Can You Freeze Pizza Sauce? One Necessary Preservation Tip

We know how it goes. When you want pizza fast, you order take-out. Sometimes, we don’t have the ingredients or the time to make a pizza from scratch. But there’s no question the quality difference of homemade vs jar sauce. You’ve probably recently made homemade pizza but made more sauce than you needed – this is incredibly common since pizzas don’t use much yet most recipes use a full can of tomatoes. Don’t let that good stuff go to waste! Freeze your leftover pizza sauce so that you can use it at a later time, plus, you will always have pizza sauce on-hand, ready to use! Here is exactly how to freeze and use your favorite homemade pizza sauce.

Can I Freeze Pizza Sauce?

Luckily, the answer is 100% yes! You absolutely can freeze any leftover pizza sauce you may have. And it’s understandable; many sauce recipes call for multiple cans/jars of tomato puree or crushed tomatoes, which is much more than you need for 1-2 pizzas. 

Freezing is the perfect method for keeping your homemade pizza sauce fresh until your next pie. However, there are some tips to follow to ensure your sauce stays delicious. Don’t just throw your sauce in the freezer while it’s still in the saucepan and call it a day! There is a method to the madness.

Homemade pizza sauce from San Marzano tomatoes
I like to store my fresh sauce in mason jars in the refrigerator, but this container will not suffice for freezing.

Why Freeze It?

First and foremost, freeze your leftover sauces to reduce food waste. Food waste is a massive world issue and means that food is fit for consumption, but is still thrown away. This could be due to a lack of interest, making too much of a certain food, and many other reasons.

Lessening food waste is going to be great for your budget. The less food you waste, the less money you have to spend on buying more. Many people don’t realize that they can freeze their leftovers for a later time and save money at the grocery store.

Aside from food waste, another reason to freeze your tomato sauce is to keep the ingredients fresh. Despite their water content, tomatoes freeze well when provided with the right conditions. It works for pizza sauce, tomato soup, or even garden-fresh tomatoes from your garden. By harvesting and freezing your tomatoes, you can have fresh tomato sauce all year round, straight from the freezer!

How Long Does Pizza Sauce Last in the Fridge?

Storing your leftover pizza sauce in the fridge will last a significantly less amount of time than in the freezer. You can expect your pizza sauce to last up to 1 week in the fridge. Some sources say tomato sauce will only last 4 days in the fridge, so give yourself a variable of 4-7 days. After that, you will need to toss your sauce in the trash bin. 

If you plan on using the sauce within the 4-7 days after making, you can absolutely refrigerate your pizza sauce. However, you will want to throw your sauce in the freezer if you are using it after 7 days.

How Long Does Pizza Sauce Last in the Freezer?

Pizza sauce will last much longer than a week in the freezer. When frozen properly, pizza sauce will last up to 6 months when frozen. With frozen sauce, you simply defrost it, or reheat it, before slathering it over your scrumptious homemade pizza.

Moisture content is high in pizza sauce. The more concentrated (or reduced) your sauce is, the better it will freeze. Ice crystals are inevitable when freezing a liquid, but cutting down on moisture will lead to a pizza sauce with a nicer consistency after freezing. For example, tomato paste will freeze better than tomato puree.

How to Freeze Pizza Sauce

For the perfect freezer pizza sauce, you want to freeze the sauce as quick as possible. This will cut down on ice crystals forming within the sauce and reduce the sauce’s wateriness down the line. 

To make the sauce freeze quickly, do not freeze it in a large container or jar. Instead, place the sauce in freezer bags and remove all of the air from the bag. Lay the bags flat and place them into the freezer until they are frozen solid. This will make the sauce freeze much more quickly than inside a storage container. I like to buy the quart sized freezer bags, that way you can individually portion out the sauce rather than freezing it in bulk which might be too much for your next pizza.

fresh sauce
Fresh sauce
frozen sauce
Frozen sauce

Be sure to label each bag of sauce with exactly what it is and the date that it was frozen. This way, you can differentiate between your frozen pizza sauce vs. meat sauce or anything else that may look similar. You’ll also know exactly when the sauce was frozen and you can use that as your “use by” date by using it 6 months after that date.

When ready to use, remove the bag from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the sink. To speed this up, you can run warm water over the bag. Or, you can place the frozen sauce in a saucepan and heat it up. Top your homemade pizza with the thawed room-temperature sauce or with the warmed pizza sauce. We recommend warming the sauce just to reduce moisture, but either method works well.

Does Frozen Pizza Sauce Taste Different?

Pizza sauce that has been frozen has almost no taste difference from a fresh sauce. You will still get those herby, garlicky, bright notes from the pizza sauce. However, the main difference might lie in the texture of the sauce. As stated before, ice crystals form when freezing. Upon melting, the ice crystals release water, which adds moisture to your sauce.

If you find that your sauce has become slightly watery after thawing, you can heat it over medium-low heat and allow it to simmer and reduce for a few minutes until the moisture evaporates. This is a totally optional step and freezer sauce will still be delicious if you do not remove any excess moisture.

Freeze Your Sauce!

Freezer pizza sauce is the best way to reduce food waste and provide you with fresh pizza sauce all year long. It is especially helpful if you make sauce from garden-fresh tomatoes because the freezer will keep the sauce optimally delicious. The fridge only keeps pizza sauce for up to 1 week, while the freezer will keep your sauce fresh for up to 6 months. Now, make some sauce and throw your extras in a freezer bag!

Written by Derek Gaughan

Derek Gaughan is the Founder and Content Lead for Pala Pizza. He's been featured in PMQ Magazine, The Washington Post, and Home & Gardens. Derek holds an MBA from Pennsylvania State University and is a trained pizzaiolo, specializing in New York style, Neapolitan, and Detroit pizzas.

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