If you want to wow your gang during an Oscar viewing party, game day, or a movie-watching or Netflix-binging session, mini pizzas are a great way to go.
And no need to make this an all-day project; there are plenty of shortcuts to take. You could make your own pizza dough, but you could also buy it at the supermarket or a local pizzeria. You could make your own tomato sauce, but you could also buy a jar.
Then all that’s left are the toppings. You can prepare as many as you like, and then mix and match them on the pizzas.
Another thing that makes these pizzas easy: All of the toppings are uncooked. Chopping them finely allows them to cook quickly in the time it takes for the rest of the pizza to bake.
How much of each topping you’ll need for a batch of pizzas will depend on how many options you’re working with. You won’t need more than a pound of cheese total for one batch of mini pizzas (20), and 1 cup total of the toppings will surely suffice.
Don’t overload the pizzas with sauce, cheese or toppings — you don’t want things slipping and sliding off. These pizzas are meant to be just two-bite little affairs.
The cornmeal on the baking sheet serves two purposes. One, it adds a little crunch and texture to the bottoms of the little pizzas, and two, it helps them come off of the pan easily.
If you haven’t turned your oven to 500 degrees in a while, or ever, it might feel like a strangely high temperature. It’s OK. The high heat will cook the dough base quickly, resulting in as close to an approximation as possible of that chewy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside dough that you get in actual pizza joints, with their eyebrow-singeing hot ovens.
Slight caveat: These get inhaled pretty quickly, so count on at least four per person — more if my family is coming.
45 minutes start to finish
Makes 20 pizzas (about five servings)
1 pound store-bought or homemade pizza dough
1 cup tomato sauce (such as a simple jarred pasta sauce)
Cornmeal for sprinkling
Other shredded or crumbled cheeses, such as feta, cheddar, Monterey Jack, smoked mozzarella, fontina, gouda, Swiss-style cheeses
Finely chopped red onion
Finely chopped bell peppers or roasted peppers
Finely chopped tomatoes
Pepperoni, thinly sliced crosswise (or try different kinds of salami or cured meats)
Chopped fresh oregano, or dried oregano
Red pepper flakes
Nutrition information per serving: 244 calories; 139 calories from fat; 15 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 40 mg cholesterol; 799 mg sodium; 13 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 12 g protein.
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