A good white pizza needs a good white pizza sauce. This olive oil pizza sauce is the perfect versatile base for all types of white pizzas! It adds a ton of flavor, helps the crust brown, and works with a ton of different white pizza toppings.
This simple olive oil sauce for white pizza is infused with fresh garlic, shallot, and rosemary. The best part? Just like my classic red pizza sauce, it takes less than 10 minutes to make, and requires zero cooking!
Just mince, mix, and you're ready to make pizza bianca (that's Italian for "white pizza"). This sauce recipe makes enough for two white pizzas.
Looking for ways to use this pizza sauce? Try pairing it with my overnight thin crust pizza dough to make my four cheese white pizza or my arugula and prosciutto pizza. There's also a version of it (without rosemary) in my cheeseburger pizza recipe!
About This Olive Oil Pizza Sauce
There are a lot of different ways to make white sauce for pizzas, but I like this olive oil pizza sauce on my white pizzas because it is super simple and goes with a lot of different toppings.
5 star reader review
“This was so easy and so delicious! I love making a “simple” pizza base and then spooning uncooked homemade pizza sauce on top as I eat for a super fresh tomato taste, and this was perfect for that! I topped my pizza with just this mixture and some finely grated parmesan and it was ridiculously good.”—Ruth
It's also a very easy pizza sauce recipe to make in a small batch. I've written this to make just enough sauce for two medium white pizzas, because I rarely make just one pizza at a time. But you can easily cut it in half if you're just making one!
It's also great for making cheesy pizza dough breadsticks, pizza dough garlic knots, etc.
Unlike cream or cheese-based white sauces for pizza, this olive oil sauce is vegan, which is great if you're vegan or if you're hosting a pizza night and have vegan friends (you'll need to use vegan cheese on the pizza, of course).
Since I have so many pizza recipes on my site, I often hear from people who have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and can't eat pizza with tomato sauce due to their high acid content. An olive oil sauce for a white pizza is a great low-acid pizza sauce!
Here are the ingredients that you'll need to make this olive oil sauce for white pizzas! See recipe card (at the end of the blog post) for quantities.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Since olive oil is the base of this pizza sauce I recommend using one from a reputable brand (Kirkland, California Olive Ranch, Filippo Berio, Cento, etc.) with a flavor you like. I usually use a fairly mild flavored olive oil so it doesn't compete with the other flavors in the pizza.
- Shallot - Shallots are slightly sweeter than onions and don't have that raw, pungent bite that raw onions have. Shallots can range in size from a large marble to a small onion; you may need two or three small shallots or just one bulb from a large shallot. (Don't worry - I've given the quantity in the recipe in cups and by weight so you don't have to guess!)
- Garlic - I recommend using fresh garlic cloves and mincing or smashing them into a paste; it brings out the strongest flavor in the garlic. Jarred garlic will also work but you may want to still smash it up a little bit so you have more of a garlic paste.
- Rosemary - Fresh rosemary works better here, imo. It's a bit softer than dried rosemary. You'll want to mince it very finely. If you only have dried rosemary, use half the amount the recipe calls for. You could also use thyme here instead!
- Salt - I've written this recipe with a salt measurement that works for both fine sea salt or table salt. In my cooking, I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt which half as salty as other brands, including other brands of kosher salt. So if you also use DCKS, you may need to 2X the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Black Pepper - I recommend freshly cracked black pepper here for the fresher flavor, but if you only have pre-ground black pepper that's fine too.
Like many simple recipes, this olive oil pizza sauce is all about technique. It's super important that the garlic, shallots, and rosemary are minced very finely so they don't tear the delicate pizza dough when you spread the sauce.
Below I'll show you what I mean when I say "finely minced" for the three main ingredients of this sauce. How you choose to do this is up to you.
To keep it as simple as possible, I've written the recipe assuming you don't have any fancy kitchen gadgets other than a sharp knife.
If you'd rather not mince by hand or can't do it all by hand, keep reading. I've included some other methods for mincing below!
Use a knife and a pinch of salt to turn the garlic cloves into a paste by alternating smashing, smearing, and mincing them against a cutting board. (For more detail on how to make garlic paste with a knife, check out my ciabatta garlic bread!)
Finely mince the shallots into pieces about ⅛" in size or smaller. You need about ⅛ cup shallot for this recipe, but don't sweat it if you have slightly more or slightly less.
Strip the leaves off a spring of rosemary, remove any tough woody bits, then mince the leaves very finely, until you have an almost powdery consistency.
Add the garlic paste, minced shallots and rosemary to a bowl along with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk well to combine.
That's it! Your olive oil pizza sauce is now ready to use on your favorite white pizzas!
Other Methods of Mincing
If you can't or just don't want to finely mince the garlic, shallot, or rosemary by hand, here are some other options:
- Mini Food Processor or Bullet Blender - Use a mini food processor to mince the shallot, garlic, and rosemary together, pausing to scrape down the bowl several times throughout. Note: This is a fairly small amount you're asking even a mini food processor to handle, it may not be able to get the pieces evenly small enough. You may still need to take a knife to the them. Do NOT add the oil to the garlic in the mini food processor or you will end up making an aioli.
- Zester or Grater - Use a rasp-style Microplane zester on the garlic cloves and medium-coarse grater for the shallot. Fair warning, this will for sure make your eyes water.
- Garlic Press - Use a rocker-style or hand held garlic press to turn the garlic cloves into a paste. You'll still have to do the shallots and rosemary by hand.
- Jarred Garlic - If you're using jarred minced garlic, place 1 teaspoon in a plastic bag and roll over it with a rolling pin a few times to smash the garlic pieces into a paste.
How to Spread Pizza Sauce
The best way to spread pizza sauce is with the back of a spoon. Pizzerias often use ladles which come in specific measurements to ensure every pizza has the same amount of sauce.
The deep curve at the bottom of the ladle makes it easy to spread the sauce evenly without any sharp edges tearing or catching on the dough.
For home pizza making purposes, a regular old dinner spoon works just fine. Sweep it gently across the surface of the dough taking care not to apply too much pressure.
When spreading this white pizza sauce, you definitely don't want to press too hard on the minced shallots; they'll tear the delicate pizza dough. And you certainly don't want the dough to stick to the peel!
Substitutions and Variations
As with any recipe this simple, the ways in which you can customize this olive oil pizza sauce for use on white pizzas are endless! Here's some ideas to get you started:
- Spicy - Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
- Cheesy - Add 2 tablespoons of finely grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese.
- Scallions - Replace the shallot with finely chopped scallion whites. Save the scallion greens for topping your pizza.
- Bacon - Add 1 tablespoon bacon bits.
- Onion - If you can't find a shallot, a yellow onion is the best substitute.
- Garlic Confit - Warm the oil in a pot over low heat and add the garlic paste and shallots. Stir well and let simmer for 5 minutes; you don't want the garlic or shallots to begin burning. Remove from heat and let cool before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. This will take the edge off the pungent raw garlic and shallot flavor while infusing the oil with more flavor. (This is also a good tip for anyone with GERD who finds raw shallots still trigger their acid reflux.)
Storage & Important Food Safety Notes
This recipe makes enough olive oil sauce for about two medium pizza bianca. Store any extra sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Use, freeze, or discard any excess infused olive oil white sauce within 3-4 days.
According to the USDA and food safety experts at the University of Colorado, storing infused raw garlic and shallots in oil for longer than 4 days in the refrigerator or at room temperature can allow for the growth of clostridium botulinum bacteria which causes botulism.
Oil will solidify in the fridge or freezer. To warm up for use, submerge the sealed container in hot water until the oil returns to a liquid state. Shake before use.
When you combine garlic and olive oil at high speeds they begin to form a thick emulsion known as aioli. You'll end up with a pizza sauce that has a creamy texture almost like mayonnaise. If you want to use a mini food processor or bullet blender to finely chop the garlic, shallots, and rosemary before stirring them into the olive oil with the minced rosemary, you absolutely can. Just don't use the food processor to add the oil.
Nope! I'm sure you can use alfredo as a sauce on white pizza but not all white pizza sauces are alfredo sauces. Alfredo is made using heavy cream, butter, and cheese. This white pizza sauce recipe has an olive oil base and is not an alfredo.
Half the amount of shallot, olive oil, salt, and pepper, but keep the amount of rosemary and garlic the same!
Olive Oil Pizza Sauce for White Pizza
Olive Oil Pizza Sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil (53 grams)
- ¼ cup minced shallot (42 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon salt (use 2X Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt)
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Make the garlic paste. Use the flat side of of your knife under the heel of your hand to smash the garlic cloves. Rock the knife blade repeatedly across the smashed garlic to chop it, then drag the flat of the knife (with the sharp edge pressed down against the cutting board at about a 10-15 degree angle) across the garlic to smear it into a thin layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then chop across the garlic, gather it up into a pile, smear, and repeat until you have a fine garlic paste. Alternately, use a Microplane zester to finely grate the garlic into a paste.
- Finely mince the shallot. You're looking for pieces ⅛" or smaller.
- Finely mince the rosemary. Strip the leaves off the spring of rosemary by pinching firmly at the top with one hand and sliding the fingers of the other hand down the stem in the opposite direction of the leaves from tip to base. Remove any bits of tough, woody stem. Mince the rosemary leaves until very fine, almost powdery.
- Mix garlic paste, shallot, and rosemary together in a small bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Your sauce is now ready to use.
- Storing cold infused raw garlic and shallots in oil for longer than 4 days in the refrigerator or at room temperature can allow for the growth of clostridium botulinum bacteria which causes botulism. Use, freeze, or discard any excess sauce within 3-4 days.
- Oil will solidify in the fridge or freezer. To use from cold, submerge the container in hot water until the oil returns to a liquid state. Shake before use.
- You can also use a mini food processor of bullet blender to chop the garlic, shallot, and rosemary. Do not use a food processor or bullet blender to add the oil or you'll end up with a creamy aioli.