Authentic Neapolitan Style Pizza Sauce Recipe

Authentic Neapolitan Style Pizza Recipe in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.

Want to make an authentic Neapolitan Style Pizza Sauce at home? It couldn’t be easier than with this recipe! We love to make homemade pizza for family and friends and this Neapolitan sauce recipe is the perfect sauce for any homemade pizza. A few simple ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, good quality olive oil and a handful of other ingredients come together to make the perfect tomato sauce.

What is Authentic Neapolitan Pizza?

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza originated in Naples, Italy and has become a favorite pizza across the world. Traditionally, Neapolitan pizza is made from the freshest of ingredients. Homemade pizza dough, topped with plum tomatoes or a simple tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves cooked in a wood fired pizza oven,

While few of us probably have a wood fired pizza oven at home or fresh grown tomatoes, we can get pretty close to an authentic Neapolitan pizza at home. it does all start with the dough and if you need a good dough recipe check out our Cold Fermented Pizza Dough Recipe.

Authentic Neapolitan Style Pizza Sauce Ingredients

Authentic Neapolitan Style Pizza Sauce ingredients including Italian plum tomatoes, olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh basil, dried oregano, dried mint and red pepper flakes.
  • Tomatoes – are the main ingredient in this sauce and while you can use whole tomatoes or plum tomatoes we don’t have access to those year round. We choose to use whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (tomato puree will work in a pinch) . And by the way, don’t think this is cheating. Italian San Marzano tomatoes are only available fresh in Italy for a few months. The Italians also use canned tomatoes.Splurge and go for the San Marzanos. This is the brand of Italian tomatoes that we use and is available in most grocery stores.
  • Good Olive Oil – Don’t skimp on the olive oil. A generous amount of a good olive oil is a key part of this recipe. .
  • Fresh basil leaves – Use whole fresh basil leaves or torn basil leaves to add freshness to the canned tomatoes. While we often put fresh basil in the sauce we also like to save some to top our pizza or finished dish. It adds freshness and flavor to every dish.
  • Add dry oregano and dried mint for additional flavor.
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Kosher or sea salt.

Also known as Napolitano sauce, it’s not just for pizza. This sauce is perfect to toss with hot spaghetti for an easy weeknight meal or great for a dipping sauce for breadsticks. We also enjoy it over grilled or roasted vegetables like zucchini and squash.

Neapolitan Pizza Sauce Tools

You need a few basic kitchen tools to make this simple sauce recipe. Start with a large pan either stainless steel or ceramic. These types of pans are non reactive and aren’t bothered by the acidity in the tomatoes.

If you are using whole or fresh tomatoes you will need either a food mill or a food processor to break up the tomatoes.If you use canned tomato puree you wont need anything other than a wooden spoon to stir the sauce as it cooks.

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Sauce Method

If you are using whole tomatoes begin by running them through your food mill or pulsing them in the food processor.

Transfer them to a colander and let some of the excess liquid drain off. This is an important step that will result in a deep red colour pizza sauce, the sauce can turn out pink if there is too much liquid or moisture.

Begin heating a heavy bottomed stainless steel or ceramic pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the crushed garlic, Stir until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Be careful not to let the garlic brown or burn. Add dried oregano, basil, mint and red pepper. Turn the heat down to a low heat and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Optional: if you like a sweeter sauce add a teaspoon of sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.


Authentic Neapolitan Style Pizza Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Julie



28 ounce can San Marzano Tomato Puree

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves crushed

1 tablespoon fresh basil minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspon dried mint

1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in the pan over low heat. 
  2. Add the crushed garlic and let it cook until the oil becomes fragrant, don’t let it brown or burn. 
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and the dried herbs. 
  4. Stir to combine well and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fresh minced basil.


  • If you don’t have tomato puree you can use diced tomatoes you will need to run them through a food mill or food processor to get the right consistency
  • If using larger diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes allow them to drain off excess moisture in a colander. This will prevent your sauce from being pink.

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How to use Authentic Neapolitan Style Pizza Sauce Recipe

Unbaked cold fermented pizza dough with homemade pizza sauce and our favorite ingredients.

This delicious sauce makes the best pizza, you can make your own pizza dough, pick up a ball of dough at your favorite pizzeria, use a pre-made pizza crust or try our cold fermented dough recipe.

Begin by pre-heating your oven and shaping your dough. This style of pizza does not require a lot of sauce, for a 15-16 inch pizza start with a quarter cup and spread it to just about an inch from the edge of the dough.

If you like more sauce, add some, just be careful as too much sauce will make your pizza soggy. Add your favorite pizza toppings and you are ready for the oven.

Follow the time and temperature directions for the pizza dough you are using as different types of dough will require different conditions for the best result, this is especially important if you are using gluten-free or cauliflower pizza crusts.

This sauce can also be tossed with hot pasta for a quick lunch or as an add to dinner recipes, think chicken parmigiana. It also works as a great sauce for roasted zucchini, green beans,squash or other vegetables.

How do you Store the Pizza Sauce?

You can make this sauce up to three days ahead of when you would like to use it. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Unused sauce can be stored up to 3-4 days. If you can’t use all of the sauce in that time frame freeze the sauce for up to one month in an air tight container or under vacuum seal for up to three months.

Look for a write up on our new pizza oven. We are still learning, this one was a little crispy around the edges, but boy was it good!

Simple Pizza Sauce – Wrap Up

This easy homemade pizza sauce can be ready in under 15 minutes. Instead of calling your favorite delivery joint opt for a delicious homemade pizza. This sauce is also perfect for dipping breadsticks, Mozzarella sticks or as a topping for hot pasta or roasted vegetables.

We hope you enjoyed this recipe!

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The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Dough

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