Are you wondering what’s the difference between “Mexican pizza sauce” and “Italian red sauce?”
Italian red sauce is a fresh and light blend of ripe tomatoes, oregano, and basil. In contrast, Mexican pizza sauce is suspected to pack enchilada sauce, tomato paste, and chunky salsa in Taco Bell’s version. At the same time, some other versions of Mexican pizza sauce differ in ingredients.
Want to know more?
In today’s blog post, we’re exploring the worlds of Mexican pizza sauce and its Italian red counterpart deeply.
Keep reading to know the differences between red sauce and Mexican pizza sauce in detail.
What is Mexican Pizza Sauce?
Mexican pizza sauce is more like a riddle wrapped in an enchilada! There’s no single, official recipe.
The enchilada sauce, as a base of Mexican Pizza sauce, embraces several ingredients like tomato paste, spices, and herbs to create the perfect Mexican pizza sauce.
Considering the secret of ingredients, think of it as a chameleon, adapting to different kitchens and cravings.
Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza Sauce
The OG Mexican pizza sauce is thick, smoky, and spicy, keeping its recipe under wraps like a top-secret salsa recipe. Some say it’s a jazzed-up enchilada sauce, yet others suspect it to be a combination of tomato-enchilada-chunky salsa tango.
Whatever it is, it’s pure magic on that crispy flatbread.
Plenty of recipe detectors have cracked the code (sort of). You’ll find them making Mexican pizza sauce in Taco Bell Copycat pizza recipes by mixing tomato sauce with enchilada sauce, green chiles, chili powder, and cumin for a smoky, zesty fiesta. Or, keep it simple with enchilada sauce, Herdez salsa, and a touch of tomato paste. No matter what they do to create the sauce, the taste is almost the copycat.
Head south of the border, and “Mexican pizza sauce” becomes a regional adventure. In Mexico, pizzas have their own flair, but the sauces veer away from the Taco Bell version. Chipotle peppers, tomatillos, and local herbs join the party, creating unique flavor profiles across the country.
Italian Red Sauce: the Classic Contender
Italian red sauce, the heart of many iconic dishes, is a simple yet flavorful blend of fresh tomatoes, olive oil, herbs like oregano and basil, and a touch of sweetness.
Believe it or not, pizza wasn’t always topped with mountains of melted cheese. The ancient Romans enjoyed flatbreads drizzled with olive oil, herbs, and maybe even some garlic. Fast forward a few centuries, and tomatoes burst onto the scene, forever changing the pizza game.
The heart of Italian red sauce is, of course, the tomato. But it’s not a solo act. Onions, garlic, herbs like oregano and basil, and a touch of sweetness, often from honey or sugar, join the flavorful chorus. Some recipes add a splash of wine or a pinch of red pepper flakes for an extra kick.
Just like Mexico, Italy embraces regional variations.
In Naples, the birthplace of pizza, the sauce is fresh and simple, letting the tomatoes shine.
Up north, in Emilia-Romagna, tomatoes meet cream for a richer, smoother experience.
And in Sicily, a touch of anchovies can add a salty, umami depth.
Red Sauce vs. Mexican Pizza Sauce: Taste
Italian red sauce is a sun-kissed serenade; sweet tomato creates the freshest but mild and tangy taste with fragrant herbs.
Mexican pizza sauce, on the other hand, throws a fiery fiesta in your mouth. The combination of enchilada sauce, tomato paste, and chunky salsa delivers vibrant tomato sweetness deepened by the enchilada’s savory warmth, all punctuated by bursts of salsa’s fresh, zesty bite.
Can you use Read Sauce Instead of Pizza Sauce?
You can substitue red sauce for Mexican pizza sauce! 🇮🇹🇲🇽
They offer different flavor profiles (red sauce is brighter and tangier, Mexican sauce is smoky and spicy), both can enhance your pizza in unique ways. Red sauce cuts through rich toppings and adds freshness, while Mexican sauce brings depth and warmth.
So, experiment and have fun!
Pro tip: sprinkle chili flakes or paprika on your red sauce pizza for a touch of Mexican flair. ️
Summarizing the Differences Between Mexican Pizza Sauce and Red Sauce
|Mexican Pizza Sauce
|Italian Red Sauce
|Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza (inspired by enchilada sauce)
|Italy (ancient Rome with early versions, 18th century with tomatoes)
|Tomato sauce, enchilada sauce, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, garlic, salsa (optional)
|Crushed tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil (optional), olive oil, butter (regional), pancetta (regional), cream (regional)
|Smoky, spicy, zesty, richer, thicker
|Fresh, sweet, acidic, light, varies by region (richer in Emilia-Romagna)
|Focus on smoke and spice, inspired by enchilada sauce
|Focus on showcasing the pure flavor of tomatoes, with regional variations
Next time you’re faced with a pizza dilemma, remember: there’s no need to choose. Embrace diversity! Go for the smokiness of Mexican pizza sauce one day, and savor the simplicity of Italian red sauce the next. After all, pizza is all about celebrating different flavors, right?
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