If you want to wow your gang during an Oscar viewing party, or any Game Day or even a movie watching or Netflix bingeing session, mini pizzas are a great way to go.
But there’s no need to make this an all day project; there are plenty of shortcuts to take. You could make your own pizza dough… but you could also buy it at the supermarket or a local pizzeria. You could make your own tomato sauce… but you could also buy a jar.
And then all that’s left are the toppings. There are a number of choices, and you can prepare as many of them as you like, and then mix and match them on the pizzas. Another thing that makes this mini pizza recipe easy—all of the toppings are uncooked. Chopping them finely allows them to cook quickly in the time it takes for the pizza dough to bake.
The amounts of toppings you’ll need for a batch of pizzas will vary depending on how many options you’re working with—you’ll not need more than a pound of cheese total for one batch of mini pizzas, and 1 cup total of the toppings will surely suffice.
Don’t over load the pizzas with sauce or cheese or toppings—you don’t want things slipping and sliding off of the pizzas, which are just meant to be two-bite little affairs.
The cornmeal on the baking sheet serves two purposes. One, it add a little bit of crunch and texture to the bottoms of the little pizzas, and two, it helps them come off of the pan super easily.
If you haven’t turned your oven to 500° in a while, or ever, it may feel like a strangely high temperature. It’s ok. The high heat will cook the dough base quickly, resulting in as close of an approximation to that chewy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside pizza dough you get in the actual pizza joints, with their eyebrow singeing hot ovens.
The only slight caveat—these get inhaled pretty quickly, so count on at least 4 per person—more if my family is coming.
- 1 pound store-bought or homemade pizza dough
- 1 cup tomato sauce such as a simple jarred pasta sauce
- Cornmeal for sprinkling
- Shredded mozzarella
- Other shredded or crumbled cheeses such as feta, cheddar, Monterey Jack, smoked mozzarella, fontina, gouda, Swiss-style cheeses
- Finely chopped red onion
- Finely chopped bell peppers or roasted peppers
- Finely chopped tomatoes
- Sliced pepperoni or try different kinds of salami or cured meats
- Chopped fresh oregano or dried oregano
- Red pepper flakes
- Bring the pizza dough to room temperature in a bowl, draped with some plastic wrap.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F. If you have parchment paper, line the baking sheets with that. Lightly oil the baking sheet or the parchment, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the parchment or baking sheet lightly with cornmeal.
- Divide the dough in half, and then each half into halves again. Then divide each quarter into 5 pieces. This way your pizzas will all be very close to the same size. Use a rolling pin to press each piece of dough into a flat circle about 2 inches in diameter, and 1/8 inch thick; you can also press with your fingers but a rolling pin is easier). Place them on the baking sheet and let sit for about 15 minutes.
- Spoon about 1 teaspoon of sauce onto each round, spreading it almost to the edges. Sprinkle over about 1 tablespoon of the cheese(s) of your choice. Top each pizza with about 1 to 2 teaspoons of toppings, choosing the combo you like best. Sprinkle the pizzas with oregano and/or red pepper flakes as desired.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the cheese is melted and started to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving platter and serve hot or warm.
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