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Published September 14, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
You will love this foolproof and easy-to-make homemade pizza recipe that uses homemade pizza sauce, dough, and fresh toppings. This can be cooked in an oven, or if you have an outside wood-fired oven, even better.
While indigenous to Italy, pizza was made popular in the US by returning soldiers from WWII. In fact, It’s said to have evolved from early Egyptian flatbread. Even though pizza translates to “pie,” it has become a savory recipe loaded with sauce, cheese, and other ingredients. There are many variations depending upon what state or country you live in or visit.
Here are the most common:
- Thin Crust – Thin crust does not rise very much. It can be tavern-style or paper-thin like in St. Louis.
- Pan – This is cooked in a pan and is thicker in the crust. I think of this as a thick sheet pan style.
- Chicago-Style (Deep-Dish) – This has a very deep thick-crust pizza and is topped off with cheese, toppings, and sauce.
- New York Style – This is a cross between thin crust and pan and is usually cut into large slices. It has a slightly thicker crust with a thinner inside where the toppings are.
- Detroit-Style – This style is cooked in a rectangular pan and has a thick dough.
- Neapolitan – This is the classic Italian-style pizza with a very thick outside crust with a very thin center where the ingredients go.
When making this pizza, you will at least need a pizza stone unless you have a wood-fired pizza oven.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pizza Dough: Any good homemade pizza dough recipe will be for this.
- Cheese: Classically, mozzarella cheese is used, and you can use shredded or sliced.
- Sauce: I like a simple pizza sauce, but you can use your favorite.
- Toppings: While I added pepperoni and fresh basil, the possibilities are endless.
How to Make the Best Homemade Pizza
Make your homemade pizza dough recipe.
Form the pizza dough ball on a clean surface dusted with flour and stretch it until it is about 12” to 14” in diameter.
Transfer the dough to a pizza paddle dusted with semolina flour.
Evenly spread the tomato sauce, leaving a ½” to ¾” inch around the outside for the crust.
Sprinkle the 1 1/2 cups of shredded or sliced cheese over the pizza sauce.
Add your desired toppings to the cheese and sauce.
Dust the pizza stone with semolina flour and transfer onto the preheated pizza stone.
Bake for 5 minutes before rotating it 180° and after that, another 5-7 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.
You will want to rest the pizza for 2 minutes before slicing and serving.
Make-Ahead: You can make this pizza up to 30 minutes ahead of time. Keep it warm at very low temperatures in the oven, e.g., 150 to 160°.
How to Store: Cover with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can cover and freeze this for up to 3 months. See reheating instructions below for freezer cooking.
How to Reheat: Add the homemade pizza to a preheated oven with the stone and then cook at 350° for 4 to 6 minutes or until hot and the cheese is melted.
How to Reheat from Frozen: Add the frozen pizza back to a preheated oven with a pizza stone and cook at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or till hot and the cheese is melted.
Chef Notes + Tips
- Feel free to use any of your favorite toppings, including vegetables, cheeses, or meats.
- You can also get creative with the cheeses as well including using things like pepper jack or fontina.
- If you do not have a stone, you can preheat a baking sheet pan.
- When cooking in a wood fire oven, place the pizza from the peel directly onto the hot surface about 8 to 10 inches from the fire. After 3 to 4 minutes, rotate the pizza 180° and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the pizza is golden brown.
More Pizza Recipes
Homemade Pizza Recipe
- Preheat a pizza stone in an oven to 500°.
- Form a pizza dough ball on a clean surface dusted with flour and stretch it out until it is about 12” to 14” in diameter.
- Transfer the dough to a pizza paddle dusted with semolina flour.
- Evenly spread on the tomato pizza sauce leaving a ½” to ¾” inch around the outside for the crust.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese or sliced cheese over the pizza sauce.
- Add on your desired toppings onto the cheese and sauce.
- Dust the pizza stone with semolina flour and transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone.
- Bake for 5 minutes before rotating the pizza 180° and then baking for another 5-7 minutes or until the crust is browned and the cheese is completely melted.
- Slice and serve.