Little Caesars Crazy Sauce is an iconic Michigan staple
This is a copycat recipe to help you make your own Little Caesars Crazy Sauce. If you’ve ever had Little Caesars, you know what I’m talking about. Their Crazy Bread is an iconic side dish, and this sauce that goes with it is also pretty iconic. Crazy Sauce is fairly unique compared to other pizza chains’ sauce. It’s made in store, has an incredibly thick consistency, and tastiest nothing like marinara sauce like you’d get from Dominoes or Hungry Howies.
Don’t take me wrong, I’m not saying Crazy Sauce is the absolute best dip for pizza bread (that would actually be my smoked pizza sauce). I am saying though that if you’ve regularly had it, crazy sauce will hold a special place in your mind. This recipe is to help you recreate that special memory.
What are the ingredients of Little Caesars Crazy Sauce?
I wanted to start designing this recipe by looking at what Little Caesars says is in their crazy sauce. So I went over to their nutrition page and took a look for their Crazy Sauce ingredients.
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Pizza Spice Mix (sugar, salt, spices, onion, garlic)
At first I was surprised to find there were no preservatives, or really anything unordinary about the sauce. Upon reflection though, it’s not so surprising. Since the sauce is made in store, it can be regularly prepared fresh. The most perishable ingredient is the crushed tomatoes, and canned tomatoes can be stored for ages.
What kind of spices are used?
There isn’t much clue what is included in “spices”, but it isn’t too hard to guess. This reddit thread universally agrees that Crazy Sauce is the same as their pizza sauce. Most pizza sauces, and Italian sauces in general rely on the same core set of spices: Oregano, Basil, and Thyme.
To round out my investigation, I looked at some existing recipes and saw that they called for marjoram. I’m sure those recipes are fine, but I’m suspicious that marjoram is unnecessary. Marjoram is basically a cousin of oregano, so it’s not adding a significantly unique flavor. If you have oregano you should be 90% OK. If you have oregano, basil, and thyme, you’re going to be 99% fine.
Why use tomato sauce and tomato paste?
If the recipe uses crushed tomatoes, why do I use tomato sauce and paste? In short, I use tomato sauce with tomato paste to avoid spending time trying to thicken the sauce. From some conversations I had at a local Little Caesars, it sounds like the crushed tomatoes come in a condensed form, which means a lot of the water is removed from the tomatoes (so much so that they add some in as a separate ingredient.)
Little Caesars can get away with using condensed crushed tomatoes because they control their own supply chain and can order tomatoes to their exact specification. We have to use off the shelf tomatoes to try and recreate the same consistency.
You could start with non-condensed crushed tomatoes, but you might have to cook it longer than I did to get it to the same consistency as Crazy Sauce.
Little Caesars Crazy Sauce’s special ingredient
The first time I tried to recreate Little Caesars Crazy Sauce, I left out an ingredient that turned out to really differentiate Crazy Sauce from Pizza sauce. Minced garlic is pretty important to matching the flavor of the store bought sauce. Originally I only used some garlic powder, and the end product was kind of close right. But when I re-tasted the store bought sauce, it was clear that Little Caesars is going for a garlic overload.
If you look back at their ingredients, you’ll see they use dehydrated garlic. If you have some, I bet it would work really well. I don’t have any dehydrated garlic, so I used my fully hydrated minced garlic.
How long will Crazy Sauce last?
Much like the store bought sauce, I wouldn’t use this copycat sauce for more than a week. There are no preservatives besides a little bit of salt. In general, give the sauce a look and a sniff and if it seems OK, feel free to use it.
The sauce can be frozen and thawed if you want to store it for more than a week. I’d recommend bagging individual portions of room temperature or cold sauce. Freeze the bags in a flat stack to conserve space.
An important serving step
Serve your Little Caesars copycat Crazy Sauce cold. Temperature plays a huge role in how the flavor of the sauce is perceived, and sauce simmering in the pan won’t taste the exact same after it’s been refrigerated. Refrigeration also gives sauce time to meld flavors together, which can further change the overall flavor profile to me.
I can’t vouch for how other states serve their crazy sauce, but in Michigan the sauce is always kept at room temperature or cold. I’ve never seen it served hot, which is why I’m very surprised other blogs recommend serving Crazy Sauce hot. Call me crazy, I guess.
How to make Little Caesars Crazy Sauce
Copycat Little Caesars Crazy Sauce
- 1 Saucepan
- 30 oz Tomato Sauce
- 3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 3 Tbsp Minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Oregano (minced) (1Tbsp if dried)
- 1.5 Tbsp Fresh Basil (minced) (1Tbsp if dried)
- 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme (½Tsp if dried)
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Onion Powder
- Start by gathering your herbs. If using fresh herbs, wash them and finely mince them.
- Next, start your tomato sauce simmering in a pan. Add the herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, minced garlic, and salt. Mix the sauce together.
- Let the pan simmer for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring as needed.
- After 30 minutes, add 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and mix well. Allow it to simmer for another 1-2 minutes.
- Refrigerate before serving, and enjoy!