The Complete Package was traveling last week, and when he travels I usually eat things like Honey Nut Cheerios for dinner. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it. They’re delicious. But after a while, even cold cereal can’t hold my attention. So what do you make when it’s 103F outside and you don’t want to spend hours in a hot kitchen? How about easy homemade pizza? Works for me!
I started with a ball of frozen pizza dough in its whole wheat version.
Just spray a mixing bowl with Pam, drop in the frozen pizza dough, give the dough ball a quick spray to keep it from sticking, and cover the bowl in plastic wrap. I like to secure the plastic wrap with a large rubber band. Better safe than sorry, I always say. For a rapid thaw at summer temps, place it on your back porch (out of the reach of kids and pets) for approximately 30 minutes. If you’re making this for dinner, you can let it rise on your kitchen counter all day.
While the dough is thawing, I like to prep the rest of my toppings. For this pizza, I browned one package of my favorite breakfast sausage in a skillet. I like to break it up with a wooden spoon and stir it frequently until done. If it’s too greasy, drain the cooked sausage on paper towels, pour most of the grease off and return the skillet to the stove.
Next, I make my own pizza sauce. It’s easier than you think. Really. In the same skillet, brown half a small onion (chopped) and 3 cloves of garlic (minced) in about 1 tablespoon of the sausage grease. Once the onion starts to become translucent, add one 15-ounce can of pureed tomatoes. Toss in 1/8 teaspoon of ground oregano and 1/4 teaspoon of dried basil. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken, then add salt and pepper to taste. If you like a little spice, throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes. That’s how I roll.
Once your dough is thawed and risen, spray a cookie sheet or 13″ x 9″ baking pan, then gently press the dough into the pan. You can roll it; I use my fingers.
Using a spatula, spread as much or as little pizza sauce as you like then top with the sausage, some grated parmesan cheese, and a nice layer of sliced provolone.
Bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese begins to brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting & serving.
Feel free to change up the toppings to your preference. The options are literally endless – pepperoni & sauteed mushrooms, leftover grilled chicken & spinach, summer veggies, leftover steak, Canadian bacon & thinly sliced onions, meatballs (sliced or cut in half). Heck, you could even substitute alfredo sauce, buffalo sauce, or BBQ sauce and get really creative! The point is that a good frozen pizza dough and a quick homemade sauce can turn any homemade pizza pie into a treat in mere minutes. So what are you waiting for?
And if you like to multitask meals like I do, save that leftover pizza sauce.
Grab a bag of frozen fully cooked meatballs from your local grocery store and a package of frozen French baguettes. They make another great meal in minutes.
Throw the meatballs in a baking dish and cover with foil. Place the baguettes on a baking sheet. Heat your oven to 400F, then put the meatballs and bread in to bake. The baguettes are ready when they’re toasty on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. Both should be ready in about 20 minutes. To assemble, microwave the sauce until hot and smear a generous amount into the baguettes. Toss in enough meatballs to fill them and top with a slice of provolone cheese. Presto – a second quick & easy dinner in about 30 minutes.
Do you plan meals that multitask? If so, what is your double-duty favorite?
15 responses to “Lazy Day Dinner: Easy Pizza at Home”
I love pizza. I could probably eat it every day and not tire of it.
Related – did you SEE PW’s breakfast pizza??????????
Anyway, mushrooms and onions are some of my favorite toppings. I’m still working on getting it perfected on the grill. Outside. Where it’s already hot. And since TH likes to be manly and be “in charge” of the grill, I can stay inside where it’s cooler, sipping Prosecco.
Which is great with pizza.
Also, to answer your question, isn’t pizza a multi tasking meal? I mean, it’s dinner and then breakfast, right?
Good point. Pizza is indeed a multitasking meal if you eat if for dinner and then breakfast. Which means my mother’s recipe for Beef Stroganoff is, as well, because I’ll eat that stuff cold, straight out of the fridge for breakfast sometimes, too. That (for me) is the mark of a great dish.
I love that you make your own pizza sauce. I make pizza so often but have never thought to make my sauce for it from scratch. Thanks so much for showing us that it is indeed easier than we thought.
You’ll have to give it a try and let me know what you think, Paula. Any personal favorites of yours for pizza toppings? I’m always looking for a new twist.
MMMmmmm. I feel on you on not cooking when your husband’s gone. When mine works the late shift, it’s awfully hard to summon the energy to spend time in the kitchen!
You know what another amazing throw-together meal is? It’s not so much a multi-tasker, but you take one of those big bags of frozen ravioli or tortellini, chicken broth, a big can of chopped tomatoes, and TONS of rosemary (preferably fresh), and YUM!
I like browsing California Pizza Kitchen’s website for inspiration. Next week, I am going to try my hand at their BBQ Chicken Pizza :) http://www.yumsugar.com/California-Pizza-Kitchen-BBQ-Chicken-Pizza-Recipe-23067690
I make a tortellini soup that sounds a lot like your suggestion, except that I load it with fresh spinach instead of rosemary. And I think I’ve had that CPK BBQ Chicken Pizza in Las Vegas years ago. I remember it being really tasty. I’m going to have to check out that link. Thanks for sharing it!
Yeah BBQ Chicken Pizza is like a party on your tongue.
Also, I love the spinach idea; I’ll have to try it!
Back porch thawing has been by far my best friend as of late. It’s probably the biggest perk that has come of all of this oppressive heat.
Pizza is The Meal That Multi-Tasks for us in this house because after Meal One, it becomes salad topping (surprisingly good as a sort of cheesy-saucy-meaty crouton to feast on at work) or topped with a fried egg for breakfast.
I had a hunch a fried egg would be a part of your pizza routine. Actually, once of TCP’s favorite pizzas was a veggie laden pie in Paris with a raw egg on top. It made me nauseous just looking at it, but he absolutely loved it. If I’m putting egg on anything, it needs to be a minimum of soft cooked. I’m trying the egg on leftover pizza breakfast tip next time. I swear it.
How did I miss this post? You made a sausage pizza, for crying out loud! I love trying different pizzas at home. Some of my favorite combinations are pesto/parmesan with tomato filets, caramelized onions/peppers with herbed goat cheese crumbles, and spinach/feta/sausage. Of course for the men folk, I’d better make one that includes a lot of pork carnage.
Our favorite multitaskers are spaghetti & meatballs >> meatball hoagies, roasted chicken >> chicken & noodles, and just about leftover meat/veggie combo can be thrown into a fritatta, quesadilla, or served over chips with cheese for nachos. I’m amazed at what my boys will eat if I just call it Nachos.
I do the mutli-task chicken, as well. I can get at least 3 meals out of one rotisserie chicken. TCP’s favorite incarnation is Chicken & Dumplings like his granny used to make, and I love a good chicken salad in the summertime. PS – Here in Texas, EVERYthing is a filling for quesadillas or a nacho topping. Further proof that you’re a missing sister and/or soulmate Texan.
Not sure I’m tough enough to survive Air You Wear or triple digit heat in TX. But I could power down nachos on a regular basis.
And margaritas. Let’s not forget the margaritas. In fact, I think they may be the #1 reason we’re able to tolerate the Air You Wear and triple-digit heat. Oh, and mosquitos the size of bluejays. I forgot to mention those earlier. Ooopsie!
Air You Wear? That’s hilarious!! I’ve lived in H-town most of my life and I’ve never heard that!!! That’s exactly what it is…
I can’t take credit for the “Air You Wear” line. I first heard it years ago from The Complete Package and he heard it from someone in his office. But I do like to use it because it is SO VERY TRUE. :)