If you’ve ever wondered if you can use salsa instead of pizza sauce, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Both salsa and pizza sauce have tomatoes as the main ingredient and usually have lots of veggies as well.
While the taste and texture of the two items are a tad different, most people agree that they can be used interchangeably. Before you do, however, here are some tips you should keep in mind:
1. Add Tomato Paste to Your Salsa
Salsa tends to have less of a tomato taste than pizza sauce does, but you can add tomato paste to the salsa it will give it that rich tomato taste.
The robust taste of salsa combines with the traditional flavor of pizza sauce to create the perfect sauce base for your pizza. Add some Mediterranean herbs like thyme and oregano and it will bring out the flavor even more.
2. Drain the Salsa
When using salsa as pizza sauce it is important to drain it as much as possible. This will remove the excess moisture and stop it from making your pizza bases soggy.
Use a stainless steel sieve to keep the large pieces and remove the excess moisture from the tomatoes.
3. Process the salsa to make it thinner
If you have a chunky salsa, put it in the food processer. This will break up the large chunks of onion and tomato and make it smoother and easier to spread on your pizza bases.
4. Place the Salsa on Top of the Cheese
Placing your salsa on top of the cheese on pizza is another way to keep your bases crispy and tasty. The extra water in the salsa can make the bases soggy so placing a cheese barrier can help to prevent this.
Add some extra pepperoni, mushrooms or peppers to create a delicious pizza treat.
5. Mix salsa with pasta sauce
Mixing pasta sauce and salsa can make a delicious and zingy base for your pizza. Get the extra spice from the salsa and the rich tomato flavor from the pasta sauce. Mix these 2 ingredients together in a 50:50 mix and layer it onto your pizza.
Differences between salsa and pizza sauce
One of the main differences between salsa and pizza sauce that you might not know is that salsa is lower in calories than pizza sauce. There are so many different recipes for these sauces, but in general, 1/4 cup of pizza sauce is around 30 calories, whereas the same amount of salsa is around 20 calories.
Commercially make pizza sauce can also have more fat, cholesterol, and sugar as it is concentrated and can have added ingredients to give it a richer flavor.
Choose a natural tomato pasta sauce as another great option for your pizzas or make your own sauce at home from fresh tomatoes and herbs.
Look out for one with no added sugar.
You Can Make Pizza Sauce Taste More Like Salsa
If you love salsa and only have pizza sauce available to cook with, you can easily add ingredients to make your sauce taste more “Mexican” and yummy.
These ingredients include cilantro, lime juice, and even jalapenos.
Both salsa and pizza sauce have ingredients such as tomatoes, certain veggies such as onions and bell peppers, and even other ingredients such as sugar. You’ll just need to add a few more ingredients for a more salsa-like flavor.
What Can You Use Instead of Pizza Sauce?
There are tons of foods that can be used in place of pizza sauce.. Here are just a few of them:
- Alfredo sauce: Made with butter, creams, and milk, it provides a different but very tasty alternative to regular pizza sauce.
- Barbecue sauce: This is a unique type of pizza that is gaining in popularity, and it definitely gives your pizza some kick.
- Hummus: This Mediterranean dish is made out of chickpeas, fresh lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, and cumin and gives any pizza a unique flavor.
- Ricotta cheese: Smoother than cottage cheese, ricotta cheese is made out of cow’s milk and whey and tastes great on pizza.
- Pesto sauce: Pesto is a yummy and healthy dish made out of garlic, basil, nuts, olive cheese, and salt and pepper.
- Pumpkin “sauce”: This can be made with canned pumpkin mixed in with some tomato sauce.
- Bolognese sauce: Made with tomatoes, herbs, milk, white wine, and seasonings, this is used mostly for meats and dishes such as lasagne, but it can also be placed on top of your pizza base as a delicious sauce.
- Thai peanut sauce: This sauce is made from soy sauce, peanut, honey or ginger sugar, and vinegar sesame seeds.
Is Salsa a Healthy Alternative to Pizza Sauce?
Depending on how it’s made, salsa can be a very healthy alternative to pizza sauce. This is especially true if you make your own salsa because you can control what goes into it and what to avoid.
Salsa is made with tomatoes and vegetables, with some spices and lime juice thrown in for added flavor. It is usually not made with unhealthy oils and sugars, and it usually has a lot of vitamins and minerals in it.
Does Pizza Have to Have Tomato Sauce?
It may sound funny, but pizza is still pizza even if it doesn’t have tomato sauce on it. Pizza bianca, also called white pizza, is extremely popular all over the world.
Pizza bianca is made with various seasonings and cheese as the base, while leafy greens such as arugula and even spinach are placed on top of that. Instead of tomato sauce, pizza bianca usually includes soft cheeses such as ricotta.
You can salsa on your pizza, as well as many other foods, and in fact, many Italian restaurants are continuously coming up with more unique pizzas to enjoy.
Whether you like yours with salsa or pizza sauce, red or white, just know that when it comes to pizza, you can eat one every day and still go a long time without eating the same kind twice.
Can you use salsa as pizza sauce? | Summary
Salsa can be used as pizza sauce but it will taste best if it is enriched with a rich tomato paste or pasta sauce. This will give it the depth of flavor to enhance the cheese and other toppings on your pizza.
Adding salsa to your pizza can add some spice and some freshness. Mix it 50:50 with a tomato based sauce or add it straight on for a fresh, Mexican taste.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.