As far as I know, the only difference between white pizza and red pizza is the sauce.

I know that the white sauce is dairy-based, but what is it exactly? What are the main ingredients, is it thickened somehow? Is there something special to pay attention to when making white sauce? How thick should it be exactly? Should it contain herbs or not? Oil? How does it combine with the cheese, is the cheese supposed to melt "into" it?

  • 1
    This question is part of our weekly contest about the tag sauce.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 1:04
  • 3
    Its technically not what's being asked here, but a white pizza isn't defined by the sauce, but by the color. Often there is no sauce and its nearly like a focaccia when just toppings and no sauce.
    – rfusca
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 19:02

6 Answers 6


White pizza sauce isn't nearly as defined as red sauce. It's largely whatever you want it to be.

It's literally any sauce you top a pizza with that is white. It is often dairy based (cream or cheese added), but it could also be a thin parsnip puree. It may contain herbs, it may contain butter, its up to you. Again, thickness is up to you and whatever works for your dish.

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    Just to chime in slightly here, a white pizza can also just be a pizza with out any sauce
    – James
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 7:23
  • @James - yup, but she asked about white pizza sauce.
    – rfusca
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 14:42

It's often the same white sauce as used for lasagne, a Béchamel sauce. There are many basic recipes with different flavouring ingredients.

  1. Make a roux of butter and flour
  2. add milk and stir to make a smooth sauce
  3. add ingredients for flavour, such as white ground pepper, herbs, and/or cheese

I agree with rfusca though, that any sauce that is white will qualify when put on a pizza :o)

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    The most common Béchamel sauce I've seen listed as "white sauce" for Pizza involves garlic, pureed or roasted, added in step 3 Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 17:56

When I make white pizza, I don't use a "sauce". I brush (garlic infused) olive oil on the pizza dough and then sprinkle that with an Italian herb medley and then cheese on top.


As others have pointed out, white pizza means no tomato sauce; there's no specific sauce for it. Having said that, I would like to add Alfredo sauce (or just a dusting of Parmigiano or pecorino cheese) to the suggestions of saucy things you can put on it. Pesto sauce will also work; I used to know of a place that made Roman-style pizza-by-the-inch that made a pizza with pesto and potatoes on it. One last idea is Connecticut-style white clam -- that will differ depending on which person you ask, but I like shucked soft-shell clams, garlic, olive oil, and some parsley, oregano, and possibly rosemary with cheese on top.

  • Ooh. There's a pizza shop local to me that is run by some Greek immigrants. They make a tasty clam pizza.
    – Preston
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 23:22
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    There's a place around the corner from me that makes it, but it's not on the regular menu. I think it's a special order. Also, I didn't think to mention this, because it's not necessarily white pizza-related, but some parts of the world use other sauces besides tomato -- I believe in parts of east Asia (I want to say Hong Kong) barbecue sauce is common, and in Cuba they apparently use mustard, with or without tomato sauce.
    – BrianX
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 7:51

Personally, I like to smear some seasoned & herbed ricotta and olive oil mixture onto the dough.

Throw on some sliced green olives, artichokes, and feta and you have yourself a party.

Don't forget some garlic butter wash for the crust. Mmm.


I'm a pizzeria owner from New York, and in my experience and this area, white pizza is traditionally one that is topped with mozzarella with dollops of ricotta.

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