How to Use Spaghetti Sauce as Pizza Sauce: The Right Way!

using spaghetti sauce that's been altered to become pizza sauce

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If you want to make a pizza, but you don’t have any pizza sauce to go on it, don’t worry. As long as you have spaghetti sauce, I’m going to tell you exactly how to use spaghetti sauce as pizza sauce! Using the steps below, you’ll be able to make a delicious pizza sauce using any spaghetti sauce you have!

How to use spaghetti sauce as pizza sauce? To use spaghetti sauce as pizza sauce, simmer the pasta sauce until it’s thicker and run it through a food processor. Don’t forget to add the spices listed below along with a dash of sugar.

If you’re not even 100 percent sure what the difference between spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce is, worry not, as I’ll explain. Then I’ll delve into how to make pasta sauce pizza-ready, so let’s get started!


What’s the Difference Between Spaghetti Sauce and Pizza Sauce, Anyway?

Spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce. At the end of the day, isn’t it all just marinara sauce anyway?

Far from it! Marinara sauce is actually yet a third type of sauce, but I won’t be getting into that today.

Although pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce are both made from tomatoes, there are some serious differences between them that I’ve listed below.


Pasta sauce is produced by crushing tomatoes. This increases the amount of water the sauce contains, leading to a thinner, runnier consistency.

Pizza sauce, on the other hand, is a combination of tomato paste and pureed tomatoes or tomato sauce. It’s a lot thicker.

After all, if pizza sauce was watery, then your homemade (or store-bought, nothing wrong with that!) pizza dough would get saturated very fast.

You’d end up with a soggy, limp, sad pie that makes frozen pizza look attractive. 

The thinness of pasta sauce is much more suitable for cooking spaghetti. 

The sauce thickens when simmering but still remains thin enough that the entire bag of pasta can get adequately coated in the sauce. 


Considering how both spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce are made, naturally, there are differences in the texture of the two sauces as well. 

Pizza sauce is the smoother of the two. This makes sense considering you spread the sauce thinly on an uncooked disc of dough. 

Chunks of tomato aren’t an everyday sight in pizza sauce, yet the sauce remains moderately grainy. 

Spaghetti sauce regularly has chunks, as this adds to the visual appeal and mouthfeel of eating a big dish of pasta. 


As I said before, both pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce are tomato-based, but that’s where the similarities end. The two sauces each contain more different ingredients than you might think!

Pasta sauce is sparse on these additional ingredients, admittedly, but they are there. 

The sauce will contain dried oregano, pepper, salt, and rarely any other seasonings than that.

The reason? You may wish to put your own spin on spaghetti sauce according to your pasta recipe.

If you’re looking for a little help on dressing up your spaghetti sauce, you should read my article titled: How to Make Store-Bought Spaghetti Sauce Better.

If the sauce was already too bogged down with spices, then that would leave you with a lot less room to explore your own culinary tastes and creations. 

Pizza sauce, comparatively, contains far more ingredients. The sauce will include all the basics like dried oregano as well as onion powder, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning. 

These flavors meld together and make each bite absolutely delectable.

The main difference in ingredients between spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce is the inclusion of sugar in the latter. That’s right, sugar!

If you’ve ever noticed that pizza sauce tastes noticeably sweeter than spaghetti sauce, it’s not been your imagination all this time. Spaghetti sauce does not have sugar in it. 

The reason that pizza sauce contains sugar is to add some tang to it. Sugar also plays well with the oils and fats in pizza cheese.

How to Convert Pasta Sauce into Pizza Sauce

Now that you understand the differences between spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce, the two sauces may seem more disparate than ever.

Don’t despair, though! If you accidentally bought spaghetti sauce instead of pizza sauce, or if pasta sauce is all you have, you can successfully use spaghetti sauce as pizza sauce.

Here’s how!

Blend the Spaghetti Sauce in a Food Processor or Blender

You’ll recall that pizza sauce is smooth whereas spaghetti sauce can be rather chunky. 

To prevent coarse pieces of tomato from popping up in every other bite when making a homemade pizza from scratch with pasta sauce, it’s a blender to the rescue.

You can also use a food processor for this job, whichever you have handy.

All you need to do is pour the sauce into the food processor or blender and then pulse. 

My tip to you is this – pulse for a few seconds at a time, stop, and then check the consistency of the sauce.

You can always pulse for a few more seconds as needed, but you can’t make those grounded chunks of tomato come back. 

Thicken on the Stovetop

The difference in thickness between spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce is one of the primary reasons why a jar of pasta sauce just doesn’t work on pizza as is.

You must make the spaghetti sauce thicker or else, as I said before, you’ll end up with a soggy, watery, runny pizza pie. No one wants that!

You have two fast options for thickening up pasta sauce, and the first is to use your stovetop. 

Pour the spaghetti sauce into a saucepan and set the heat on your stovetop to a simmer only. You’re not trying to burn the sauce, just thicken it. 

What’s happening is that the simmering process is boiling off the water content in the sauce so your spaghetti sauce will be less runny. 

Be sure to stir consistently as you go to prevent burning. About every five minutes, check the sauce’s consistency to see if it’s getting thicker.

It can take a few minutes, but the sauce will eventually thicken. 

Once it does, take the saucepan off the heat, turn off your stovetop, let the spaghetti sauce cool a little, and then spread it on your pizza dough. 

You can also store it and keep it for later. 

Or Use Tomato Paste for Thickening 

If you just don’t have the time to thicken up spaghetti sauce on the stove because you have guests coming in 20 minutes and they’re expecting a homemade pizza in the oven, here’s a little trick.

Earlier, I mentioned how pizza sauce is made using pureed tomatoes and tomato paste while spaghetti sauce does not use tomato paste.

Well, now it can. If you have a can of tomato paste handy, you can stir it into the tomato sauce in a saucepan, no heat required. 

Make sure you mix the tomato paste thoroughly into the sauce for best results. 

Add Spices and Sugar 

By now, the consistency of your spaghetti sauce-turned-pizza sauce is right, but the ingredients aren’t.

Pasta sauce goes light on the spices whereas pizza sauce does not.

Since you can already trust that the spaghetti sauce contains pepper, salt, and oregano, you only need to add Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and onion powder.

Oh, and the sugar, we can’t forget that.

I would recommend starting with a pinch of sugar, tasting it, and then adding more until the flavor of the spaghetti sauce tastes more like pizza sauce.

The sugar will downplay the presence of the salt in the spaghetti sauce if you have the right amount in there, trust me. 

Can You Convert Pizza Sauce into Spaghetti Sauce? 

Thanks to the information in this article, you were able to make pizza sauce from spaghetti sauce and no one ever knew the difference.

However, that had you curious about something. If you can convert spaghetti sauce into pizza sauce, does the opposite work as well?

It can indeed, yes! Here’s how to make jarred pizza sauce into spaghetti sauce.

Mix in Water

Pizza sauce in its default state is too thick to be used as spaghetti sauce, so your first order of business is thinning its consistency.

To do that, pour the pizza sauce into a saucepan. 

Take pasta water (ideally) or pure water and pour it into the pizza sauce a little at a time, stirring as you go.

If the sauce is too watery, it won’t be very usable, so it’s better to add less water than it is more. You only need enough to get the consistency correct.

Add Salt

Pizza sauce might be rife with sugar, but it doesn’t usually contain salt by default.

Take a dash of salt, stir it through the thinned sauce, and taste. 

If you’re happy with the flavor, then move on. If you don’t like it, then add a dash more salt until the taste of the sauce is more to your liking.

Boil the Sauce

Adding salt alone is not going to downplay the presence of sugar in pizza sauce. 

Since spaghetti sauce contains no sugar, it’s best to boil the sugar right out of the pizza sauce. 

Turn the heat to a simmer setting, allow the sauce to heat up, and keep stirring. 

After several minutes, sample the sauce. If the sugary flavor is harder to detect or even impossible to detect, you can turn the heat off.

Your pizza sauce is now officially spaghetti sauce! 

Thank you for sharing!

Catherine Cruzz

I first fell in love with all things kitchen when I was growing up and working alongside my father in Florida at our family's appliance service and installation company. Many years later, and thousands of miles away from family I was enjoying a wonderful experience at a culinary school in Pennsylvania. That’s when I realized that along with my passion for holidays and cooking, I was still just as interested in the appliances, kitchenware, and cookware that I grew up around.

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