J. Schatzel works in healthcare administration in rural upstate New York and has a master's degree in history.
Variations on Homemade Pizza
I love cooking with my children, especially my three-year-old (for whom everything seems so exciting and interesting)! Below are some of our favorite pizza variations from over the years, as well as my favorite pizza dough recipe (no yeast, quick and easy for cooking with kids!).
Using items we had on hand in our fridge, freezer, or pantry, Pizza Night at our house took a creative turn during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, with shelter-in-place orders and limited grocery access. I especially enjoy making pizza with my son, as even at only three years old, he can help with almost every step of the process. Knead the dough, spread on the sauce, sprinkle on the cheese and toppings. And of course, he is the official taste tester; always sneaking a taste of his handiwork!
- Farm Stand Pizza: Mini pepperoni, chopped zucchini, shredded carrot, diced tomatoes, chopped broccoli, tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella/cheddar cheese
- Pantry Pizza: Diced tomato, chopped basil, grated parmesan cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, sprinkled with dollops of pesto sauce
- Picnic Pizza: Chopped mushrooms, diced pineapple, chopped onion, picnic sauce (equal parts canned pumpkin and BBQ sauce), shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese
- Taco Pizza: Leftover cooked shredded fajita chicken or taco meat, diced tomato, chopped bell pepper, shredded taco cheese, black beans, sliced green onions
- Summer Pizza: leftover pulled pork, BBQ sauce, baked beans, diced peaches, chopped yellow onion,
- Breakfast Pizza: Sauce (mix of 1 part chocolate hazelnut spread, 1 part peanut butter), sliced banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Poolside Pizza: a drizzle of olive oil, sliced tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, sliced olives, leftover cooked shrimp, toasted chic peas
- Nan's Pizza: Marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella, quartered cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh basil (crust stuffed with mozzarella cheese sticks, halved lengthwise)
- Wings Pizza: shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese, bleu cheese dressing, leftover Buffalo chicken, finely chopped celery
- Brunch Pizza: Cooked scrambled eggs, cooked /chopped breakfast sausage, finely chopped broccoli, shredded Swiss cheese, chopped mushrooms
- Reuben Pizza: chopped cooked kielbasa, drained sauerkraut, shredded Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing instead of pizza sauce
- Pizza Alfredo: Alfredo sauce, shredded cooked chicken, chopped broccoli, grated parmesan cheese, sliced mushrooms
- Take-Out Pizza: Shredded green cabbage, diced cooked chicken, take-out sauce (equal parts BBQ sauce and orange marmalade), toasted sesame seeds, diced broccoli, shredded carrot, diced bell pepper, red pepper flakes, sliced green onion
- Pizza Cordon Bleu: a drizzle of olive oil, diced cooked chicken, finely chopped cooked ham, shredded Swiss cheese, chopped broccoli, a sprinkle of parsley
- Thanksgiving Pizza: cubed cooked turkey, turkey gravy, finely chopped green beans, leftover stuffing and/or mashed potatoes, cranberries (I used dried cranberries, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to plump), and a sprinkle of everything-bagel seasoning (poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic flakes, onion flakes, sea salt)
- Grampy's Pizza: tomato sauce, chopped cooked bacon, sliced cooked chicken sausage, caramelized yellow onions, shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced mushrooms
- Stuffed Pepper Pizza: tomato sauce, diced leftover meatballs, leftover cooked rice, bell pepper strips, diced yellow onion, shredded mozzarella cheese
- Grammy's Pizza: Salsa, shredded taco cheese, chopped cooked bacon, a drizzle of lime juice, black beans, a handful of corn, a sprinkle of cilantro
- Autumn Pizza: A thin layer of sauce (equal parts canned pumpkin and applesauce), thinly sliced apples, a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger), and a sprinkle of confectioner's sugar.
- Winter Pizza: A drizzle of melted chocolate hazelnut spread, and clementine wedges.
- Spring Pizza: Toss together sliced fresh strawberries, diced fresh apricots, and maple syrup. Spread over pizza dough.
- Summer Pizza: Toss together sliced peaches, blueberries, and honey or maple syrup. Spread over pizza dough.
Our Favorite Pizza Dough Recipe
This recipe is quick and easy, doesn't require yeast, and works especially well when cooking with kids!
Yield: 2 large pizza crusts
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil if cooking a dessert pizza)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a bowl, mix salt, water, and oil. Stir into flour, mixing into a thick dough.
- Use your hands to knead until desired doughy texture, on a floured surface.
- Divide dough into 2 balls, roll to ¼” thickness, and bake 15 minutes on a cornmeal-dusted pizza stone at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
For a stuffed crust: If stuffing the crust (or if you just like a thicker crust) you can also cook in a cast iron skillet, adding 3-4 additional minutes to the cooking time.
For a traditional crust: If cooking a traditional-style pizza with tomato sauce, I also like to add 1 tablespoon of basil to the dough.
© 2020 Jess Schatzel
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 24, 2020:
Thanks for sharing all your ideas. There are some great pizza toppings in your list. The photos are lovely!
Fourwaystoyummy from Coupeville WA on April 23, 2020:
You left out my favorite pizza. Rainbow Toppings Pizza. Create a toppings bar with healthy options like chopped red peppers, cooked diced carrots, corn kernels, pesto, purple cabbage, etc.