8 Easy Shortcuts to Making Homemade Pizza

One mom shares a few of her favorite tricks for enjoying homemade pizza without the hassle.
By: Foodlets
Related To:
RACHAEL_RAY_MEGA_MEATBALL_PIZZA_H_jpg

RACHAEL_RAY_MEGA_MEATBALL_PIZZA_H_jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

In her gorgeous memoir  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver describes the year her family lived on a self-sufficient farm in Virginia. To simplify their lives in one small way, they declared Friday night Pizza Night, therefore eliminating the question of “What’s for dinner?” at least one night a week. It’s a brilliant idea, yes. But if your dough skills are anything like mine, you’ll want a few shortcuts to make something like this happen at your house. Here are a few of my favorite tricks for enjoying homemade pizza without the hassle.

Buy dough from a pizzeria.

This one is a no-brainer. Who has time to deal with the yeast, the kneading and the rolling on an average weeknight? Look to your local mom-and-pop pizzerias for help, as many will sell you a ball of their fresh dough. Call ahead to find out, and if they do, stock up, because it often freezes well.

Make the sauce ahead of time.

Prep a big batch of Ree Drummond’s homemade pizza sauce then freeze it in 1/2 cup containers.

Skip the pizza sauce.

No time to simmer pizza sauce on the stove? Rachael Ray cooks tomato paste right into her toppings — ground sirloin, garlic and onions — and for an easy alternative (pictured above) to the usual prep.

Start with pre-made dough, either in a can or box.

If you're in a pinch, pick up the ready-made stuff from the grocery store. Seriously, even Giada De Laurentiis uses it once in a while, like in this recipe for sausage-stuffed Pizza Pockets (pictured above). And if you’re trying to get more good stuff into your kids, start with these Easy Veggie Calzones; my crew loves them.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

Cook your dough in a skillet on the stove.

I learned this trick from Jamie Oliver years ago, and what a difference it makes for crispy crust — no fancy pizza stone required.

Waffle iron your dough.

Think beyond breakfast, and break out the waffle iron for dinner. It's faster than most oven recipes, and the kids will get a kick out of the novelty of the meal.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

Use naan bread as your base.

Soft and flavorful, naan turns out to be the perfect vehicle for a thick layer of pesto and mozzarella.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

Save time with mini pitas.

Pita pockets work as the “crust,” especially when slathered with cheese and spinach, bound for lunch boxes everywhere.

KO_FN_01StaggionePizza1_017.tif

KO_FN_01StaggionePizza1_017.tif

Pizza topped with various vegetables and slices of ham

Photo by: Kana Okada

Kana Okada

Want more ideas for tasty toppings? Try one of these 50 Easy Pizzas this week!

Charity Curley Mathews is a contributor to InStyle, The Huffington Post and eHow Food and the founder of Foodlets.com, a food and parenting blog where every recipe is full of fresh ingredients, simple to make and kid-tested x4. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, four small kids, two puppies and 20,000 bees. You can follow her on Facebook.

Keep Reading

Next Up

One Recipe, Two Meals: Pizza Rolls for the Kids and a Dressed-Up Pie for You

Pizza rolls for the kiddos! And fancy-pants pizza for you, but you can have the rolls too — if you want, which you probably do.

Green Pancakes, Corned Beef Pizza and Rainbow Treats: A Family-Friendly St. Paddy's Day Feast

From a vibrant-green pancake breakfast to hearty dinners with the requisite corned beef, we’ve got green-colored dishes to keep you feeling festive on St. Patrick's Day.

Picky Eater-Approved: Meals to Make Dinnertime Easy

Cook up Food Network's kid-approved recipes for pizza, chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese to satisfy even the pickiest eaters in your home.

Cooking with Kids: Adventures in Guacamole Making, Plus a Simple Recipe

Believe it or not, it's possible — and enjoyable — to host young, budding chefs in the kitchen. Heather from Food Network Kitchen tells her story of making guacamole with third-graders.

Making Meatballs Cuter: Spaghetti Just Got Even More Popular

To make pasta even more popular (and sometimes a bit healthier) in your home, try these tips.

Confessions of a Mommy Blogger: 5 Dinner Shortcuts Every Parent Needs

One mom dishes on her secrets for getting it all done in the kitchen every night.

The 8 Sweetest Valentine's Day Treats for Kids

From super sweet to pretty darn healthy, one mom has go-to ideas for your kids’ Valentine’s Day treats.

Munching Made Simple: Easy Snacks for Kids to Savor

Treat your kids to homemade versions of their favorite afternoon snacks like granola bars, crackers and fruit with easy recipes from Food Network.

One Recipe, Two Meals: Pasta with Butter and Peas for the Kids, and a Veggie-Packed Primavera for You

We're having our pasta and eating it too! Here's one simple version for your kiddos, and one giant, glorious version for you.