I know someone that can't eat citrus foods or foods with high acidity so when it comes to pizza this means having it with no tomato based sauces. So far this means having ranch or an Alfredo-type sauce, or worse yet no sauce! Aside from these can anyone suggest any other alternatives we can try?

  • 3
    I feel a bit daft asking, but how is a tomato a citrus food? Is there some terminology I'm not aware of?
    – Carmi
    Commented Sep 12, 2010 at 14:21
  • 1
    @Carmi Maybe it's the acidic nature of it.
    – ceejayoz
    Commented Sep 12, 2010 at 15:16
  • Sure, you can use any alternative you like, but it's no longer real pizza then!
    – Noldorin
    Commented Sep 25, 2010 at 21:56
  • 3
    @Noldorin - Pizza is not defined by having tomato sauce. Pizza Bianca for example specifically does NOT include tomatoes.
    – Allison
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 17:52
  • @Allison: Originally, it only had tomato sauce, and no cheese. The Pizza Napolitan is the original form of pizza, and was made as such. I'm sure many other Italians can agree with me on this. Undoubtedly, Americans and other Non-Italians will bastardise the food at some point, but they're taking liberty in calling it 'pizza' then.
    – Noldorin
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 18:07

11 Answers 11


Suggestions I have would be a basil pesto sauce, bbq, or a sweet chili sauce. I have not tried this, but rather than ranch, I wonder if you could do something with caesar?

  • Shrimp and pesto or salmon and pesto pizza with a combination of a mozzarella cheese and some parmesan - delicious!
    – justkt
    Commented Sep 25, 2010 at 12:16
  • OMG.... basil pesto as pizza sauce is sinfully decadent. That would be my #1 choice if tomatoes are out. Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 18:09

You may need to rethink your idea of pizza as something that needs tomato sauce, or sauce at all. Imagine it as an open sandwhich freshly baked. You can put tomato or any other juicy thing to contribute moist.

Avoiding tomato will allow you to add some flavours that tomato sauce usually masks. If you like the pineapple-ham combo, it tastes better without tomato, IMHO.

A few of my favourite pizzas:

  • Slightly fried salmon (fry the chunks until they don't look raw), goat cheese and mozzarella. Add some olives after baking.
  • Caramelized onions, mushrooms, ham, goat cheese and mozzarella.
  • Stir fried asparagous and fresh mozzarella. Add some olive oil and manchego cheese grated after baking.
  • Those all sound really good. I'm going to have to try making them.
    – Taeraresh
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 15:52
  • 1
    carmelized onions and sauted mushrooms really help to keep an otherwise sauce-less pizza from getting to dry. As does melted goat cheese.
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 25, 2010 at 7:52
  • Carmelized onions, manchego, and something green/bitter. Like blanched broccolini, kai lan, broccoli rabe, stinging nettles, or asparagus.
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 3:40

the easiest best replacement for me is a nice bianco sauce

pound few cloves garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper in mortar & pestle add white wine and mix til homogenised



Yes! Take 1 cup slice onion, 1/2 cup butternut squash, peeled and sliced very thin. Put onion and squash in a roasting pan, add some rosemary, salt and pepper, toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 F. Brush your crust with olive oil. Put squash mixture on top, sprinkle a bunch of parmesan or asiago cheese over, then bake at 450 for about 10 minutes. Not sure what crust you use...but this is truly delicious!


You can put a layer of mozzarella cheese (like in margherita, but without tomato sauce) it gives a good, juicy texture and it's a really good ground. Add various toppings:

  • Bits of sausages and/or mushrooms
  • salad and seafood
  • Various cheeses
  • sliced eggplant, zucchini, onions
  • ham and potatoes

You don't need sauce at all. Infuse some olive oil with garlic and let it cool down. Use it as your base, you can perhaps integrate fresh thyme, oregano, basil, or sage with your oil infusion depending on what your toppings might be

my favorite pizza is dough + olive oil (infused with garlic) + chicken + provolone + blue cheese + roasted red peppers


You could make it a la Tarte Flambée, and use crème fraîche with some nutmeg, salt and pepper... :-)

  • be aware that Emmental goes really well with that as a cheese topping. :-)
    – Malene
    Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 17:41

Pizza does not need a sauce, but most Americans are accustomed to eating pizzas with sauce covered bases. There are a variety of sauces that could be used in lieu of tomato based sauces, some of them people would accept readily while others might take a leap of faith... Basically any sauce can be used on pizza as long as you pair it with toppings that work with them.

More "Traditional" sauces:

  • Alfredo or other cream-based sauces
  • Pestos (There are many variation of pesto, not just basil)
  • Romesco
  • Olive oil (plain or herb infused)
  • Roasted garlic puree

"Modern" sauces:

  • Caramelized onions (with or without a splash of Balsamic to brighten the flavor)
  • Balsamic reduction (cooking down Balsamic vinegar makes it less acidic)
  • Ranch or other salad dressings like Blue Cheese or Caesar
  • Moles or Green salsa for Tex Mex flavor combinations
  • BBQ (this may not apply for the OP because it can be tomato based and acidic)
  • Butternut squash, carrot, or pumpkin puree
  • Hoisin, Curry, or Thai peanut sauce for Asian flavor profiles
  • Fig puree (great with bacon!)
  • Tapenades
  • French "Mother Sauces" and their derivatives

Equal parts unprepared canned Mushroom soup mixed with sour cream and optional hot sauce to taste. I top this with diced up boiled perogies, mushrooms and bacon.


When I make homemade pizza I use this no-tomato sauce. Please note, beets will discolor as you cook them so while the sauce itself is nice and red, once you bake the pizza it may be a bit browner. (You may want to remove the sauce from the heat before adding the beets and don't cook them for the additional 5 minutes, then allow it to finish cooking while baking in the oven on the pizza.) You can see a photo of the baked sauce here.


You could use a pepper-based sauce instead. Peppers are related to tomatoes, but they aren't as acidic (if you're canning you need a pressure cooker for peppers, at least in part due to lower acidity). Because they have a low water content, they'd be easy to make a sauce with desirable texture for pizza. Just blend up the peppers (add water to blend, if needed; it'll still be thick), and season it a lot like pizza sauce. I've made a lacto-fermented chile sauce (no tomatoes) that I use like no-tomato salsa. I imagine a pepper-based pizza sauce would also taste good, whether or not you use chiles.

There are many tomato relatives that taste similar to tomatoes, according to some. I'm not sure of their pH, however—e.g. tomatillos, ground cherries, wonderberries, Morelle De Balbis, etc. Tomatillos can be pretty sour (unless you let them fall off the vine like ground cherries before harvesting—then they're sweeter and much less sour, however).

I discovered how to make a new condiment sauce/ketchup/salsa that goes very well in liberal amounts with pizza, burritos, chips and other things. I imagine you could cook it on the pizza if you wanted, but it's definitely not needed. It's composed of the following ingredients:

  • Squash (preferrably a sweet, non-bitter, smooth-fleshed pumpkin, like Porcelain Doll F1 or Long Island Cheese). Bake it to soften it first.
  • Onions (don't add garlic to this particular sauce)
  • Plenty of salt
  • Vinegar (you may not want vinegar, depending, although I think it's better with it; so, you might improvise)
  • Peppers (hot or sweet)
  • Mushrooms
  • Cheese
  • Oregano
  • You may need a fair amount of water, since squash absorb it kind of like potatoes do.

Cook it all together thoroughly (high heat is fine, as long as it doesn't burn). Add the cheese near the end. Use the ingredients liberally. The proportion of ingredients for the best flavor depends on what kind of squash you use.

You just spread it across the top of your pizza right before you eat it. You don't dip it (you do dip chips, however). Anyway, it makes sense that it tastes good with pizza, due to the cheese, oregano, peppers, onions and mushrooms, but I don't believe I initially added those ingredients with pizza in mind. I was trying to make a salsa using squash as the main ingredient instead of tomatoes (a salsa to be used for tortilla chips) and those ingredients just happened to be what I thought made it taste like a salsa.

It does not need to be warmed before use, and it can be refrigerated.

You could use the same principles to make other pizza sauces.

On another note, chicken pizzas often have a creamy sauce instead of a tomato sauce (kind of like chicken alfredo). You could do a flour-based sauce or perhaps a cream-cheese-based sauce. Garlic sauce may also be nice.

Some people seem to use oil as their sauce (and pretend they don't have sauce), whether the oil is olive oil, or oil from cheese. Cheese is also arguably a sauce, when hot.

Adding more alkaline ingredients (like dairy products: i.e. calcium is alkaline) should help somewhat to balance acids present.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.