American Pizza Sauce – Takeaway Style

If you’re looking to replicate that takeaway pizza taste at home, here is a great pizza sauce recipe that’s full of flavour and will give you that takeaway taste you’re craving, without ordering in.

There are so many ways to prepare and make pizzas and this cooked tomato-based sauce isn’t something that you’d typically find in Italy.

Italian pizza sauce is usually uncooked and a lot more simple using a mixture of crushed tomatoes a some basic flavouring. However, this tomato based sauce is really great if you’re creating a taste that is more typically found on New York Pizzas or Chicago Pizzas.

This sauce tastes more like a takeaway pizza sauce from Dominos or Papa Johns. The flavours are more intense, the sauce is thicker and it does take a little longer to prepare. But, when you want a pizza that tastes like you’ve had it delivered to your door, this sauce is a good place to start. Perfect for a fake-away pizza night.

It’s also great when your looking for a pizza dipping sauce for things like mozzarella sticks, breadsticks, inside a burger or for dipping doughballs.

pizza sauce in a pan

The Sauce Ingredients

This tomato sauce consists of passata and tomato puree as the base. It is then prepare by adding some flavouring and heating the sauce in a pan so that it boils down, reduces and thickens. This allows the sauce to spread to a thicker consistency on the pizza base and give it a more intense flavour.

We are using mostly fresh ingredients in this recipe, but there are some substitutions you can make if needed:

  • Swap out the fresh basil for dried, but reduce the amount you use. Dried herbs have a more intense flavour.
  • Alternatively, you can also use fresh oregano if you have some to hand, but use a little more.
  • Passata can be replaced with crushed tinned tomatoes if you want your sauce to have more texture.
  • The garlic can be swapped for dried garlic granules – use 1/2 teaspoon to replace 1 clove of fresh garlic.
sauce being spread on dough

Why It’s Better to Make Pizza at Home Vs Ordering In

I won’t lie, we do order a pizza occasionally, I love that takeaway pizza taste! Ordering a takeaway pizza is all about simplicity and ease. It’s perfect when you’re feeling tired or having a lazy day. But, your body usually won’t thank you for it and neither will your purse.

Making your own pizza sauce not only saves money, but, you will know exactly what goes into it. There isn’t heaps of salt, for instance. I tend to get a thirsty feeling following a takeaway and I usually put this down to the salt content, which we all know, in excess, is super bad for your health.

Knowing exactly what goes into your food is also important if you’re cooking for younger members of your family too, whose nutritional requirements and daily allowances are different from adults.

Then there is the expense. Ordering pizza for the whole family certainly isn’t the cheapest option on offer. One takeaway meal can cost you the equivalent of a weekly shopping trip if you order all the extras that go with it, which is so tempting to do, when you’re hungry and staring at a menu.

The great thing about this sauce, is that if you having a lazy or busy day, it can be made ahead. You can store it in sterilised jars in the fridge or pop it in the freezer for future use. When it comes to using it, simply reheat it (if frozen) until thawed or allow it to defrost in the fridge. Then, you can spread it over your pizza dough base in the same way.

overhead view of sauce on pizza base

Recipe FAQ

Can I freeze this sauce?

Yes you can, allow it to cool completely before separating it into portions ready for use in freezer containers or bags. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Can I store in the fridge?

You can make this sauce up to 3 days before and once cooled, store it in the fridge in an airtight container, ready for use.

Why is my pizza sauce watery?

You just need to allow it a little more time over heat to reduce down and thicken.

homemade pizza sauce recipe

American Pizza Sauce – Takeaway Style

Author: Becky
If you're looking to replicate that takeaway pizza taste at home, here is a great pizza sauce recipe that's full of flavour and will give you that takeaway taste you're craving, without ordering in.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course, sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 2 Large Pizzas
Calories 162 kcal


  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion finely chopped
  • 1 Clove of Garlic crushed
  • 1 Stick of Celery finely grated
  • 250 g Passata
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 5 Leaves of Fresh Basil chopped
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Pinch Salt


  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the onion and celery, fry until soft.
  • Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add Passata and Tomato Puree and mix in.
  • Add the sugar, herbs and salt and cook for another 10-15 minutes until reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally to stop the sauce from sticking. It may need a little longer if it isn't thick enough.
  • Allow your sauce to cool before using it.

Recipe Notes and Guidance

See Recipe Guidance for More Details. 
  • This sauce is freezable, allow it to cool first. 
  • You can substitute some of the ingredients if necessary. 
  • If the sauce is still too watery, allow it a longer cooking time. 
  • Can be used as a dipping sauce too. 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 46mgPotassium: 762mgFiber: 4gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 843IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 3mg
Keyword chicago pizza sauce, cooked pizza sauce, new york pizza sauce recipe, takeaway pizza sauce
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