Here, F&W’s guide to making exceptional pizzas at home, from classic Margherita to pies with the works. Plus, how to make crispy, perfect crust.
Food & Wine Test Kitchen Pizza Tips
Chefs’ obsession with pizza has led us to great recipes for the home cook. While the toppings vary widely, the crust should be the perfect balance of chewy and crispy. Here, a few tools and techniques for making better pizza.
- The longer you let your dough rise, the more complex it will taste (at least to a point).
- To form the pizza dough into a round, use your fingers to press and stretch a dough ball, working from the center toward the edge. No tossing necessary!
- Use a pizza stone and preheat it well. Some people prefer cement. Others ceramic. Others steel. Regardless of the material, a stone keeps your oven hot when the door is open and helps create a crisp bottom crust.
- If you plan to make pizza often, think about investing in a pizza peel (they're not so expensive). It really is the easiest way to slide a pizza onto a hot stone. Dust the peel with a little flour or semolina so the dough slides easily.
- Often, the best way to get a crisp crust and bubbling top on a pizza is to preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes before sliding the pizza onto the stone. Then, turn on the broiler and cook for about 5 minutes. —Kristin Donnelly
Vegetarian Pizza Recipes
Grace Parisi tops homemade pizza dough with San Marzano tomatoes, milky buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. Letting the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight results in a chewy crust with a slight tang.
Tangy goat cheese, sharp Parmesan, tender sautéed eggplant and bold basil pesto cover this mouth-watering pizza.
Nutty nettles and delicate green garlic make this an exceptional recipe for early spring.
This pizza recipe showcases meaty portobello mushrooms, red bell peppers and basil. If you don't have fresh basil, stir some pesto into the peppers and mushrooms before putting them on the pizza.
Zucchini and yellow squash can both be mild in flavor, but nothing about this tangy, herby homemade pizza is bland. The summer squash is sliced into slender coins, then roasted in a hot oven until it's lightly caramelized, bringing out its sweetness.
At Phoenix’s Pizzeria Bianco, pizzaiolo Chris Bianco tops his Pizza Rosa with rings of red onions, a sprinkling of chopped pistachios and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Prepared hummus that comes with a scoop of chopped garlic on top is the secret to this pizza recipe: The garlic gets mixed with oil to marinate the zucchini, while the remaining garlic and hummus flavor the whole pizza.
For his pizza topping, Mario Batali pairs pungent Taleggio cheese with three types of sautéed mushrooms: porcini, Portobello and cremini.
Meat Pizza Recipes
This half pizza-half calzone is stuffed with artichoke hearts, creamy ricotta, ham, salami, marinara sauce, mushrooms and olives.
This homemade pizza gets richness from sweet, softened leeks and truffled pecorino cheese; ground lamb makes it a substantial and satisfying meal.
With ribbons of soppressata, mashed sweet potatoes, mozzarella cheese and balsamic-glazed onions, this clever, prebaked-crust pizza is a study in salty-sweet flavors.
Store-bought rotisserie chicken, with its juicy meat, makes a great quick topping.
Grace Parisi tops pocketless pita or naan with cannellini beans, smoky pancetta and melty Fontina cheese.
Spicy Andouille sausage is delicious with sweet onion confit.
Seafood Pizza Recipes
This garlicky clam pie is topped with a mound of salad greens dressed with oil and vinegar.
Michael Schwartz’s seafood pie features shrimp, garlicky escarole, nutty Manchego and spicy chorizo.
“This dough is not the kind you throw in the air like in the movies,” Mario Batali says. He grills the crusts until they’re delectably charred, then adds one of two simple toppings—a classic Margherita, and a pungent mix of Fontina, black olives and pine nuts
After grilling rounds of pizza dough, Joseph Wrede tops them with creamy Gorgonzola dolce, diced soppressata, green grapes and chives.
Cut into small squares, this fast vegetarian pizza makes a great spring or summer hors d’oeuvre.
In this ingenious recipe, sweet fresh figs are perfectly played against creamy, earthy Gorgonzola cheese, milky mozzarella and salty pancetta.
Chef Charlie Palmer dreamed up this perfect tailgating pizza with three kinds of cheese, artichoke hearts, wild mushrooms and prosciutto.
Pizza Recipes from Around the World
Deconstructed nachos were the inspiration behind this fun recipe, made with chili-spiced black-bean puree, tomatoes, olives, shredded lettuce and Jack cheese on a whole-wheat crust.
With lightly caramelized onions, thick-cut smoky bacon, and a tangy base made from fromage blanc and crème fraîche, this pie resembles the typical Alsatian tarte flambée.
Jehangir Mehta borrowed the flavors of an old Parsi lamb dish that is typically served as a main course with rice.
Related: Best Pizza Dough Recipe
Pizza Dough Recipes
The superchef adds a touch of honey and wine to his foolproof dough.
Italian chef Shea Gallante lets his dough proof in the refrigerator overnight, resulting in a pleasantly chewy, flavorful crust.
This simple dough produces an exceptionally delicious, crunchy crust.