Cook Once, Please Everyone: Pizza

We all love pizza night—adults included! Instead of spending the money at the local pizza joint, we make our own at home.

We all love pizza night — adults included. Take a break from the hectic holiday season and make multiple pies with custom toppings the whole family will love. You'll save money, calories and get an extra dose of fun! Here's how I do it.

The Crust

To shake things up, I rotate between pre-made pizza crust and pizza dough. Trader Joe’s makes whole wheat pizza dough (4 grams of fiber per serving) and a pre-made ciabatta crust that my family loves. Whole Foods has a whole wheat flatbread that’s killer too (though they sell out of it often.) If you have extra time, try making your own dough.

The Cheese

When I’m really busy, shredded cheese is a big time saver. Horizon Organic and Trader Joe’s make shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese with vegetable rennet. ( In order to make cheese, an active ingredient (a.k.a. enzyme) must be added which is usually taken from animals. It will be labeled as “rennet” or “animal rennet.") If you’re looking to save some cash, buy a chunk of cheese and shred it yourself.

The Sauce

Use the jarred stuff or make your own. (Check out some of our favorite brands from the Healthy Eats pasta sauce taste test.)You can easily make your own sauce with crushed, canned tomatoes – freeze it in batches so it’s easily available on your pizza night. Sliced, fresh tomatoes are another alternative instead of sauce.

The Toppers

The two highly requested toppers in my house are broccoli and olives. I'll typically make two pies -- one with each. My 3-year-old won’t even touch pizza if it has no broccoli.

The trick? Teach them while they’re young. We serve up broccoli several times a week and olives are a standard on our table at all meals (it comes from our Mediterranean background.) Other healthy, family-pleasing toppers ideas:

  • For adults: Grilled chicken and pineapple; For kids: grilled chicken
  • For adults: Fresh tomatoes and garlic; For kids: plain pie (cheese and sauce only)
  • For adults: Peppers and onions; For kids: peppers only
  • For adults: Feta, olives, red peppers and mushrooms; For kids: Mushrooms
  • For adults: Vegetable pizza; For kids: choose 1 veggie they enjoy

When I know my kids are bringing friends over, I’ll always make a plain pie just in case (you can always add toppers if needed).

TELL US: How do you like your pizza?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Cook Once, Please Everyone: Tacos

Sometimes I feel like I am a private chef for each one of my three kids, my husband and my grandmother (who dines with us often). Instead of pulling my hair out in frustration, I’ve learned to cook kid-friendly dishes that can be dressed-up for adults too. One of our family favorite dishes is tacos—here’s how I prepare them to please everyone.

Cook Once, Please Everyone: Breakfast Burrito

On my recent trip to Hawaii, I came across this phenomenal idea at the Sheraton Maui breakfast buffet. When I tried it at home, the kids went gaga over it! Here’s how make the perfect breakfast (lunch or dinner) burrito to please everyone.

Holiday Brunch for Everyone

With family and friends visiting during the holidays, you’re bound to have a few folks who need a special meal. There’s no need to stress, we’ve got you covered with brunch recipes for special diets.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.