One of the joys of cooking is being able to sample a variety of cuisines from around the globe. If you’re cooking for a crowd, or if you have a picky eater or two in your family, one great way to sample these flavors is with good, old-fashioned simple homemade pizza recipes. Just switch up the toppings and voilà: You’ve created something unique.
The best part is homemade pizza recipes infinitely produce better tasting and much healthier than take-out from your local pizza joint, and making it is much easier than you think.
Try our simple pizza dough recipe and instructions for a classic Italian pie for starters. Once you master the crust (which should be by just the second go-around because it’s that easy), you’ll be ready to spice up your next pizza night with homemade pies inspired by cuisines from around the world.
Start With Basic Pizza Dough
The secret to any great homemade pizza is the dough, and this one is very easy to get the hang of. To make it, you’ll need:
- 2 packets of yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 cups flour (for a healthier version, 1 cup of whole wheat flour to 2 cups of white flour works well)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tsp. salt
- Add the yeast and sugar to 1/4 cup of warm (not too hot) water and swirl together to allow the yeast to start eating the sugar — the reaction that will cause your dough to rise. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the yeast mixture and all remaining ingredients to a stand mixer and use the dough hook to knead the dough for 10 minutes. If the dough looks wet once the ingredients are combined, sprinkle in additional flour until it no longer appears shiny (up to 1/2 cup extra flour).
- When mixing is complete, turn dough out of the mixing bowl and form into a ball. Set aside.
- Use a bit of extra olive oil to lightly oil the mixing bowl. Place the dough ball into the bowl and toss to coat it with olive oil.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot for 90 minutes.
- After the dough has risen, give it a gentle punch and allow it to collapse. Divide it in half, then in half again so you have four even sections. Form each into a ball.
- Set aside the balls of dough and cover with a tea towel to rise a bit more while the oven heats.
When you’re ready to make your pizza, preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour your work surface and roll one ball of dough out to form a 15- to 16-inch circle. Roll the edge back in on itself to make the crust — you should end up with a 14-inch pie. Gently lift the dough onto a round pizza pan and add your toppings. Bake in the 500-degree oven for 6 minutes. Allow to cool for another 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
The Italian Pie
Italy Homemade Pizza RecipeOnce your dough is rolled out and ready, a classic Italian pizza is an easy way to start. Swirl 1/4 cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce over the (still raw) crust, then top with grated mozzarella cheese. Add fresh basil leaves for a Margherita-style pie, or add favorite pizza place toppings like pepperoni and mushroom for a heartier meal.
The Mexican Pie
For the taco-lovers in your family, a Mexican-inspired pizza is easy to make. Stick with your original spaghetti sauce or use a mild salsa instead, then add shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Top with diced onions and fresh tomatoes. To turn up the heat, add sliced jalapeño peppers and garnish with a few dabs of sour cream. Carnivores can consider adding ground beef browned with a healthy dose of chili powder as well.
The Greek Pizza
This pizza works well with a classic red tomato sauce, but you can also brush your pizza with 2 Tbs. olive oil mixed with 3 cloves of minced garlic for a white pie. Use half as much grated mozzarella as you typically would, but make up the difference with crumbles of feta cheese. Top with kalamata olives and diced tomatoes before baking; finish with diced cucumbers just before serving.
The Bavarian Pie
For a taste of Germany on your pizza, top a traditional tomato-sauce-and-mozzarella pie with slices of bratwurst. Pan-fry the bratwurst links with green bell peppers and onions (and a splash of your favorite beer, if you’re feeling adventurous). Top the pizza with slices of the sausage, peppers and onions. For a real German kick, add some well-drained sauerkraut to the pizza as well.
The Spanish Pie
Like the Greek pizza, this Spanish pie will work as either a red or white pizza. Once your basic pizza is assembled, add shavings of Manchego cheese, thinly sliced jamón Serrano (prosciutto is a great substitute if you can’t find Spanish ham) and cured olives. This pairs well with a nice Rioja!
Once you get used to using your own homemade pizza recipes, you might never want to go back to ordering in again! It’s so easy to make your own, and there are as many possibilities for combining new flavors as there are countries in the world. Experiment and see what new ideas you can come up with!