Recipes for an Impromptu Pizza Night

Recipes for an Impromptu Pizza Night

By Jenny Wood

Going out for pizza sure is fun, but there is something to be said about making pizza in the comfort of your own home. Firing up the oven helps create extra heat on a chilly Fall evening and being in complete control of the sauce/cheese/topping ratio feels kind of like a super power. 

For those nights when going out won’t work, break out the pizza stone and try these fun and simple recipes!  

Quick Pizza Dough 

Recipe adapted from 

Using whole wheat flour adds an earthy, nutty taste to traditional pizza crust as well as fiber. This recipe is great because there is no need to wait hours for dough to proof. It takes only about 20 minutes for the dough to be ready. Use a pizza stone in a hot oven for the best texture crust. 


2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast 


2 Tbsp honey or granulated sugar 

1 ¼ cup warm water (~110ºF) 

2½ cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting 

2 tbsp olive oil 

1 tsp salt 


1. Place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 475º. 

2. In a large metal bowl, combine yeast, honey and warm water. Whisk to mix and let set approximately five minutes, until slight foam forms on top. 

3. Add the flour, olive oil and salt and stir to form a soft, pliable dough. Using your hands, form a ball with dough and coat with olive oil. Cover bowl with a wet towel and let set for about 5 minutes. 

4. Prepare an overturned baking sheet by topping with parchment paper. Sprinkle flour on parchment. Flatten dough ball into a disk and pull or roll out to desired size. You can also cut dough in half to make two smaller pizzas. 

5. Add sauce and pizza toppings. Slide parchment from overturned baking sheet to pizza stone. Bake for 10-12 minutes on parchment on a pizza stone. *Optional: Broil pizza for the last two minutes for crispier toppings. 

Enhanced Marinara Sauce 

A good marinara sauce is a labor of love and can take some time. For homemade flavor with a much-reduced timeframe add fresh ingredients to jarred sauce. 


2 Tbsp olive oil 

¼ cup onion, finely diced 

2 cloves garlic, finely mixed 

½ Tbsp dried oregano 

2 cups favorite marinara sauce 

1 Tbsp ketchup 

20 leaves fresh chiffonade basil 


1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and oregon, stir for about two minutes. 

2. Stir in marinara sauce and ketchup, reduce heat to medium-low. Let sauce simmer, stirring every five minutes or so, until sauce reduces to desired consistency. 

3. Fold chiffonade basil into sauce. Remove from heat and let sauce cool slightly before using to top pizza. 

White Bean Garlic Sauce (Vegan) 

As a former marinara sauce only kind of gal, I have been pulled to the light side. A creamier base goes great with roasted veggies. The best part is leftover sauce can be used as a dip or sandwich spread! 


2 Tbsp olive oil 

1 cup butternut squash, cubed 

4 cloves garlic, minced 

1 15-oz can white beans 

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast 

½ tsp oregano 

½ tsp garlic and herb seasoning, such as McCormick 

½ cup vegetable broth or water (plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk can be used for a creamier version) 


1. Heat oil on a saucepan over medium heat. Add butternut squash to pan, stirring to coat squash pieces in oil. Cook until squash is tender and easily pierced with a fork. 

2. Add garlic to pan, let cook for two minutes. 

3. Add white beans, nutritional yeast, and seasonings to pan. Stir in desired liquid. Continue stirring while simultaneously smashing beans and squash to form a smooth paste. Using an immersion blender is helpful for a very smooth sauce. Add more liquid to reach desired consistency. 

4. When consistency is achieved, remove from heat and let cool slightly before using on pizza. 


Margherita-style pizza 


1 tomato, cut into thin slices 

10-15 basil leaves 

5-6 slices whole milk mozzarella 

½ cup marinara 


1. Spread sauce evenly over pulled pizza crust. Top with cheese, tomato, and fresh basil.

2. Cook for about 10-14 minutes until cheese is bubbly and slightly brown. Remove from oven onto wooden cutting board and let set for 2-3 minutes.

3. Cut into 8 even slices. Serve with fresh grated parmesan and chili flakes. 

Roasted Vegetable Pizza (Vegan) 


¼ cup each broccoli, red onion, mushroom, yellow squash 

½ Tbsp olive oil 

½ cup white bean garlic sauce 


1. Toss vegetables with olive oil. Spread sauce evenly over pulled pizza crust.

2. Add veggies and bake 10-12 minutes, until crust is done. Remove from oven onto wooden cutting board, let set for 2-3 minutes then cut into 8 even slices.

3. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and chili flakes. 

Other favorites toppings: 

-Pineapple, jalapeno, BBQ sauce, goat cheese: If you’ve never tried goat cheese on pizza, now is the time! 

-BLAT: add marinara, bacon and tomato before cooking; when pizza is out of the oven top with shredded lettuce and avocado slices 

-Roasted bell peppers, caramelized onions, mozzarella, red sauce. Piled with arugula out of the oven.