Is Pizza Without Sauce Still Pizza?

There’s one other thing that everyone feels is imperative to being able to call something a pizza, and that’s the sauce. So, that then opens up an interesting question. Is pizza without sauce still pizza?

When you think of pizza, several things may spring to mind. You have the crust, while the multitude of options for the toppings can keep your mind active for a long time.

We know that many people will look at this question and wonder how on earth you could ever eat a pizza without some type of sauce. Well, it happens, and it happens more than you think.

But we aren’t here to discuss the popularity of this particular approach. Instead, we are here to talk about one simple question. Is it still a pizza?

a white pizza

The Answer

The answer is a resounding yes. If you remove the sauce from a pizza, it can still be called a pizza. Actually, this means it’s known as a white pizza, which has seen a real increase in popularity in recent years.

We know it may sound strange and peculiar to some people at the idea of a pizza having no tomato sauce base, but it seems the crust, toppings, and cooking method are the things that make a pizza what it is.

But hold on, just a minute. Pizzas without that tomato sauce base exist, but they aren’t white, and that causes some confusion. However, we will tell you more about that later.

For now, you can simply sit back and understand that the sauce is not the thing that defines a pizza. Instead, it’s about a whole lot more than just one aspect. After all, chicken wings don’t just suddenly stop becoming chicken wings if you avoid the sauce.

It’s Not a New Idea

This concept of pizza without sauce is not new. The very origins of pizza go back further into history than the appearance of the tomato in Europe. So, that gives you an idea of how old the tradition is of having pizza without a tomato base.

You could even argue as a result of this that the sauce is the odd thing out from the origins of pizza. That in itself could change the way you view this whole pizza thing.

But we admit that most people link pizza with that tomato sauce, and it’s for a good reason. It’s what we feel used to seeing on a pizza, and the idea of it not being there comes across as somewhat strange and peculiar.

Why is it Still Pizza?

Remember that pizza is formed from several things, and it’s the combination of items that ultimately leads to it becoming a pizza.

To stress how it’s still a pizza, we can look at the individual parts and see how our vast array of options doesn’t change what it’s called.

If you look at the crust as a prime example. Crusts come in different sizes, the thickness varies, some have stuffed crusts, and you even have crusts made from cauliflower. 

Even with all of the different options with just the crust, we still always refer to it as pizza no matter the option you went for. You won’t even think about it as anything other than a pizza. 

The same approach applies to the toppings. Once again, you have a crazy number of options available to you with the toppings, and no matter what you go for, we still state that it’s a pizza.

Even though cheese is a huge deal with a pizza, it’s still classed as a pizza if you go without cheese.

If you think of it all from that perspective, you start to question why it would stop becoming a pizza if you removed the sauce. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, and that’s perhaps the best way to look at this question.

pizza without sauce

So What Makes the Base?

Understandably, you may find yourself sitting there wondering what forms the base of a white pizza. Well, it turns out that you have several options.

Remember that not including a sauce removes a lot of flavors, and that’s why seasoning plays such an important role.

Also, cheese on the base is another key component. In particular, soft cheese such as ricotta can take the place of the tomato sauce since it adds moisture.

But here’s where the confusion can come into play.

Some People Cheat with a White Pizza

While we talk about a pizza without any sauce, some people cheat by using BBQ sauce rather than the normal tomato sauce.

That means you still get that red hue on the bottom rather than it being clear of sauce, so is that still a white pizza?

Some argue that it’s not, but it’s still a pizza without the normal sauce, and that’s the key here. You just have to think about how popular BBQ chicken pizza is across the United States to realize that many people already eat pizza without the usual sauce anyway.

But here is something else to think about. You do have options where there’s no sauce, and we wouldn’t see a pizza with BBQ sauce qualifying for what we want to talk about here.

A New Definition of a Pizza Without Sauce?

For us, the idea of a pizza with even BBQ sauce would still make this count as a normal pizza. So, we should define exactly what we mean when discussing a pizza without sauce.

Granted, the idea of calling it a white pizza will not always work. It gives the impression of an entirely white pizza, even down the toppings, and that’s not feasible.

For some people, a classic white pizza would only ever include different types of cheese, some seasoning, and perhaps some greens thrown on top like arugula. It would come across as a basic, simple pizza with very few toppings and even looks bland.

Some people even go as far as to put cream on the base of their pizza since it’s white, and we accept that it would then add moisture. 

You see, trying to eat pizza without something that is even slightly wet on the crust is a tough ask. It makes eating the pizza less pleasant, so you must counteract that.

But people wonder how they can do this on earth if we are trying to talk about pizza without sauce. 

simple white pizza

Options That Don’t Include Sauce

When you stop and think about things, you will quickly see that you have several options of things you can add to the base of the pizza that doesn’t include sauce.

We have already mentioned ricotta cheese or cream, but what if you are not a huge fan of either? 

If that’s the case, you can easily add something along the lines of olive oil, and this oil could even include some flavoring. Alternatively, some form of pesto on the crust is another popular option that people use, which will certainly give you a whole lot of flavor.

In addition, some people add sweet chili dressing to the base or a roasted pepper spread. Perhaps you might want to caramelize some onions and throw that onto the crust first?

You need to find something that you feel comes with a big enough punch regarding taste and flavor to lift what would otherwise be a dry and bland base. 

What we recommend is spending time thinking about what appeals to your tastebuds. You have a whole host of potential ingredients that you can include on your pizza base to move it away from that dry texture.

It’s cool to sit and work out the different options or ways of adding moisture without simply covering it in the sauce.

Overall Conclusion

A pizza without sauce is still a pizza, so the entire concept does not rest on that red base we are so familiar with. Instead, it’s more to do with the crust that defines a pizza than anything else.

But we know the idea of a pizza without sauce does sound strange, and for many, it feels as if something is missing.

However, with the concept of a white pizza gaining in popularity, perhaps it’s time for you to start exploring the possibilities that still exist with a pizza without sauce.

By choosing the correct toppings and even changing the cheese that goes on the base, there’s no doubt you can still make an exceptionally tasty pizza. All you need to do is give it a try.