How Long Does Homemade Pizza Sauce Last? All Your Questions Answered

Placing pizza sauce in an airtight container with proper seals will last up to seven (7) days in a fridge. But don’t just stop there. But what if you want to extend the shelf-life of your homemade pizza sauce even further? Keep reading to find out our expert tips for storing homemade pizza sauce.

In this guide, we will be exploring:

  • The difference between homemade and store-bought pizza sauce; understanding these differences can help you decide which option is best for you.
  • Expert tips for storing homemade pizza sauce to maximize its shelf life; learn the proper techniques for refrigeration, freezing, and identifying signs of spoilage.
  • The versatility of homemade pizza sauce beyond just a pizza topping; discover how to use this sauce to elevate other meals, from pasta dishes to marinades for grilled chicken.

How Long Does Homemade Pizza Sauce Last?

We all love a good homemade pizza, right? But let’s talk about the sauce. When you make your pizza sauce from scratch (which is super delicious), have you ever wondered how long it stays good?

Well, it depends on a couple of things. First off, where are you keeping it? If it’s in the fridge or freezer, that’ll help keep the freshness going longer.

What did you put in your sauce? Were there fresh herbs that could go bad faster? Every ingredient has its own “timeline” and can affect how long your sauce stays yummy and safe.

But here’s some happy news – there are ways to squeeze out even more life from your homemade pizza sauce!

Can Homemade Pizza be stored at Room Temperature?

Storing your homemade pizza sauce at room temperature for too long is bad because it can lead to harmful bacteria in your sauce.

So, pop it into the fridge once you’ve finished making it. This is like a vacation spot for your sauce, where it stays fresh and yummy.

Need to take your sauce on a road trip or keep it outside the fridge for a bit? Place it somewhere cool and shadowy, like under a tree on a hot day, avoiding sunny or warm spots. If you want to treat your sauce well during transit, consider an insulated bag – keeping everything cooler, exactly how your sauce likes.

Remember, every good thing has its end date. So try to use up your delicious pizza sauce within its best-by timeline. Cooking with fresh ingredients always results in better-tasting food!

pizza sauce on pizza base

How Long Does Homemade Pizza Sauce Last In the Refrigerator?

Well, once you’ve made that yummy homemade pizza sauce, remember it doesn’t last forever. Often, it can stay in the fridge for about 5 to 7 days.

Now comes the “how-to”. After you’ve used some sauce, don’t just pop the jar back in the fridge. Make sure you seal it tight with a lid – this keeps air and moisture out and helps your sauce retain its deliciousness for longer.

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Keep an eye on when your sauce was made or when you expect it to turn bad (you can use labels or notes). This way, you will keep track of time and use spoiled sauce by mistake.

If down the road your sauce smells or tastes funny, or you see something strange like mold or color changes – better not risk it! Just toss it out and whip up another batch. It’s always more enjoyable eating food that’s fresh and safe!

Shelf Life in the Freezer

Popping your homemade pizza sauce in the freezer is a super easy solution.

By freezing your sauce, it can stay good for up to 3 whole months. Just keep it in a bag or container that seals tightly.

As we mentioned earlier, remember to scribble down what’s inside and the date on the container when refrigerating items. This way, you’ll remember when you froze it and won’t accidentally mix it up with something else.

When pizza time rolls around again, remove the freezer sauce.

Let it thaw by resting overnight in your refrigerator, or give it a quick zap in the microwave.

You might see some changes – like if parts of your sauce split apart – but don’t worry about that; this happens sometimes after freezing, and your sauce is still good to go on your pizzas.

In the next section, we dive into the best practices for freezing homemade pizza sauce.

Freezing Homemade Pizza Sauce

If you’ve visited the Recipe Depository before, you will know we are big fans of preparing things in advance. This means we often make things in bulk or batches with plenty of leftover sauce to work efficiently and economically, and it usually results in us freezing many things.

This section will discuss how to freeze and defrost pizza sauce properly.

Pizza sauce in a container

How to Freeze Pizza Sauce

Freezing pizza sauce is an easy process that requires minimal effort.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Once your pizza sauce is cooked, let it chill. You might be eager to freeze it immediately, but allowing it to cool down prevents unwanted water droplets inside your container that can mess with the taste and texture.
  2. Now, divvy up your sauce into portions in freezer-friendly containers or bags. This can be more significant portions or enough for one pizza – whatever works best for you!
  3. Grab a marker and write down what’s inside and the date on every container or bag. It’ll make life much easier when you’re rummaging around in the freezer later!
  4. Finally, pop those yummy future pizzas into the freezer.

How to Defrost Homemade Pizza Sauce the Right Way

Understanding there is a right and wrong way to defrost frozen pizza sauce is essential. So follow these steps so all your effort and hard prep work doesn’t go to waste.

  1. Remove the frozen sauce from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. This will allow the sauce to defrost slowly and evenly.
  2. If you need to defrost the sauce quickly, place the container or bag in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the sauce is defrosted.
  3. Once the sauce is defrosted, you can reheat it on the stove or microwave. Be sure to stir the sauce occasionally to prevent it from burning.

It is important to note that once the pizza sauce is defrosted, it should be used within 3-4 days.

Do not refreeze the sauce after it has been defrosted, as this can affect the texture and flavor of the sauce.

Difference Between Homemade and Store-Bought Pizza Sauce

In all its glorious forms, pizza wouldn’t be the same without the perfect sauce. After all, the sauce is the foundation of a great pizza. So, let’s dive into pizza sauces and explore the differences between homemade and store-bought versions.

homemade pizza sauce with herbs

Homemade Pizza Sauce


  • Flavor Control: When you make your pizza sauce, you have complete control over the flavors. You can adjust the garlic, basil, oregano, or other ingredients to suit your palate perfectly.
  • Freshness: There’s no comparison to the taste of fresh pizza sauce. It’s just like your favorite restaurant’s sauce because it’s made on the spot, using fresh ingredients.


  • Time-consuming: Making your sauce does require some time and effort. It can take a while, from gathering ingredients to simmering the sauce to the right consistency.
  • Consistency: Achieving consistent flavor every time can be tricky with homemade sauce. A bit more or less of an ingredient can change the overall taste.

Store-bought Pizza Sauce


  • Convenience: The biggest advantage of store-bought sauce is convenience. It’s ready to use, saving you the time and effort of making your own.
  • Consistency: With store-bought sauce, you get the same flavor every time. This can be a big plus if consistency matters to you.


  • Preservatives: Store-bought sauces often contain preservatives and additives to extend their shelf life. These might affect the flavor and are less healthy than fresh ingredients.
  • Less Control Over Flavor: Unlike homemade sauce, you can’t tweak the flavors in a store-bought sauce.

Now, when should you use each?

When to Use Homemade vs. Store-Bought Pizza Sauce

If you want to create a gourmet pizza experience at home and are okay with spending a bit more time in the kitchen, then homemade pizza sauce is your best bet. The freshness and personalized flavor will be well worth it.

On the other hand, if you’re in a rush or want a quick and easy pizza night, then store-bought pizza tomato sauce is a fantastic option. It’s handy, consistent, and still delivers on taste.

Remember, pizza making is an art and a science. Whichever sauce you choose, the key is to have fun with it and enjoy the process.

How Do You Know if Pizza Sauce Has Gone Bad?

How can you tell if your homemade pizza sauce has gone bad? You’re not alone.

Knowing what to look (or smell) for will help you navigate the tricky world of expired foods. It will also help you save from a few rough nights of upset stomachs.

What to Look For

  • Fuzzy Mold: This can be black, green, or white and might appear sneaky on top of the sauce or under the lid. If you spy any mold, get rid of the sauce immediately.
  • Smell: Trust your nose; if something smells off (like sour or rancid), that’s pizza night canceled – toss the sauce.
  • Color & Texture Changes: Pizza sauce typically has this nice vibrant red color. If it starts looking lighter or darker than usual, it’s spoiled. Similarly, if it feels slimy or gritty—bye-bye sauce!

Eating rotten pizza sauce is no fun—it can lead to food poisoning, which includes all sorts of nasties like feeling sick to your stomach, throwing up, diarrhea, and belly cramps. So, better stay safe than sorry!

To avoid all this unpleasantness, follow the storage guidelines detailed in this guide. If you’re unsure about its freshness—discard it! Nothing is worth risking your health over.

Remember, properly storing food keeps us healthy and our meals tasty! Have yourself awesome adventures in cooking.

Versatility of Homemade Pizza Sauce

Even though it has the word “pizza” in its name, don’t be fooled into thinking pizza sauce is limited to one sole purpose.

As we always encourage at the Recipe Depository, have some fun in the kitchen and experiment using pizza sauce differently.

Here are some ideas for inspiration.

Pizza sauce as pasta sauce

From Appetizers to Main Course

This versatile sauce can double as a tasty dip for breadsticks or mozzarella sticks—the perfect way to kick off any foodie gathering. Are you not feeling like a dip? No worries! Why not slather it on pasta sauce dishes like spaghetti or lasagna, transforming them from good to oh-so-great!

Got some chicken at home? Marinate it in your freshly made pizza sauce before grilling or baking. Trust me, it adds an irresistible tangy-savory flavor that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Look over at the grill—yes, grilled vegetables beaming with pride (and flavor) thanks to your pizza sauce topping.

Pizza Sauce & Its Best Friends

Looking at other meals but still got some of our trusty heroes—the pizza sauce—left?

How about laying it on burgers or hot dogs as a flavorful coating? This delightful tomato-based sauce can upgrade simple meals like grilled cheese.

Or combine your love for comfort food by using pizza sauce as a dipping buddy for chicken tenders or french fries!

Do I hear a gluten-free diet calling? Pizza sauce has got you covered. It makes an excellent spaghetti sauce stand-in, and BBQ chicken pizzas won’t mind the change!

And those toppings? Limitless ways await to jazz up any dish! Want something vegetarian? Throw in veggies like mushrooms and bell peppers into the mix. More of a meat lover, are we? Sausages and bacon are there to join the party.

In all its versatility, homemade pizza sauce is ready to take many dishes to new heights of flavor! Remember, nothing goes to waste here – today’s leftover pizza sauce is your future tastebuds delight!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does homemade pizza sauce last in the fridge?

If stored properly, homemade pizza sauce can last 5 to 7 days in the fridge. It is important to note that the duration depends on the temperature at which you store it. If you keep it between 0-5 degrees Celsius, it can last up to 7 days. However, if the temperature is higher, the sauce will spoil faster.

How can I store homemade pizza sauce to make it last longer?

Store your homemade pizza sauce in an airtight container and put it in the freezer to make it last longer. If you do this, the sauce can last up to 3 months. You can also add some preservatives to the sauce, such as citric acid or vinegar, to help extend its shelf life.

What are the signs that homemade pizza sauce has gone bad?

There are a few signs that your homemade pizza sauce could have gone better. If you notice that the sauce has a foul smell, mold, or unusual color, then it is best to discard it immediately. If the sauce looks fizzy or has bubbles, it is a clear sign that it has gone bad.

How long can you keep pizza sauce in a jar?

If you have store-bought pizza sauce in a jar, it can last up to a year unopened in the pantry. Once you open it, you can keep it in the fridge for around 4-14 days, depending on the brand. It is always best to check the label of the jar of pizza sauce for specific storage instructions.

Is it safe to eat pizza sauce after the expiration date?

It is not recommended to eat pizza sauce after the expiration date. The expiration date indicates when the sauce is freshest and safest to consume. Eating expired pizza sauce can lead to food poisoning and other health problems.

Do I need to refrigerate homemade pizza sauce after opening?

Yes, it is essential to refrigerate homemade pizza sauce after opening. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria and keep the sauce fresh for longer. Store it in an airtight container and keep it at the right temperature to ensure maximum freshness.


References Used

  • Foodborne illness. (2023, August 24). In Wikipedia.

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