homemade pizzas complete guide

Homemade Pizzas Recipes

A complete pizzas recipes guide includes best homemade recipes, pizza doughs, toppings, bakeware, tools, and tips.

Homemade Pizzas Recipes Guide on How to Make Pizzas at Home

This is a complete homemade pizzas recipes guide showing you how to make your own pizzas at home. In this guide, you’ll see some fantastic pizza recipes you can make. You can make them with ready-made dough you buy or homemade dough you make from scratch. You’ll be able to use all the steps, complete with your chosen options, so that your pizza is made on your own terms. This pizza guide even covers storing pizza leftovers, how to reheat pizza several ways and it also talks a bit about optional pizza tools to make things easier.

You’ll find plenty of information and links for expanded details you might have a deeper interest. These procedures go along with a good variety of pizza recipes for you to choose from. So, keep reading to see your choices of all the different ways you can decide on how to make your own pizzas at home.

Regardless of how you make these pizzas, you’ll find you can easily reach growing levels of perfection quickly. You’ll discover you can make them better in quality, compared to ordering out from Pizza Hut, CiCi’s Pizza, or your local fast food restaurants! And, because you control the ingredients, you can make them healthier and tastier. Let’s get started!

Easy Overview of Making a Homemade Pizza Recipe

Here is a summary of this pizza guide of making your own homemade pizzas that are based on our list of pizza recipes homemade. You can also refer to this guide using your own recipe. Having this overall picture initially will give you an idea of the options you’ll be choosing along the way in each section, i.e., each step. So, for that big picture, here is the pizza making procedure overview.

  1. Plan your Pizza event at home, e.g., a regular dinner, pizza party, movie night, etc.
  2. Decide what kind of Pizza you’re going to make and get your ingredients.
  3. Pick a Pizza Base (buy your pizza dough or make it yourself).
  4. Choose the Pizza Sauce (various ready-to-use kinds to choose) and add it to the base dough.
  5. Decide the toppings & additives (cheeses, meats, veggies, spices) and add them in a specific sequence.
  6. Choose your Bakeware preference, transfer the pizza to it, and bake it.
  7. Slice the baked pizza and serve it.
  8. Have some sides you can serve along with Pizza.
  9. Store leftovers (if there even are any!).
  10. Cleanup and pizza tools maintenance

We’ll now cover these action steps in detail for making homemade pizzas. They’ll also include some links for additional support so, keep reading and you can start making your pizza of choice.

How to Make Pizzas at Home – Start with a Plan

pizza sign pizza for dinner tonight

Plan to Have Pizza for Dinner

To begin with how to make pizzas at home, you’ll need to have an idea for planning. With your plan, you’ll be able to identify all the pizza ingredients you need. So, you need to know the type of event you’re going to make the pizza for. You might be considering it for regular pizza dinner, a special celebration, or a movie night. This type of event, even if for a regular dinner, might impact your decision on what kind of pizza to make.

Regardless of what type of homemade pizza you choose to make, here are some ideas for different kinds. Choose one of the following. You’ll reference that recipe as you proceed through these steps to make it your first time (or if you’re looking to improve how to make pizzas)..

Homemade Pizzas Recipes List – Choose One

Choose a recipe on which homemade pizza recipe you’ll make

pizza types

Choose from one of these best pizza recipes. They are all pizza recipes from scratch; however, they can also handle being homemade pizzas with store bought dough. They’re all a great tie-in with this guide.

Step 1. Homemade Pizza Dough or Pizza Crust – Make it or Buy it

Now that you’ve chosen what pizza recipe you’re going to make, it’s time to decide the pizza base. Read through this list to see your choices for a pizza base. Then, you’ll want to buy it or make it. After following this action (make or buy), we’ll continue with preparing it on the counter.

Buy Pillsbury Pizza Dough in a refrigerated tube

Probably one of the most popular and convenient methods of a pizza base dough is to use the pre-made Pillsbury pizza dough. It’s in grocery stores in a pop-open tube along with other refrigerated (not frozen) tubes of biscuits, crescent rolls, and so one. They’re handy and convenient for the smaller sized pizzas.

Buy Bulk Pizza Dough in a bag

Another popular kind of ready-made pizza base is a bulk, refrigerated or frozen, bag of pizza dough. However, not all grocery stores carry bulk pizza dough in this form. You definitely do not want to mistakenly get a bag of dough marked as “bread dough”. The recipes for bread dough compared to pizza dough are different.

Buy Precooked Pizza Crust (Boboli)

The last popular kind of ready-made pizza base is the pizza crust that is already baked. A good kind for this type is probably going to be the popular Boboli Pizza Crust.

Make Your Own Pizza Dough Homemade by Hand or Using a Bread Maker

Now, if you chose this route, you’re serious to having a 100% homemade pizza with the maximum incredible flavor and texture. Decide which of these two popular ways you choose to follow and make your pizza dough:

Step 2. Prepare the Pizza Base Dough or Crust

To prepare your pizza base, it depends on what kind of pizza base you chose to use. Here are each of the preparations for those previously listed choices of pizza base.

Prepping Pillsbury Pizza Dough in a refrigerated tube

If you chose to use a a pre-made pizza dough that’s in a refrigerated tube, sprinkle a light amount of flour and cornmeal on the countertop, open the pizza dough tube, and unroll it on that surface. You can now go to the next section of adding the sauce.

Prepping precooked pizza crust (Boboli)

For a pre-made pizza crust (already baked), go ahead a open the package and lay it on your counter (no flour base needed). You can now go to the next section of adding the sauce.

Prepping bulk pizza dough (bought or made)

If you chose to buy a bulk premade bag of pizza dough, set it out of the fridge or freezer (still in its bag) to reach room temperature. You’ll need to wait at least 30 minutes, if refrigerated and 1 hour, if frozen. When feasible, you can also consider flattening it out a bit (still in its bag) to speed it up. When it’s reached room temperature, remove it from its bag.

Now, whether you bought bulk or made your pizza dough (by hand or bread maker), lay the dough out onto a hearty floured surface on your countertop.

Dough put onto floured surface

Lay the dough out onto a hearty floured surface on your countertop

Then, using your hands and/or a rolling pin, stretch and roll it out. This is described in detail in any of our pizza dough recipes:

Stretch and roll out your pizza dough to the shape of your intended bakeware

stretch and roll out your pizza dough

You’ll want to make it the approximate shape of the bakeware you’re going to use. You can now go to the next section of adding the sauce.

Step 3. Add the Pizza Sauce: Lots of Types You Can Use

Pizza Peel Wooden How to Use

It can be pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, marinara, or tomato sauce

You can make your own pizza sauce but DarnGoodRecipes.com™ follows a more modern, save time and retain quality concept. We don’t’ make pizza sauce from scratch. The minimal idea here is that you will want to use some form of a tomato-based sauce. And it does NOT have to say “Pizza Sauce” on the label.

We’ve tried about a dozen types over the years and below is the list we’ve used and accepted. However, our 1st choice was Ragu Spaghetti Sauce our 2nd choice was Bertolli Marinara Sauce.

Chances are that you might already have one or more of these listed sauces on hand. Remember, we’re about common ingredients where possible.

After you’ve chosen your sauce to use, go ahead and follow your pizza recipe for applying it. Most recipes usually don’t call for much sauce. Often, your just spoon it over the top of your pizza base. It doesn’t matter if your pizza base is raw or already baked.

Step 4. Add the Best Home Pizza Toppings: Meat, Cheese, Veggies, Spices

Now, you’ll add the best home pizza toppings to get a great set of flavors. Keep reading for familiarity with all kinds of options for building the pizzas for your choosing. Then, when ready, go ahead and add the complete set of toppings as recommended by your pizza recipe. You’ll want to follow the specific layering sequence as mentioned in your chosen pizza recipe. Read further to know the many types of toppings that can go onto homemade pizzas.

Meats for Pizza

Popular Meats for Pizzas: Sausage, Pepperoni, Ham, & Salami

meats for pizza

If you are going to build a pizza including meat, you have a lot of options. You can have multiple meats on the same pizza. Sometimes, you might want to combine 2 meats and other times, you might want to keep them each on their half side. A supreme pizza can have 3 or more combined meats. So, here’s our list of ideas of meats, and some you might not have thought about.

Cheeses for Pizza

cheeses on pizza 600x600

More than one kind of Cheese can be added as Toppings

Which cheese is best for homemade pizza? Nearly all pizzas will call for cheese and Mozzarella cheese is the most common, as a minimum. Like meats, you can have 1 or more types of cheeses on your homemade pizzas. However, there is a basic understanding of what cheeses will “pair” with certain meats.

So, the safest bet is always choose Mozzarella as the primary dominant cheese for pizza. For adding a second cheese, Parmesan is a good choice. Here are the cheeses that most people will use on a pizza, in order of preference.

  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Romano
  • Provolone
  • Asiago

Swiss Cheese is also a good one; however, it has a sharp, unique flavor that not everyone appreciates. It pairs well with ham primarily.

Feta cheese is seen sometimes on Greek or Mediterranean related pizza themes.

Goat cheese is sometimes found on specialty or Artisan pizzas. To see more about cheeses on pizzas, look over the Homemade Cheese Pizza recipe.

Fresh Veggies for Pizza Toppings

Veggies Toppings and an Extra Cheese Prepped and Measured

prepared veggie toppings for pizza

Vegetable toppings on pizzas is where everyone has the most fun. It’s here that the real creativity expands to infinity and beyond. You can balance the cheeses and meats with certain kinds of vegetables. Or, you can go with an all vegan pizza. Regardless, nearly all pizzas have at least one vegetable and most will have two or three.

Moving forward, here’s a popular list of vegetable toppings that everyone chooses from, to use on their homemade pizzas.

  • onions (sweet, yellow, Spanish, or red/purple)
  • bell peppers (green or other colors)
  • tomatoes
  • black olives
  • mushrooms
  • spinach leaves

A good example of using a lot of those popular veggies on a pizza is the Supreme Pizza. Specialty Vegetable Toppings are listed here.

  • green olives
  • avocados
  • grape tomatoes
  • red, orange, or yellow bell peppers

These veggie toppings are usually prepared in the following ways:

  • diced or chopped
  • sliced
  • strips
  • halved
  • chunky
  • whole

Fruits for Pizza Toppings

pizza with fruit

Pizza with fruit as one of the toppings

Yes, there are even fruits on certain specialty pizzas. The most common is probably the Ham and Pineapple pizza. That’s often designed as a Hawaiian Pizza although it doesn’t have to be. Having some pineapple bits on a pizza with ham as the dominant meat is a great flavored pizza.

For a little added extra for taste and presentation, putting a small amount of whole or halved sweet red cherries makes a star studded meal. And some have called for adding raisins. There can also be dessert themed pizzas that will have more types of fruits added.

Homemade Pizza Seasoning

Small Amount of Spices Mixture for Adding To Pizza

spices mix for small servings

There are a number of options for additives, supplements, spices, and herbs that can go into making a tremendous homemade pizza. Most recipes will include the spices or Oregano or something similar such as Italian Seasonings.

Some specialty or gourmet pizzas might even call for things like shredded coconut or nuts of various types. Others might call for sometimes adding condiments like brown mustard or barbecue sauce.

Step 5. Bake Pizza in Oven on a Baking Sheet, Pizza Pan, Pizza Stone, or Pizza Peel

You can now proceed to bake your pizza, as referenced in your chosen recipe. For detailed guidance moving the prepared pizza off the countertop, for sliding the pizza into and out from the oven (aka “Transferring”), read this article that discusses how to use a pizza peel.

Transferring a Prepared Pizza onto a Preheated Pizza Steel – Cooks in 12-16 Minutes

transferring prepared pizza to preheated pizza steel

If not using a pizza peel, it’s recommended to stay with baking methods using a baking sheet or pizza pan. You can build the pizza directly on that kind of bakeware as it won’t require a transferring process.

Step 6. Serve It

Serve your perfect pizza

serving pizza 2

So, after your pizza has been baked, you remove it from the oven and let it rest, usually about 5 minutes minimum. Your recipe usually will reference the wait time. Then, you can proceed with cutting it for serving. We discuss cutting tools later, in the section on Pizza Tools. A good method of cutting with any pizza cutter is to start in the center and go to the outer crust edge.

Cooking Tips for Easy Homemade Pizza Temp and Time

How long do homemade pizzas take to cook?

Anywhere from 12-23 minutes, usually. See below for a complete guide; this is based on what bakeware and temp you use.

  • Transfer topped pizza (in pan/sheet or onto hot stone/steel) and bake it in the 2nd from upper shelf in preheated oven at 500°F.
  • Baking TIME guidelines: pizza pan or baking sheet (21-23 minutes), pizza stone (16-20 minutes), ¼” pizza steel (12-16 minutes).
  • Be sure you let cooked pizza rest about 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  • If you decide you want to par-bake your pizza dough before adding toppings, you can. Just bake it at 450°F for about 4 minutes. You will find the dough will rise thicker this way due to the yeast. You can reduce the yeast by half or use none, if desired.

You can read further to understand a bit more about Pizza bakeware.

Pizza recipes usually cover a specific type of pizza container to bake it in. There may or may not be notes on changes to make for different bakeware containers that different people might use. All containers used for cooking pizzas will fall into one of the 3 pizza bakeware groups. They are: Common, Classic Pro, and Advanced Pro. We’ll discuss all three of them as they each have a bearing on how you transfer and bake your pizzas. When you see a pizza recipe, if it doesn’t mention your kind of bakeware, you’ll have to know how to modify it a bit, in the sense of some of the steps to take as well as adjusting baking times. Here is the list of the 3 pizza bakeware groups and their designated pizza bakeware.

  • Classic (non-preheated, movable)
    • baking sheet
    • cookie sheet
    • pizza pan
    • skillet
    • casserole dish
  • Classic Professional (preheated, movable)
    • Pizza Stone
    • Pizza Steel
  • Advanced Professional (preheated, bakeware is built-in to oven)
    • Pizza Oven (movable, small)
    • Pizza Oven (non-movable, medium to large)
    • Pizza Oven (non-movable, commercial)

The most popular pizza skillset in the first group, Classic, is going to be the baking sheet, cookie sheet, or a round pizza pan.

The second skillset group, Classic Pro, will most popularly be using the pizza stone as its bakeware.

pizza stone preheating in oven 600x600

Pizza Stone Preheating in Oven

The third skillset group, Advanced Pro, typically doesn’t use separate bakeware. It is going to be the small pizza oven that is movable and a popular source of energy is electric or gas, although there are others that use wood, charcoal, or pellets. It’s oven floor/shelf is often built-in as its bakeware.

Good Pizza Sides to Serve with Pizza

Here are some good pizza sides for a pizza dinner. A simple green lettuce salad or spinach salad are super and healthy sides. Or, even celery and carrot sticks are good crunchy things to munch on. Those sides, or something similar, can offer lower fat and calorie intake for the meal. They help give some fiber and other nutrients to go along with the meaty protein of the main course.

And, like the restaurants do, you could also have garlic bread sticks or cheese sticks. For after the meal, you could have some chocolate chip cookies on hand. The Italians sometimes will have a sherbet (or sorbet) for cleaning the palate.

Here’s an interesting article from Food and Wine, a leading global epicurean expert source, about the differences between sherbet and sorbet.

Store Pizza Leftovers

What to do with leftover pizza

pizza leftovers

So, after enjoying your homemade pizza, if there are any leftovers, you’ll want to store it for later consumption. Here is some important information for storing cooked pizza. It’s a good section to review for consideration of food safety and quality control.

How Long Leftover Pizza Shelf Life – How to Store

I will be able to keep mine safely in the fridge for up to about 3 days and I never go past 5 days. However, if I’ve left a cooked pizza out on the counter for over an hour, I typically won’t keep it past 1 day in the fridge.

For pizza food safety, you generally don’t want to leave your cooked pizza out on the serving space beyond about 1/2 hour. While differing scenarios might not show any visible signs of difference, behind the scenes, bacteria levels are accelerated the longer the cooked pizza is left out at room temperature.

While you can store pizza in a plastic food container, it might keep better if you can have it exposed to less air by using a plastic food storage bag.

To keep leftover pizza even longer, I will wrap the pizza in food plastic wrap and then bag it for the freezer. While I’ve gone as long as 3 months, I think the quality is retained best for a maximum of 1 month after freezing. And this leads us into reheating leftover pizza.

Reheating Leftover Pizza

Prepping Leftover Pizza Slices to Reheat in Oven

prepping to reheat pizza slices in oven 550x600

There are numerous ways to reheating leftover pizza. Many have difficulty with maintaining the texture and flavor of reheated pizza so, here are some solutions. These are listed in order of frequency that people use. Also, the level of crispiness will be lowest when reheating in the microwave and far better with the other methods.

  • Reheat Pizza in the Microwave
  • Reheat Pizza in the Oven
  • Reheat Pizza in a Skillet or Frying Pan
  • Reheat Pizza in Air Fryer

First off, if the pizza was frozen, it needs to be thawed out before any reheating. One way is to put it in the fridge overnight. However, most people, myself included, won’t plan for that in advance so, you can use the microwave to defrost it but not to get it fully reheated just yet. All of the above links are based on refrigerated or thawed out pizza slices.

Reheat pizza microwave time

If you reheat in the microwave, on full power, one slice can take about 45-90 seconds, depending on your microwave wattage. However, if you use a “Reheat” option, you can consider using that and tweaking it for your individual microwave. It will taste better if it’s not a direct full power heating. Also, sometimes I’ll wrap the slices in paper towels but it won’t be as crispy.

Temperature for reheating pizza in the oven

For fastest time, open on a baking sheet, you can use 400°F in the oven to reheat pizza. Generally, you don’t want to go hotter, unless you wrap it in foil. If you choose to reheat in the oven, here’s a real good complete method.

  • Set the oven to preheat to 400°F.
  • Very lightly brush the bottoms of the slices with olive oil and add them to a regular baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle the tops with water drops. You can do this by wetting your fingers and “flicking” them across the slices tops.
  • Optionally, you can add a little mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Then, when oven is preheated, bake for just 7-10 minutes.

How to reheat pizza in a pan or skillet

The fastest good tasting method is in a skillet or frying pan that has a lid or cover. The only limitation is the number of slices you can heat up at once. This might be 2-3 slices depending on the pan size and the size of the pizza slices.

  • Preheat the pan on medium heat.
  • Do not add any oil to the slices nor the pan. Just lay the slices in the pan and cover it.
  • After about 3-4 minutes, remove the pan cover, reduce the heat to low, and continue heating another 3-4 minutes.
  • You will need to monitor the bottoms of the pizza slices to prevent burning, and potentially reduce the times or the heating level of the burner.

How long reheat pizza in air fryer

Air fry them for about 4-6 minutes but, it depends on your Air Fryer. Real thick slices might need a little longer. However, like the frying pan, the amount of slices is limited; you don’t want to stack these. You can set the air fryer for French Fries (about 390°F) for about a minute. Then, add in the slices for a single layer only. To prevent drying out, you can wet your fingers in water and “flick” them to sprinkle it across the slices’ tops.

Pizza Tools Make It Easier

In the process of making pizzas, you will come across some pizza tools that will make your job much easier. However, in using some pizza bakeware, you’ll want to consider certain tools over others. And, all are not used all the time.

To know what might be helpful, we’ll now discuss some of the key ones and how they work in saving time. Some are needed for certain types of pizza bakeware while others are not. The most important tools are:

  • Tools for transferring pizzas from the counter to the oven, and again for removal from the oven.
  • Cutting tools for slicing pizzas
  • Cutting surfaces for pizzas and serving
  • Turning tools for turning the pizza inside deep, extreme heat pizza ovens.

You’ll need an adequate cutting surface and a cutter. Regarding the cutting surface, you can use a large cutting board. But many homes don’t have a large enough cutting board for a 12 to 16-inch sized pizza. So, if you can cut on the countertop, you’re good to go. If you can’t, the solution might be to get a wooden pizza peel but a somewhat thick one as the thinner ones aren’t recommended for cutting on.

The wooden pizza peel is also good for serving. And, if you read the pizza peel article, you can also use it for building your pizza on it so only have to slip it into the oven. After it’s baked, it can be reused to transfer it out of the oven.

Pizza Cutters

Pizza Wheel Cutter

pizza cutter 2

Regarding the actual cutting tool, there are quite a few choices out there. These can basically fall into 2 types: wheel or rocker.

Slicing a Cheese Pizza view 4 medium

Use a Pizza Wheel Cutter Starting from the Center to the Edge

The pizza wheel cutter is the most commonly used in homes and takes up a small amount of space. You can look around and even get one at the grocery store. But, we finally found one that is extremely heavy duty, solid, and has never rusted in the dish washer after 2 years and 100 pizzas later. But, it’s a bit pricey compared to others.

The pizza rocker cutter is a little easier to use but takes up more space. It’s like the kind that restaurants use. If you get one, you’ll want to ensure it’s the length of your potentially largest pizza you’ll ever make. However, it would still work fine if it’s not wide enough; you’d just need to move it around and recut a few more times is all.

Pizza Peels for Transferring Pizzas

Transferring Prepared Pizza into Oven using a Pizza Peel

Transferring pizza to oven using metal peel

Typically, the only time you need a pizza transferring tool is if you’re in the 2nd or 3rd pizza skillset groups (Classic Pro or Advanced Pro). If you’re in the initial Classic Skillset Group, you can read about this process here or advance to the next section of Pizza Cutting Tools that all pizzas require.

So, if you’re in the 2nd or 3rd pizza bakeware group, you’ll want a transfer tool because the pizza bakeware itself is preheated at a very high temperature. So, you’ll need to safely transfer the prepared uncooked pizza from your work area onto the extremely hot bakeware. And then, when it’s baked, you’ll need the tool again to remove it from the hot bakeware to transfer it to the area for cutting. You’ll want a “pizza peel” to enable you to transfer an uncooked pizza from the countertop to the pizza bakeware in the oven.

After the pizza is baked, you’ll need the peel again to remove it from the oven to transfer it to the countertop for cutting. Here’s an article of how to use the pizza peel to give you a better idea of its usage.

Cut pizzas on a wooden peel

You can Cut Pizzas on Many Types of Wooden Pizza Peels

How do you know what kind of pizza peel to get? They have some that are metal and some that are wooden. Some you can also use to cut pizzas on. Basically, you’ll want a very thin pizza peel to scoop it up from the counter without scrunching it all up (since it’s base is still raw dough). You’ll then need to “slip” it onto the hot bakeware in the oven.

Some pizza peels are more receptive to others on the “scooping” retrieval and the “slipping” releasing aspects involved with all pizza transferring stages.

I highly recommend you read this more definitive article on how to choose the best pizza peels for your usage. It discusses the specific needs when transferring pizzas. Some will make it less messy and some you’ll be able to cut onto its surface. It also has references to using long handled pizza turning tools if you’re using a pizza oven.


How to make pizza dough homemade
How to make pizza dough homemade
Adding Final Pizza Topping to Sausage Pizza
Adding Final Pizza Topping to Sausage Pizza
transferring prepared pizza to preheated pizza steel
transferring prepared pizza to preheated pizza steel

This is your complete guide for creating and serving your best homemade pizzas. You can refer to it in the future, as needed, as we’ll keep it updated. You’ve also read easier ways of making pizzas using appropriate pizza tools for transferring raw pizzas into the oven, as well as slicing them for serving. We even covered storing leftovers and reheating pizza to a much better level of enjoyment.

Now, plan your next pizza easier and faster. Make that pizza dough in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer. Plan it to make Speedy, Easy, and Tasty Pizzas at Home!

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