Here’s a little-known personal factoid: I spent several summers in my younger days making and delivering pizzas. In those down times between the lunch and dinner rushes, we must’ve toyed with every possible combination of toppings (RIP that time we topped a pizza with chopped-up leftover pizza).
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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.
So needless to say, when faced with a blank page of pizza dough, I’m not afraid to get a little flowery with my verbiage (if you follow me). From stone fruit to fruit of the sea, all options are on the table. And the same goes for my colleagues here at Cook’s Country. That’s why I’ve taken a moment to round up the top five that really stuck with me from over the years, the pizzas I keep coming back to.
The Luau Pizza: Essentially a souped-up take on the ham and pineapple Hawaiian pizza, this one’s dressed to party. I swapped in bacon for the ham and sweet-tangy BBQ sauce for the marinara. Then I ratcheted things up with some heat, topping the baked pizza with zippy pickled banana peppers and garlicky sriracha. All together with the sweet, juicy chunks of pineapple, it’s a next-level flavor profile that I think can’t be beat, one I like to call “salty-sweet-heat.”
Luau PizzaWe give ham and pineapple pizza a Hawaiian twist with this easy, 30-minute pie.
Tater Tot and Sausage Pizza: My life is divided into two stages: the time before I ever ate tots on a pizza and the time after. Mind. Blown. Shoutout to former Cook’s Country test cook Cecelia Jenkins, the jedi master of cooking with tater tots, for this one. It’s an easy way to make pan pizza with crispy potatoes, classic Italian sausage, a duo of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and a dazzling drizzle of chipotle-lime sour cream. Some people said Cecelia was mad for even attempting it. But after trying it, we all agreed: CJ was a mad genius.
Tater Tot and Sausage PizzaNot sure what to do with store-bought pizza dough?
Pizza-Flavored Stuffed Mushrooms: OK. I know what you’re thinking: “That’s not a pizza at all!” But in this topsy turvy world of bunless burgers and cauliflower crusts, who will fault me for including this as a pizza, if only by the loosest of definitions? (Many people will fault me.) These one-bite delights—packed with pepperoni, sausage, Parmesan cheese, basil, and loads of savory mushroom flavor—are like all my favorite pizza toppings transmogrified into an irresistible finger food. Wait! I just had an idea. What if you topped a pizza with leftover, sliced Pizza-Flavored Stuffed Mushrooms?!
Pizza-Flavored Stuffed MushroomsThe goal: a tasty, easy-to-eat snack with serious mushroom flavor.
Corn, Tomato, and Arugula Pizza: This combination of pizza toppings might seem a tad unusual at first glance, but trust me, it’s unusually delicious. This pizza gets sauced with a basil crème fraîche and topped with juicy cherry tomatoes and pleasantly funky, perfectly gooey fontina cheese. The sweet corn kernels contrast the peppery, spicy arugula, resulting in a balanced pie that’s both super fresh-tasting and satisfying, perfect for those peak produce months of summer.
Corn, Tomato, and Arugula PizzaThis easy, summery pizza is ready to eat in less than an hour.
Breakfast Pizza: I’m reminded of a jingle from my youth. Sing along if you know the words: “Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at suppertime. When you’ve got all three breakfast pizzas, you can have pizza anytime!” Or I think it went something like that. But seriously though, we have three unbelievable variations on breakfast pizza, each of which boasts six perfectly runny eggs. But they’re not just for in the morning. You could have a sausage and egg pizza for breakfast, a smoked salmon pizza for brunch, and a manchego and chorizo pizza for dinner, and you’d still want more of these beauties.