Recipe Connection: Katie’s Frugal Homemade Pizza Sauce

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Here’s another happy use for tomatoes for you this week!

This Lent I gave up all white and corn sugars, so I had to figure out how to do a lot of things without sugar, which is in SO many processed foods.  I didn’t find a frugal-fridaysspaghetti sauce that was “clean”, and although pizza sauces generally don’t have the white stuff, I was out one day and wanted homemade pizza.  I thought I could probably reverse engineer the idea and see what came up.  I found a good deal!  A big can of crushed tomatoes, which I like to get for $1 on sale, made enough for two pizzas, plus a whole 16 oz. jar to freeze for next time.  I knew the nutrition was upgraded because I added real vegetables, and it tasted pretty good, too!

If you could always buy pizza sauce for 50% off and 2x the health benefits, wouldn’t you do it?  This was so easy to make and only took a few minutes.

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Katie's Frugal Homemade Pizza Sauce
Recipe type: Entree
  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ green and/or red pepper, diced or pureed (if you have to hide it from your family!)
  • bit of hot pepper, diced fine (optional)
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2+ tsp. oregano
  • Dash cayenne (optional)
  • ½-1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  1. Saute the onion, sweet pepper and optional hot pepper in the olive oil.
  2. Add the crushed garlic.
  3. Add oregano, cayenne (opt.), Italian seasoning and tomatoes.
  4. Stir well.
I always have onion, peppers, and hot peppers chopped and ready to go in my freezer, usually from the reduced produce rack, so this was truly a 5-minute-or-less process and very inexpensive. Olive oil, onions, peppers, garlic and tomatoes are ALL on the Super Food list, so you just can’t beat the nutrition here, and who doesn’t love pizza?

You could certainly fiddle with the seasonings; my mom made some sauce a while back and said she actually doubled the herbs called for in the recipe, and it was perfect!  Adding most herbs during the last 10 minutes of cooking makes sure they retain all their flavor.  I used to think that long cooking would make tomato sauces better.  It seemed like an Italian chef thing to do, leaving a pot of spaghetti sauce on the stove all day, smelling good.  But of course, I read somewhere that I was wrong!  I am constantly finding that I have lots to learn in the kitchen!

Half-and-Half Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 2
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1 pkg dry yeast
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 ¾ c. whole-wheat flour
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  1. In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and honey. Let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile combine both flours with salt. Add flour mixture to yeast and work to form dough.
  3. Knead for 2 minutes.
  4. Evenly coat a large bowl with olive oil.
  5. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease two baking sheets.
  7. Punch down dough and divide into two or four balls (depending on whether you want two family pizzas or 4 individuals).
  8. Flatten and shape into 4-8" or 2-14" circles. Top with toppings and bake for 15-25 minutes until crispy. (We liked thin crust better since whole wheat gets a bit dense.)


Half-and-Half Whole Wheat Breadmaker Pizza Dough
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 2
  • 1⅓ c. water
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. yeast
  1. Use the dough cycle on your machine.
  2. Top with toppings and bake on greased cookie sheets or pizza stone at 450 degrees for 10-14 minutes.
We found that this stuck pretty badly and will only use it on our pizza stone in the future, which gave great results!
You can hold the dough, covered and brushed with olive oil, in the fridge if it's ready too soon.


Here are a few links for pizza dough.  We’ve enjoyed Lindsay’s whole grain lately (it makes enough to freeze extras), and I am looking forward to trying Sarah’s when we want a compromise meal!  Here is another I haven’t tried, and one that is whole grain but a bit lighter.  If you have a breadmaker, it’s almost as fast to make as it is to call for takeout!

Visit Life as Mom for more Frugal Friday ideas and Grocery Cart Challenge for more recipes.

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13 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    Thanks for the pizza sauce recipe. I’ve been wanting to try making some of my own. The prices for the premade stuff are too high around here.

    • Katie says

      Absolutely, the pizza dough can be frozen. Just thaw on the counter top or in the fridge and allow to rise a bit on the pan. Easy dinner! :) Katie

  2. Stephanie M says

    Beautiful dough! I have always used 100% whole wheat for my pizza dough, but this was so soft and lovely to work with (tasty too)!

  3. Jenny says

    I just have a container of dry yeast, and I’m wondering how much 1 pkg is equivalent to? I’m hoping to try this recipe tonight! It sounds great!

    • Katie says

      Whoops, looks like I’m very late in seeing your question with time to answer! One yeast packet is equivalent to 2 1/4 tsp yeast. Maybe this weekend you can try it! :) Katie

  4. Carly says

    Has anybody baked the crust and then frozen it? I need 15 minute meal solutions and having the parts premade and then just putting them together really helps.

  5. Gina says

    We just tried the pizza sauce last night. I thought it was great! My husband liked it too. My daughter liked it but picked out the pieces of pepper in it. I was in a hurry since I have a newborn so maybe I will try chopping them smaller next time. I will definitely use this again. Thanks for the great recipe!

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