Best Pizza Dipping Sauces (And How To Make Them)


Some people like to dip crusts, some go for the whole slice. With the help of the big American pizza chains (rather than the Italians) dipping pizza is now a common thing.

It all started when Pizza Hut started serving breadsticks with warm marinara sauce. And from there we now see all pizza chains around the world offering a variety of dips, and now upmarket pizza joints usually have a dip selection.

If you haven’t tried dipping your pizza then this article has you covered – from creamy ranch to something a bit more fiery. You can now make these delicious dips at home, usually with only a few ingredients that you might have in your pantry.

What is a good sauce to dip pizza in? Here are 7 of the best pizza dipping sauces:

1. Ranch

Ranch is a controversial dipping sauce for some – but it’s one of my favorites. It is creamy, tangy, and full of flavor for dipping crusts and even the slices. Fresh homemade ranch is so much better than the stuff in bottles or cups.

Ranch is traditionally made with buttermilk or yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon, dill, chives, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. My favorite recipe is from Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Youtube channel linked below.

See the recipe – Ranch Dressing

2. Hot Honey

Hot honey took off in the 2010s as the latest trend in pizza topping and dipping. When paired with a topping like pepperoni, the combination of sweet, salty, and spicy is a real winner. It started with a guy called Mike Kurtz who made a spicy honey in a pizzeria and bottled it for the world called Mike’s Hot Honey.

You can buy Mike’s famous version (buy it on amazon here) or make your own with honey, chili flakes, and hot sauce.

See the recipe – Hot Honey

3. Hot Sauce

Hot sauce needs no introduction. If you are into hot sauce then you likely put it on anything and everything. I think American-style pizzas with pepperoni and other strong toppings work best with hot sauce, rather than their Italian cousins. Something about the delicateness of a Margherita is killed with too much spice.

There is so much hot sauce available to buy but you can also make your own. You can make it as hot as you want, and this one is made in 15 minutes.

See the recipe – 15 Minute Homemade Hot Sauce

4. Pesto Mayo

This is great for dipping crusts! It adds another layer of flavor to improve on basic mayonnaise. You first need to start with a good mayo, then add a spoonful of basil pesto and mix it up to your tastes.

You can make both the mayo and pesto yourself for an amazing homemade dip, or just buy the two ingredients which work out great too. It’s thick and full of fragrant flavor which is perfect for dipping those plain crusts in at the end.

See the recipe – Pesto Mayo

5. Marinara Or Arrabbiata

Sometimes the marinara on the pizza base just isn’t enough and you need more for dipping. Especially on the crusts where the sauce sadly ends too short. The marinara dipping sauce has been made popular by pizza chains but you can also have it at home.

It’s also the healthiest option on the list as it contains less fat and oil. Marinara itself is just the name for a tomato sauce with herbs, while arrabbiata is a similar sauce but has the addition of chili. It literally means angry in Italian.

See the recipe – Homemade Marinara Sauce

6. Garlic Dip

I’m not a huge fan of the Garlic Butter dip from Papa John’s as I find it a bit too buttery and not tangy enough. But I do love other garlic dips. Garlic mayo (aka the Meditteranean sauce aioli) is a delight with pizza and also other garlic-based dips that have more vinegar or lemon (although you are verging onto ranch territory there).

Try this garlic aioli with mayonnaise, fresh garlic, and lemon juice which makes a perfect dipping consistency.

See the recipe – Garlic Aioli

7. Chili Oil

Another hot one for the chili lovers. This time crushed dried peppers infuse the oil to give a rich, peppery kick. I sometimes find this one a bit too indulgent when having it alongside a greasy pizza, so I find best saved for a lighter one with fewer toppings.

If you want to make your own then it couldn’t be simpler – just heat a neutral-tasting oil, such as vegetable, with dried chili flakes for 5 minutes. Use hotter peppers for a stronger chili oil.

See the recipe – 5 Minute Homemade Chili Oil

What Is The Best Sauce To Dip Pizza In?

Pretty subjective but I would say ranch. It has the perfect balance of creaminess from the dairy and tanginess from the lemon to compliment cheesy pizzas and bland crusts. A close second is a hot sauce which equally goes well with most pizza toppings.

Not everyone likes heat from spicy foods so try a marinara or one of the mayo-based options like garlic or pesto if that is more your thing.

Conclusion

So there you have my 7 favorite dippings sauces for pizza. They are super easy to make at home or can be bought from a store equally. Some have been on the block for decades like the marinara and ranch, while some are relative newcomers like the hot honey. Whether you are ordering delivery or having a pizza-making night at home, be sure to try a new dip next time!

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