Sometimes it’s a pain to follow a recipe. You have to make sure you have all the ingredients, you have to measure things, and every once in a while you don’t have all the correct kitchen tools. If this sounds like a struggle you have, it’s your lucky day – we’re talking about how to throw together a pantry pizza!
When I don’t have time to run to the store, I try to create something with what’s already in my fridge and pantry (get a free printable with pantry essentials here). Pantry meals are a great way to experiment and try new flavors, and it’s even better if it’s on top of a pizza crust. If you haven’t already, see our post on how to adapt a basic asparagus pizza for your family’s tastes.
Pantry meals have two components:
First, what do you actually have in your kitchen?
Second, what flavors work best together?
I always have a frozen gluten free pizza crust on hand, in case I need to make a quick meal. I then look around for some sort of sauce base or cheese, and a meat or vegetable to incorporate. If I feel like the dish needs more flavor, I find ways to add salt and spices, or add more ingredients and textures.
A basic classic pizza has a marinara, mozzarella, and some basil. This is a great basis to build off of. If you don’t have fresh basil, what’s a good dried herb that you have on hand?
Sweet Potato Arugula Pizza
Another idea would be to mix sweet potato with a leafy green that has a good flavor and bakes well (lettuce is too watery!). I usually have sweet potatoes laying around, and they go great with arugula or kale on a pizza. Throw in any fun cheese you have on hand, and you’ve got a great start. To add some flavor, you can try a few different things:
- Mash up cooked sweet potatoes and mix with a soft cheese, like ricotta. Spread on pizza crust as a base.
- Toss arugula in olive oil, some lime juice, and a spice like cumin before putting on top of the pizza. It might be a good idea to add it to the pizza during the last few minutes in the oven so it retains some of it’s peppery flavor!
- Roast diced sweet potatoes until they’re soft, and sprinkle on the pizza before you top it with arugula.
- Mix two kinds of cheese! No one said you have to use only one.
Spicy Sausage Broccoli Pizza
I always love to add some meat to my pizzas, and I often have a package of sausage in my fridge for breakfasts. Building on the classic marinara, mozzarella, and basil combo, I can add sausage and a hearty vegetable, like broccoli florets or tender broccolini (broccolini is so tender, there’s no need to cook it beforehand). Anyone who loves spice can add a few sprinkles of hot pepper flakes and you’ve got yourself a pretty tasty pantry pizza!
Other tips for the best pantry pizza
- Pizzas cook quickly and get crispy at high temperatures. Even if the package says to cook at a lower temperature, we’ve never gone wrong with a 500F oven for 10 minutes.
- Since pizzas cook so quickly, it’s often good to cook your hearty vegetables like sweet potatoes and broccoli a bit beforehand. You can chop them up and roast them, or blanch them or sauté them, and that helps them cook through before your pizza is complete.