Beyond Tomato: Different Types of Pizza Sauces to Try
As pizza lovers, we’ve all grown fond of classic tomato sauce covered with cheese and our favorite ingredients. The familiar tomato pizza sauce is a staple on almost any pizza and goes well with many different toppings, whether you prefer sausage and pepperoni or an array of tasty vegetables.
But pizza sauce can go far beyond just tomato, with alternatives like pesto and even barbecue sauce providing plenty of fun flavor. If you’re interested in changing up your next order with a variety of pizza sauces, check out our list of different options to try for inspiration.
1. Pesto Sauce
Pesto sauce differs from tomato sauce on your pizza, adding a delicious herby and nutty taste. The ingredients in most pesto pizza sauces are lemon juice, pine nuts, fresh basil, olive oil and pepper. These elements give the sauce a more earthy and naturally bold flavor than most other pizza sauces.
Delicious on its own with mozzarella cheese, you can also bell peppers, mushrooms and even fresh spinach or kale to your pesto pizza. Try cooked shredded chicken or pepperoni pieces for a meatier pizza. The idea here is to allow the sauce to complement the toppings and vice versa, not for one to overpower the other. The herb and lemon in pesto sauce go well with white meat, but nothing stops you from trying it with red meat options — have fun and let your tastebuds decide.
2. Alfredo or White Sauce
White sauce is a deliciously unique type of pizza sauce as it complements cheese toppings and offers a different flavor from other sauces. While it’s a classic option for pasta, it also works perfectly with a variety of pizza ingredients, especially roasted vegetables. This sauce mainly consists of parmesan cheese, milk, salt, garlic and pepper.
You can complement the alfredo flavor with sliced cherry tomatoes, spinach, roasted peppers, olives and roasted garlic. Tasty meat toppings include bacon, sausage, chicken and ham. As a pro tip, try using white sauce on a thicker pizza dough base so the pizza can retain its structure as you add toppings.
3. Garlic and Oil Sauce
Hold on to your appetite — as simplistic as a garlic and oil sauce may sound, this combination is deceptively delicious. The oil is infused with garlic so that every bite has a wholesome garlic taste. The oil also helps to soften the dough, which provides a great texture for those who aren’t fans of crispy pizza. Ultimately, garlic and oil is best if you prefer a simple, classic taste to your pizza.
Consider this type of sauce if you want to add several ingredients to your pizza, as it won’t overpower any topping flavors. If you like a classic Margherita pizza, you can dress it up with a tasty garlic and oil base for some extra flavor. A great complement to any pizza, garlic and oil sauce also goes well with breadsticks and other side dishes.
4. Romesco Sauce
For a Spanish flavor, add romesco sauce the next time you enjoy your favorite pizza. Romesco sauce gives a good kick and adds zing to any pizza dish. The typical ingredients are garlic, almonds, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, smoked paprika, olive oil and cayenne pepper. It’s easy to see where this sauce gets its bold flavor.
Due to its spicy ingredients, this sauce is excellent with meat on your pizza. Try it with slices of beef and pepperoni or with pieces of cooked chicken. Vegetables also go great with this sauce, so choose broccoli, artichokes, red peppers and some of your other favorites to complement the heat.
5. Buffalo Sauce
Out of all the different types of pizza sauce, buffalo sauce has become one of the most popular options. Delicious and zesty, it goes well with chicken, which is the most popular choice when ordering pizza with buffalo sauce.
The main ingredients in this sauce are tomato paste and olive oil, plus various spices, including garlic powder, onion powder and red pepper flakes. On top of the sauce, you can add mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, bacon, chicken, banana peppers, onions and any other ingredients you like for a hearty pie.
6. Barbecue Sauce
Barbecue pizza sauce combines the best of two worlds, mixing the classic taste of tomato sauce with barbecue. This makes the sauce sweet and spicy with an added depth of savory flavor. Typically, the hallmarks of a barbecue pizza sauce are garlic, molasses, dark brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and red pepper flakes.
The versatility of barbecue sauce makes it a great addition to most pizza toppings, especially red and white meat, cheese, sautéed onions and bell peppers. Some other great ideas include tomato, ham and bits of pineapple.
7. Spicy Red Sauce
If you occasionally like strong food and flavors, why not try a peppery red sauce on your pizza? It’s like a tomato sauce with some added kick. A hot red sauce will primarily contain cayenne, black and roasted red pepper. It can be made using tomato sauce as a base or with hot sauce. If you want to add extra character to this sauce, add chilies.
A peppery sauce like this is delicious with toppings like bacon, chicken and mushrooms, which can help complement the spice without adding any overpowering flavors. Remember to order a refreshing drink with this pizza!
Get Creative With Your Pizza at Giordano’s
At Giordano’s, we know there’s a sauce for every pizza and a topping for every sauce, and we understand how to bring it all together. Like the classic red sauce? Try ours with different types of toppings and discover your new go-to order. With a variety of pizza options on our menu, you’re sure to find a delicious option that ticks every box.
For generations, Girodano’s has been a staple in creating stuffed Chicago-style pizza, with locations in the Windy City and across the country. Find a Giordano’s near you today to taste it for yourself!