Pizza is a popular dinner food, but ordering take-out can be costly. For a more economical option, try making homemade pizza with pre-made dough. Bake it on a stone for a crispy crust or use a cake pan for the deep-dish version.
Read more: How to Cook Whole Foods Pizza Dough
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Working Pre-Made Pizza Dough
Step 1: Choose a Baking Dish
Use the right baking equipment to achieve the type of crust you prefer. Use a baking stone for a thin crispy crust or a pizza pan for a crisp-bottomed, chewy crust. For deep-dish, Chicago-style pizza, use a round cake pan.
Step 2: Prep the Pan
Prepare the pan by sprinkling its surface with cornmeal or brushing it with oil.
Step 3: Spread the Dough
Remove the refrigerated pre-made pizza dough from the package and press it onto the baking surface. Bakery or pizza shop dough tends to spring back a bit more than dough from a tube and may need some additional stretching to fit it onto the pan or stone.
Topping the Pizza
Step 1: Choose Your Toppings
Choose toppings for your store bought pizza dough. Cook raw meat toppings, such as chicken or lean sausage.
Add some veggies to help meet the 2.5 cup daily recommendations in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Vegetables that are firm or release a lot of moisture, like peppers or onions, also benefit from pre-cooking. Lightly sauté them to retain some crunch and color or extend the cooking time for soft, caramelized results.
Step 2: Shred Some Cheese
Shred, grate or crumble the cheese. Mozzarella, provolone, Monterey jack and Gruyere melt well and complement a variety of toppings.
Cheese is typically high in saturated fats — the kind that can contribute to heart disease, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Be mindful of the amount you add, or choose lower-fat versions.
Should you select a strong-flavored cheese such as Parmesan, Romano, pecorino or feta, you won't need to use as much, which cuts down on the dish's fat and calories.
Eating cheese on your pizza can help you meet the recommended 2 to 3 cups per day of dairy foods, according to the USDA's Choose My Plate.
Step 3: Spread the Sauce
Spread your favorite pizza sauce or spread onto the pre-made pizza dough, including tomato sauce, pesto, tapenade, roasted garlic or simply a light brushing of olive oil.
Step 4: Add the Toppings
Sprinkle the sauced pre-made pizza dough evenly with the desired toppings. Apply the toppings lightly to avoid weighing down the crust.
Baking the Pizza
Step 1: Heat the Oven
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for store-bought pizza dough from a tube or 450 F for thawed, bakery or pizza shop dough.
Step 2: Bake in the Oven
Place the pizza in the lower third of the oven to promote crisping and browning, and bake it for 14 to 16 minutes for a 12-inch pizza or 10 to 12 minutes for individual 6-inch pizzas.
Step 3: Remove the Pizza
Remove the pizza from the oven when its edges are crisp and the cheese begins to blister and turn golden brown.
Step 4: Let It Rest
Let the pizza rest for a few minutes before diving in for neater slicing.
Read more: Eating Pizza After a Workout
Things You'll Need
Refrigerated or thawed pizza dough
Tomato sauce or other spreadable topping
Shredded, grated or crumbled cheese
Favorite pizza toppings
Pizza baking pan or baking stone
If you prefer the taste of homemade dough, make a large batch and freeze it in portions after the rising. Remove the dough from the freezer in the morning to thaw by dinnertime.
Avoid piling too many toppings on the pizza as too many vegetables result in soggy pizza and too much meat or cheese yields a greasy, heavy pizza.