Pizza is the ultimate crowd pleaser. Sauce plus cheese spread on a delicious crispy-carby crust equals comfort food at its finest—add a comfy couch and a glass of Chianti and we're in heaven. Kids like pizza just as much as adults, plus there's endless opportunity to dress it up with meat, cooked (or raw vegetables), unique types of cheese, herbs, and more.
Grandma Pie With Pepperoni and Pink Sauce
Grandma pies, said to have originated in New York, have one attribute that is highly likable (beyond all the ingredients): it's the fact that it can be made in a standard baking sheet. The toppings here are mostly classic: melted mozzarella and crispy coins of pepperoni, but the red sauce has a twist: a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream, which makes this even richer than normal. Top it off with rounds of red onion and it's becomes an unforgettable pie. Before serving, sprinkle some crushed red pepper and dried oregano, or serve both on the side and have everyone sprinkle their own.
Brussels Sprout Pizza With Lemon and Pecorino
This seasonal flatbread feeds a crowd, making it perfect for a weeknight holiday party (or any party, really). Store-bought pizza dough saves you time, and the Brussels sprouts cook entirely on the flatbread—so it comes together faster than you think. For even faster prep, use the slicing disk of a food processor to create thin shavings of Brussels sprouts, or buy pre-packed shredded sprouts. Each bite has a kick from the crushed red pepper, and Pecorino provides just the right amount of saltiness. It's just as delicious warm as it is at room temperature, so no need to worry about serving it straight from the oven. Pair it with a dry white wine.
Neapolitan-Style Margherita Pizza
Do you remember that scene in the movie Eat, Pray, Love, when Julia Roberts takes her first bite of pizza? She almost passes out from the bliss of tasting a slice. It’s that level of delicious that we’re going for here, with this classic rendition of the famous Naples pie. There are just a few toppings: crushed tomatoes, olive oil, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves, which means quality counts even more than normal. Cue Italian music and la bella vita can be yours. And there's no need for a pizza stone or any other fancy pizza equipment to replicate a restaurant Neopolitan-style pizza right in your own kitchen. The combo of the dough, the technique, and the high heat of the oven will yield incredible results.
Roman-Style Pizza With Potato and Rosemary
Roman-style pizza comes from—you guessed it—Rome. But of course, there, it’s not called “Roman” pizza but rather pizza tonde, which is crisp with a thin crust. The base is sturdy enough to hold up to a variety of toppings, in the case of this recipe, a combination of thin-sliced waxy Yukon gold potatoes with fragrant rosemary and dollops of soft ricotta. Do it like the Romans do and cut the pizza into slices with your kitchen shears.
Mushroom White Pizza
White pizza is the kind of thing that feels totally restaurant-fancy, but is actually quite easy to make at home. To make the base, simply stir together ricotta and shredded mozzarella with garlic and oil. Top with sautéed mushrooms and you’ve got something worthy of date night at home. This pizza is cooked grandma-style, stretched out into one family-style serving on a baking sheet. Serve with an arugula or romaine salad on the side.
Sausage Pizza Subs
These easy sausage pizza subs combo all the delicious flavors of two classic favorites. There’s a garlicky tomato sauce, crispy sausage bits, and a hefty serving of bread. Plus, there’s Swiss chard in there for healthy balance, too.
Tapenade and Red Onion Pizza
This one's topped with sautéed onions, salty olive tapenade, and enough melted cheese to make each slice the best part of the pie. Round out dinner with a peppery arugula side salad or roasted vegetables. All that’s left to do is cue up Netflix, grab a slice, and dig in.
Pita Pizzas with Olives and Feta
What’s not to like about an easy dinner that comes together in 20 minutes and requires almost no cooking? You’ll start by toasting pitas brushed with oil, which brings out a lot of flavor. Topped with hummus and chickpeas, these pita pizzas are packed with protein. From there it’s just a matter of adding toppings—including melted cheese, of course. In fact, it’s so easy, it’s a perfect dinner to let kids try their hands at. Mint and oregano are the suggested herbs for this recipe, but if you’ve got parsley or cilantro on hand, those will work, too.
Copycat Olive Garden Pizza Bowls
A bowl made out of pizza crust is actually pretty genius—Olive Garden's version of the bread bowl pizza is just over-the-top enough. These edible bowls are a fun alternative to a traditional slice of pizza, and everyone can customize their own. Plus, this pizza bowl recipe come out of the oven in less than 15 minutes.
Polenta Pizza With Sausage, Swiss Chard, and Ricotta
Okay, technically polenta baked into an oval crust isn’t a pizza, but what’s the point of obsessing over titles when the result is a crazy delicious dinner, perfect for a party with friends or a cozy night on the couch? Sure, it’s a great alternative to pizza for gluten-free eaters, but the crispy toasted corn crust and cheesy sausage will win anyone with taste buds over. Shopping tip: Make sure to buy instant polenta, not the regular kind, otherwise it won’t cook enough to make firm crust.