Homemade Pizza Like a Pro

Pepperoni Turkey Sasuage Pizza

New York is know for its delicious brick oven pizza and I have to say that it is some of the best in the country. Every once and a while though, I like to mix things up a bit and make pizza at home. Considering that I am not Italian, and I do not have the time nor interest in making everything from scratch, I take some well crafted short cuts for my freshly homemade pizza. Here are my tips for turning your kitchen into a pizzeria without all the effort! Pizza ingredients

1. Temperature

The key to delicious pizza is cooking it at high temperature. Before I get started making my pie, I preheat my oven to 550 °F – I know this seems crazy but trust me its not! Most brick oven pizzerias cook their pizzas at 800°F to achieve that crisp crust and melty top.

2. Dough

I have never been much of a baker, so the thought of making dough from scratch does not appeal to me. My secret for great pizza at home – I let the experts do the work and buy my dough from my local pizzeria. Forget going to the national chains like Papa Johns or Pizza Hut, try your local pizza place and ask them if they sell just the dough. I buy mine from Rosella’s in the financial district of NYC for $3 and I know it is made fresh daily.


Rolling pizza dough

3. Sauce

For my pizza, I buy a 28 oz can of Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes and spread it over my dough. The tip is to drizzle the sauce with a little olive oil and then season it with salt and garlic powder. This will give the sauce a great flavor that you will be able to taste in every bite. Bread sticks anyone?…Warm the leftover sauce and dip your crust in it!

4. Cheese

To achieve pizzeria goodness in your own kitchen, use nothing but fresh mozzarella cheese. This is not the stuff that comes pre-shredded, you will find the fresh stuff with the other specialty cheese, typically in a ball wrapped in plastic wrap. I simply tear off of small pieces until they cover the dough, leaving room in-between the chunks so they have room to melt.

Uncooked Pizza

5. Toppings

This is where you can get creative! You can stick old favorites like pepperoni, sausage, etc, but don’t be afraid to try something outside the box too. I have made a BBQ chicken pizza, a kale with sausage and tomatoes and my specialty breakfast pie with sunny sided up eggs and crumbled bacon. Be sure to cook your ingredients beforehand, especially mushrooms since they release water which can make your pizza soggy. As tempting as it can be to overload your pie, your pizza will come out better when you use your toppings sparingly.

6. Cooking

Once your oven is preheated, your pizza will cook in about 8-9 mins. I bake mine in an aerated pan, which helps the the crust crisp and the pizza cook evenly. To get my pepperoni nice and crisp like I like it, I switch on the broiler for the last 30 seconds and move the pizza to the top rack. Let the pie cool for a minute before slicing, it will help the toppings settle a bit.

Uncooked Pepperoni Turkey Sasuage PizzaPepperoni Turkey Sasuage Pizza Half

Have any tips for a pizza masterpiece? Let me know so I can share it with my readers!

Share Your Thoughts


  1. 7.6.15
    Dana Fashina said:

    Love this easy yet delicious take on the classic pizza. And good tip at the end about broiling the pepperoni!

    • 7.6.15

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Pizza is kinda my weakness, but it has to be delicious… Who wants to waste calories!

  2. 7.7.15
    Nikole said:

    Love this idea! My family eats home made pizza a lot because then everyone gets the toppings they want. Totally love the tip for the pepperoni. I always over cook my pizza a little bit trying to get them crispy!

  3. 4.14.16
    Pancho Cham said:

    Pizza is such a great food for anyone, but usually comes with a lot of grease. So thanks for showing us how to make it ourselves! I love how easy the steps are to follow and to do. Such a lovely looking pizza at the end of it! Thanks for the great pizza recipe!


  4. 11.1.17

    My family loves to hit up the local pizzeria and we have always wondered what it would take to create our own pizzas. Using mozzarella cheese is a suggestion that I really like when making pizza. Drizzling the sauce with a little olive oil and salt and garlic powder seasonings is also a great idea that we’ll have to try out.

    • 11.10.17

      Hi Larry,
      So glad you enjoyed my suggestions and I hope they helped you recreate your favorite pizzas at home!

  5. 4.26.18

    You make an interesting point that the key to delicious pizza is cooking it at high temperatures. Every time I cook pizza I always seem to burn it. It’s probably best if I just order take out and leave the pizza cooking to the professionals.

    • 4.27.18

      Hey Monica – what kind of pan are you using? If only need to cook for 8-10 mins tops. Don’t get discouraged – homemade pizza is really delicious!

  6. 7.13.20

    My kids have been craving for pizzas these past few months; therefore, I’ve been thinking of baking one for them. Luckily, you shared this wonderful recipe; I’ll make sure to buy this special Tuttoro crushed tomatoes and drizzle a little olive oil in it. This will be helpful, but whilst I’m still perfecting it maybe it would be best to look for an Italian restaurant first.

  7. 7.20.20

    My boyfriend has been craving pizza these past few weeks; that’s why I’m planning to make one for him. I’m glad you shared these tips; I’ll make sure to use fresh mozzarella and a can of Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes. Although, whilst I’m still perfecting this, maybe it would be best to look for a pizza restaurant first.

  8. 9.14.21

    This is a very helpful blog post. I really appreciate the efforts you’ve done for the information.