, but this is in no way a drawback. Our Test Kitchen thought the thicker texture of this sauce made it ideal for spreading across a homemade crust.

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Best Plain Pizza Sauce: Pomi Pizza Sauce

Pomi Pizza Sauce In Can, In Small Bowl And On PizzaTaste of Home

We get it: Even when you buy premade ingredients, you still want to personalize them. If you’re looking for a pizza sauce to serve as a great foundation for your favorite herb and spice blends, get Pomi Pizza Sauce.

This pizza sauce had a great, tangy tomato flavor that alone was exceptionally pleasing. It had testers thinking of fresh Roma tomatoes from the garden. The herbs in this sauce, though, were a bit milder. This works great if you plan to layer on a lot of additional flavors in your pizza or prefer to add fresh herbs from your garden to the sauce. Simply put: Pomi is the perfect canvas.

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How to Use Store-Bought Pizza Sauce

When it comes to jarred pizza sauce, the recipes we think of first are all for homemade pizza—and that’s great! There are so many delicious homemade pizza recipes that you can make right now with this shortcut.

But don’t feel like you’ve got to limit yourself to just pizza with this sauce. Use one of our Test Kitchen-Preferred brands to make a tasty casserole, stromboli or sloppy joes.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.