7 Loaded Pizza Recipes for Your Football Party

Pizza is the perfect food for tons of occasions — particularly a day spent watching football. It’s delicious, casual, and easy to eat with your hands. Instead of dialing your local delivery joint this weekend, try making it yourself. You’ll end up with a crispier crust and you can get super creative with toppings. Though it’s hard to go wrong with any basic pie, these seven recipes are showstoppers. Try one or even a few to make your Sunday seriously delicious.

1. Tomato-Salami Pizza

salami and tomato pizza

Pizza | iStock.com

Simple recipes can still be flavorful. This minimal pie from Chef Curtis Stone is a great example. It’s topped with nothing more than salami, tomatoes, cheese, and garlic, but the taste is incredible. Though you can use any type of salami, go for something a little nicer. With so few ingredients, you really need quality meats and cheeses for the best result.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (13-ounce) balls of pizza dough
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 3 ounces paper-thin salami slices
  • 2 small tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • 10 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into 2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and set a pizza stone in the middle. Preheat oven to 500 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit (as high as possible).

Stretch out dough with hands or roll on a floured surface until it’s about 12 inches in diameter. Dust a pizza peel with flour and set the dough on top. Working quickly, drizzle half the olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle on half the garlic and rub gently into the oil. Top with half the salami and half the tomatoes in one layer, overlapping as needed, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Top with half the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer pizza to the stone and bake 8 to 12 minutes, or until crust is crisp and cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Transfer to a cutting board. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Slice pizzas. Serve.

2. Spinach Artichoke Pizza

artichoke pizza

Pizza with artichokes | iStock.com

Everyone has a go-to appetizer when they eat out. For those who opt for a bubbling dish of spinach artichoke dip, this pizza from Cooking Classy is the ultimate meal. You start by making a basic béchamel, then fold in a bit of cooked spinach. Spread the sauce on the pizza dough, top with artichokes and a blend of cheeses, then send it to the oven. The only hard part is waiting.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-ounce) ball of pizza dough
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
  • 2 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • 6 to 8 canned artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • Red pepper flakes

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with a pizza stone on the rack. Allow it to heat for at least 20 minutes before cooking your pizza. Meanwhile, shape dough into a 13-inch round and set on a sheet of parchment paper. Use your fingers to create a slightly raised crust. Brush dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add three-quarters of the spinach and cook until it has just wilted. Transfer spinach to a plate lined with several paper towels. Use paper towels to press out as much liquid as possible, then chop, and set aside.

In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk flour and onion powder into butter and cook, whisking, for about 2 minutes. While constantly whisking, gradually add the milk. Raise temperature to medium-high and cook, whisking, until mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and stir in garlic and chopped spinach. Chop the remaining fresh spinach and set aside.

Spread sauce evenly over dough, leaving a border around the edge. Top with fresh spinach, provolone, mozzarella, Parmesan, and artichokes. Transfer pizza to stone and bake 10 to 13 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is melted and bubbling. Slice and serve with red pepper flakes.

3. Eggs and Bacon Breakfast Pizza

egg pizza

Breakfast pizza | iStock.com

The only way to make eggs and bacon better is by using them as pizza toppings. We like Cooking Light’s recipe because it’s full of flavor and still incredibly simple. You can also adapt it to suit your taste. If you prefer sausage instead of bacon, just brown some of your favorite breakfast links and use them instead. A little bit of cheddar cheese also makes a nice addition.

This recipe is designed to yield a crisp crust and runny eggs, but you can alter it slightly if you prefer more cooked eggs. Try lowering the oven temperature to around 475 and adding a few minutes to the baking time. Keep an eye on it, though, because eggs will go from perfect to completely overcooked pretty fast.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2½ ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions: Set a pizza stone or a heavy baking sheet on the oven rack and preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Let dough sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Prick surface with a fork. Carefully remove stone from oven and add the pizza dough. Brush dough with oil, top with mozzarella and bacon. Crack eggs over the top and sprinkle with Parmesan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until crust is brown and crisp. Sprinkle with chives and parsley. Slice, and serve.

4. Pizza with Pesto, Ricotta, and Mozzarella

spinach pizza

Basil pizza | iStock.com

White pizza, or pizza bianca, comes in many variations. Most restaurants top crusts with olive oil and a blend of cheeses, leaving it pretty simple. Order it in Rome, and it’s even more basic. Traditional versions are nothing more than crispy flatbread with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

We’re all for simplicity, but sometimes you just need something covered with melted cheese. This twist on white pizza from Serious Eats takes things to another level with plenty of creamy ricotta and a basil-spinach pesto. Even pizza purists won’t be able to resist this one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe’s worth of New York-style pizza dough or 36 ounces store-bought dough
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed
  • 3 ounces fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 ounces toasted pine nuts
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into small pieces
  • 12 ounces fresh ricotta cheese

Directions: Three hours before baking, divide dough into three balls and set on a lightly floured surface. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set a towel over the top to keep edges pressed.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Add spinach, basil, and garlic to water boiling water. Cook just until leaves are wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to prepared ice bath and let cool completely. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Transfer greens to a food processor. Add 3 ounces Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and lemon zest. Blend until smooth and season with salt.

At least 30 minutes before baking, move oven rack to top position and set a baking stone or steel on top. Preheat oven to highest setting (500 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit).

Working one pizza at a time, stretch dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a lightly floured wooden peel. Sprinkle surface with 1 ounce of Parmesan. Dollop on 4 ounces of mozzarella, 4 ounces of ricotta, and ⅓ cup of pesto. Season with salt, transfer to oven, and bake for 4 to 8 minutes, or until bubbling and crust is crisp. Slice pizza, and serve. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

5. Pizza with New York Strip, Blue Cheese, and Balsamic Glaze

raw steak

Steak | iStock.com

Some guys could happily eat steak every night. If you have one of those carnivores in your crew, we have a dish for you. Bobby Flay’s pie topped with New York strip and blue cheese, featured on Food Network, gives you the steakhouse experience in pizza form. The balsamic drizzle adds a bit of sweetness, but you can skip it if you don’t want to do the extra step.

This recipe is designed to cook on the grill, which is pretty easy. Once the steak is done, it gets a chance to rest while the crusts cook. You can also make it an indoor recipe by sizzling the steak on the stove and cooking the crust in the oven. Either way, the results will taste great.

Ingredients:

 Glaze

  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steak

  • 1 (12-ounce) New York strip steak
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pizza

  • ½ recipe of pizza dough or store-bought dough rolled into 2 (10-inch) rounds
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 bunch watercress, coarsely chopped
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions: Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small, nonreactive saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to ½ cup. Stir in honey and season with salt and pepper.

Heat grill to high and brush steak on both sides with oil. Season with salt and pepper, and grill until charred on both sides and cooked to medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill to a cutting board, tent lightly with foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Slice into ¼-inch-thick slices.

Brush both sides of pizzas with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from grill, divide Jack cheese evenly over each pizza and then sprinkle with blue cheese. Transfer back to the grill, cover, and cook until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Remove to a work surface, top with steak and watercress. Drizzle with glaze and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve.

6. Butternut Squash Pizza with Brown Butter Base

Source: iStock

Squash | iStock.com

Pasta with squash and brown butter is a classic that tastes delicious in the fall — but it’s a little stuffy for football. Introduce those flavors to some pizza dough for a more casual meal with this recipe from Cooking for Keeps. If you’d like to get even more rich flavor, cube and roast the squash instead of blanching it. You can even cook the squash a day ahead of time, then just assemble and bake on game day.

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound pizza dough
  • 1 small butternut squash, thinly sliced into discs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ onion, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 10 sage leaves
  • Salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 550 degrees and place pizza stone in the middle of the rack. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Cook squash for 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl filled with ice water. Drain squash and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter smells nutty and turns golden brown. Remove from heat, season with salt, and reserve until ready to use.

Shape pizza dough into a 10- to 12-inch circle and set on a pizza peel that’s been lightly dusted with cornmeal. Drizzle brown butter over dough and spread with your fingers or a pastry brush. Add three quarters of the squash, spreading evenly. Season with salt, then top with mozzarella, onion, and Parmesan. Top with remaining squash, dollop ricotta evenly over the surface, and tear sage leaves over top. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer pizza to the pizza stone and cook until crust is crisp and top is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Serve.

7. Meat Lover’s Supreme Pizza

supreme pizza

Supreme pizza | iStock.com

Even we have a soft spot for a classic slice of supreme pizza. Unfortunately, delivery pies don’t often live up to the taste we imagine. Make a way tastier version with Good Housekeeping’s simple recipe. There’s even a little bit of bacon for an added kick of smoky flavor. For the ultimate old-school pizza experience, throw some sliced black olives on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ pounds pizza dough
  • ¾ cup marinara sauce
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 4 ounces sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small green pepper, sliced
  • 3 ounces sliced pepperoni
  • 3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Directions: Set a pizza stone or a large cookie sheet in the oven and preheat to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Shape dough into a small circle, set on a large sheet of parchment paper, and stretch into a 1-inch circle, forming a slight rim. Spread sauce over the dough, and top with mozzarella. Transfer dough and parchment to the preheated cookie sheet.

While pizza bakes, microwave sausage in a medium, microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes or until no pink remains. Cool.

Remove pizza from oven, top with mushrooms, green pepper, pepperoni, bacon, and sausage. Bake 20 to 22 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender and sausage is cooked. Serve.

More from Culture Cheat Sheet:

More Articles About:   , ,