Better-than-Delivery Pepperoni Pizza

If you think picking up the phone or ordering through an app is the easiest (and fastest) way to enjoy fresh pizza at home, I’m here to prove you wrong. This pepperoni pizza recipe is quicker, easier, and tastier than delivery, and yields a pizza with a crispy crust and hot melted cheese.

How to Recreate This Takeout Favorite at Home

The dough: If you have a great pizza shop you like, ask if you can buy their dough (I used to stop at Joe’s Pizza on West 4th St. in New York City to pick up dough on my way home). Or stock your freezer with frozen dough — many supermarkets sell whole-wheat, gluten-free and regular varieties. Just make sure to take it out of the freezer and place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight, then bring it to room temperature before stretching it out (more on that below).

The sauce: For the fastest possible homemade pizza, you’ll want to opt for Kitchn’s super-quick three-ingredient pizza sauce, or use your favorite store-bought sauce.

The cheese: Starting with a bag of low-moisture shredded mozzarella cheese not only saves you time, but it also ensures you won’t end up with a soggy pizza. A sprinkling of Parmesan adds a salty bite.

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The pepperoni: Pepperoni slices are often sold in 2-ounce packages, and you can just scatter the full thing onto your pizza. If you’re starting with a larger amount, measure out about 1/2 cup (or just add as many as you please).

Ready to Bake Your Pizza? Grab a Sheet Pan

Baking pizza on a rimmed sheet pan lets you skip the fuss of heating up a pizza stone (and then trying to get the pizza dough off the peel and onto the hot stone). Make sure to use one with rimmed edges, which will keep any cheese from melting off the pan and into the oven.

To serve your pizza, you can bring the sheet pan straight to the table and cut into squares or triangles. For a finishing touch, add sliced basil leaves right when it comes out of the oven, which lets them melt into the cheese as the pizza cools down. Or, finish your pizza simply with crushed red pepper flakes.

A quick tip for stretching out pizza dough: Pizza dough should feel elastic and springy, but if it’s fighting you when you try to stretch it out, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes to relax the gluten. You can use this time to measure out the sauce and pepperoni.

Better-than-Delivery Pepperoni Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    homemade or store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/2 to 1 cup

    homemade or store-bought tomato sauce

  • 1 cup

    shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese

  • 1/2 cup

    grated Parmesan cheeses

  • 2 ounces

    pepperoni slices (about 1/2 cup)

  • Red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Make sure the 1 pound pizza dough is at room temperature before you begin. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.

  2. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, using your fingers to spread it around. Place the dough on the baking sheet, then use your fingertips to gently press it out toward the edges of the pan to form an even crust (it probably won’t reach the edges and that’s okay). Try to avoid spreading it too thin or tearing it.

  3. Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce over the dough in a thin, even layer, leaving a little border. Add more sauce if needed or desired. Sprinkle with the 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Lay the 2 ounces pepperoni slices in a single layer on top of the cheese.

  4. Bake until the edges are golden-brown and crispy, and the cheeses are melted and the pepperoni darkened in color, 15 to 20 minutes. If you know that your oven bakes unevenly or aren’t sure, rotate the pan halfway through baking. Let cool for 5 minutes, then slice with a pizza wheel or chef’s knife. Serve with red pepper flakes, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Make the pizza dough the day before or several hours before to allow it to rise. Or, thaw frozen pizza dough in the fridge overnight and take out to come to room temperature one hour before you want to use it.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days. Reheat in a low oven or on the stovetop with this method.

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