An easy dinner meal never tasted so good! This easy pizza recipe takes minutes to prepare the dough and it freezes for the perfect weeknight meal. And did I mention that it’s cheap to make? What’s better than a cheap and mostly make-ahead meal made from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
This is a meal that my husband and I keep coming back to week after week! I prepare a bunch of pizza crusts every few months and freeze them. I take the dough out of the freezer on the morning of the day that we plan to eat it, and let it thaw and rise a bit in the fridge. When I get home from work I turn on the oven, roll out the dough, top and sauce the pizza, and bake it. The prep process takes less than 15 minutes, and 12 minutes of baking later and this easy pizza recipe has become your delicious dinner.
Pizza is an incredibly customizable meal. When you make it from scratch you can control what spices you put in the crust, what sauce, cheese, and toppings you add.
If you’ve ever used Trader Joe’s pizza crust, you’ll know how much depth some crust flavor can add to the finished product. Some basil and oregano add some good Italian flavors, and adding more spices like garlic, fennel, and thyme really make the dough come to life. Take a look at my DIY Secret Ingredient Pizza Seasoning spice blend!
Ingredients for 2 pizza crusts:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packet of yeast (or 2.25 tsp of yeast if you have a jar of it)
- 1.5 cups warm water
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1.5 tsp salt
- A splash of olive oil
- 1 Tbsp of my DIY Pizza Seasoning
- Warm your water by microwaving it for about 30 seconds. Stir in your yeast packet and half of the sugar (1 Tbsp). Let this sit for about 7-8 minutes to give time for bubbles to form.
- Mix flour, salt, second half of the sugar, and the pizza seasoning into a bowl.
- Using the dough hook of your stand mixer, the kneading tools of your hand mixer, or just your strong hands, mix together the yeast-water mixture and the dry ingredients. If using a mixer, mix for about 5 minutes or until the dough comes together and is mostly off of the sides of the bowl. If relying on elbow-grease, knead for 10 minutes or until it has a smooth consistency.
- If you are planning on freezing the dough to use later keep reading this step (4), if you are making pizza for dinner tonight, look to step 5. The best way to freeze this stuff is in sandwich sized ziplock bags with a bit of olive oil spread around the bag first. Divide the dough in 2 fairly equal parts and place each half in a bag and place directly in the freezer. When you take it out of the freezer, allow to thaw and then rise for 7-10 hours in the refrigerator.
- If cooking this dough tonight, place it in a lightly oil-covered bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or even just a kitchen towel and let rise for about 1 hour. By this time it should have doubled in apparent size.
- Roll out your dough onto a flour dusted pizza pan or a rectangular pan (who says pizzas have to be round?). Your pizza should be about 1/8 inch thick, but you can make your crust thicker if desired. If you want to ensure that no large bubbles form in your pizza, poke the bottom of the pizza with a fork every couple of inches.
- Time to top! Add a tasty sauce and add an even thin layer. I use the back of a spoon to spread it around. Sauce inspiration includes classic marinara sauce, alfredo sauce for a white pizza, and barbecue sauce. Sprinkle with cheese (my husband and I like to shred some Pepper Jack or medium cheddar). Add your favorite toppings. We recently made a 3 meats pizza, using hot sausage, salami, and a stick of beef. I also love adding bell peppers, and my neighbor suggests adding broccoli!
- Expert tip: Lightly brush some melted butter or olive oil around the crust and lightly sprinkle garlic salt for the best crust you’ve ever tasted.
- Preheat your oven to 450° and bake for 12 minutes or until your crust begins to brown.
- Enjoy your pizza!
Tips & Tricks:
- If you’re looking to shortcut your way out of using the sugar, I don’t recommend it. The purpose of the sugar isn’t to sweeten your pizza, it’s to help the yeast blossom and properly rise your pizza dough. The living yeast will consume the sugar, so for the most part, you won’t even be eating it.
- Looking to half this easy pizza recipe? Go ahead and divide all the ingredients in half except for the yeast. You will want to use the same amount of yeast to attain the same amount of dough rising.