The 9 Essential Pizza Sauce Herbs & Spices to Cook Italian Pizza

Every pizza connoisseur is well aware that the secret behind an authentic pie is the perfect pizza sauce herbs & spices that are used to flavor it. Add them in the right proportions and at the right cooking stage and they can transform the taste of your pizza to one cooked in the kitchens of Naples. Pizza sauce herbs & spices may be available in their dried form or fresh and green. Some of the herbs lend a delicate flavor when used in their fresh form while others are stronger when dried and you might want to add them at the sauce cooking stage.

Here are some essential spices and herbs that form the base of any authentic pizza sauce recipe.


Fresh herbs are perfect for sprinkling on the pizza just before you slip it into the oven or add them into the sauce. If you intend to use them in the dried form, make sure to add to the sauce before you add tomatoes. And watch the quantity you use. A tablespoon of fresh herbs is equivalent to a teaspoon of dried herbs, so don’t add too much.

An authentic Italian pizza sauce recipe is sure to include the following essential herbs:

  • Basil – It has a taste that includes pepper and mint and can be used to garnish your pizza.
  • Oregano – Lends a great flavor to meat, tomatoes, capers, and olives.
  • Thyme – It has an intense flavor and can be used as complete sprigs when fresh.
  • Rosemary – With needle-like leaves, this herb is one of the essential pizza sauce herbs and spices and has a somewhat pungent flavor. Make sure you use it in very small quantities or it can overpower the flavor of your pizza.
  • Marjoram – With hints of citrus and sweet pine, marjoram can make an interesting addition to your sauce.


Some spices are must haves on your list of pizza sauce herbs and spices. If you’re making an Italian pizza sauce recipe from scratch, an insider trick is to heat the spices to wake them up so that they release their oils and with it, that delicious taste.

The key pizza sauce spices to use in your Neapolitan pizza recipe are:

  • Peppers – In place of powdered black peppercorns, you might want to use the cracked variety for a mild flavor.
  • Chili Flakes – Add just the perfect amount of heat to the pizza without taking away its amazing flavor. You can always add a little extra if you intend to make a spicy pizza sauce.
  • Fennel Seeds – Add them powdered or whole just before you add the tomatoes in the sauce.
  • Ginger – Add ginger in its coarsely powdered form as a surprise and whimsical addition to the toppings or to your collection of pizza sauce herbs and spices.

Fresh Pizza Sauce Herbs & Spices are Key

The key to any original Neapolitan cuisine is the perfect blend of pizza sauce herbs and spices, and the quality of your ingredients. The fresher the better, especially if you can find the variety that is grown in the farms and gardens of Naples. These spices and herbs will carry with them the sunshine and warm climes of the Mediterranean. When combined with the real ingredients like buckwheat dough, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, pepperoni, and others, they create an incredible pizza experience that can instantly transport you to Italy – right from your kitchen table.


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