Make Your Own Pizza – It’s easier than you think!

Ever wished that making pizza was as easy as picking it up from your local pizza joint? Well, it takes a little more forethought but it really is much easier than you might have imagined. I’m excited to talk about one of my favorite family foods and tell you some of the tricks I’ve learned along the way while making lots of yummy pizzas for my family’s pizza night each week over the years.

First, let’s just talk about pizza for a minute. It’s an all-American nod to a classic (though not quite the same) Italian dish. And one of my favorite things about it is that there are a million ways to make it, so it’s a great way to make everyone happy. I love that you can go savory, and never run out of different ways to top it. And you can go sweet, and make a treat that will be a massive hit with everyone too.

To me, pizza night is one of the easiest, most fun nights of the week. But to make pizza night easy, you do need to plan ahead a little. I make up my dough in batches. I freeze portions of it so I can pop it out an hour or so before dinner and let it thaw on the counter. That saves me so much time since I don’t have to make the dough from scratch every time we want pizza. Plus the extra rise helps give the dough an even better texture!

I like to make my own sauce, but you don’t have to. And you can go as elaborate or as easy as you want on the toppings. One of my favorites is the chicken alfredo pizza on the blog. It’s delicious and easy, and it is a great option if you don’t like or want all tomato sauces on your pizzas, too.

 

Tricks and Tips for Making Your Own Pizza

Some of Our Favorite Pizzas

  1. Need a gluten-free option for pizza night? We love this fun BLT Pizza!
  2. This homemade alfredo sauce is SO easy to make and it’s delicious on this alfredo chicken pizza. This is a huge favorite of mine!
  3. These mini deep dish pizzas are a fun take on personal pizzas. Lots of cheese!
  4. Here’s another fun take on chicken pizza. Good way to get some spinach in. You’ll really like Chicken Florentine Pizza!
  5. Don’t have time for a crust? French bread makes a fun, crispy alternative in this French Bread Pizza.
  6. Here’s a tex-mex way to make some pizza. Try out Cornbread Pizza!
  7. Who else loves pesto? I love this  Pesto Tomato Pizza!
  8. Need a little heat? Try this Spicy Garlic Chicken Pizza!
  9. This is not a pizza. But it’s another fun way to enjoy those pizza-y, cheesy flavors we love in pizza. You’ll love this Sausage Mozzarella Calzones
  10. Does anyone lovee a deep dish Chicago style pizza? This pizza pot pie was SO good!

How to Make Homemade Pizza Dough

Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe

 

We’ve been talking pizza here the last few weeks.  We talked about a few pizza game changers you can use to improve your homemade pizza.

And I shared our favorite homemade sauce recipe.  It’s easy and simple so that’s an added bonus.

Today I’ve got a pizza dough recipe for you to try.  This is not a quick dough to make, but it is worth the time.  I adapted this from the free Craftsy pizza making class.  Mostly, I simplified and clarified the recipe.  The original recipe calls for measuring everything on a scale.

While I’m sure using a kitchen scale will yield more consistent results, I’m resistant for a couple of reasons.  First, I don’t own a scale and I know many (probably most) of you don’t either.

And second,  I think there’s something to be said for learning to trust your own judgement when it comes to working with any type of dough.  There’s a satisfaction in making something enough that you begin to know when it needs more flour or when it could use some water.  When to leave the dough to rest a while and when to keep working it.

I’m still in the process of learning to really know my way around the pizza dough, but I am learning.

Before I share the recipe, let’s talk over a few tips.   [Read more…]

Easy Grilled Pizza

GrillePizza5

Grilled pizza is one of my favorite summer meals. It’s easy, involves almost no planning and it’s super quick. The first time I tried this I was thinking, there’s no way this is going to work! But it works and it works really well.

The ingredients for grilled pizza are the same as you’d use for a traditional pizza:

GrilledPizza3

I like to prep everything inside and lay it out on a cutting board to take outside.  This seems to keep things contained a little better, and it’s easier than carrying a million things back and forth to the kitchen. It’s also a great idea to have everything prepped before you start – these cook quickly!

GrilledPizza4

In a nutshell, you plop your dough onto the preheated grill. When the bottom is firm and has grill lines (after about a minute on the grill), you flip it over.    [Read more…]

10 Graduation Party Menus Plus Desserts and Snacks!

It’s that time of year when our graduates take the stage with caps and gowns and march off to get their diplomas and take on the world! Graduating is a great milestone and it’s something that should be celebrated.

But planning a graduation party menu can feel a bit overwhelming. Feeding a crowd can be a lot of work, and picking a menu that pleases everyone isn’t always easy. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!


Whether you are looking for a casual feast in the backyard, a pizza party, or a special sit down family dinner after your Grad gets home, these ten menu ideas will inspire you with some fun ideas and make planning your meal easy and fun. There’s plenty of different kinds of meals to fit all kinds of personalities and preferences, and I must say that they all have me drooling.

Don’t forget to read to the bottom for all the dessert and cookie ideas! Instead of adding one idea to each menu, you can pick your guest of honor’s favorite…or make it a dessert bar and serve a few!

Easy and Casual BBQ Feast

Super easy BBQ Peach Pulled Pork in the slow cooker, or any other easy slow cooker BBQ sandwich for that matter!

The pork can be made ahead of time and frozen, then heated in the crockpot.  The baked beans cook in the crockpot and are easy to put together.  The only thing that will have to be done the day of the party is tossing the dressing on the Asian Broccoli Salad.

Pair this with favorite sides like these:

potatosaladdone_thumb

bakedbeansdone_thumb

asian broccoli salad done

Asian Broccoli Salad

Add desserts and probably potato chips and perhaps some cut fruit!

Grill Out

Get out the grill and make it a backyard party!  Serve any of these and your crowd will be raving.

And when you pair these smoky meats with some classic sides, you have the makings of a winning combination!

Plus, you can get more backyard barbecue side dish ideas in this post here!

Nice Family Dinner

If you are thinking a nice sit-down dinner at home after the ceremony is the way to go, these recipes are mouthwatering and so easy!

italian seasoned salt pork tenderloin done

To make this meal easy and special, pair the tenderloin or chicken with:

Enchilada Buffet

Make a buffet of a couple big pans of different kinds of Enchiladas and let everyone serve themselves!

Some of our family favorites include:

white enchiladas

enchiladas with chili-tomato sauce

Serve these with fresh things like:

Need more side dish inspiration? Check out this post about what to serve with Enchiladas!

Build-Your-Own Fajitas or Tacos

Cook up meat in your crock pot or instant pot. Set out the meat, grilled veggies and a plethora of favorite toppings and let everyone build their own fajita or taco!

You could also grill up some chicken breasts in advance or buy a few rotisserie chickens and have them all prepped and ready to go for the big day to make one of these tasty options.

Serve them up with:

Teens Party Menu

Convert this snackadium into a teen’s dream meal! Both of these strombolis were part of a meal I made for super bowl, but with a few little tweaks it’ll be a great “main course” for your graduate and his or her friends.

Keep it simple and add a variety of chips and dips, chilled drinks and cookies and candy.  Anything they can grab, munch and head back out to dance or talk with friends.

Sandwich and Salads Buffet

Make up some easy sandwich trays that your crowd can pick and choose from!

  • Get a bag King’s Hawaiian rolls or other small buns to make a plate of small ham sandwiches and a bag of croissant rolls for Chicken Salad Sandwiches. You can get Virginia Brand ham in the deli section and have it shaved.
  • We love this easy Peach Chutney Chicken salad for sandwiches. So delicious and moist!

Serve these with a plate of assorted cheese slices, mayonnaise and mustard and almost homemade pickle slices.

 

Round out your menu with an easy pasta salad, a veggie tray with dip and some chips.

pastasaladdoneclose.jpg

Pizza Party

Whip up a bunch of homemade pizza and make a party out of it! You can make this easy dough in advance, and even make super easy awesome pizza sauce. Or buy your favorite premade crust and sauce and top the pizzas in any way you like. Here’s a few of our favorite pizza combos.

Serve this with a veggie tray with ranch dip, and a fresh fruit tray and fruit dip and some favorite chilled drinks.  I love root beer floats as a dessert option with pizza!

Spaghetti Feast

Cook up a bunch of pasta and serve it with one of these easy and delicious homemade sauces and meatballs! These meatballs are freezer friendly so you can make up a big batch in advance and they are absolutely delicious!

Round out the menu with garlic toast and an easy salad! Here are a couple more side dish ideas, too.

Brats or Dogs Your Way

Cook up a bunch of dogs and brats on the grill or stove top and let your people go to town topping them however they like.

You can serve this with:

Add a bowl of chilled melon balls or just an easy plate of watermelon slices and cantaloupe chunks.

Snacks

Want to have a few snack foods on hand for easy munching? Here are a couple of our favorite snack mixes and other snack ideas that are really easy to make!

Dessert Ideas

Clearly no celebration is complete without dessert! Or better yet – desserts! Make one or more of these and your graduate will feel like the party is complete.

derby-pie

peanut butter fluff pie done

lemon cheesecake dessert slice

tuxedo bars done 2

blue velvet cupcakes 2

School color cupcakesBlue Velvet Cupcakes, Red Velvet, Green Velvet, Orange Velvet, Purple Velvet

Here’s a handy tip on how to cut cake to feed a crowd!

Cookies

Narrowing down your favorite recipes to include in your menu is sure to be easier than choosing a college major these days. Especially since any of them will leave you at the top of the class when it comes to a graduation party!

Pin this post!

 

15 min Gluten-free BLT Pizza

Have you ever had one of those nights that you literally had 15 minutes to get dinner on the table? I seem to have them a lot. We get home – it’s dinner time and everyone is hungry! This little gem is one of my favorites. Now that I discovered it, my family asks for it once a week. I hope that it becomes a favorite in your home too.

You’ll need:

  • Gluten-free pizza crust
  • 2 cups of Mozzarella Cheese
  • Bacon bits (homemade or bought)
  • 1/4 cup of sliced green onions
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup of ranch (I make mine like this)

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Lay the pizza crust out on a pan.
  3. Cover with the cheese, bacon, and green onions.
  4. Bake for 5-7 minutes until all toppings are melted and lightly browned.
  5. Mix the tomato, lettuce, and ranch together in a bowl.
  6. Serve the pizza with the lettuce mixture on top of it.

15 min Gluten Free BLT Pizza
Ingredients
  • Gluten-free pizza crust
  • 2 cups of Mozzarella Cheese
  • Bacon bits (homemade or bought)
  • ¼ cup of sliced green onions
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded lettuce
  • ½ cup of ranch
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Lay the pizza crust out on a pan.
  3. Cover with the cheese, bacon, and green onions.
  4. Bake for 5-7 minutes until all toppings are melted and lightly browned.
  5. Mix the tomato, lettuce, and ranch together in a bowl.
  6. Serve the pizza with the lettuce mixture on top of it.

 

 

Rachael Walkup has been married to her best friend for 7 years. They have two kids – a 3 yr old boy and a 1 yr old  little girl. She loves to write, cook, spend time with family, and serve others. You can learn more about her by following along on twitter, her blog, or pinterest.

 


Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

I am really excited to introduce you to Kate, one of EaH’s new contributing writers.  I think you are going to love reading her posts and her recipes too.  Kate blogs at Kate’s Recipe Box I can’t wait to try these Mini Deep Dish Pizzas.  In fact, I may make up a batch and put them in the freezer for quick snacks and lunches.

Here in the suburbs of New York City, there is – quite literally – a pizza parlor on every corner. Getting a deep dish pizza is incredibly tricky, though. Everyone is fiercely loyal to New York-style pizza.

I first tried deep dish (aka, Chicago style) when I was in college. I loved the buttery crust and the chunky tomato sauce but quickly realized that if it was something I wanted on a regular basis, I’d have to make it myself.

I like making these mini-versions because they’re easy to adjust for different tastes. You can add any of your favorite pizza toppings in place of the green peppers. I usually make several different flavors in one pan, using whatever we have in the refrigerator – pepperoni and ham with pineapple are other favorites!

Here’s what you’ll need (olive oil, too, which didn’t make the picture):

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas
Ingredients
  • 6 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 ball (approx. 16 oz.) pizza dough
  • ½ green pepper, finely diced
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan, until shimmering. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Stir in minced garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  4. Stir in diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to each well of a cupcake tin.
  6. Roll out pizza dough until about ¼ inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter slightly larger than the opening of your cupcake pan, cut out rounds of dough and push them into the cupcake pans. (If you don’t have a biscuit cutter, a large cup or small bowl would work too!)
  7. Add a heaping tablespoon of the tomato sauce to each pizza dough cup. Top with chopped peppers and shredded mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and dough is lightly browned on top.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for two minutes before removing to a serving tray.

Kate is a home cook living and working in New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

Chicken Florentine Pizza

Every once in a while, I like a good cheater meal.  One that relies on a prepared ingredient to speed dinner prep.  This one uses two such ingredients – a jar of alfredo sauce and prepared pizza crust.  You could probably also count the bag of pre-washed spinach and shredded cheese too.

In fact, the only thing I really cooked for this was the grilled chicken.  If you’re in a big hurry, you could buy those grilled chicken strips from the meat section of the grocery.  I used the George Foreman to grill mine since the grill was covered with snow.

What can I say?  I like to cheat at dinner prep sometimes.  Call me lazy.

Here’s what you’ll need, if you’re a cheat, like me: [Read more…]

Pizza Pot Pie – Chicago Style

pizza pot pie done

I fell in love the other night. 

Cruising around one of my favorite forums, I stumbled on a post titled “Pizza Pot Pie”.  My first thought was “yuck!”  But I clicked the message and read the description of the dish and my thoughts changed to “yum!”  Then I googled and found this site with pictures and I knew I had to make it for myself.  [Read more…]