Now, we can argue whether you should serve pizza with a dipping sauce, or not. If you say no, chances are you wouldn’t be here right now. Because you’re looking for some –and there are some, believe me. But there are also sauces to stay away from, so let’s have a look at those too, shall we?!
So, what are the best dipping sauces for pizza? A creamy garlic sauce is perhaps the most common and most delicious dipping sauce for pizza. A creamy ranch or fry dipping sauce works well, too. On the less creamy side of things, you have a marinara or roasted pepper sauce. You could also opt for pesto!
Now, let’s explore the recommendations above in greater detail and also go into what sauces you want to avoid for your pizza!
- 1 The Best Dipping Sauces For Pizza
- 2 What Types of Sauces Pair Best With Pizza?
- 3 What Sauces To Avoid Serving With Pizza
The Best Dipping Sauces For Pizza
Mayo and garlic together. Mouthwateringly delicious. Need I say more?
One thing you should know is that you can boil the garlic cloves before mincing them if raw garlic does not appeal to you.
Another thing to know is that you can add some lemon juice, honey, mustard (not a lot), and/or olive oil to the blend.
Salt and pepper, or a pinch of cayenne pepper, are other optional ingredients. Go light on the salt–salty aioli does not taste nice.
If mayo alone gets a tad too creamy for you, try subbing half of it with Greek yogurt (or any other creamy yogurt).
I’ve even seen recipes calling for mayo, Greek yogurt, and sour cream combined, too.
Of course, once you add Greek yogurt and/or sour cream, it’s no longer strictly aioli, but that doesn’t matter much, does it? The important part is that you love your garlic dipping sauce!
For anyone vegan, buy vegan mayo.
Finding a vegan yogurt that works well in a sauce can be a little trickier–often they taste, well, not like yogurt. If that’s the case, stick to the vegan mayo!
If you’re a chipotle addict, you can add some chipotle sauce and smoked paprika to the aioli to make it smokey and hot.
If you don’t like garlic, you can simply add the chipotle sauce and smoked paprika to pure mayo instead.
Most pizzas have tomato sauce on them, but who says you can’t have more of a good thing? Not I!
All you need to make a nice marinara sauce is tomato sauce, your favorite hot sauce (or cayenne pepper), Italian seasoning and/or fresh oregano and basil, and salt if the tomato sauce hasn’t already been salted.
If you find your marinara sauce is a bit too acidic, try adding some honey. Stevia or sugar can also help take away the acidity.
Well, that’s not strictly true–it doesn’t take away acidity the way cream would, but the sauce becomes sweeter and, thus, less tart (acidic).
Another option for marinara sauce would involve blending together some canned tomatoes with fresh basil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
You can roast or boil the garlic beforehand if you like. If you cook the garlic, you’ll need more of it as it isn’t as strong.
Of course, you may have your own favorite marinara recipe, and then you can use that!
Creamy Garlic Parmesan Dip
If you want more cheese than there already is on your pizza, this is the way to go!
Blend together mayonnaise, olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, and Italian herbs. As always, you can sub some of the mayo with creamy yogurt or sour cream.
Ranch Dipping Sauce
Good old ranch sauce–who doesn’t like it?
Blend, or stir, together some mayo, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, ranch seasoning mix, chopped chives, garlic powder, and black pepper.
It’s that easy to make your own ranch dipping sauce!
Which is a good thing, because if you ordered pizza because it was the easiest dinner option, chances are you won’t want to stand around all day making the sauce for it!
Fry Dipping Sauce
Another ridiculously easy sauce to make is a fry dipping sauce.
Simply stir together mayo, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, and freshly ground pepper. Does it get any easier than that?!
Roasted Pepper Sauce
Get yourself a jar of roasted peppers, roast some garlic, add some kalamata olives and salt and pepper to taste, and blend it all together.
Want a slightly creamier roasted pepper sauce?
Or, well, actually–a whole lot creamier?
Roast some poblano peppers (and onions and garlic, if you like), and blend them together with sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Voilà–you’ve made poblano cream sauce.
A Margherita pizza, or a cheese pizza that doesn’t have any tomato sauce will taste really yummy when dipped in pesto.
You can buy pesto in a jar in your nearest shop, and heaven knows there are a lot to choose from these days!
There’s the traditional pesto made with basil, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmigiano cheese.
Then there are roast pepper pestos. Aubergine pestos. Cilantro pestos. The list goes on.
You can also make your own pesto by blending together the aforementioned ingredients.
Some people like to add some garlic, too. Others prefer swapping out the pine nuts with walnuts.
Some people love to dip their pizza in butter. I’m still trying to get my head around this, as pizza is kind of rich as is.
However, lots of people love it, so let’s discuss garlic butter.
As you’re dipping your pizza in the butter, you need to melt it first. To the butter, you want to add minced/pressed/grated garlic and some parsley. Possibly salt.
You can use traditional butter or vegan butter–whatever takes your fancy.
OK, so most people don’t dip their pizza in salsa, but a nice fresh salsa, like pico de gallo, works really well with cheese and tomato.
So if you are eating a Margherita, why not dip it in some salsa? It’s not Italian, I know, I know. But still. It’s delicious!
To make fresh salsa, chop up some chilis or peppers, tomatoes and onions, pour in some lime juice, and season to taste. You can add some olive oil to the mix, as well as fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley.
You can also buy cooked salsa in just about any shop in town!
As mentioned, salsa works well with a Margherita. It won’t work well with a three-cheese pizza, a chicken BBQ pizza, a pizza with anchovies on it, or any pizza that has lots of Italian spices on it. Use your judgment!
There’s always a good smoky BBQ sauce too.
There are various variations of BBQ sauce, and it does pair particularly well with pizzas with chicken as a topping!
What Types of Sauces Pair Best With Pizza?
The best types of sauces to pair with pizza are creamy, though tomato based sauces also are an excellent combination, too.
Aioli, sour cream and garlic, parmesan and garlic, chipotle and garlic, butter and garlic–they are all popular dipping sauces for pizza. Creamy, garlicky, and divine.
Ranch sauce and fry sauce are the other creamy options on this list.
You can also make your own creamy sauce using sour cream as a base. For example, if you like it hot, why not add some cajun seasoning?
Or go with some good old tzatziki (just swap the sour cream for yogurt).
If you want something healthier, a marinara sauce is brilliant for pizza.
If that’s a bit tomato on tomato for you (after all, pizzas already contain tomato sauce), why not make a roasted pepper sauce, instead? You can do it with or without sour cream.
Pesto is another popular dipping sauce for pizza and you can go wild and make up your own. These days you can pop pretty much anything into a blender, blend it together and call it pesto, though it does tend to have nuts and olive oil in it–the rest of the ingredients are up for debate.
While salsa is a Mexican dipping sauce, if you eat a standard Margherita pizza, there’s no saying you can’t dip it in salsa. Just like a marinara sauce, it’s fresh.
Chili oil is, of course, not a dipping sauce (but then, is melted garlic butter?). It’s something you drizzle over your pizza for the sake of some extra heat.
You can sub it for tabasco or some other hot sauce if you want the heat, but not the oil.
If it’s a Margherita you’re eating, you can use most any hot sauce you like, but if it’s some other form of pizza, you will want to stay away from something like chipotle hot sauce, as it will add flavors that don’t necessarily gel with Italian ingredients (or any other ingredients).
Point being, while chili oil or hot sauce aren’t technically dipping sauces, you can still certainly use them for your pizza. And, if you really like it hot, you can even turn them into dipping sauces!
What Sauces To Avoid Serving With Pizza
A Rhode Island salad dressing isn’t going to work as a dipping sauce. Nor can you use hummus, or taramasalata. And if you go with the aforementioned salsa, don’t use it for pizzas with contrasting flavor profiles–a sauce like that pretty much only works with a Margherita.
When it comes to dipping sauces to avoid, you have to use common sense.
A Margherita pizza doesn’t clash with most dipping sauces, as it is flavored with a simple tomato sauce and cheese.
Sometimes it has lots of oregano, in which case using a salsa filled with cilantro would potentially be a clash. But, let’s say it’s not covered in Italian herbs.
Then you can dip it in just about anything that goes well with cheese and tomato.
Most dipping sauces for pizza have Italian flavors as pizza is an Italian dish and tends to come with Italian flavors.
These days, there are pizzas that have BBQ chicken on them, or curry, so you have to be mindful that you choose a dipping sauce that works well with whatever pizza you’re having.
Yes, garlic sauce is popular, but using it with a pizza that has anchovies on it? Maybe not!
There are many dipping sauces that are great in their own right, like baba ganoush or hummus, but you want to dip some plain bread or veggies in them, not a pizza that comes with its own flavor profile.
Looking for other sauce recommendations for other delicious finger foods? Then check out my other guides below:
- Best Sauces For Pizza Rolls ⋆ 9 Delicious Options! ⋆
- Best Dipping Sauces For Jalapeño Poppers ⋆ 10 You Need To Try ⋆
- Best Dipping Sauces For Artichokes ⋆ 16 Options You Should Try ⋆
- Best Sauces For Egg Rolls ⋆ 7 Of The Best Combinations! ⋆
- What Sauce To Eat With Mozzarella Sticks ⋆ 15 Options To Try! ⋆
- What Sauce Goes With Sweet Potato Fries? ⋆ 8 Winning Combinations ⋆
- What Sauce To Eat With Falafel ⋆ 6 Options To Try! ⋆
Hello. I’m Jeremy – an experienced saucier who has worked in some of the top kitchens over the last few decades. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my knowledge and expertise; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to recommendations for every sauce imaginable.