Make-Your-Own Personal Pizzas
Let your kids (and other family members) loose with a ball of dough, a bowl of sauce, and a spread of colorful toppings, and watch their creativity unfold! All you need is fresh pizza dough (cut one 14- to 16-ounce ball into 4 pieces for individual pies), a rolling pin, baking sheets, any sauce you like, and a variety of sliced veggies, cured meats, and grated or cubed cheeses. Make-your-own-pizza night is all about individuality, and it's a great way to encourage your kids to eat their veggies and explore fun new foods.
Makes: 4 individual pizzas
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- 1½ cups super-easy marinara sauce (or your favorite pizza sauce)
- 6 ounces mozzarella, Jack, Colby, or cheddar cheese, grated or cut into ½-inch cubes
- Toppings of your choice (sliced bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, roasted red peppers; blanched broccoli or cauliflower florets; chopped artichokes, cooked bacon, cooked chicken; cooked and crumbled sausage; sliced pepperoni or other cured meats; sun-dried tomatoes; etc.)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Condiments for serving (ranch dressing, hot sauce, etc.)
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or grease them with a little olive oil.
Prep your toppings while the oven preheats, and place them all in separate bowls on a counter or table within easy reach of each pizza maker.
Cut the ball of dough into 4 equal-size pieces. Give one piece of dough to each person and let them roll, stretch, or press it out to a 6- to 8-inch circle. Try to avoid overworking the dough; encourage everyone to form their pieces into pizza-size circles and then get right to topping.
Place two rounds of dough on each baking sheet and let each person top their pizzas however they like! No combination of ingredients is off limits (as long as there's enough for everyone). As a general rule, two or three spoonfuls of sauce is plenty for individual pizzas. As far as the other toppings go, however, there are no limits! (Just know that the crust might be flimsy and wet in the middle if you pile on too much. Encourage your fellow pizza makers to grab pinches or spoonfuls rather than handfuls of toppings.) Pro tip: Making pizza faces (see photo above) or other patterns with colorful toppings will prevent pizza makers from overloading their crusts.
Transfer the baking sheets to the oven. Bake the pizzas for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating them halfway through, until the crust is golden and the cheese begins to brown in spots.
Remove the pizzas from the oven. Drizzle the pizzas with a little olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and a grind or two of black pepper if desired. Let them cool for a few minutes before slicing.
Serve the pizzas on their own or with ranch dressing, hot sauce, or other condiments for dipping/topping.