Nutritional Yeast Is The Key Ingredient For More Flavorful Pizza Sauce

Stirring nutritional yeast into pizza sauce
Stirring nutritional yeast into pizza sauce - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Since probably the dawn of pizza, people have been arguing over what makes the perfect slice. There are passionate debates over the texture and thickness of the crust and the best choices of toppings, but any 'za aficionado can agree that a delicious sauce is a key component. And anyone who's ever had a fresh, homemade sauce or dined in Italy knows that not all sauces are created equal.

One lesser-known hack to impart a punch of umami, savory flavor to your sauce — plus a boost of nutrition — is adding nutritional yeast. The shelf-stable, yellow-hued yeast, casually referred to as nooch, is derived from the same yeast you'd use to make bread or beer but is an inactivated version. Instead of helping to leaven or brew, it adds a hearty flavor and punch of nutritional benefits to pizza sauce, and it can be stirred in at the same point you'd add dried herbs, salt and pepper, and other add-ins.

This flavorful sauce hack is the brainchild of recipe developer Melanie Hahn. "I love making homemade sauces of all kinds, but this one, in particular, is just so much better than jarred sauces," she told us of the recipe. She explained the addition of the nutrition yeast, "the special ingredient" in this sauce, is to thank for the depth of flavor and the boost of many added vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Read more: 30 Popular Frozen Pizzas, Ranked Worst To Best

Nutritional Yeast Is A Secret Weapon For Added Nutritional Perks

Spreading pasta sauce on pizza
Spreading pasta sauce on pizza - Cokada/Getty Images

Long a staple in plant-based cooking, where it's often the star ingredient in making satisfying non-dairy cheese sauces, nooch deserves a place in anyone's pantry — not just vegans'. Nutritional yeast is beloved and widely used in recipes for its surprisingly cheesy, umami flavor, but its nutritional profile is a serious added perk and a reason to start adding it to all your sauces. Just a two-tablespoon serving of fortified nooch provides around 20% of your recommended daily amount of fiber and 313% of the RDA for B12, the all-important vitamin that, for those following a plant-based lifestyle, can be challenging to get from diet alone. It also contains 8 grams of protein in just two tablespoons. This adds up and makes those carb-heavy dishes, like pizza, far more protein-rich.

Whether you're making a simple, quick tomato sauce, slow-cooking down homegrown tomatoes, or cooking a rich parmesan cheese-loaded sauce, a few shakes of nutritional yeast into your sauce will elevate any recipe and ensure you'll never have a bland pizza. Of course, you can use this hack not just for traditional pizza sauces but also for your other tomato-based dishes like lasagna and pasta.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.