Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Make Your Own Pizza Night! (Plus 50 Topping Ideas)


Pretty regularly around our house, we wrap up the week with a make your own pizza night.  Everyone gets to make their own, so everybody is happy and all is well (yay!)  While I keep shredded (pizza blend) cheese, crust, and sauce on hand, often we will poke around the refrigerator looking for something exciting to throw on it.  

I want to take a moment to talk about the crust...there has been much experimentation over time, but my absolute favorite (and easiest) is Naan bread.  It's thick, doughy, and has an amazing flavor.  One Naan is the perfect size for a generously portioned personal pizza too.  They freeze fabulously and I often buy big multi-packs of them to keep on hand.  I have made my own dough in the stand mixer, but the Naan is super duper easy and totally delicious.

Here are some ideas for having your own pizza night:
  • Put everything out so everyone can get to it...kids love to do their own thing (see smile pizza above)
  • Keep items like shredded cheese and crusts in the freezer for a fast meal that is always on hand.  Shredded cheese freezes nicely and will last longer if you don't use the whole bag and have some left.
  • I like to put the crust right on the pan it will be cooked on.  A loaded up pizza is hard to move.
  • For smaller appetites, sharing a pizza works well too!  Have each person top their half.
  • This is a great opportunity to clean out the fridge and use some leftovers...put it out and watch those odds and ends disappear!
  • For a super fast dinner, freeze some of the toppings...things like onions, peppers, and herbs freeze very well.  You can also cook things like ground beef and sausage ahead of time too.
  • For super organized people, you can make pizza "meal packs" in a big freezer bag complete with everything needed to make one pizza (crust, pre-measured sauce and cheese, plus any toppings)
  • About the pan...some people prefer to place the pizza right on the oven rack to get the bottom crisp, I like to use one of those pizza pans with little holes all over it.  It still gets the bottom crisp, but it easier to transfer the pizzas in and out of the oven.
  • If you have a "pizza" setting on your oven (see below), try it.  I like the way it cooks our pizzas...however, cooking it on a nice and hot temperature is great too...I usually do ours on 550 degrees to try and emulate a pizza shop.

And for my favorite part...the toppings!  Here are some toppings for everyone (for the adventurous and the not-so-adventurous), it you are unsure if you'll like it, just add it to a small portion of your pizza.

Do you like putting something else on yours?  Comment below!
  1. Black Olives
  2. Pepperoni
  3. Fresh Basil Leaves
  4. Green Pepper
  5. Mushrooms 
  6. Pineapple
  7. Feta Cheese
  8. Red Onion
  9. Artichoke Hearts
  10. Barbecue Chicken (great way to use leftovers!)
  11. Kalmata Olives
  12. Meatballs
  13. Sliced Fresh Mozzarella
  14. Roasted Garlic
  15. Arugula
  16. Banana Peppers
  17. Italian Sausage (crumbled or sliced)
  18. Sun Dried Tomato
  19. Goat Cheese
  20. Grilled Asparagus
  21. Ground Beef
  22. Diced Onion
  23. Jalapeños
  24. Crumbled Bacon
  25. Grilled Shrimp
  26. Fresh Spinach
  27. Chorizo
  28. Blue Cheese
  29. Capers
  30. Grilled Zucchini
  31. Pulled Pork
  32. Broccoli
  33. Oregano
  34. Ham
  35. Eggplant
  36. Ricotta Cheese
  37. Pancetta
  38. Green Olives
  39. Roasted Butternut Squash
  40. Sriracha Sauce
  41. Canadian Bacon
  42. Grilled Chicken
  43. Brie
  44. Chopped Fresh Tomato
  45. Pesto Sauce
  46. Shaved Parmesan
  47. Caramelized Onion
  48. Prosciutto
  49. Kielbasa
  50. Pepperoncini (also called Tuscan Peppers)
Enjoy!

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