Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza Slice Overhead


Fear Conquered: Homemade Pizza

Picture it:
2009. A young man in Cleveland, exhausted after a weekend of painting coat after coat of primer over hideously green kitchen walls, craves the comfort of a hot slice of pizza loaded with crispy pepperoni and melty mozzarella cheese. He has no time to cook, his belly is rumbling - and he's a little light headed from the paint thinner fumes. So the young man calls the pizza shop, places his order and is told it will be 45 minutes to an hour for delivery. An hour and a half later when the pizza delivery man finally arrives, he finds the young man collapsed on the floor, unconscious from hunger (or maybe the paint fumes).
Ok, maybe I made up that last part, but the point is, by the time you order a pizza and the delivery guy finally shows up, you could have rolled out your own pizza dough, added the toppings, baked the pizza and devoured every last slice - and you'd still be waiting on the delivery guy.

Making homemade pizza can be so quick and easy once you've tried it a couple times. And once you get in the habit of making your own pizza dough and marinara sauce in advance. I like to keep three or four balls of pizza dough and a couple quarts of marinara sauce in the freezer at all times - then I can satisfy my urge for pizza whenever the craving (or paint fumes) strike, without having to mix up a batch of dough or a pot of sauce.

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

There's two really critical keys to a great pizza:
  • Awesome Crust: If you think you only like pizza for the toppings, then you've never had a pizza with an awesome crust. Unless you just hate bread and crust in general, in which case, I can't help you. For me, the best part of a pizza IS the crust, so I go to great lengths to ensure it's thin, crispy, and really flavorful. To ensure the right flavor and texture, I make my own pizza dough and I highly recommend you do the same. For a recipe and tips on pizza dough and crust, check out my Homemade Pizza Dough.
  • Restrained Toppings: Pizza shops love to sell you up on additional toppings - extra meat, extra cheese, extra, extra, extra! But all those toppings make for a soggy crust and a jumble of distracting flavorings. Suddenly you're focused on bacon, sausage, pepperoni and ham with the crust little more than a edible plate. So take a step back, remind yourself that more is NOT always better, and exercise restraint when topping your pizza.

Pepperoni Pizza, Sliced

This pepperoni pizza is a great example of an awesome crust and topping restraint. I use my homemade pizza dough recipe for the crust, I use just 1/2 cup of my homemade fresh tomato marinara sauce for the base, I limit my cheese to just 8 ounces, and for the pepperoni I limit myself to just 30 slices. The pizza takes only 40 minutes to make from start to finish (including stretching and rolling the pizza dough). And it tastes nothing like the greasy, overloaded soggy stuff pulled from cardboard delivery boxes. This is real pepperoni pizza - and you'll never collapse from hunger while waiting for delivery (but you might want to crack a window for those paint fumes).


Photo Tutorial

Heating Olive Oil in a Small Pan
Heat oil in a small saucepan over low heat.

Two cloves of garlic, minced
Mince the garlic.

Garlic Infused Oil
Add the garlic to the oil and cook until fragrant; remove from the heat and reserve.

Pressing Out Pizza Dough with Fingers
Press out a ball of homemade pizza dough with your fingers on a lightly floured surface.

Pizza Dough Patted Out with Fingers
If desired, you can also use a rolling pin to stretch the dough.

Pizza Dough fully Stretched
The dough should be stretched to a 12-inch diameter.

Brushing Pizza Crust with Garlic Oil
Transfer the dough to a ventilated pizza pan and brush with the garlic infused oil.

Pizza Dough After Pre-Bake
Pre-bake the crust at 475F

2 Cups Grated Mozzarella Cheese
Meanwhile, grate the mozzarella cheese.

Marinara Sauce Spread Over Prebaked Crust
Spread the marinara sauce over the pre-baked crust.

Cheese Spread Over Marinara
Sprinkle the grated cheese over the marinara.

Sliced Pepperoni Spread Over Cheese
Top with sliced pepperoni.

Pepperoni Pizza Before Toasting Under Broiler
Bake the pizza for 8-10 minutes at 475F until the cheese is melted and the crust is crisp.

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza Slice Overhead
Slice and serve.


Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

    by Javelin Warrior
     Prep Time: 30 min
     Cook Time: 12 min

Ingredients (1x 12-inch pizza)
  1. Preheat the oven to 475℉
  2. To prepare a garlic-infused oil for brushing over the crust, combine the oil and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes until fragrant; remove from heat and reserve
  3. Prepare the marinara, cheese and pepperoni, roll out the pizza dough and pre-bake the crust (for dough recipe technique and tips, see my homemade pizza dough)
  4. Spread the pre-baked crust with marinara sauce, sprinkle evenly with grated mozzarella, then top with pepperoni slices
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted; slice and serve immediately
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Hungry for Tips?
  • Sauce: Do NOT go heavy on the marinara sauce! I cannot repeat this enough because too much sauce will result in a soggy crust. Try the 1/2 cup before you increase the sauce.
  • Preheat: Turn on your oven to preheat before you do anything else. You want your oven toasty hot before you pre-bake your crust. If you're using a pizza stone, place it in your oven on the lowest wrack before preheating.
  • Garlic Oil: If you're really short on time (or if you just don't like garlic), you can skip the infused garlic oil step and just brush the dough with olive oil. But the crust will lose some flavor.
  • Pepperoni: For extra crispy pepperoni, place the sliced pepperoni in a single layer on a large baking sheet and place under the broiler for 1-3 minutes at the start of the recipe before preheating your oven. These pepperoni will finish crisping while the pizza bakes later.
  • Spice: For a spicier pepperoni pizza, you can add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes to your marinara sauce before spreading over the crust. My friend Dan does this all the time and it adds a nice kick to pizza.
  • Cheese: I find part-skim mozzarella cheese melts just as beautifully as whole-milk mozzarella (and actually melts better than fresh buffalo mozzarella), so I use part-skim to cut out some of the fat. I used to use fresh buffalo mozzarella (although it wasn't truly fresh because it was still packaged), but it tended to coagulate into pools when it melted.

I'm also sharing this post with:

Slightly Indulgent TuesdayMandy‘s Recipe BoxMiz Helen’s Country CottagePhotobucketKitchenFun

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  1. Gerry @ Foodness GraciousAugust 30, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Mark, I made a pepperoni pizza today too!! Wow, were pizza bro's ;) lol
    Great job

  2. Beautiful looking pizza and a great dough recipe too. Thanks for that. I will be trying it out soon. Great tips also.

    1. So glad you enjoyed, Dom, and if you do get a chance to try the pizza dough, let me know how it turns out you...

  3. Mmmmm...I would happily eat that for breakfast right now - that pizza looks amazing. As does the Guinness...though I'd probably save that for lunch ;P

  4. Kayle (The Cooking Actress)August 30, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    I love making homemade pizza!!! I make it like every other week :P

  5. lol I like that term, "pizza bros" - we could throw a pizza party :) Pepperoni pizza is one of my favorites even though it's so simple and I'm glad you enjoyed the post...

  6. I actually love pizza for breakfast but I never eat it (well, rarely) because it's so bad for me ;) And I'll confess I used the Guinness purely for staging because while I'll take a couple sips, normally that's all I ever want of most beers...

  7. Same here, Kayle, although I don't make it nearly that frequently just because there's so many other recipes and projects to be working on ;) But it's easy enough that I really could...

  8. Wow this looks great! I love pizza :) I found you at Mandy's Recipe box and wanted to invite you to share this, and any other posts you would like to, at my Creative Thursday Link party www.michellestastycreations.blogspot.com. Have a great weekend.

  9. Thanks for the kind words, Michelle - and thanks for the personal invite :)

  10. What a tasty looking pizza this is. It would make a great meal, any time of the day.

  11. This looks so yummy, much better than delivery!!

  12. Thank you for the kind words, Chaya - it was delicious and the leftovers are almost as good the next day...

  13. Thanks Camille - I've become the tiniest bit of a pizza snob ;)

  14. mjskit @ mjskitchen.comAugust 31, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Another delicious looking pizza! Love that crust!

  15. Thank you, MJ - it's so much fun working with pizza dough, I think. Or maybe I just love dough in general ;)

  16. I love making homemade pizza, and this one looks delicious! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday!

  17. I would sure need some good Pizza to get past the Green Kitchen walls. I agree that the crust makes the Pizza and your recipe looks awesome, I will sure give it a try. Hope you have a fabulous holiday weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  18. This looks GREAT! I'm going to check out your homemade pizza dough recipe also. I agree with making it yourself. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday! Please come back and VOTE on Sunday! www.wifeofthecolonel.blogspot.com

  19. Thank you for the kind words and I was happy to share :)

  20. Those green walls really were hideous! Thanks for the kind words and if you do give the pizza a try, let me know how it turns out (especially the crust which I think is the best part). It was a pleasure sharing...

  21. I'm so glad you enjoyed, Lois, and thank you for the kind words. I hope you do get a chance to try it and let me know how it turns out for you...

  22. marlys @ this and thatSeptember 3, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    Love pizza... My husband will only eat homemade pizza so if I want to pizza I have to make it, and I agree it tastes better but sometimes I just need a break. Thanks for sharing this on Foodie Friends Friday and hope you will join us this week with more great recipes.

  23. Your husband is smart! ;) I'm so glad you agree about the homemade pizza and I'm so happy I could share. I'll definitely be back to share more :)

  24. I have never used frozen pizza dough, and I was planing on making some from scratch and freezing it, can you give me some tips on what to do once is out of the freezer???

  25. Hi Elissa - I talk a little about this in my homemade pizza dough recipe: http://cookinwluv.blogspot.com/2012/07/homemade-pizza-dough.html Really all you have to do once the dough is frozen is remember to pull it out of the freezer 12-18 hours before you want to use it (just let it defrost in the fridge). Then just work with the pizza dough the same way you would work with fresh dough. I hope this helps to answer your question...


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