Bread & Pizza/ Gluten Free/ Italian/ Sauces/Condiments/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Garlic Scape and Basil Pizza Sauce

Have you heard of garlic scapes?  I hadn’t until about three years ago.  As the garlic bulb grows and matures in the soil, the tendril that shoots out of the ground is called a garlic scape.  It is the flowering portion of the garlic bulb, but no actual flowers are produced.  If the scapes are just left to grow, they will continue to increase in size, but they will divert the necessary nutrients from the garlic bulb, resulting in a tiny bulb.  These scapes should be cut off in order to allow the garlic bulb to grow.  If these scapes are harvested while they are young, they are tender and perfect for eating in all sorts of ways. You can eat them raw, diced up in salads or make a tasty pesto from them.  I opted to sauté them and turn them into the main flavor profile for a pizza sauce.  Dave from my “Pizzas with Dave” series was hosting a ‘family reunion’ for our Border’s Crew.  We get together every few months and have a big party.  At least annually we end up at his house to make pizzas.  Tradition is such that he provides the dough and I always make the sauce.  Hence, garlic scape pizza sauce was born.When it came time to puree the garlic scapes, onions, and garlic, I used an immersion blender.  I like the more ‘chunky’ feel of the sauce, however, if you want a smoother sauce, use a freestanding blender to puree the ingredients together.For prepping the garlic scapes, I removed the bottom portion, much like asparagus, because it is thick and coarse.  I also removed the top portion where there was a bulb-like piece.  I diced up everything in between.  I probably used eight garlic scapes to make one cup, but this will vary because the length of each garlic scape can vary.

A note about salt and pepper, I always say ‘to taste’ because these ingredients are based on personal taste.  Unlike canned tomato sauce, tomato puree is purely tomatoes that have simply been pureed.  The only salt in them is what is naturally occurring in the tomato.  Therefore, being generous with the salt is needed.  I did not measure my salt.  I shook the shaker a few times, cooked a bit longer, tasted, did a few more shakes, cooked it a bit longer, and tasted.  I did this probably four or five times.  If I was to hazard a guess, I probably used close to a teaspoon of salt.  By no means am I suggesting for you to start with this amount of salt.  Just add a bit at a time and allow it make its way into the sauce and taste.  You’ll find your correct balance.

Garlic Scape and Basil Pizza Sauce

Author: Michelle De La Cerda


  • 1 cup garlic scapes; diced
  • 1/2 onion; diced
  • 2 garlic cloves; diced
  • Extra virgin olive oil (about 1 tbsp.)
  • 1-8 oz . can of tomato sauce
  • 1-29 oz . can of tomato puree
  • 21/2 tbsp . fresh basil; chopped
  • 1 tbsp . fresh oregano; chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium-size (or larger) saucepan.
  2. Once the pan is hot, add the garlic scapes and sauté them for 5-7 minutes, or until they start to soften.
  3. Add the diced onion and garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. If using a freestanding blender, add the sautéed veggies and then the tomato sauce.
  5. Puree until smooth.
  6. Return to the saucepan.
  7. If using an immersion blender, add the tomato sauce and blend until only slightly chunky.
  8. Check for consistency.
  9. Resume cooking on medium heat.
  10. Add the fresh basil and oregano to the now pureed mixture.
  11. Add the tomato puree and some salt and pepper.
  12. Bring to a low boil, check for desired seasoning and adjust as needed.
  13. Allow the sauce to cook at a low boil for a few minutes.
  14. Once the desired seasoning has been reached, remove from heat and use as desired.
Garlic Scape and Basil Pizza Sauce ~ The Complete Savorist
Garlic Scape and Basil Pizza Sauce ~ The Complete Savorist

Pizza using Garlic Scape and Basil Pizza Sauce ~ The Complete Savorist

 Note: I got my garlic scapes from a local grower who ships the nationally.  Check out Larry’s Family Farm.

Thank you for sharing!

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  • Reply
    June 23, 2015 at 5:42 am

    I’ve heard of garlic scapes, I’ve seen them, but I’ve never cooked with them. Always wanted to! You pizza sauce sounds like a good place to start!

    • Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Garlic scapes are fun to work with. Give them a shot.

  • Reply
    Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago
    June 23, 2015 at 5:46 am

    I see these all the time at the Farmer’s Market and always think about what I could make with them – now I know!! This looks like a perfect sauce for some of the grilled pizzas I make in the summer.

    • Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Give them a try, they are really good.

  • Reply
    Ali @ Home & Plate
    June 23, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Garlic scapes are new to me. I will be on the lookout for them next time I am at the farmers market. Your basil pizza sauce looks wonderful and the perfect consistency. Pinning.

    • Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Garlic scapes are so much fun to work with. Hope you are able to find them.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I have never cooked scapes but now want to sounds great and I love garlic!

    • Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      They are great, they are also great caramelized or made into pesto.

  • Reply
    Dee Dee (My Midlife Kitchen)
    June 23, 2015 at 8:47 am

    I am all about basil right now. And I love the addition of the garlic scapes! Sadly, I have looked and looks for them at our farmer’s market this year to no avail. Boooo!!! But the minute I can find them, this recipe goes to the top of my list of “to try ASAP”! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply
      June 23, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Hope you find them Dee Dee.

  • Reply
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    […] scapes make a tasty addition to tomato or alfredo sauces. They can also be made into various condiments like Garlic Scape Chimichurri […]

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