Incredibly Easy Red Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce

Pizza sauce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you make your own pizza on a regular basis, you know that you can purchase pizza sauce in just about any grocery store.  There are some good ones out there, but they are processed, expensive, and not always that healthy.

The good news is that you can easily make your own pizza sauce in your own kitchen, with absolutely no cooking involved.  And it takes just a handful of ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen right now.

Here’s what you need:

1 can tomato paste

1 can water

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

And here’s how to make it:

Combine the tomato paste and water thoroughly.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour to allow the flavors incorporate.

This sauce could not be any easier.  It is delicious, simple, inexpensive, and much healthier.  Try it on your next pizza pie.

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Easy-To-Make Pizza Buns

Pizza ingredients: toppings

Pizza ingredients: toppings (Photo credit: jcolman)

Like many busy families, getting dinner on the table each night can be challenging.  Poor planning, lack of time, and especially lack of energy can all lead to calling the pizza delivery guy.  That is fun once in a while, but eventually eating out gets expensive and very unhealthy.

A quick and easy way to get your pizza fix is to make pizza buns.  Pizza buns require no yeast dough, no time waiting for it to rise, and can be made with things you probably already have on hand.

The concept of pizza buns is simple.  Take any type of bun you have in the pantry to use as a pizza crust.  It can be hamburger buns, hot dog buns, hoagie buns, or even french bread.  Any of these will make a perfect pizza bun.

The method is simple.  Spread the buns with your favorite pizza sauce, add your own toppings, top with cheese, and bake in the oven until the cheese is hot and bubbly.  Simple, easy, and delicious!

These pizza buns make an excellent after-school snack or serve them for dinner with a big salad and some fruit for a well-rounded meal.  You can not go wrong with these.

A fun idea is to set out all the toppings and let each member of the family construct their own pizza.  This gets everyone involved, making dinner into a fun event.

Try making pizza buns one night this week.  You won’t believe how simple they are!

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Delicious and Healthy Pizza Toppings

So much of what is seen on television and magazines seems to refer to some type of obesity crisis or how eating too much fattening food is killing us.  This is true, but why is pizza always flashed across the screen when they are discussing these stories?  It’s because pizza is commonly thought of as one of those unhealthy meals that makes us all fat.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Pizza can be a very healthy food.  The key is to eat it in moderation and choosing healthy toppings.

In many cases, pizza can be very healthy.  You can top pizza with just about any vegetable and lean meat.  You can even top pizza with salad greens after it has cooked for a refreshing addition to a pizza.

Truthfully, much of the commercially made pizza is probably not the healthiest, but making it home yourself allows you to control the ingredients.  You can choose the type and thinness of the crust, the sauce, and of course your own toppings.  Here is just a quick list of some of the healthiest pizza toppings:

  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Olives
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Eggplant
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Corn
  • Vegetarian re-fried beans
  • White beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce (add after pizza has baked)
  • Chicken breast
  • Canadian bacon
  • Lean shredded pork
  • Turkey bacon
  • Chicken sausage

Another tip is to use a very thin pizza crust.  This saves you calories yet provides a crunchy texture that all pizzas need.

As long as you keep the toppings healthy, the crust thin, and eat it in moderation, pizza can be one of the healthiest meals to add to your healthy menu plan.

Hummus Pizza

This pizza is very interesting. It’s not your regular pizza with red sauce. The hummus serves as the sauce, and it is topped with fresh vegetables. This pizza works really well as an appetizer for a party.

1 pizza crust
1 cup of hummus
½ cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups baby spinach
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 T olive oil
½ green or yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pizza crust and set aside. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, spinach, and garlic. Cook the vegetables until soft. The spinach will reduce greatly. Spread the hummus across the pizza crust. Top the hummus with the cooked vegetables, and then top with cheese. Arrange the bell pepper on top of the cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Ham, Bacon, And Green Onion Pizza

The combination of the salty meats and the spicy green onion paired with the creaminess of the cheese makes this pizza very interesting. It is a fantastic combination. Try it on a thicker crust.

1 pizza crust
1 cup pizza sauce
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped (use both the green and white parts of the onion)
1 cup cooked diced ham
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pizza crust and set aside. In a skillet, cook the bacon slices until crisp. Drain and crumble. Add the ham, then the cheese. Top the cheese with the bacon and green onions. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Roasted Eggplant Pizza

This is a pizza that I kind of made up one day when I had some extra eggplant that I needed to use. It turned out very good, and my family really liked it. Roasted eggplant pizza makes a great summer lunch.

1 pizza crust
½ cup garlic olive oil sauce
2 cups roasted eggplant
1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, liquid drained
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup provolone cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pizza crust. Spread the garlic oil on the crust. Place the roasted eggplant on top of the oil, and then add the peppers. Top with the cheeses and bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden.

Shrimp Pesto Pizza

This pizza is a fun take on shrimp. It seems very fancy, but this pizza is fun and delicious. This pizza does not have cheese, but feel free to add it if you like.

1 pizza crust
1 cup pesto
10 to 12 medium size shrimp
1 to 2 T olive oil
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 head roasted garlic
2 T black olives, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pizza dough and set aside. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Cook the shrimp in the skillet until just pink, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Spread the pesto on the pizza crust. Place the tomatoes on top of the pesto, and then arrange the roasted garlic on top of the pizza. Top with the red onion and olives and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Mushroom And Spinach Pizza

You won’t miss the meat when you taste this filling and satisfying pizza. The mushrooms add tons of flavor, while you get wonderful vitamins and minerals from the spinach. Give this pizza a try. You will not be disappointed.

1 pizza crust
½ cup garlic olive oil
1 cup fresh spinach, cleaned and dry
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup sliced mushrooms

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pizza dough. Drizzle the garlic olive oil across the crust. Place the spinach on top of the oil, and then add the cheese. Top the cheese with the mushrooms. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Freezing & Thawing Pizza Dough

Freezing pizza dough ahead of time allows you to have your pizza on the table in the time it takes the delivery guy to ring your doorbell. There are several methods you can use to prepare your pizza dough for freezing, and any of them will make your pizza making efforts as simple as ever.

Freezing uncooked pizza dough

After your crust has risen, cut it in half (if your recipe is a two-crust recipe), shape it into a disk, and wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap. Then, wrap the disks in a layer of aluminum foil. The foil helps seal in the freshness of the dough and keeps the freezer burn away. Label the outside of your pizza dough disks with the date, and stick them in the freezer. When you are ready to make your pizza, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature. Roll it out and top it with your favorite toppings. Bake it at the temperature your recipe provides.

Par Baked Crust

Another way to prepare your pizza dough is to par bake your crust. This simply means to pre-bake your crust for a few minutes so it will be ready to go. All you have to do is add your toppings and stick it in the oven. To par bake a crust, roll out your pizza dough, like you would if you were getting ready to top and bake it right then. Place your rolled out dough in the oven on a pan or pizza stone and bake at 500 degrees for three minutes. After three minutes, take the crust out of the oven and transfer it to a cooling rack. Once the crust has cooled completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, date the outside, and store it in the freezer. When you are ready to make your pizza, take your crust straight from the freezer and top it with your favorite toppings. There’s no need to let the crust thaw. Bake your pizza at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Pre-Assembled Pizza

This is about as easy as it gets. This is just like having a store-bought frozen pizza in your freezer, except that it isn’t store bought. All you do with this method is follow the instructions for par baking, but don’t put it in the freezer. Let your crust cool completely. Top your crust with your favorite sauce, toppings, etc. Place your pizza in the freezer for 20 minutes uncovered. This is called flash-freezing. After 20 minutes, wrap it in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and date. Place your assembled pizza in the freezer. When you’re ready to cook it, bake it on 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is nice and golden. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Baked Pizza

This method is best when you want to freeze single, pre-baked pizza slices as snacks or a quick supper. You simply bake your pizza, cut it into slices, wrap each slice individually in plastic and foil, and freeze. When you need a slice or two, simply take a couple slices out of the freezer and microwave it for a minute or until hot. Easy as can be!

Meatball Pizza

This is a fun way to eat meatballs. I usually make a bunch of meatballs and keep them in my freezer. Meatball pizza is a perfect use for them. Use your favorite meatball recipe, or buy some frozen meatballs from the supermarket.

1 pizza crust
1 cup pizza sauce
6 to 8 medium size cooked meatballs, cut in half
2 cups mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pizza crust. Spread pizza sauce over crust. Place meatballs flat-side down on the crust. Place cheese on top of meatballs and bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.