How to Make Pizza (Pizza Recipe)

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Learn how to make pizza at home with this easy and delicious homemade pizza recipe. Use homemade pizza dough and pizza sauce to make the best pizza in 30 minutes – flat!

a round homemade Pizza on a pizza peel


In my years of experience working at a Chicago pizzeria, I learned how to make the best pizza! So, I took my experience & pizza knowledge and created this homemade pizza recipe for you!

We moved away from Chicago, to a sate that is not known for it’s delicious pies, so we make this homemade pizza recipe weekly.

In this post, you will learn how to make pizza at home using the best homemade pizza dough and pizza sauce recipes. I will also share all my tips and tricks so your homemade pizza turns out perfectly every single time.

a triangular slice of homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza Recipe: Ingredients

overhead photo of the labeled ingredients used to make this homemade pizza recipe
3 slices of homemade Pizza Recipe, one with a bite taken out of it

Homemade Pizza Equipment

overhead photo of the labeled equipment used to make this homemade pizza recipe

How to Make Pizza

Now, we will walk through how to make homemade pizza. Remember all steps are simplified by using store-bought ingredients.

Make the Pizza Dough

Begin by making the dough. It’s very simple to make – check out this post – pizza dough recipe – for detailed step-by-step instructions.

Begin by proofing the yeast in water with sugar.

How to Make Pizza -proofing yeast for dough
How to Make Pizza -proofing yeast for dough

Then add the wet ingredients and stir to combine.

How to Make Pizza adding wet ingredients to dough
How to Make Pizza adding wet ingredients to dough

Next add the dry ingredients

Add flour slowly until the mixture forms a slightly tacky ball.

How to Make Pizza stirring dough
How to Make Pizza stirring dough

Then knead until it’s smooth.

Let it rise before rolling if you prefer – this results in a fluffier crust.

How to Make Pizza dough formed into a ball

Make the Pizza Sauce

I often like to make the pizza sauce long before dinnertime and let it sit at room temperature. It’s easy to prepare in advance. Or, make it while the dough is rising.

To make the sauce, simply combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk or stir until smooth. You can reference this post: Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe for more tips and detailed instructions.

More

How to Make Pizza - sauce ingredients in a bowl before stirring
How to Make Pizza - sauce ingredients combined in a bowl

Heat a Pizza Stone

Before you begin assembling the pizza, you need to preheat the oven and warm the pizza stone. Put the stone in the oven as it preheats, and let it warm at 500 degrees F for at least 10 minutes before cooking the pizza.

If you aren’t one of the few that actually has a real pizza oven at home, using a pizza stone is a key step when it comes to making authentic, homemade pizza.

Putting the pizza directly on a hot surface ensures the bottom crust crisps nicely without over-browning the cheese.

What if I don’t have a pizza stone?

If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a pizza pan. and preheat it in the oven.

How to Make Pizza - a pizza stone preheating in an oven

Assemble the Homemade Pizza

Now that your dough and sauce are ready to go and your stone is preheating, let’s assemble our pizza recipe.

Begin by rolling out the pizza dough into your desired shape. We have a round pizza stone, so we form a round circle of dough.

We have also made it into fun shapes – like a heart at Valentine’s day, Football for the super bowl, etc.

How to Make Pizza - rolling out pizza dough

Then, transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper (for ease of transfer from the counter to the oven).

Next, spread a thick layer of sauce over the pizza dough, leaving about a ½ inch border around the pizza (or more if you like more crust).

How to Make Pizza - spreading sauce on dough
How to Make Pizza - sauce spread evenly on dough

Once the sauce is spread evenly over the dough, add the cheese.

How to Make Pizza a hand sprinkling cheese over the sauce
How to Make Pizza cheese on the sauce

If you are going to include toppings, sprinklings two layers of cheese is a trick of the trade to ensure the best pizza ever.

So, sprinkle a base layer of cheese, then add the toppings, then add the rest of the cheese over the toppings. Trust me, this is the way to make pizza.

How to Make Pizza adding pepperoni on top of a layer of cheese
How to Make Pizza adding a layer of cheese over toppings

Topping Suggestions

Here are our favorite pizza toppings:

  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage or Bacon. Pre-cook the sausage/bacon in a skillet until it’s no longer pink, then add it to the pizza between the layers of cheese.
  • Pineapple & Ham
  • Vegetables: Bell Peppers, onion, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes spinach, etc.
  • Fresh Herbs. Basil, parsley, cilantro (especially with BBQ chicken), etc.
  • Use leftover BBQ chicken to make BBQ Chicken Pizza

Cook

Now, use a pizza peel or flat cookie sheet to transfer the assembled pizza from the counter to the oven. Gently lift up one side of the parchment paper and slide the peel under the paper.

homemade pizza on a pizza peel before baking

Then, carefully transfer the parchment paper and pizza to the preheated stone in the oven.

homemade pizza recipe baking on a pizza stone in the oven right after being put in

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.

If desired, remove the parchment paper halfway through baking (once the crust has firmed up) by giving it a quick tug.

Watch the pizza carefully

Towards the end of the baking time the pizza changes very quickly. It can go from almost done to too brown in a flash.

homemade pizza finished baking on a pizza stone int he oven

Cool

Once the pizza has finished cooking, use a pizza peel or flat cookie sheet to remove it from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Letting it cool slightly makes it easier to cut and prevents anyone from burning their mouths on hot pizza sauce!

Homemade Pizza Recipe on a pizza peel after baking
Homemade Pizza Recipe on a wire cooling rack

Serve

You can transfer the pizza to a cutting board and use a pizza cutter to slice it. However, we prefer to use pizza scissors to cut our homemade pizza.

They changed our lives (especially having to cut pizza for babies for so many years) and I highly recommend purchasing a pair.

We love serving pizza with this burrata salad, panzanella salad or fruit salad.

Homemade Pizza being cut with pizza scissors

Store

Let the leftover homemade pizza cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

a slice of Homemade Pizza

Freeze

Let the cheese pizza cool completely before storing in a single layer in an airtight container. It will last up to 1 week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it for up to 1 month.

Reheat

Reheat in the microwave or in the oven set to warm, or in a saucepan with a lid over medium heat (this helps re-crisp the crust)

a slice of Homemade Pizza Recipe with a bite taken out of it

Homemade Pizza Recipe FAQs

What are the steps to make a pizza?

Here’s an overview:
Make the dough & sauce
Roll out the dough
Spread the sauce over the pizza
Spread cheese & toppings over the sauce
Bake, cool & serve!

How to make a good pizza at home?

Use the best pizza dough and sauce and bake on a pizza stone.

What pizza toppings need to be cooked first?

Sausage and bacon need to be cooked before adding to pizza.

Do you put cheese on pizza first or last?

I suggest adding two layers of cheese for the best homemade pizza. Add one layer, then toppings, then a second layer.

What is the best cheese for pizza?

Mozzarella is the absolute best. You can also use cheddar cheese, goat cheese, etc.

Which sauce is best for pizza?

I suggest making your own homemade pizza sauce for the best results.

a homemade pizza cut into 8 triangular pieces

If you make and love our recipes, it would mean so much to me if you would leave a comment and rating! And don’t forget to follow along with us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Youtube – be sure to tag @joyfoodsunshine and use the hashtag #joyfoodsunshine so we can your creations!

Homemade Pizza Recipe

Laura
Learn how to make pizza at home with this easy and delicious homemade pizza recipe. Use homemade pizza dough and pizza sauce to make the best pizza in 30 minutes – flat!
5 from 2 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 16 Servings
Calories 135
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Cooling10 minutes
Total Time40 minutes

Ingredients  

Toppings (optional)*

  • pepperoni, sausage, olives, vegetables, pineapple, etc.

Instructions 

Make the Pizza Dough (or use store bought).

  • Proof the yeast in water with sugar.
  • Then add the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Next add the dry ingredients
  • Add flour slowly until the mixture forms a slightly tacky ball.
  • Then knead until it’s smooth.
  • If desired, let it rise before rolling if you prefer – this results in a fluffier crust (rising is not required with this dough recipe

Make the Pizza Sauce (or use store bought).

  • Combine all the sauce ingredients in the recipe linked in a medium bowl.
  • Preheat the Pizza Stone
  • Before assembling the pizza, you need to preheat the oven and warm the pizza stone. Put the stone in the oven as it preheats, and let it warm at 500 degrees F for at least 10 minutes before cooking the pizza.

Assemble the Pizza

  • Roll out the pizza dough into your desired shape. We have a round pizza stone, so we form a round circle of dough.
  • Then, transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper.
  • Spread a thick layer of sauce over the pizza dough, leaving about a ½ inch border around the pizza (or more if you like more crust).
  • Sprinkle a layer of cheese evenly over the sauce.
  • If you are going to include toppings, sprinkle a base layer of cheese, then add the toppings, then add the rest of the cheese over the toppings.

Bake, Cool & Serve

  • Use a pizza peel or flat cookie sheet to transfer the assembled pizza from the counter to the pizza stone in the oven. Gently lift up one side of the parchment paper and slide the peel under the paper.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.
  • Once the pizza has finished cooking, use a pizza peel or flat cookie sheet to remove it from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  • Once slightly cooled, cut and serve.

Notes

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
*Topping Suggestions
  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage or Bacon. Pre-cook the sausage/bacon in a skillet until it’s no longer pink, then add it to the pizza between the layers of cheese.
  • Pineapple & Ham
  • Vegetables: Bell Peppers, onion, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes spinach, etc.
  • Fresh Herbs. Basil, parsley, cilantro (especially with BBQ chicken), etc.
  • Use leftover BBQ chicken to make BBQ Chicken Pizza
If I don’t have a Pizza Stone? 
If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a pizza pan. and preheat it in the oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 450mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 257IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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