Pizza sauce is the main binding flavor on your pizza, meaning it blends all the best flavors from the toppings, cheese, and crust. That is why it is important to get the right pizza sauce consistency.
The pizza sauce also affects the crust of your pizza greatly if it does not have the right consistency.
If it is too thick, it might weigh down on the crust and it can make it soggy if it’s too wet.
Pizza sauce in a jar is usually a good consistency of pizza sauce and if you are using uncooked tomato sauce then there is a high chance you will have a thin pizza sauce depending on the tomatoes you use.
If you use a classic Italian pizza sauce recipe that uses good quality tomatoes then you are good with a nice marinara sauce but if the tomato quality is different then you might need tips on how to thicken pizza sauce.
Is pizza sauce thick or thin depends on if you are using a homemade pizza sauce or store-bought pizza sauce.
If your pizza sauce is too watery, the moisture can seep down to the crust of the pizza and make it soggy when cooked. It will also not blend too well with the cheese and the pizza toppings.
Compared to your regular tomato sauce or red sauce, pizza sauce is a bit thicker. This helps you spread it evenly on the pizza so it can mix all the other flavors you get from the other ingredients.
Pizza sauce can be thin or thick so you need to adjust that to get a better result on your pizza. Although smooth, the texture of pizza sauce should still have some of the tomato bits in it.
If you are starting out with pizza-making at home, then you should know what the right pizza sauce consistency should look like to perfect your next pizza night. That is what I will be sharing with you in this post.
Get your fresh tomatoes ready or other pizza sauces and prepare your dough as we get through the details you should know about your pizza sauce and how you can improve the desired consistency.
What Is Pizza Sauce?
When you compare pizza sauce vs. spaghetti sauce, the main difference is the thick consistency of the pizza sauce without much water content.
The reason behind this is to allow it to spread evenly throughout the pizza dough. The slightly thicker consistency also helps in making the crust crispier as there is less moisture in the sauce.
Pizza sauce is still based on fresh tomatoes and it is seasoned with different spices. These spices can also help make the pizza sauce thicker so you should be careful what to add to the sauce.
The fresh tomatoes used in the pizza sauce are usually blended together or pureed with a food processor. This gives the pizza sauce the thick consistency that you want in order for it to blend with the toppings.
You should be careful with how you puree or blend the tomatoes so that they do not get too thin or burst with tomato juice. You still need some of the chunks that keep the moisture out of the pizza crust.
The seasoning should also be mild but tangy enough to counter the oil and creamy flavor of the cheese on your pizza. It helps neutralize the robust flavors so you get a consistent taste on the pizza.
The basic ingredients for seasoning a good pizza sauce are fresh herbs like fresh basil, fresh minced garlic cloves/garlic powder, black pepper, Italian seasoning (optional), and salt.
Is Pizza Sauce Supposed To Be Thick?
The short answer here is yes, you do need the pizza sauce to be thick. The thick sauce will help blend the best flavors of the pizza while also preventing the pizza crust from becoming soggy.
There are solutions to how you can thicken pizza sauce in case the pizza sauce is thin.
If you are using marinara sauce then I would also share my hacks on how to thicken the marinara sauce for pizza.
The notion that pizza sauce should be thick can mislead some beginners to think that they should make pizza sauces that are too thick. A pizza sauce that is too thick can ruin your pizza.
If you need to scoop out the pizza sauce from the dough, then it is too thick. That means that you need to make the thinner pizza sauce by improving the moisture content of the sauce.
The right consistency of your pizza sauce should be thick enough for the dough to not become soggy but also wet enough so that the cheese can blend well with the pizza sauce when cooked.
Some cheeses might not melt so you do need to make sure that you have the desired consistency on your pizza sauce. That means that there are different thicknesses on the pizza sauce you use.
If the pizza sauce creates puddles of water when you spread it on the pizza sauce, then this is a clear sign that the pizza sauce is too wet and you need to thicken the sauce before using it.
In this post, I would be sharing hacks on how to thicken pizza sauce that would help you get the perfect homemade pizza.
How Thick Should Pizza Sauce Be?
There are a lot of types of sauce that you can use for different types of pizzas. That means that you cannot get a universal measurement of how thick should pizza sauce be.
For tomato-based pizza sauce that is used in most regular pizzas, the consistency you are looking for is like a dip that has very small chunks of tomatoes from when it is pureed in a food processor.
Some other types of pizza sauce used for pizzas like pesto sauce are more on the oily part. You cannot really control the consistency of it so you need to limit the amount that you put on your pizza.
New York-style pizza uses a slightly watery pizza sauce but it is still thick. What I mean by that is the pizza gets to have a pizza sauce that can be easily spread and somehow makes the crust bend.
For other types of pizza like the Chicago deep-dish pizza, the pizza sauce used for it is pretty thick. The pizza sauce has another function of protecting the other ingredients so it needs to be thick.
Authentic Neapolitan pizzas use a pizza sauce like the New York-style pizza. It should be thick but not too thick that it might weigh down on the pizza crust, you also need to use just a thin layer of it on the pizza.
If you compare marinara sauce to pizza sauce, you will find that pizza sauce is thicker than marinara. There are some solutions as to how you can thicken the marinara sauce for your pizza.
Why Is My Pizza Sauce Watery?
There are many reasons why your pizza sauce is watery. The most common reason is when you blend the tomatoes too much that you extract all of the moisture kept in the tomatoes.
Blending or pureeing the tomatoes too much will exhaust all the water inside them. This can result in a watery pizza sauce where you will start to see a puddle of water on top of the sauce.
If you are making your best homemade pizza sauce recipe with San Marzano tomatoes,the best tomatoes for pizza, make sure not to blend them too smoothly. The perfect pizza sauce should not be too smooth.
If you leave the pizza sauce too long without seasoning it, then it can also cause it to become watery. Too much seasoning can also cause it to become watery so it is all about balance.
See, when you put salt on the fresh tomato puree, the salt starts to extract the water from the tomato chunks. This can cause the pizza sauce to become watery after just a few minutes.
That is why I recommend using garlic salt instead of pure sea salt on your pizza sauce. It can slow down the process and not exhaust the tomatoes of the water that they contain within them.
This is some of the effective ways of how you can thicken your pizza sauce.
Raw pizza sauce can be too watery for some so the solution is to cook the pizza sauce. Some may argue that you should not be cooking the pizza sauce before putting it on the pizza.
Should You Cook Pizza Sauce?
This is still an arguable topic and you can either cook or choose not to cook the pizza sauce that you have. Personally, I do not cook my pizza sauce but there is also nothing wrong with cooking it.
In fact, cooking the pizza sauce before you use it on your pizza can improve its consistency. I recommend cooking the pizza sauce when it is too watery to reduce the moisture content.
Making your own delicious pizza sauce recipe is great since it gives you the freedom to change, add, or remove ingredients that you want. That is why it is conventional to make easy pizza sauce at home.
Again, it is all about balance so you need to make sure that the pizza sauce is not overcooked or else, it can turn into a really bad paste that you will not be able to use on your pizza.
Fresh pizza sauce can give your pizza a tangier flavor that can counter some strong flavors from toppings such as cheese, pepperoni, sausages, and other cured cuts of meat.
If you want this flavor on your pizza, then you do not need to cook it. If you are leaning towards the more cooked flavor of the pizza, then you can let the pizza sauce simmer for about an hour.
The cooking process of pizza sauce should also be done with care and not use too much heat. The key is to let it simmer instead of letting it boil so that the fresh tomatoes do not burn and add a really bitter taste.
How Do I Make My Pizza Sauce Thicker?
There are several ways to make your pizza sauce thicker. I have listed down the possible options and you can choose which one you should do depending on how thick you want the sauce to be.
1. Drain The Liquid Content
Tomatoes are sometimes preserved in water, especially canned whole Roma tomatoes. You can discard the water by draining it from the can before adding the tomatoes to the blender or making tomato purees.
Wash the tomatoes but make sure to dry them as well once they are washed. Allow them to drain on a colander or place the tomatoes on a plate that is lined with paper towels or a clean cloth.
If you have bought a tomato sauce can and the tomatoes are crushed, just open the can, press the lid of the can inward, and then drain the water into your sink to remove excess moisture.
Do not worry if the liquid that comes out is red, it is inevitable but make sure that you press the lid in so that the tomato chunks do not fall off.
2. Simmer The Pizza Sauce
If you have drained the pizza sauce and you still think it is too watery, then you can churn it to remove the excess liquid. Keyword, simmer over low flames, not boil or cook the pizza sauce over high heat.
You just need to slowly release the water from the sauce so you do not need to boil or cook it over high temperatures. Just allow the water to naturally evaporate for the sauce to thicken.
This means that you will need to cook the pizza sauce on a pan over medium-low heat. This can take somewhere between 45 minutes up to an hour for the pizza sauce to reach the right consistency.
I have repeated this process many times and I think it is the best way to thicken your pizza sauce without changing the flavors too much.
This is one of the best ways on how you can thicken marinara sauce or just how you can thicken pizza sauce without any issues.
The fact that pizza sauce is thicker than marinara sauce means that you need to cook marinara a little longer than you would to thicken pizza sauce.
Cooking the sauce has some disadvantages as well. You will lose the fresh and tangy flavor of the fresh tomatoes while also reducing the nutritional value of the tomatoes the longer you cook them.
Once the pizza sauce has cooled down to room temperature, make sure to store them in an airtight and freezer-safe container or freezer bag to maintain the consistency of the pizza sauce.
3. Add Starch-y Ingredients
Perhaps the easiest way to make your pizza sauce thicker is to add ingredients. You do not need to cook it so it does not become less tangy plus you get to add the best flavors to the sauce.
These starchy ingredients should not affect the tomato flavor that much. That is what makes pizza lovers content with the flavor of the pizza.
Also, you do not need to add a lot of starch(cornstarch) powder to thicken the pizza sauce. Two-three pinches of hte starch powder are enough to thicken pizza sauce/ marinara sauce that is thin.
This is one of the easiest ways on how you can thicken pizza sauce and you can do it within a few minutes.
This is great when your pizza sauce is extremely thin and you cannot thicken it by just cooking it for a while.
Adding starchy ingredients to the pizza sauce will hugely improve the consistency of the sauce. It will also help achieve the best flavors that can combine really well with the crust and toppings.
The most common ingredient that you can add to your pizza sauce to thicken it is cornstarch. Even just a teaspoon of it can make the pizza sauce a lot thicker than it recently has been.
You do need to cook the cornstarch first before adding it to the pizza sauce. You can also add pasta water, just a little, as it helps make the pizza sauce thicker with the help of the starch in the water.
Can I Add Tomato Paste To The Pizza Sauce?
If you really want an authentic pizza sauce, then I suggest you avoid adding any type of paste into the mix – yes, including tomato paste. It can alter the pizza sauce’s flavor drastically.
Tomato paste is made with different ingredients and flavor additives that can alter the flavor of the pizza sauce. Tomato paste is not the best ingredient for a great sauce but it does help make it thicker if that’s your goal.
Personally, I avoid using tomato paste on the pizza sauce as much as possible. So this should also be your last resort in case you do not have anything available to make the pizza sauce thicker.
Once you have the best homemade pizza sauce, you can now make the best pizzas with homemade pizza dough and ingredients.
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