Cook With Confidence: Make-Your-Own Pizza Night!

November 18, 2015 | By | Comments (0)

Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Pizza from All You

 

It’s pizza night! Are you ready for the two EASIEST and most delicious pizzas you’ve ever tried? Making pizza at home is much faster and healthier than ordering delivery, and you can go so many ways with it. Simply throw a pie in the oven for a quick-and-easy weeknight dinner, or host a build-your-own pizza party and make it an event! Get the whole group involved by providing personal-sized pans (you can order a set of two for $7 on Amazon). Set out lots of toppings and let guests roll their own dough and load it up just the way they like!

I’m walking you through two of my all-time favorite pizza recipes, Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Pizza from All You and Chicken and Sausage Pizza from Cooking Light, but the beauty of homemade pizza is to make it just the way YOU like, so don’t be afraid to take some liberty here.

 

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Pizza

If you like pesto and tomato, welcome to your new favorite pizza. Did I mention it only requires FOUR ingredients besides the pizza dough? We use store-bought dough to save time, but if you prefer to make it from scratch, we’re coming to your house! Here’s what you’ll need:

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound refrigerated pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup jarred pesto
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 8 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 /2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), chopped
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves (optional)

 

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Preparation:

I bet you can almost guess the process just by the pictures. I said this was easy, didn’t I?

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Mist a pizza pan or baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with flour.

2. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough about 1/4-inch thick into a shape that fits your pan. Gently transfer dough to pan.

3. Evenly spread pesto over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives and fresh basil, if desired.

4. Bake pizza until crust is lightly browned and cheese has melted, 13 to 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

 

Sausage Pizza

Fans of hearty, meaty pizza will love this loaded-up sausage pie. Not only is it chockfull of meat, but it also has lots of yummy veggies like bell peppers and onions. I took a little liberty with the original recipe in the link above by adding jarred marinara sauce and not using mushrooms, chicken, cornmeal, or fontina cheese, but I’ll specify my changes below. Here’s what you’ll need:

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (12-ounce) portion refrigerated pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound sweet or mild Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup vertically sliced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 8 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced (for simplicity’s sake, you can just use one whole pepper, but I wanted the extra pop of color)
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves (optional)

 

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Preparation:

This recipe is almost as easy as the first, but you’ll need a few extra minutes of prep work. The only difference is chopping your veggies and browning the sausage and onions. After that’s done, load it up and toss it in the oven!

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Mist a pizza pan or baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with flour.

2. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough about 1/4-inch thick into a shape that fits your pan. Gently transfer dough to pan.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil and sausage; sauté 5 minutes or until sausage is browned. Remove mixture from pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

4. Evenly brush marinara over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle with mozzarella, and Parmesan. Arrange sausage, vegetable mixture, and bell peppers over cheese. Top with remaining cheese and crushed red pepper.

5. Bake pizza 20 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned and cheese has melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I hope you enjoy these delicious pies as much as I do! What are your favorite pizza toppings? We want to hear about them in the comments below! If you try one of these recipes, be sure to post it and tag #CookWithConfidence for a chance to be featured on one of our pages. Happy Cooking!

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