Homemade Pizza and Sauce Recipe

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie… that’s amore.”

Every Friday night is pizza night at our house. Matt’s dad started the tradition a long time ago, and it stuck. We used to buy pizza, but these days we’re making our own. It saves us money, gives us control over the ingredients, and turns out tasting better than anything we can buy.

It’s hard not to overeat when you make pizza this good!

Homemade Pizza

Since we have done a lot of trial and error with pizza crust and sauce recipes, we wanted to share our findings with you.

I mean, there’s no reason you shouldn’t benefit from all the pizza we’ve eaten… right? :)

Homemade pizza crust

It all begins with a great crust. One of our favorite ways to make pizza dough uses this Basic Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe. We alter the recipe a little, adding about 1 teaspoon each of basil and oregano leaves, and a little extra salt.

However, since purchasing the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, we employ a much faster technique for making pizza dough. The Whole Grain Artisan Loaf Master Recipe from the book (along with several others) can be used as a delicious stand-in when we already have the dough on hand. We simply pull a large chunk (the size of a small cantaloupe) out of the refrigerator, press the dough out onto a baking stone, and sprinkle some herbs on top. Voila, pizza crust.

No matter which crust we use, we always pre-bake for 6 minutes at 500° before adding toppings. This creates a good base for the toppings and assures a fully-baked crust in the end.

Homemade pizza sauce

With your partially pre-baked crust, you have the perfect canvas for a delicate, fresh pizza sauce that can be thrown together in a blender. Matt came up with this delicious recipe, and we usually make it in large batches so we can freeze a bunch of 1-cup servings (perfect for one pie).

This way we always have homemade pizza sauce on hand. Just thaw it and use. Yummy.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

The sauce recipe:

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor (we use and HIGHLY recommend a Vitamix) and it’s ready to use!

This recipe makes enough for about 5 large pizzas and can be doubled if you want to freeze more.

Homemade pizza toppings

Some of the best pizzas are made with unusual ingredients. Use your favorites, or be adventurous and experiment with new and different flavors. Break the pizza into sections if you don’t want to commit to using the same toppings on the entire pie.

On your next homemade pizza night try different combinations of these toppings…

Meat/Poultry/Seafood: Why settle for just pepperoni? Mix things up with bacon, ham, sausage, salami, chicken, chorizo, anchovies, or shrimp.

Veggies and More: Add lots of flavor and nutrients to a pizza with an interesting selection of veggies, fruits, or herbs. Add bell peppers, hot peppers, banana peppers, broccoli, green or black olives, mushrooms, onion, zucchini or yellow squash, pineapple, cilantro, eggplant, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, asparagus, or spinach.

Cheese: Nothing tops off the perfect pizza like the deep, creamy flavors of cheese. Mozzarella is always a favorite, but try adding feta, goat cheese, parmesan, fontina, or gouda.

Bake and rest your pie

After sauce, toppings, and cheese are added, the entire pizza goes back in the oven to bake at 425° for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow your homemade pizza to rest for a few minutes so it’s easier to cut, serve, and eat.

More tips for perfect homemade pizza

  • If using pepperoni, purchase a whole stick in the deli & have them slice it to your liking. We prefer the crispy edges you get when baking very thinly sliced pepperoni.
  • Have toppings prepared ahead of time so pizza can be assembled immediately after pre-baking the crust.
  • After pre-baking crust, sprinkle a little cheese on crust before topping with sauce to prevent a soggy crust. Work quickly to add sauce and toppings.
  • Bake leftover pizza slices on a cookie sheet or hot baking stone for 10 minutes at 350° for a crispy crust and leftovers that are sometimes BETTER than the first time around! Microwaving leftover pizza will create soggy crust – yuck!

We usually pile our pizzas high with fresh veggies and protein, so it’s a stand-alone dish. If you want more, you can serve with a fresh garden salad and breadsticks made from leftover pizza dough.

Do you love playing pizza parlor as much as we do? Tell us about pizza night at your house!

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References

Recommended Reading

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Comments

  1. Awesome recipe! We love pizza night too, and my kids like homemade better that the shop we also like.
    Two tricks I use is keep the shredded cheese frozen and crinkle the bag to get out all you need. Always on hand and keeps it from burning in the oven while the pizza crust browns. Works wonderfully. Then I can pop it into a preheated 475 degree oven on the stone( or pizza sheet with the little holes at the bottom) and it it done in @ 10 minutes NO SOGGY CRUST and no burnt cheese.

  2. how do you think this sauce would taste on noodles? I can’t have onions at all or I’ll be up ALL night with a super cranky baby, and I can’t find a red sauce recipe without onions in it,

  3. This is a great article… I have been experimenting with homemade pizza for a while but I have been looking for a way to make it more simple and healthy. Thanks so much for the tips … especially the ones about how to keep the crust from getting soggy !!

  4. Love this great info! Will definitely try this out at our house. We had frozen pizza last night because we were zombies. I will have to get into making my own dough again and you are the inspiration! You know what is also good on pizza? A small dollop of some high quality sour cream on each slice. And also, some thinly sliced yams can change the whole flavor profile!

    • I’m glad we could inspire Tina! Funny you mentioned yams…I recently had butternut squash slices on a pizza at a restaurant that was divine! We’ll have to try yams (and sour cream). Thanks for the ideas!

  5. Great post!! Love it that you’re enjoying the Healthy Bread in 5 book :) Ever since I started making my own pizza crust, frozen pizza is forbidden to darken our doorstep! LOL

    Hubby & I have pizza night on Sunday evenings (Sunday late afternoon & evening is our “day off” since we work late into the night the rest of the week) in front of a movie. I make the dough and get the toppings ready early in the day so I can just toss it all together. My sauce is just a can of diced or stewed tomatoes cooked down to almost a paste, but I’ll definitely be trying your sauce recipe!

    My crust is Olive Oil Dough from the “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” book.

    Favorite pizza combos include marinated artichokes & caramelized onions with asiago and topped with goat cheese. I’ve also added crumbled bacon to this one and it was great!

    Italian sausage & a combo of whatever cheeses I have on hand is great too. You can’t go wrong on a pizza!

    My Reuben pizza was a hit also! I made a rye flour crust with caraway seeds, the sauce was Thousand Island dressing, then sauerkraut & corned beef (or was it pastrami?) with swiss cheese. (I wish I could share the recipe, but I just winged it.) We had cole slaw on the side…yum!

  6. Love your recipes!! As a suggestion, for all us readers in metric using countries, could you add conversions after the measurements? I can convert as I cook, but it would save alot of fussing around with calculators while my hands are covered in pizza sauce!

  7. Thank you for these recipes! I just finished making the sauce – it is so good! So much better than anything you can buy! The savings is nice too (c; This is going into the recipe file – thanks again!

  8. I have been making your recipe for homemade pizza for months now and LOVE it! This weekend I decided to get a little adventurous and made baked potato pizza. Oh my, it was awesome! I used sour cream in place of red sauce, then layered cooked potatoes (sliced like circular disks). I topped it with cheddar cheese and baked the pizza until the crust was nice and brown and the cheese was melted. Then I topped the pizza with bacon crumbles and green onions and I served with homemade ranch dressing. It was a HUGE hit!!!
    Thank you for all you guys do! I love reading your blog posts!

    • Oh WOW! Thanks for sharing…that sounds fantastic Stacey! I’ll be putting that on the menu very soon…I think it would be a hit here too!

  9. I have three grand children living with me that love pizza, but they only eat creamy garlic sauce on it. I have tried to make it, but it never turns out right. Do you have an easy recipe for creamy garlic sauce? Thanks