Making pizza dough from scratch is very much worth the time and effort (when you’ve got the time and energy), but using store-bought pizza dough is a real time-saver when you are trying to get dinner on the table fast and almost effortlessly.
I’m thinking of those nights when you get home from work late or are shuffling kids to after-school activities and everyone needs to eat. Or those evenings when you want a homemade meal rather than takeout (again) but you are just too tired to do much more than turn on the oven. A delicious pizza dough–based dinner is the answer.
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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.
When you’ve got dough and some meats, veggies, cheeses, and/or sauces on hand, you can easily freestyle and likely come up with something delicious. But if you want more guidance, here are 14 tried-and-true weeknight recipes that use pizza dough to inspire you.
These recipes all have 11 ingredients or fewer and are ready in an hour or less. That means you’ll even have time to throw together a quick mixed greens salad to have on the side. You can’t beat that.
Margherita Pizza with Pesto
Our Margherita Pizza with Pesto is about as easy as it gets. In addition to store-bought pizza dough, we also call for store-bought pesto, an easy way to amp up flavor. Simply parbake the dough for about 5 minutes and then scatter diced tomatoes and mozzarella over it before returning it to the oven to finish baking. When the crust is golden, and the cheese is melted (about 10 minutes later), set the pizza on a rack to cool slightly, and then mix the pesto with olive oil and drizzle it over top. In just 30 minutes, dinner is served.
Margherita Pizza with PestoUsing prepared pesto is a convenient timesaver. Buitoni Pesto with Basil is the test kitchen’s favorite.
Mushroom Taleggio Pizza
If deeply savory, intensely cheesy, meatless pizza is your thing, then our Mushroom Taleggio Pizza is a must-make. Start by cooking mushrooms (use a mix of your favorite varieties) with garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper until they are nicely browned. Then, roll out the pizza dough, transfer it to an oiled rimmed baking sheet, and spread some cottage cheese over it to add richness. Sprinkle fontina cheese and the mushrooms on top, and then finish the pizza with grated Parmesan and hunks of Taleggio cheese. Bake the pizza until the crust is golden and the cheese is all spotty brown. The nutty, creamy Taleggio provides a nice counterpoint to the meaty mushrooms.
Mushroom Taleggio PizzaMellow, nutty Taleggio cheese and earthy mushrooms pair up to top this easy, deeply savory pizza.
Pepperoni Pizza with Blue Cheese, Pickled Peppers, and Honey
Pepperoni lovers, here’s a new twist on an old favorite. Our Pepperoni Pizza with Blue Cheese, Pickled Peppers, and Honey is inspired by the Hellboy at Paulie Gee’s in Brooklyn, a pizza that pairs soppressata and hot honey. For our version, you’ll spread sauce over the pizza dough, cover it with mozzarella and blue cheese, and top it with pepperoni and hot cherry peppers, for an extra kick. To balance it all out, you’ll drizzle sweet honey over the hot, spicy pizza just before serving.
Pepperoni Pizza with Blue Cheese, Pickled Peppers, and HoneyPepperoni and blue cheese? Trust us.
Potato and Onion Pizza with Rosemary and Goat Cheese
For our Potato and Onion Pizza with Rosemary and Goat Cheese, you’ll use a mandoline (or the slicing disk of a food processor) to quickly slice the potatoes thin. Then you’ll microwave them for about 5 minutes (while the oven preheats) to jump-start their cooking. Next, roll out the dough, transfer it to an oiled rimmed baking sheet, and scatter the potatoes on top. Mix some olive oil with sliced red onion, rosemary, goat cheese, and salt and pepper, and distribute the mixture over the potatoes. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and bake until the onion is softened and the edges of the dough are nicely browned.
Potato and Onion Pizza with Rosemary and Goat CheeseWhy order delivery when our homemade pizza tastes better, and comes together in only about 30 minutes?
Bacon, Apple, and Date Flatbreads
Our sweet and smoky Bacon, Apple, and Date Flatbreads fit the bill if you’re looking for something a little elegant. To make these flatbreads, which are essentially mini pizzas, you’ll divide a pound of pizza dough into four equal pieces and press each piece into a rectangle. Next you’ll spread a layer of creamy mascarpone over each piece of dough and then sprinkle cooked crumbled bacon, chopped dates, shredded fontina, thinly sliced apple, and thinly sliced red onion on top. Then just bake the flatbreads, let them cool for a few minutes, and serve them.
Bacon, Apple, and Date FlatbreadsPizza night just got a lot more elegant.
Grilled Steak Fajita Pizza
Our Grilled Steak Fajita Pizza takes pizza outside and tops it with ingredients you’d find in a fajita: skirt steak, poblano chile, and onion. Start by rubbing the steak with a mixture of oregano, chipotle chile powder, salt, and pepper to ensure that it is well seasoned, and make a tomato sauce by pulsing those same seasonings in a food processor with a can of diced tomatoes. Next grill the steak, poblano, and onion. Remove them from the grill to rest, and slice them to get them ready to top the pizza. Then, grill the dough, flipping it once it’s spotty brown on the bottom. Top it with the sauce, steak, veggies, and shredded cheese. A little fresh cilantro ties it all together. Now you don’t have to choose between pizza and fajitas.
Grilled Steak Fajita PizzaWhat better way to top a grilled pizza than to use fiery fajita fixin's?
Corn, Tomato, and Arugula Pizza
Lighten things up a little with our Corn, Tomato, and Arugula Pizza. This pizza has some definite summer vibes and is really delicious with fresh corn, but you should feel free to make it any time of the year (frozen corn works here too). Instead of sauce, combine crème fraîche with chopped fresh basil and red pepper flakes, and spread it over the dough. Then, sprinkle fontina, cherry tomatoes, corn, and shallot on top. Bake the pizza until golden brown, and after letting it cool briefly, sprinkle arugula on top. It’s still pizza, but it’s a little lighter and fresher than most.
Corn, Tomato, and Arugula PizzaThis easy, summery pizza is ready to eat in less than an hour.
Tater Tot and Sausage Pizza
Yes, tater tot pizza. It might sound a little strange, but we think that once you try our Tater Tot and Sausage Pizza, you’ll be hooked. This pizza is another great example of two convenience products adding up to something great. Like most of our other pizzas, you’ll start by putting the dough on an oiled baking sheet. Then you’ll sprinkle shredded mozzarella and cheddar on top followed by the tots (no need to thaw) and pieces of raw sausage. Bake the pizza until the tots are golden and the sausage is cooked through, and then drizzle some seasoned sour cream on top. Sprinkle with scallions, and enjoy. This pizza will remind you of a loaded baked potato. Yum.
Tater Tot and Sausage PizzaNot sure what to do with store-bought pizza dough?
BBQ Chicken Pizza
For a superquick BBQ Chicken Pizza, we turned to a rotisserie chicken (one of our go-tos for weeknight dinners). Simply shred the chicken and toss it with store-bought barbecue sauce and some fresh cilantro. Scatter it over parbaked dough, top with onion, and bake to brown the onion. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and return the pizza to the oven until the cheese is melted. To take it up a notch, mix some lime juice and cilantro into a little sour cream, and drizzle the creamy sauce all over.
BBQ Chicken PizzaForget about ordering in. You can make delicious homemade pizza in the same amount of time it would take for delivery.
Shrimp and Bacon Pizza
Frozen shrimp is another ingredient we often turn to to simplify mealtime. And if you buy it already peeled and deveined (as we call for here), there’s even less work involved. For our Shrimp and Bacon Pizza, start by partially cooking the bacon and seasoning the shrimp. Then roll out the pizza dough, sprinkle mozzarella over it, and then top it with the shrimp and bacon. Bake the pizza until the shrimp are cooked through and the crust is browned, and scatter chopped chives on top for a finishing touch.
Shrimp and Bacon PizzaFor this quick, weeknight pizza, we cut the shrimp into smaller pieces to ensure that they cook quickly.
Italian Chicken Sausage Pizzas
Our Italian Chicken Sausage Pizzas are so simple yet so flavorful. To make them, divide the dough into quarters and roll out the pieces. Spread a little marinara sauce over each piece, top with chicken sausage and cheese, and bake. When the pizzas are done, sprinkle some sliced cherry peppers and basil on top. You control the heat here by choosing between hot and sweet chicken sausages.
Italian Chicken Sausage PizzasAny night can be homemade pizza night, thanks to this quick, superflavorful recipe.
Fig, Gorgonzola, and Prosciutto Pizza
Looking for something a little refined? Our Fig, Gorgonzola, and Prosciutto Pizza has you covered. This luxe pizza gets a sweet layer of fig jam followed by pungent Gorgonzola cheese. Bake it off and then top it with some lightly dressed arugula and thinly sliced prosciutto. We know it’s a weeknight, but maybe you have guests? Or maybe you’re sneaking in a weeknight date night at home? This is what you’ll want to make.
Fig, Gorgonzola, and Prosciutto PizzaWe bake this weeknight pizza in an oiled baking sheet to ensure a crisp—not floppy—pizza crust.
Buffalo Chicken Calzones
Pizza dough is good for more than just pizza. Is your crew into calzones? You can make those easily too. For our Buffalo Chicken Calzones, grab a rotisserie chicken; shred it; and toss it with blue cheese, mozzarella, and hot sauce. Divide your dough into four pieces, roll them out into rounds, and spread the filling on the bottom half of each round. Fold the dough over and crimp it so you don’t have any filling leaking out, and cut a couple slits in the tops to vent steam. Brush the calzones with oil, bake them until golden, and dig in, carefully!
Buffalo Chicken CalzonesCalzones don’t have to be a half-day project. Two clever shortcuts make this crowd-pleasing dinner weeknight‑friendly.
Chicken, Artichoke, and Spinach Calzone
For another type of calzone—one with some vegetables tucked in—there’s our Chicken, Artichoke, and Spinach Calzone. For this recipe, you just make two larger calzones and cut them into servings instead of making individual calzones. You’ll fill the dough with a mixture of shredded rotisserie chicken, thawed frozen artichokes, baby spinach, mozzarella, feta, and basil and then bake them until golden brown. It’s like having rich, creamy spinach-artichoke dip in calzone form.
Chicken, Artichoke, and Spinach CalzoneWe turned a calzone into a quick 30-minute weeknight supper.
Is it pizza night yet?