Roasted Vegetable Pizza

Just a quick post today, but it has to do with one of my favorite topics, pizza! I've said it before, but I love pizza and I love making homemade pizza. It is fun to try all different toppings and flavors that you might not be able to get at your local pizza place. Recently I've discovered that one of my favorite ways to top a pizza is with delicious roasted vegetables. This particular pizza has red, orange and yellow peppers along with zucchini and onions. If you are thinking that a pizza with just vegetables sounds boring, think again. Roasting them brings out all their natural sweetness; add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes for some heat and you have a delicious combination of sweet and heat. I can't wait to try different combinations of veggies as the growing season gets under way.

For the pizza dough, I used my go-to pizza crust. Just top with a quick tomato sauce, the vegetables, and a sprinkling of cheese and you will be good to go. I just love roasting vegetables! Just toss together whatever veggies you like with enough olive oil to coat, pepper and plenty of salt. Spread them out on a baking sheet that is covered in foil and sprayed with cooking oil, and pop them into a hot oven, 425 or 450 degrees. Keep on eye on them, flipping them over if needed, and roast until charred and tender. The time will vary depending on the vegetable and the size you cut them into.

This really is the best way to eat vegetables in my opinion. If I make too much to fit on the pizza it never lasts long. I just snack on it the whole time I'm putting the pizza together. It is so good I don't even care that I'm not even hungry anymore!

Ready for the oven

Cheesy and sweet

Dig in!

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Homemade pizza has become one of my go-to dinners. All I have to do is whip up a quick batch of my favorite pizza dough, throw whatever I have on hand on top of one of the crusts and slide it into the oven, right onto my awesome pizza stone. I've found that this is a great way to use up leftovers. Almost anything you can think of can be turned into a pizza. I love the versatility and creativity a blank crusts offers, just let your imagination run wild.

The key to really good homemade pizza is a super hot oven and cooking surface. A baking stone is your best bet, it will produce pizza with the crispest, most professional tasting crust. If you don't have one, an upside down cookie sheet will do, but it won't get as hot as the stone will. Also, when it's time to heat up your oven, crank it up as high as it will possibly go, usually 500 or 550, and let your stone heat up for at least 30 minutes, or an hour if you have the time. The hotter the better for pizza. Trust me, this will take your pizza to a whole new level.

This week I made barbecue chicken wraps and had some leftover sauce and chicken so what was the first thing I thought of; barbecue chicken pizza of course! I used the leftover barbecue sauce for the base. I used a recipe from Tyler Florence for the sauce, I've made it several times and love how easy and delicious it turns out, thick and sweet. I just topped this canvas with the leftover chicken, onions, peppers and cheese. It couldn't get much easier, or much more delicious. Homemade pizza really is one of my all time favorite dinners, it's almost impossible to mess it up so there are no excuses not to try it for yourself.

Dough, ready to go

Sauce it up

Topping time

Finished with some cheese

Slide the whole thing from the 

pizza peel into the oven

In just a few minutes, you're ready to eat!

Perfect Pizza Dough
Adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Baking Illustrated

  • 4 cups (22 ounces) bread flour, plus more for dusting 
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1 3/4 cup water, at room temperature 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour, yeast and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Add the water and olive oil. Mix until a cohesive dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. If using immediately, cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes. You can also refrigerate or freeze any dough you don't want to use. Just place each piece in a greased plastic bag and put in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze for a couple of weeks/months. When you want to make pizza, thaw overnight in the fridge (if frozen). Take the dough out of the fridge about an hour before you want to make pizza and let come to room temperature before proceeding.

To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to your pizza peel or shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Shape the dough with lightly floured hands. Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil. Top as desired. Slide into the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes. (If you don't have a pizza stone, use a heavy duty cookie sheet placed upside down in the oven. You can shape the pizza directly on parchment paper and slide the whole thing, parchment paper and all, into the oven on top of the upside down cookie sheet.)

Barbecue Sauce
From: Tyler Florence

  • 1 slice bacon 
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 onion, chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 2 cups ketchup 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup molasses 
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika if available 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

Wrap the bacon around the bunch of thyme and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme and cook slowly 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly without coloring for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors.

Pepperoni Pan Pizza

Growing up, pizza was a weekly staple, so if I don't have pizza at least a couple of times a month I go into pizza withdrawals. Until recently, pizza night always involved take out pizza. However, in the last year or so I've been making my own pizzas from time to time. I try not to compare homemade pizza to takeout pizza because to me the two are completely different and so serve a completely different purpose.

When making pizza at home I usually make a thin crust and bake it on my beloved pizza stone with the oven cranked up as high as it will go. This almost always involves the smoke detector going off, but that's okay. These pizzas are delicious and one of my favorite dinners. However, I recently came across a recipe for a pan pizza. When I get takeout I almost always get pan pizza and I didn't think it was possible to mimic this type of crust at home, so when I saw the recipe I knew I had to give it a shot. Not only was it an extremely easy recipe, but it came together quite fast for homemade pizza.

What you do is fill a cake pan with an outrageous amount of oil and then place the dough right on top of it. As the pizza cooks, the oil causes the crust to get brown and deliciously crispy. The dough is extremely light and soft, it rises quite a bit during cooking, leaving you with a thick, pillowy soft layer of crust surrounded by the crisp outer layer. The combination is fabulous, and it's beautiful to look at too, but you won't be able to enjoy that for long, trust me, you'll scarf it down in seconds; enjoy!

It doesn't get much better than this!

Ready to make the dough

Dough made, ready to rise

Get the sauce going

I'm not scared of grease, but I tried this method

to get rid of some of it;

microwave your pepperoni for a minute or so

It let's off quite a bit!

Fill those pans with a healthy dose of 

some good olive oil

Divide the risen dough in half

Roll each half out

Shape it into a nice circle

And lay it on top of the oil 

Ready for topping

Start with the sauce

Then a good dose of cheese

Finish it off with the pepperoni

20 minutes later,



Look at that thick, crispy, golden brown crust

Let it cool for a minute, then dig in


Pepperoni Pan Pizza
From America's Test Kitchen

  • ½ cup olive oil 
  • ¾ cup skim milk plus 2 additional tablespoons, warmed to 110 degrees 
  • 2 tsp sugar 
  • 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for counter 
  • 1 package instant yeast 
  • ½ tsp table salt 


  • 1 (3.5-ounce) package sliced pepperoni 
  • 1 ⅓ cups tomato sauce 
  • 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese 

To make the dough: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Lightly grease large bowl with cooking spray. Coat each of two 9-inch cake pans with 3 TB of oil.

Mix milk, sugar and remaining 2 TB pf oil in measuring cup. Mix flour, yeast, and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together*, increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter, gently shape into ball, and place in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

To shape and top the dough: Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and lightly roll each half into ball. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll and shape dough into 9 ½ inch round and press into oiled pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm spot (not in oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees.

While dough rises, put half of pepperoni in single layer on microwave-safe plate lined with 2 paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Discard towels and set pepperoni aside; repeat with new paper towels and remaining pepperoni.

Remove plastic wrap from dough. Ladle ⅔ cup sauce on each round, leaving ½ inch border around edges. Sprinkle each with 1 ½ cups cheese and top with pepperoni. Bake until cheese is melted and pepperoni is browning around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let pizzas rest in pans for 1 minute. Using

spatula, transfer pizzas to cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Serve.

Basic Pizza Sauce
From: America's Test Kitchen

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes 

Cook oil and garlic in medium sauce pan over low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, increase heat to medium, and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

(This isn't an amazing sauce, but it's good, easy and does the trick. You could try to doctor it up a little with additional spices/herbs, or just use your favorite pizza sauce.)