The Things I Learned in My Pizza Quests

Prepping the pizza

Craving pizza but don’t want to order out? Tired of frozen tasteless cardboard? This post is to provide ideas that might work for you, and to encourage you to create your own. And yes, you can make your own!

One of the things I like to do besides writing is eat! Who doesn’t? I’ve been experimenting with this for more than a decade, and I’m still learning how to perfect it. This is what currently works for me.



This can be whatever you want. I’ve had super vegetarian ones with pesto or Alfredo sauce. I got the idea of a super veggie from Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake. Vegetables can include chopped spinach, olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, red onion, and zucchini.

How to prepare Mushrooms

I used to envy those thinly sliced mushrooms from the pizza parlors. Sometimes they’d be double and triple stacked on a pizza, and I could never figure out how they got it so uniform. Combined with olives, it’s my most favorite topping duo! It’s only been in the last two months or so that I figured out just HOW they cut them so thinly! Ready? A cheese grater! Remember to go slow and don’t cut yourself!

Slicing the mushrooms with a cheese grater.


Again, this could be anything you want. I tend to buy ground sausage and freeze the rest. If that is too much, consider buying the pre-cooked breakfast links and just slicing them up.


If you really want to get into it, you can purchase the blocks and grate your own. But I’ve gotten lazy over the decades, and pizza construction can be very involved and time consuming. And when I say time consuming, I mean it. Especially when you’re first starting out. So I’ve streamlined where I could and got the stuff that’s already grated.

I prefer mozzarella as my base, but when I get the chance, I add Asiago, parmesan, and cheddar for accents. Asiago and parmesan can also be found in the deli cases.


I buy canned tomato sauce and mix in combinations of garlic, basil, onion and sometimes oregano. You can also use Italian seasonings. (I do this for spaghetti too.) If you don’t like canned sauce, check out the spaghetti aisle for jars of marinara.

Alfredo sauce and pesto sauce can also be located in the spaghetti aisle.

Pizza out of the oven


I used to make my own crust when I had a breadmaker. But with extremely limited counter space, it was a chore to roll it out and shape it. (Note: I just got another breadmaker, but for now, I stick to premade/precooked store bought crusts. If you do have a breadmaker, there is usually a recipe for it in the manual.

I have also been using garlic flavored naan bread for personal pizzas. They can be found in the bread aisle.

When I did make my own crust, I precooked it for about 8 to 9 minutes before adding sauce and toppings. That’s because I could never get the oven hot enough to cook the middle of the pizza dough when all the toppings were added.

Cook time

What works for me: Preheated oven at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes–I like pizza crispy. But depending upon how much toppings are added, that could be too long or too short. Again, it will take time to find what your preference is.

Two things I will stress: keep an eye on the oven and use a timer if you have one. Especially if this is your first few attempts into pizza making. And lastly, enjoy and have fun!

Do you make your own pizza? How does yours differ? Do you have any additional tips? Share them with us below. We’re all in this together for the quest of a delicious pizza!

Homemade pizza slice: sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives.

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