Make Your Own Takeout: Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? There is nothing quite like a hot slice of pizza right out of the oven, and once you see how easy it is to make at home, you’ll forget all about delivery.

If you’re like most of us, you spend way too much money eating out.  And, eating out, or ordering in can get expensive.  Especially if you have a big family. Our family already orders two pizzas when we order in or go out, and there is only two adults, an 8 year old and a 18 month old. This is why we try to make our own takeout when we have a craving for something. Not only are we saving money, but chances are that whatever we’re making is much, much healthier, and I actually know what’s going in it.

Not only does making pizza at home save you money, but there is just something about making pizza together as a family that sparks joy in my heart.  Pizza is something that we all love, and it’s a fun way to spend the night together.  Homemade Pizza is one of the best dinners that kids can help prepare.  Homemade Pizza also makes one of the best sleepover foods ever.  Make individual sized pizzas and lay out the ingredients in an assembly line, and have the kids spread on the sauce and top the pizza with their favorite toppings.

I originally posted a recipe for Homemade Pizza back in 2015.  Since then, I have made A LOT of pizzas, and with a few changes here and there, but this updated recipe makes the BEST Homemade Pizza.

How To Make Really Good Homemade Pizza

Tools & Equipment

To make great Homemade Pizza, you need the right tools for the job.  You don’t need a large wooden pizza peel, but there are the some useful tools and equipment that will really step up your pizza game:


Pizza Stone
You need a very high temperature for properly baking pizza, and a baking stone helps to maintain that heat. It also makes for a crisper crust.  If you don’t have a stone, I recommend this one.  It’s reasonably priced, and you can cook both square and round pizzas, among other things on it.

Pizza Pan 
A simple round pan for shaping the pizza is all you need.  I recommend this 14″ pizza pan. It makes a good 6 slice pizza.  When we make pizza, we always make two.  Consider getting two pans for this, or plan ahead accordingly to pre-bake the crust.

Pizza Wheel
When it comes to pizza, a knife just won’t cut it.  Instead, opt for a the classic pizza wheel like this one.  When it comes to cutting and proportioning the pizza, you can’t beat a pizza wheel.


Rimless Cookie Sheet
A large stainless cookie sheet can work in place of a pizza peel to move your pizza on and off the pizza stone.  You can also pre-bake the crust on this pan too.

Wooden Cutting Board
This is probably the most versatile tool in your kitchen.  After baking the pizza on the stone, transfer it from the rimmed baking pan to a wooden cutting board.  Plastic cutting boards can make the crust soggy as it sits waiting to be cut. I use an Epicurean cutting board.  They are made from a wood fiber composite, it doesn’t stain, and unlike other wood cutting boards, can be put in the dishwasher.  I love this cutting board so much that when I go to friends houses to prepare meals, I bring it with me.

French Rolling Pin
This style of rolling pin helps you to roll out the dough perfectly without taring or over stretching.  You get a lot better control of the dough that you’re rolling out, and when you use a French rolling pin, pressure is applied directly to the rolling pin and from the rolling pin to the pizza dough, and allows for close contact with the dough and maximum command of pressure.  If you have small hands, you’ll probably prefer this style rolling pin.

Pizza Dough

Good pizza starts with good pizza dough.  Making pizza dough, doesn’t have to be complicated, but it takes time, and patience, allowing the dough to rise and rest.  If you’re not comfortable making your own dough, or just don’t have the time, buy some pre-made pizza dough from your local grocery store. The pre-made pizza dough in the deli at your grocery store is fresh, and it’s had time to sit, allowing the dough to rest, making the crust come out perfect every time.  If you do decide to make your own dough, make it the night before.  This Pizza Dough is easy to work with and makes a crispy crust that’s also tender.

How To Make Pizza Dough

how to make pizza dough


3/4 cup warm water (110-155 degrees)
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil,


Pour 3/4 cup warm water yeast and sugar into a small bowl and stir to combine. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour and salt.

Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute.

Transfer to a large bowl, brushed with olive oil and turn dough in bowl to coat with oil.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Place bowl in fridge and let rest 3 hours to overnight.

Roll out dough according to recipe directions.

Pizza Sauce

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The sauce is what separates a good pizza from a great pizza.  Like with the dough, there are a lot of prepared options that are pretty good, but making your own pizza sauce takes less than 5 minutes, and tastes so much better.  When making your own pizza sauce, opt for canned tomatoes over fresh.  Fresh tomatoes can be too watery and will make soggy crust.

How To Make Pizza Sauce


1, 15 oz can peeled tomatoes, drained
2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper


Add all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Pick The Perfect Toppings


Fresh mozzarella cheese mixed with a little parmesan cheese is the way to go for the best Homemade Pizza.  Most fresh mozzarella comes packed in water, so be sure to drain it before shredding and topping pizza to prevent a watery pizza.  If you can’t find fresh mozzarella, just use a block of mozzarella that you can find alongside the cheddar at the grocery store.  Just be sure to avoid pre-shredded cheese.  It’s coated in potato or cornstarch, so that it doesn’t clump together in the bag, but that also means that it doesn’t melt as well.  Spend the extra few minutes to shred the cheese fresh.

Other Cheeses

Depending on the kind of pizza that you’re making, you may need to use other cheeses on your pizza.  A white pizza for example, you’ll use ricotta cheese, and a BBQ chicken pizza you’ll need to add some shredded cheddar to the mix.  If you’re making a margarita pie, swap the mozzarella our for burrata cheese.  And goat cheese or feta is a great topping for pizzas topped with spinach and roasted red peppers.

Everything Else

From extra cheese to a simple pepperoni pizza, or a complex breakfast pizza with a sunny-side up egg, toppings are what can make or break a pizza. Sometimes we have to divide our pizzas up to make everyone happy – we call this a half-and-half pizza.  Just make sure the toppings don’t touch, right?

Whatever you decide to top your pizza with, just be sure to not add too much, or the pizza will get soggy.  Unless it’s pineapple, then just skip that all together, because there is no place for pineapple on a pizza.  Here are some common and uncommon ingredients for topping pizza:


BBQ Chicken
Buffalo Chicken
Ground Beef


Artichoke Hearts
Green Peppers
Pepperocini Peppers
Red Onion
Red Pepper
Roasted Garlic
Roasted Red Peppers
Sundried Tomatoes


Blue Cheese
Burrata Cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Feta Cheese
Fontina Cheese
Goat Cheese
Monterey Jack Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Provolone Cheese
Ricotta Cheese

Making The Pizza

Bring pizza dough to room temperature.  Cold dough will not stretch properly and snap right back like a rubber band.  Let the dough sit for at least 30 minutes.

While dough is resting, place pizza stone on the bottom rack of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle a pizza pan with cornmeal and set aside.  This gives the pizza an extra crunch.

Lightly flour a work surface and press the pizza dough into a large, flat disk.  Flip dough over, and press again, working from the inside out, flattening dough.  Using a rolling pin, roll out dough into a large circle, flipping the dough and rotating 90 degrees with each different direction. Next, gently pick up dough, and using your knuckles, stretch dough working in a circle, until it is about 12″ in diameter and about 1/4″ thick.  Carefully place pizza dough on prepared pizza pan and stretch to fit, then poke the top with a fork.

Bake crust for 10-12 minutes, until it easily slides off pizza pan.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Crank heat in oven to 500 degrees, and let oven sit at 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.

Top pre-baked pizza crust with sauce, cheese and favorite toppings.  Be sure not to add too much, or the pizza will become soggy.

Bake, directly on pizza stone for another 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and melted.

Turn oven onto broil, and broil pizza for 2 minutes.

Remove pizza from oven onto pizza peel or rimless baking sheet and place on a cutting surface.  Allow pizza to cool 2-3 minutes before slicing or the cheese will fall off.

Final Touches

When your pizza is finished baking, sprinkle the top with freshly grated parmesan cheese, or for extra creaminess, add a big dollop of ricotta cheese.  If you want to freshen it up a little add some fresh basil, or a drizzle of pesto.

Homemade Pizza is nothing to be scared about.  Follow these simple steps, and you’ll forget all about delivery!

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