How Much Sauce Should You Have On A Pizza?

When it comes to making pizza, ratios are important. You are probably wondering how much sauce you should have on a pizza and whether or not the amount varies based on pizza size. We have researched all about this and have the answer for you.

How much pizza sauce you need is based on the size of the pizza. The amount of pizza sauce used for each pizza varies from about three tablespoons to three-quarters of one cup.

Below are sauce to pizza ratios for the most common sizes of pizza:

  • 9-inch=3 tablespoons
  • 12-inch=1/4 cup
  • 14-inch=1/4 cup
  • 16-inch=1/2 cup
  • 18-inch=3/4 cup

Don't stop reading here. There is more to talk about. Keep going to learn more about pizza sauce, such as how to spread it evenly, how thick the sauce should be, how to thicken it, and more.

Making a vegetarian pizza at home, How Much Sauce Should You Have On A Pizza?

Pizza Size versus Amount of Sauce: Why it Matters

When you order or make a small pizza, the size of the pizza ends up being about eight to ten inches around. A small pizza is usually cut into six pieces. This size requires less sauce, approximately about two or three tablespoons.

As for a pizza that is typically considered "medium," this is usually twelve to fourteen inches around. In most cases, a medium pizza is cut into eight slices. The amount of sauce best for a medium pizza is about one-quarter of one cup.

A large pizza is sixteen inches around. This size results in eight to ten slices. For a large pizza, you should use approximately one-half of one cup of pizza sauce.

Fresh homemade pizza margherita with buffalo mozzarella and basil

The only other size you might see available is an extra-large pizza. This size is eighteen inches around and can be cut into about twelve slices. A pizza this big requires up to three-quarters of one cup of sauce.

In some cases, the pizza is smaller, and in other cases, it is bigger. That all depends on where you get it from or if you make it yourself. When you order pizza, you can request the amount of pizza sauce that works best for you, whether that be light or extra saucy. The same rule goes if you are making your own.

Making Your Own Pizza

Preparing vegan pumpkin pizza with broccoli

Keep in mind if you are making your own pizza, you can make it as big around as you want. Now what we mean is as big as you want as long as it will fit on your pizza stone or pizza pan [also known as a pizza tray] without overflowing. Your pizza dough can be stretched to the edge, just not past the edge.

You can make personal pizzas that are smaller than nine inches if you want to. If you make a pizza smaller than nine inches around, you can still use up to three tablespoons of pizza sauce.

Typically, people do not make pizzas larger than eighteen inches because the middle ends up being soggy and floppy. It is better to make two medium to large pizzas than to make your pizza too big and end up with less crust and a less desirable result overall.

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How do you spread pizza sauce evenly?

Adding tomato sauce on a pizza dough

Most people tend to use the underside of a serving spoon to spread pizza sauce. This is because it is smooth, so it will not tear up the pizza crust while spreading the sauce around. Whether you pour all of your pizza sauce onto your rolled-out pizza dough at once or by the spoonful, it should be placed in the center before spreading it around.

Start by pouring your desired amount of sauce onto the middle of your rolled-out pizza dough. You then gently spread the sauce, moving the spoon in a circular motion from the center outward. Keep spreading the desired amount of sauce until you get to within about half of an inch of the edge all the way around. Keep the spoon between the sauce and dough without pressing hard.

If you are more of a visual learner, here is a video that demonstrates how to spread pizza sauce onto pizza dough:

How thick should pizza sauce be?

The answer to this question relies on personal preference. Some people enjoy their pizza with more sauce on top than others. Typically, pizza sauce should be about as thick as ketchup is. Not runny, but not clumped together too much either.

If your sauce is too thick, you can add one teaspoon of water at a time until it is the thickness you want. When making a smaller pizza and using less sauce, you need to add less water to thicken it. If you are working with as much as half of one cup or three-quarters of one cup of pizza sauce, it is okay to add in one tablespoon of water instead of a teaspoon until you get the sauce to the right consistency.

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Different styles of pizza have different amounts of sauce as well. For example, what is known as a Detroit-style pizza is rectangular and has pizza sauce on top of the cheese. A Chicago-style pizza has significantly more sauce than a Detroit-style pizza, and the sauce is also on top of the cheese.

Can you put too much sauce on pizza?

Yes, you can put too much sauce on a pizza. When you put too much sauce on a pizza, it will not cook thoroughly. The crust will be soggy and either under-cooked, or the top will get overdone if you attempt to overcompensate.

When baking pizza, it is best to use a perforated pizza pan if you are not going to use a pizza stone. The holes in the pizza pan increase airflow, making it so that your pizza crust can get crispy. You do not necessarily have to cook pizza sauce, but you can if it is too watery.

How do you make pizza sauce not watery?

Tomato sauce is poured on pizza dough

You can thicken your pizza sauce by adding a little bit of cornstarch. Start by incorporating one teaspoon of cornstarch per cup of pizza sauce. An alternative method is to mix cornstarch and cold water in equal parts before adding them to your pizza sauce.

If you would rather not use cornstarch to thicken your pizza sauce, there are other options. You can add a relatively small amount of tomato sauce to thicken the pizza sauce. Add one teaspoon at a time until it is the consistency you are going for. Ensure you drain any excess water from your tomato sauce before seasoning it.

You should leave the lid off if you want the water to cook out of the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer and stir every few minutes until it is the right consistency. Many people like to add fresh onions and garlic, making your sauce chunkier. If you do not care for chunky pizza sauce, you can always use a blender to blend it better before spreading it onto your pizza.

How do you reduce pizza sauce, and should you?

One purpose for reducing pizza sauce is because it will become much more flavorful and taste less like tomato sauce; it has longer to absorb the flavor of the spices. To reduce pizza sauce, it is best to slowly cook your sauce rather than rush.

If you overheat tomato sauce, you will lose a lot of the flavor. This is the main reason to reduce the sauce and allow it to absorb and retain its flavors. On a night that you don't have time to reduce pizza sauce, it is better not to rush it and go with uncooked pizza sauce.

You do not have to reduce pizza sauce unless it is too runny or tastes too much like tomatoes for your preference. This step is entirely up to you. When you make your own pizza sauce reducing it adds a noticeable amount of flavor.

If you enjoy the taste of cooked pizza sauce over uncooked sauce, it takes about forty-five minutes to an hour to cook down the sauce before spreading it onto your pizza dough. Cooked pizza ends up having less soupy sauce and a better taste overall.


The amount of sauce you need differs depending on the size of your pizza. The most common pizza sizes start with nine inches, around up to eighteen inches. Anywhere between three tablespoons and three-quarters of one cup of pizza sauce is how much you will need. You can thicken your pizza sauce if it is too watery by adding cornstarch or fresh vegetables such as onions and garlic.

Before you go, check out the following links that are also related to pizza:

Should Pizza Toppings Go On Top Of Cheese Or Under?

How To Reheat Pizza In The Microwave

Does Pizza Go Bad If Left Out Overnight?

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