3 Best Olive Oil Pizza Sauce Variations – Garlic, Basil and Herbs

I tried garlic, basil, and olive oil pizza sauce, and boy, this wasn’t just any topping; it was an experience, a heavenly experience! Though it was much liquid combined with a crispy crust, the silkiness was matchless, turning a simple pizza into a gourmet feast.

Out of my culinary fad, my sheer curiosity was to slather pizzas with an olive oil-based sauce. Originating from Italy and Greece, where olive trees sway in abundance, olive oil packs a punch of heart-healthy fats and antioxidants.

3 Best Olive Oil Pizza Sauce Variations

So, apart from making your pizza base sinfully luscious, you can really love its silky texture and fruity undertones it lends.

So, olive oil on pizza screams both tradition and health. While olive oil and garlic pizza sauce come in an array of variations, you can also test this sauce with tomato and tomato variants with basil on pizza as common toppings. Well, to cut it short, see my 3 best pizza sauces you can easily try at home. 

The 3 Best Variations of Olive Oil Pizza Sauce – Garlic, Basil and Herbs

Since my first encounter with basil on pizza with garlic and olive infusion, I have tested many other iterations in my kitchen. Out of all these, I feel these 3 Olive oil pizza sauces were the easiest to craft and the perfect thing to raise the quality of flavor tones.

  • Classic Olive Oil & Garlic Sauce
  • Olive Oil & Herb Sauce
  • Olive Oil & Lemon Zest Sauce   

Apart from these, there have been many more to test in your kitchen, but let’s craft these thoroughly first; 

Classic Olive Oil & Garlic Sauce:

Classic Olive Oil & Garlic Sauce
  • Flavor Tones: Rich olive oil base with bold garlic notes, slightly nutty undertones, and a subtle hint of earthiness.
  • Recipe Texture: Silky Smooth texture with aromatic depth
  • Viscosity: Medium, Neither highly fluid nor thick like basic tomato sauce 
  • Complexity to Make: Superbly Beginner-friendly
  • Who’s it For: Those who adore a light yet flavorful base and garlic enthusiasts.
  • Who Should Avoid It: People not keen on strong garlic flavors or with garlic allergies.
  • Variations: Can be amped up with red pepper flakes for a kick or fresh herbs for added aroma.

I chose this sauce as an alternative to typical tomato sauce due to its olive and garlic-infused richness that marries beautifully with both veggies and meats. That said, the practicality is super nice as this garlic olive oil pizza sauce has really come out as a delicious and creamy spread that flatbreads or drizzles over salads, enhancing the flavor.

But when it comes to pizza, fresh mozzarella, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes can be the best topping to make a good pair. And there is no specific time to use it, with a slightly mild tone; I mostly prefer it on lazy Sunday mornings and a tiring office boring launch. 


  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – 240ml or 1 cup – Serves as the foundation; Extra-virgin olive oil, in particular, is cold-pressed and retains more of the olive’s natural flavors and health benefits.
  • Garlic Cloves – 15g or 4-6 cloves, thinly sliced or minced – using it as a flavor agent
  • Salt – 5g or 1 tsp – Enhances the flavors of the olive oil and garlic, bridging them together and balancing out the sauce’s overall taste.
Ingredients Classic Olive Oil & Garlic Sauce

Nutritional Values (per 50g):

  • Kcal: 180
  • Fats: 20g
  • Proteins: 0.2g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Sodium: 390mg
  • Sugar: 0.1g

How Do You Make It:
Heating the Olive Oil: We start making this olive oil base pizza sauce by gently heating the olive oil over low heat in a saucepan. Technically, I wouldn’t recommend you treat extra virgin oil with high heat as it can diminish its quality and taste. The slower the heating process will be, the better the extra-virgin oil’s delicate flavors will be preserved.

Let the Garlic Infuse Flavor:  Add the thinly sliced or minced garlic to warm oil. As a flavoring agent, let its flavors infuse into the oil, creating a beautifully blended sauce and thin slices or mincing thoroughly.

How Do You Make It Classic Olive Oil & Garlic Sauce

Now, once you add garlic, you have to simmer it for 5 minutes to bring out a golden hue; avoid browning. The reason is simple: browning or burning the garlic will introduce a bitter taste to the sauce, which we want to avoid.

Do the Seasoning: Let it Season with salt and stir. You can also do it with other Italian and non-Italian herbs like oregano and black peppers. Well, the addition of salt at this stage brings flavor balance, distributing its seasoning uniformly throughout the sauce. But don’t go beyond the limit. Once you are done, remove it from the heat and let it cool at room temperature. It allows this basic garlic olive oil pizza sauce to preserve its flavors.  

Key Takes from the Recipe:

  • Simplicity is at its best; just three core ingredients are needed.
  • A slow infusion of garlic in warm olive oil is the key.
  • Easily paired with various toppings and dishes. 

Olive Oil & Herb Sauce:

Olive Oil & Herb Sauce
  • Flavor Tones: Herbal symphony with a base of fruity olive oil gives it an earthy and fresh blend.
  • Complexity to Make: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Viscosity: Medium to Thick
  • Who’s it For: Herb enthusiasts, Mediterranean cuisine lovers, or anyone looking for a fresh yet rich sauce base.
  • Who Should Avoid It: Those who prefer a more straightforward, less herby taste to their pizza.
  • Variations: Can introduce fresh herbs instead of dried ones for a more pronounced and vibrant flavor or add lemon zest for a tangy twist.

This olive oil white pizza sauce is a fusion of mild and fruity flavor tones. With basic yet flavorful ingredients, it can make a good pair of sandwiches, wraps as a hearty spread, or even drizzled over salads. For me as an experiment enthusiast, I like it with fresh tomatoes, olives, feta, or even grilled chicken pizza toppings, which harmonize beautifully with its herbal notes. Seeing that, a sunny afternoon, preferably in an outdoor setting, can be a good time to efficiently enjoy it with your family and friends.


  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – 240ml or 1 cup – Again, as the heart of our sauce, it offers a rich and fruity base to which the herbs can adhere and infuse their flavors.
  • Dried Oregano – 5g or 2 tsp – gives a robust, earthy, slightly bitter flavor reminiscent of the Mediterranean aroma.
  • Dried Basil – 5g or 2 tsp – for a sweet, peppery note to balance the bitterness of oregano.
  • Dried Rosemary – 3g or 1 tsp, crushed – has a pine-like fragrance and flavor, offering depth and a woodsy undertone to the sauce.
  • Garlic Cloves – 8g or 2 cloves, minced – gives a gentle spiciness and aromatic quality that complements the medley of herbs.
  • Salt – 5g or 1 tsp, and Black Pepper – 2g or 1 tsp – using this as seasonings to enhance the overall taste.
Ingredients Olive Oil & Herb Sauce

Nutritional Values (per 50g):

  • Kcal: 195
  • Fats: 21g
  • Proteins: 0.3g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Sodium: 390mg
  • Sugar: 0.2g

How Do You Make It:
Combine Olive Oil with Minced Garlic: Obviously, you have to start with the core ingredients, which are olive oil and garlic. So, using those in initials ensures that you have a perfect blend of spiciness and the aromatic nature of garlic with olive oil deep tones right from the get-go. More logically, using garlic before the herbs are due to garlic’s potency has the ability to influence the oil even before the herbs are added, setting a solid flavor foundation.

Stir in Dried Herbs:  Afterwards, the first dried herbs get into the mixture to avoid the clump they could put together at the base of the bowl. This step is important to let each herb’s unique properties get perfectly captured by olive oil, which turns into a perfect olive oil pizza sauce – from oregano’s robustness to basil’s peppery hint and rosemary’s piney aroma.

How Do You Make It Olive Oil & Herb Sauce

Season with Salt and Pepper: I use salt and pepper for seasoning; where salt is my flavor enhancer, pepper brings mild heat and spiciness.

Stir Gently but Thoroughly: It’s Important. It guarantees that every component, from garlic to herbs, gets an equal opportunity to shine in the final blend via thorough mixing.

Allow the Mixture to Sit for at Least an Hour: The resting phase isn’t that much influential visually, but this is where the actual magic happens. Resting ensures oil, being a solvent, absorbs the flavors from the garlic and dried herbs.

So, factually and technically, the longer they sit at room temperature, the more pronounced their character in the sauce. An hour is a minimum; you can even let it meld overnight for a stronger infusion. Plus, Let it store in a cool and dry place, avoiding direct sunlight to preserve the Olive oil’s quality. 

Key Takes From This Recipe:

  • An herb-Infused Elegance with classic Mediterranean herbs ensures aromatic depth.
  • It’s Simple Yet Flavorful
  • Pairs harmoniously with a range of toppings, from fresh veggies to varied cheeses. 

Olive Oil with Lemon Zest Sauce:

Olive Oil with Lemon Zest Sauce
  • Flavor Tones: Bright and zesty lemon harmonizes with the fruity undertones of olive oil, creating a refreshing yet rich taste.
  • Complexity to Make: Beginner
  • Who’s it For: Lovers of light, fresh flavors, tang lovers, adventurous foodies
  • Who Should Avoid It: Those who are not fans of citrusy flavors or prefer more robust and hearty sauces.
  • Variations: Incorporate minced garlic for an aromatic twist or fresh herbs for an herbal undertone.

My favorite part of this recipe is the sauce’s lightness, making it versatile and easy to digest. With a little tangy yet fresh taste, you can use it as an alternative to tangy ranch sauces. And when considering pizza toppings, pair it with fresh tomatoes, arugula, goat cheese, or even thinly sliced prosciutto. I also utilize it as an excellent salad dressing or a drizzling addition to grilled fish. So, with all these fixtures and platforms to utilize, this sauce is the sheer epitome of freshness, making it the star of any warm-weather gathering.


Ingredients Olive Oil with Lemon Zest Sauce
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – 240ml or 1 cup – The foundation of the sauce for adding depth, richness, and a fruity background.
  • Lemon Zest – Zest of 2 large lemons: Lemon zest provides a bright, citrusy punch, lifting the sauce’s flavor profile and adding freshness.
  • Salt – 2g (around 1/2 tsp) – Flavor enhancer; bridges the zesty lemon and the fruity olive oil for a harmonious taste.
  • Black Pepper – 1g or around 1/2 tsp – for a slightly spicy undertone 

How Do You Make It:
Wash and Dry Lemon before The Zest: Though it doesn’t seem an influential step, washing the lemons removes the risk of impurities or pesticide effects, which can taint the sauce.

After you dry the washed lemons, let zest the lemons through a zester or a fine grater, and take off the bright yellow outer layer. This part is packed with aromatic oils and flavors. But beware about not zing too deep; the white pith underneath is bitter.

Combine Olive Oil and Lemon Zest in a Bowl: Mixing these allows the aromatic oils from the lemon zest to begin infusing the olive oil, creating a fragrant blend.

How Do You Make It Olive Oil with Lemon Zest Sauce

Season with Salt and Pepper: It’s essential to season the sauce as per your preference. As seasoning helps to enhance the fresh citrus notes and adds depth to the sauce, I am going to add salt and pepper. It’ll prevent components from overpowering each other and also prevent it from being too one-dimensional.

Mix Thoroughly and Let Sit for at least 30 minutes: Again, the sitting period is like a flavor-amplifying trick. So, with a sitting period, the lemon oils get infused into the olive oil, resulting in a richer, zestier sauce.

Key Takes of this Olive Oil Pizza Sauce:

  • Citrus Burst brings a refreshing Mediterranean touch.
  • Simple Elegance with a few ingredients.
  • Perfect for pizzas, salads, and grilled dishes alike, offering a zesty kick wherever used.

 The Bottom Line:

So, these are quite famous olive oil pizza sauces that rightly come into one’s mind when you want to ditch regular tomato sauce. But out of all these, I always love classic garlic olive oil pizza sauce due to its easy and straightforward making and authentic aromatic flavor. But that said, if you are adventure enthusiasts, you can try other garlic and olive oil pizza sauces onto your pizzas.  

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