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Canned Versus Fresh Tomatoes in Pizza Sauce

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Canned Versus Fresh Tomatoes in Pizza Sauce

You could order a large pizza in Denver for anywhere from $8 to $20, or thereabouts. You could also make your own pizza for anywhere from $10-$25, or thereabouts.

I’m all for making your own food because it’s healthier and cheaper than the restaurant version, but when it comes to pizza–good pizza–it’s definitely not cheaper to make it on your own. Although, homemade pizza is probably healthier, especially if don’t pour on the grease like your local pizza joint does.

Either way, I recently set out to make a pizza sauce for use on a semi-homemade pizza (I bought a Boboli crust), because I wanted to know how the sauce would vary based on the use of fresh versus canned tomatoes. Since I don’t have a real positive history with red sauce, I was hesitant.

You see, last winter I made a red pasta sauce and it tasted so horrible I contemplated giving up on sauce altogether…it was that bad. I’m happy to report that this homemade sauce adventure went much better. I made two versions (one with fresh tomatoes and one with canned) based on recipes I found here, here, and here.

This pictures shows you the results (sauce with fresh tomatoes on bottom and sauce with canned tomatoes on top)…

recipe for making pizza sauce

Pizza Sauce Recipe with Fresh Tomatoes

*4 roma tomatoes

*1/2 yellow onion

*4 garlic cloves

*1 tbsp. olive oil

*1 tbsp. dried basil

*1 tbsp. dried hot peppers

*1 tsp salt

Directions: Throw tomatoes, onion, and garlic in food processor. Heat olive oil on stove. Add tomato mixture and seasonings to pan. Let simmer for 30+ minutes.

Notes: I was surprised at how pink the sauce appeared at first. By the end, the sauce wasn’t as pink but so much of it evaporated that, again, I was surprised. Even though it wasn’t runny like I wanted, the flavors were bright and sweet. Worked well.

Pizza Sauce Recipe with Canned Tomatoes

*1 tbsp. olive oil

*1/2 yellow onion, chopped

*1 can diced tomatoes

*4 cloves garlic, minced

*1 tbsp. dried basil

*1 tbsp. dried hot peppers

*1 tsp. salt

Directions: Let the onion simmer in olive oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and seasonings and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Turn off heat, let cool. Process in the food processor.

Notes: This version of pizza sauce was still very good, but not phenomenal because it wasn’t runny like I wanted. The canned tomatoes produced a darker red appearance and gave the sauce a saltier flavor.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, I topped the fresh tomato sauce with pepperoni, mushrooms, and an Italian cheese medley, and I topped the canned tomato sauce with green peppers, black olives, and cheese. Since the crust was pre-made, I simply cooked the mushrooms and green peppers in butter for a few minutes on the stove, placed them on the pizza, and then let the pizza bake until the cheese bubbled.

The verdict on canned versus fresh tomatoes? Well, fresh is almost always better in my opinion, and this is no exception. However, the canned tomatoes definitely weren’t horrible. If you don’t have fresh or it’s not in the budget, you can still make a lovely pizza sauce with canned tomatoes.

15 Responses to “Canned Versus Fresh Tomatoes in Pizza Sauce”

  1. sweetlife says:

    thanks for sharing, homemade is always better..the pizza looks great!

  2. King-Conor says:

    I agree with going the fresh tomato route, this looks s yum!… Especially when tomatoes are popping, like right now in Boston area!

    I’ve tried many many pizza dough recipes, and have never been blown away by any of them… A lot of work, iffy texture/chew. Here’s my quick tip. If you have a Bertucci’s go to their take out counter and by yourself a ball of dough. It’s 3.50 and you can get their rolls for free if you ask for some. Score!

    • saral says:

      Good call on the Bertucci’s crust. Unfortunately they’re an East Coast chain, but surely there is something similar in most places.

  3. Love the two takes! Great post!

  4. It has been years since I’ve used a tomato sauce for pizza; so preferring just olive oil and fresh ingredients. So I would have to say fresh tomatoes because I know that tomato slices would have to outdo chunks of tomato from a can, right? Wait…fresh, ripe, GOOD tomatoes that is.

    In the winter…canned tomatoes are far superior than anything you can buy fresh but in the summer, it’s opposite day. :)

  5. I prefer the homemade one! So much fresher!

  6. Monet says:

    I agree…homemade is always my favorite. I went to get pizza on Thursday night, and while it was good…it was so heavy on my stomach! Thank you for sharing with me. I hope you had a fun-filled weekend. Many blessings in the days to come.

  7. I do prefer fresh tomatoes but I agree that canned can be great especially if you fins a good brand you enjoy. These are both delicious recipes :)

  8. Annapet says:

    ;-) I wonder what was the recipe for the horrible one? Something for “DO NOT TRY” category.

    I, too, am for homemade and homegrown when possible. I grow my own tomatoes and become quite a tomato snob. In a good way, I think.

    Thanks for sharing your versions.

  9. Joyti says:

    I guess that at least you know exactly what went into the homemade pizza, and its probably waaay better too. Your sauce sounds delicious.

  10. Fresh is usually better, but the imported tomatoes you get in Texas are absolutely tasteless, in which case the tinned stuff at least has a nice tart flavor, I find.

  11. May I ask why the home-made pizza is so expensive to make? I make it all the time, and would say it runs me a few bucks per pizza at the max.

    Flour: 25c
    Tomatoes: 50c
    Cheese: $1
    Veg Toppings: $1

    • saral says:

      @thecominghope – Wow! Your homemade pizza is cheap. I guess I’m buying and using more expensive ingredients. $3 or so for crust, a few more for cheese, and then at least $5 on veggies. Then you add in time/energy for cooking and cleanup and the whole things seems like a wash. But, again, homemade is almost always healthier. So, I’ll still make it.

    • Rickie m says:

      Where do you get your cheese?Cheese cost the most for pizza.For a 16oz package it is about $3.50.If you buy the sauce it’s about $3.00 and flour is $2.00.I would say about $8 to make a pizza plus time and oven gas.For me it’s worth it.I love pizza!Ask karla she will tell you.

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