I'm always looking for ways to put supper on the table - at home - without having to go out. Making pizza at home is one of the biggest money savers for me. We can easily spend $12 on one restaurant pizza. $12 doesn't sound like much until you eat one or two pizzas a week and then it adds up. Am I right?
Most of the time I plan ahead for making homemade pizza. For crust, I typically use my no fail, Five Minute a Day dough, which is kept in the fridge for up to ten days.
But other times I don't have a plan and I still need to put dinner on the table.
Last night I tried a terrific, quick, instant pizza dough recipe. It turned out FANTASTIC! I will definitely be using this dough all the time! It is as easy as one of those little crust packets you get at Walmart! Just a little measuring, stirring, and folding. It rolls out beautifully and homemade pizza can be on the table in the time it takes to warm up the oven.
Here's how I made QUICK PIZZA CRUST At Home My Way:
QUICK PIZZA CRUST
- 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons warm water (like hot bath water)
- 1 packet active yeast (only use one yeast packet even if doubling this recipe)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons oil (I used olive oil.)
Measure very warm water in a measuring cup. Add yeast and sugar to the cup. Stir gently. Add yeast/water/sugar mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the flour & salt. Stir with a spoon until it all comes together. Drizzle with oil and fold/knead a few times (like 10-15 times) until it forms a tight ball. Let it rest while your oven is preheating.
Preheat oven to 350.
(I doubled this recipe for my pizza because I wanted a thicker crust. But if you double the recipe, you still only have to use one packet of yeast. That is plenty for one pizza!)
To use for pizza, spray cookie sheet/pizza pan with cooking spray. Roll out using a rolling pin, small dowel, or a cup. Also press until it reaches the edges. I like to sprinkle a little cornmeal in my pan after spraying -before rolling to give a crunchier crust. I roll my crust right in the pan. No need to dirty the counter! I used a cookie sheet as I don't have a pizza pan.
Top with sauce, seasonings, cheese & toppings.
I increase my oven temp to 375 when I put my pizza in the oven - because we like the bottom of the crust to be crispy and the sudden increase in heat does the trick.
Tips for making frugal, homemade pizza:
- Use homemade crust. There are lots of recipes out there! I am included the best and fastest one I have found in this post.
- MAKE PIZZA BOATS! Use up your stale buns, hoagie buns, english muffins, thick slices of french bread, toasting first in the oven and then topping with sauce, cheese & toppings and heating in the oven again until all melty! These are fantastic!
- For pizza sauce, just use a small can (8 oz) of plain old tomato sauce. After spreading on your dough, sprinkle with a little salt/pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Tada=pizza sauce!
- For pizza sauce you can also use jarred spaghetti sauce, sliced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes (using garlic powder, oregano for seasonings), even tomato paste will work!
- I grate my own mozzarella which I get at Aldi! I keep blocks of it in the freezer for pizza any time! I have also just used a few slices of mozzarella to lay around on the pizza - even if I don't have much. My mom didn't always use mozzarella on pizza and just sprinkled with canned parmesan. As little kids, we loved it and didn't really miss the cheese.
- Load up with vegetables you have on hand. Cook some onions, use canned/drained mushrooms, chop up peppers, black olives, brown a little breakfast sausage and add to your pizza. My child even loves pineapple chunks and sandwich ham pieces on her pizza. Of course, we prefer pepperoni - from Aldi - and the package has lots in it and lasts forever!
- Think outside the box! Use leftover taco meat, drained pinto/black beans, salsa & cheddar for mexican pizza!
- Dessert pizza! Top with fruit, canned pie filling, cooked apples and sprinkle with some yellow cake mix/drizzle with butter & bake!
- Breakfast pizza! Top with leftover gravy, scrambled eggs, cooked sausage, bacon crumbles, vegetables like peppers, cooked onions, tomatoes, cheese!
- Make homemade hot pockets. Use circles of dough, topping half with everything from pizza makings, leftovers like meatloaf, sloppy joe meat, taco meat, ham & cheese, broccoli/cheese, or even fruit or eggs & cheese for breakfast hot pockets! Fold in half, seal like a turnover, and bake. These keep great in the freezer for lunches! Reheat in the microwave.
Hope you enjoy these great ideas for quick, frugal ways to put a meal on the table!