Should Pizza Sauce Be Warm or Cold?

When you’re making homemade pizza and placing the sauce on it, should it be cold, warm, or room temperature?

Avoid adding pizza sauce to your pizza base at a temperature that is very cold or very hot. Very cold sauce can be difficult to spread on the pizza base. Very hot pizza sauce added to the base can speed up the cooking time, causing the cheese to melt faster and can lead to the pizza burning.

This article will explore all you need to know about pizza sauce temperatures including the best temperatures for making your homemade pizza.

Should You Warm Pizza Sauce Before Putting It on Pizza?

You can certainly warm up your pizza sauce before you put it on the pizza you’re cooking, but it isn’t a necessity.

Just make sure the sauce isn’t ice cold or scalding hot, because there are problems with each of these scenarios.

When you use very cold sauce, it can sometimes be difficult to spread properly on the pizza.

On the other hand, if the pizza sauce is extremely hot it can cause the pizza dough to cook a little faster, which means if you’re not careful the pizza could burn.

This is why it’s best not to use hot pizza sauce on your dough. It will melt the cheese faster so it will be important to check the pizza regularly as it cooks.

Can You Eat Cold Pizza Sauce?

You can eat cold pizza sauce without it being bad for you. Many people, particularly college students, are known for eating cold pizza the day after a party, and it’s never a problem.

Of course, this also depends on the ingredients found on your pizza and how long the sauce has been left at room temperature.

Pizza sauce, as well as a previously cooked pizza, should be eaten within two hours after it has been in the oven. After this time it needs to be refrigerated.

After it is placed in the fridge, you should ideally eat the pizza within 24 hours, or at the most, 2 days.

What Temperature Is Pizza Sauce When It Is Ready to Use?

The temperature of the pizza sauce will vary depending on your recipe. Some recipes suggest a specific temperature for the sauce, while others simply want you to bring it to a boil and then simmer it for a certain length of time.

Pizza sauce can take anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour to simmer and develop its flavor. It is best to use the pizza sauce on your bases once it has stopped steaming to avoid burning yourself or overcooking the dough.

You can also refrigerate the pizza sauce before using it on your bases. This will make it easy to spread and you can keep it for up to 3 days.

Is Pizza Sauce Supposed to Be Refrigerated?

Any leftover sauce you have when you’re making a pizza should be refrigerated immediately. The best way to do it is to place it in a plastic container with a lid or in a refrigerator-safe sealable plastic bag, then place it in the fridge.

Ideally, you should use any leftover pizza sauce within 3 days. If you place a brand new jar of pizza sauce that has yet to be opened in the fridge, it will last roughly two weeks, in part because store-bought pizza sauce always has preservatives in it.

I always store jarred pizza sauce in the fridge after it has been opened.

If you do not think you’ll be eating the leftover pizza sauce within three to five days, go ahead and freeze it in a freezer bag and mark the date on it.

Then, make sure you use the sauce within three months. To thaw out the pizza sauce, the best method is to leave the bag in your refrigerator for 24 hours so it can thaw out slowly and safely.

Never let frozen pizza sauce stay in your freezer longer than three months, and if your freezer stops working even for just a little while, it’s best to go ahead and throw the sauce away.

Is It OK to Leave Pizza Sauce Out Overnight?

Avoid leaving pizza sauce out overnight. In fact, it should never be left out more than two hours because bacteria can start to form, and you won’t even know it until you eat it at a later date.

To be on the safe side, refrigerate any unused pizza sauce immediately. One to two hours should be the maximum time unused pizza sauce stays out on the counter.  Refrigerating or freezing the sauce immediately is the smartest thing to do.

How to Store Pizza Sauce

All you have to do is store leftover pizza sauce in a closed container of some type and place it either in the refrigerator or the freezer.

It’s best not to store it in the jar it came in because again, bacteria can form on the lid that can make the sauce go bad quickly.

Placing leftover pizza sauce in some type of airtight container as quickly as possible is always the safest thing to do, mainly because even a small amount of bacteria in the sauce or the jar can cause you and your family to become ill.


When you’re making pizza, it really doesn’t matter what the temperature of the sauce is before you place it on your pizza dough. It should not be too cold or too hot, but other than that, it can be warm, cool, or even room temperature.

Super-cold and super-hot pizza sauce sometimes causes problems, but even in those situations, you’ll likely be just fine most of the time. A few simple rules and some common sense are all that’s required for you to make yummy pizza every time, whether your pizza sauce is homemade or store-bought.