(Almost) Homemade Pizza with Sweet Pepper Sauce

A delicious and inexpensive weeknight dinner I make on a regular basis (usually every Friday night) is (almost) homemade pizza. All five of my kids love pizza and it is so difficult to get my kids to all like anything. But they love everything about pizza–the crust, the sauce, the cheese, the toppings of their choosing, etc. pizza in oven

I think my family could eat pizza every single day for a very long and extensive period and never tire of it–I know at my husband could, I don’t think he will ever tire of pizza. It seems like the older he gets, the more he loves pizza. He loves it for breakfast, lunch and of course dinner–as well as a late night snack.pizza hot out of oven

Since my family loves pizza so much, and there are so many members in my family, making pizzas at home is a must, as homemade pizzas are so much more affordable. Two pizzas with toppings delivered cost my family between $20-$30 dollars. And making pizzas at home costs about $5 per pizza, if that.

Here is a break down of costs:

  • Frozen pizza dough costs $5 for 5 loaves (one package has 5 loaves)
  • One block of mozzarella cheese is 1.79 (I use about 1 block per pizza)
  • Homemade sauce (which is used for additional meals like pasta) costs $3 for two large cans of whole tomatoes, .50 onion, garlic .99 for a 3 pack of garlic, mini sweet peppers on sale at Aldi 1.69 for a bag and spices on hand of Italian seasonings, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • I buy onions, garlic, spices and oil at Aldi’s, which is about half the cost of buying the same ingredients at Giant Eagle here in Pittsburgh. I buy my cans of tomatoes at Shop ‘n Save, and I read labels for sodium content.
  • Total cost for ingredients to make one pizza is less than $5.

Ingredients for Sauceveg for sauce

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 mini peppers roughly chopped with seeds removed (I used one red, one orange, one yellow)
  • 2 large cans of whole tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Directions for Sauce

  1. In a large sauce pot heat oil over medium heat. Add red onion and peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add in garlic and cook another minute.
  2. Add 2 cans of tomatoes (I cut the whole tomatoes in half) and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for about 45 minutes (longer if you want stronger flavor profile).
  3. With tasting spoon, sample sauce, add salt and pepper according to your taste.
  4. Turn off heat and pour tomato mixture into a food processor. Pulse until it has a sauce like texture.sauce in food processor
  5. Return sauce to pot.

sweet pepper sauce

To prepare the Pizza Dough:

  1. In the morning, remove as many frozen dough loaves as pizzas you are planning to make for dinner. Spray each loaf with cooking spray or olive oil and let it thaw on a plate on your counter top, cover with plastic wrap.
  2. When ready to begin dinner preparation, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3.  Roll out dough on a pizza stone, one loaf makes one 14 inch round crust.pizza on stone
  4. Spray with cooking spray or grease with olive oil and place in oven for 5 minutes.
  5. After 5 minutes poke dough all over with a fork.
  6. Return to oven and bake for 15 more minutes until golden brown.pizza poked with fork
  7. Remove from oven and top with sauce (about 1 cup of sauce), grated cheese and then toppings. (I made a spicy capicola, mozzarella, spinach and red onion pizza for this one).
  8. Return to oven and bake for another 3 minutes or until cheese melts.pizza in oven
  9. Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve and enjoy.

The beauty of this pizza is that the bread dough is consistently delicious. I use a pizza stone and it bakes the pizza evenly without ever burning. My pizza stone came with my house, the previous owners left it, and I love it. I recommend investing in one if you want to make an evenly baked crust for your pizza.

Homemade pizza offers creativity for the home cook. The toppings and sauce are customizable, and allow for experimentation. (Almost) homemade pizza is a great way to get your kids involved with cooking as well. I have my kids grate the cheese, roll the dough and pick their toppings. I serve this pizza with a fresh salad.

salad

And I use left over sauce for dipping crust and my weekend dinners–gnocchi, pasta etc. I would love to hear about your pizza toppings and experiments with tomato sauce and your success in the kitchen!

Here are some related recipes:

For my tomato sauce recipe click here:Homemade Tomato Sauce.

For other pizza ideas like focaccia pizza click here: Focaccia Pizza Recipe.

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