Does it matter what order I build the pizza?
When making pizza at home, I’ve found that it’s best to top in the following order:
crust --> sauce --> cooked meat and/or vegetables --> cheese.
Adding the cheese last ensures that all your toppings will stay safely on the pizza once the cheese melts. At restaurants, deep-dish pizza is sometimes topped with sauce last, followed by a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, but at home I go the safe route.
If you plan to add some fresh green leafy vegetables or delicate herbs to your pizza, add them at the end, after the pizza is fully cooked. The residual heat will lightly wilt the greens and help bring out their flavor. Fresh basil and arugula are my favorites. I love to dress some arugula with a little vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper then top the pizza with it for a pizza-salad combo.
If you’d rather add leafy greens to your pizza before baking, try adding them on top of the sauce. That way, there’s less risk that they’ll burn in the oven.
Can you make pizza without cheese?
Absolutely. Many people avoid dairy for dietary reasons, and some people prefer to have their pizza more flatbread style, without cheese. Whatever your reasons, it’s absolutely acceptable to make pizza without cheese. Just proceed as normal when making it at home, but skip the cheese step. Be careful when cutting into the finished pie, because the toppings will move around more easily without a layer of cheese to hold them on.
For those looking for a dairy-free cheese alternative, Daiya is a popular (and tasty!) dairy-free and vegan cheese substitute.
How can you tell when pizza is done?
As long as the crust is golden brown and cooked through, when you take your pizza out of the oven is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer their cheese golden brown and bubbly, some like it just barely melted.
When you remove the pizza from the oven, let it rest a few minutes so the cheese can set and then cut, serve and eat to your heart’s content!
What should I serve with homemade pizza for a complete meal?
Pizza is awesome because it usually has most of the food groups already in it. If your pizza doesn’t have any veggies, try serving it with a large green salad. Spinach-strawberry salad makes a perfect complement to a pizza. You could stick with the Italian theme and serve a caprese-style pasta salad.
Breadsticks are also a natural side dish for pizza and our twisted garlic bread recipe made with pizza crust is a big win with kids. It’s easy to make and fun to dip in your homemade pizza sauce! This 5-Ingredient Crescent Cheesy Bread is also a nice addition to homemade pizza.
How long does leftover pizza last?
Like any food, be sure to refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of the end of the cooking time. According to the USDA, leftover pizza can be kept in a refrigerator for 3-4 days. In the freezer, it can last 1-2 months. For best results, store leftover pizza in an airtight container.
What’s the best way to reheat refrigerated pizza?
Day-old pizza reheats well in a dry nonstick skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes (watch carefully so it doesn’t burn) to crisp the crust and help the cheese regain its freshly melted, ooey goodness.
Reheating on a pizza stone or pizza crisper is another option, but it certainly takes longer to get the pizza hot.
Our advice: Unless you’re in crisis and have no time to wait, avoid a nuked nightmare and never microwave your pizza.
What is the difference between pizza sauce and marinara sauce?
Though seemingly similar and containing a lot of the same ingredients, the main difference between marinara sauce and pizza sauce is that when making from scratch, marinara sauce is cooked on the stove, and pizza sauce is not. Pizza sauce is ready to spread as soon as you have finished making it. You can use marinara in place of pizza sauce in a pinch; try adding a bit of tomato paste to it first to thicken it up slightly and make it easier to spread!
Can I cook pizza on the grill?
You sure can! We love a good grilled pizza in the summertime. All you need is your charcoal grill and some extra heavy-duty foil with cooking spray. Click here to see how to do it!
What is the difference between a calzone and Stromboli?
Stromboli and calzones are very similar, though they are often folded and filled in different ways. The general concept remains the same: stuff pizza dough with fillings like cheese, meat and veggies. Calzones are almost always served in a half-moon shape, while Stromboli is often served wrapped up in a long cylinder roll. Stromboli is also primarily served in America, while calzones have origins in Italy.
Do you need to preheat the oven before baking pizza?
YES! The hotter the oven, the better the pizza. Preferably for an extra-crispy, evenly-baked crust, stick your pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven while it’s preheating and then carefully place the pizza on top of the hot stone or sheet when the oven is ready. If you put the pizza in the oven before it’s fully preheated, your dough won’t cook all the way through, or it’ll require additional baking time.