Alex Guarnaschelli makes her Pan-Fried Pizzas, as seen on The Kitchen, Season 30.
Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Pan-Fried Pizzas

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes resting time)
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
I love how simple this recipe is to put together, just roll out the dough, pan-sear until crispy and top. No oven needed. It’s the kind of appetizer or snack that just leaves people wanting more. Want to save some time? Buy store-bought pizza rounds and just cook and top! Feel free to add other herbs, like some fresh oregano, or sun-dried or oven-roasted tomatoes instead of fresh ones. This is a recipe that can take some variety.


Pizzeria “Salt” That Has No Actual Salt:


  1. Make the balsamic glaze: In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until reduced by two-thirds and syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to let cool.
  2. Shape the crust: On a flat, lightly-floured surface, divide the dough into quarters. Roll each into a loose ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Working with one ball at a time, roll and gently stretch into an 8-inch round about 1/8-inch thick. (Note: You can also use a rolling pin, if easier.) Set aside, covering with the towel or plastic wrap.
  3. Cook the crusts: Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sprigs of thyme. Let cook until crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the thyme sprigs to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside to cool, then pick the leaves off the stems. Reserve the leaves.
  4. Increase the heat to medium. Working with one round of dough at a time, gently place the dough into the hot oil so that it lies flat in the skillet. Cook until the underside is browned and the edges are crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a pair of kitchen tongs or a heatproof spatula to flip the dough to the other side, taking care, as the oil is hot and can splatter. Cook until the crust looks crispy, another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the crust to a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough, adding and heating more oil in the skillet as needed between batches.
  5. Prepare the tomatoes: In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with some salt and pepper and set aside.
  6. Make the ricotta mixture: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, garlic, fried thyme leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasonings.
  7. Assemble the pizzas: Transfer the crusts to a cutting board. Use the back of a kitchen spoon to spread the ricotta mixture evenly among the 4 pizzas. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle the basil and Pizzeria Salt over the ricotta. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Top with the tomatoes.
  8. Cut each pizza into slices with a pizza cutter or saw into pieces gently with a serrated knife. Serve immediately with another drizzle of balsamic and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan and Pizzeria Salt.

Pizzeria “Salt” That Has No Actual Salt:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the Parmesan, garlic powder, oregano and red pepper flakes.

Cook’s Note

I have such a childhood memory of sprinkling these spices all over my slices at the pizzeria on my block. I don’t mix large batches of this. I mix it fresh and sprinkle with wild abandon.