Homemade Pizza Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 25 min. + rising Bake: 25 min.
When you want something better than takeout that’s still simple to make, a homemade pizza is the answer.

Updated: Apr. 19, 2024

A piping hot pizza emerging from the oven fixed with all your favorite toppings is one of life’s simple pleasures, and that’s exactly what this recipe is all about. Our homemade pizza features a crispy-bottomed, chewy crust that serves as the perfect vessel for hearty tomato sauce, melty cheese and your most beloved ‘za toppings.

Making homemade pizza is the perfect activity to do with kids, too. Just let the adults handle the ins and outs of the oven!

Homemade Pizza Ingredients

  • Active dry yeast: This type of yeast comes in pre-portioned packages. It looks like little granules about the size of poppy seeds.
  • Sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast and speeds up its activation.
  • Warm water: The water should be between 110° to 115°F to proof yeast. Simply stir together warm water and the yeast, and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour’s gluten content creates a beautiful crumb structure in homemade pizza dough.
  • Tomato sauce: This recipe calls for store-bought tomato sauce to keep things simple, but you could also go the extra mile and make your own homemade pizza sauce!
  • Dried oregano: Oregano’s bold and earthy aroma is always welcome in homemade pizza.
  • Dried basil: Basil imparts a sweet, pungent and floral note that’s classic in almost every pizza.
  • Mozzarella: Pre-shredded mozzarella cheese simplifies the assembly of homemade pizza.
  • Toppings: Everyone has their preferred pizza toppings, so pick what you love! Pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, green peppers, mushrooms, onions—the options are endless!

Directions

Step 1: Create the pizza dough

mixing yeast, sugar and flour in warm water in a large glass bowl on a wooden surfaceTMB Studio

In large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it stand for five minutes to let the yeast foam up and activate. Add the oil and salt. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms.

spatula and dough in a large glass bowlTMB Studio

Editor’s Tip: Read up on how to use yeast before getting started if this is your first time. Properly activated yeast should be foamy. If it’s not, check the yeast’s expiration date. Also, use a thermometer to ensure your water is at the right temperature.

Step 2: Knead and proof

a person kneading the dough on a floured wooden surfaceTMB Studio

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic, two to three minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top of the dough. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Step 3: Form the dough

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Punch down the dough, and divide it in half. Press each half into a greased 12-inch pizza pan.

Step 4: Assemble the pizza

applying pizza sauce with a spoon on the pizza base placed on a plate.TMB Studio

In a bowl, stir together the tomato sauce, oregano and basil. Spread the sauce over each crust. If desired, add toppings of your choice. Sprinkle with cheese.

Step 5: Bake

Bake until the crust is lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Homemade Pizza on a wooden pizza serverTMB Studio

Editor’s Tip: Use a pizza stone for a restaurant-quality, crispy pizza crust.

Homemade Pizza Topping Variations

Try out some of these pizza topping combos for a better-than-takeout pie:

  • Margherita: San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, Pecorino and fresh basil.
  • Prosciutto and arugula: Mozzarella, thinly sliced prosciutto, balsamic vinegar and lemon-dressed arugula.
  • Hot honey and pepperoni: Spicy pepperoni slices and shaved garlic, drizzled with hot honey.
  • Veggie-loaded: Green peppers, crispy leeks, garlic, mushrooms and Tuscan kale.
  • Pear, fig and blue cheese: Sliced Bosc pears, fig jam, aged blue cheese, walnuts and balsamic glaze.
  • Peach and prosciutto: Thinly sliced prosciutto, mozzarella, Asiago, sliced peaches, balsamic vinegar and basil.
  • Ricotta and mushrooms: White sauce, ricotta and crispy mushrooms.
  • Sausage and sage: Caramelized onions, sausage and sage.

How to Store Homemade Pizza

To store homemade pizza, allow the pizza to cool completely to room temperature, then place the slices of pizza in an airtight container. Homemade pizza can last in the fridge for up to three days.

Can you freeze homemade pizza?

Yes, you can freeze homemade pizza, whether it’s just the dough, the pre-assembled and unbaked pizza, or the fully baked pizza.

To freeze homemade pizza dough, follow the recipe through Step 3 (without pressing the dough into pizza pans), then coat each ball with oil or cooking spray. Place dough balls on a baking sheet, and freeze for three hours. Place each frozen pizza dough ball in a resealable bag, removing as much air as you can from each bag. Store the dough in the freezer for up to three months. To thaw, place the dough in the fridge for eight hours (or overnight), then allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

To freeze a pre-assembled and unbaked pizza, place the pizza on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and stick it in the freezer for one hour. Take the pizza out of the freezer, and wrap it tightly in a few layers of storage wrap. Place in the freezer again, and store it for up to three months. Unwrap the pizza, and bake it from frozen, adding a few extra minutes of bake time as needed.

To freeze a fully baked pizza, allow the pizza to cool completely to room temperature, then place the pizza slices in an airtight container and in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, or gently reheat in the oven.

Homemade Pizza Tips

Homemade Pizza on a wooden pizza server and a slice of it on a small plate next to itTMB Studio

What is the best flour for pizza dough?

The best type of flour for pizza dough is double zero flour, but all-purpose flour and bread flour work great for pizza dough, too.

What type of sauce goes on pizza?

You can’t go wrong with classic red sauce, like our homemade pizza sauce. Want to switch it up? Give white pizzaspicy BBQ chicken pizza or any of these unique pizza recipes a try!

Which cheese is best for pizza?

The best cheeses for pizzas are ones with low melting points and low moisture content, such as mozzarella, provolone and cheddar. A blend of cheeses offers fantastic flavor!

How do you make pizza dough crispy without a pizza stone?

To make pizza dough crispy without a pizza stone, assemble your pizza on a piece of parchment. While assembling, place your baking sheet in the oven while the oven is preheating. Once you’re ready to cook, carefully slide the parchment onto the hot baking sheet. The hot tray will give your crust the jump start it needs to become crispy.

Watch how to Make Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

Prep Time 25 min
Cook Time 25 min
Yield 2 pizzas (3 servings each).

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cups toppings of your choice (like sliced pepperoni, cooked crumbled sausage, chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, chopped green pepper or sliced olives), optional
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. In large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in water; let stand for 5 minutes. Add oil and salt. Stir in flour, 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 2-3 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  3. Punch down dough; divide in half. Press each half into a greased 12-in. pizza pan. Combine the tomato sauce, oregano and basil; spread over each crust. If desired, add toppings of your choice. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

Nutrition Facts

2 pieces: 485 calories, 18g fat (5g saturated fat), 24mg cholesterol, 972mg sodium, 63g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 4g fiber), 18g protein.

This recipe is a hearty, zesty main dish with a crisp, golden crust. Feel free to add your favorite toppings. —Marianne Edwards, Lake Stevens, Washington