Homemade Pizza Recipes – John’s Favorite

homemade pizza recipesMy son, John, grew up enjoying homemade pizza since he was a toddler, had a few teeth, and could chew. Pizza became a staple in our home and I would prepare it every Friday night and whenever John had his friends over for dinner. The aroma of the sauce cooking and the sight of the dough rising brought everyone into the kitchen longing for the pizza to be ready. I would bake the pizza on a cookie sheet in a very hot oven.

When visiting in Rome, Italy and eating at the delicious bistros in the city, I noticed they cooked their pizza in a rectangular shape. It would be sliced in squares and people would purchase the pizza by the slice.

It’s the Italian version of fast food.

It would be baked with numerous toppings and the aroma of the pizza baking was scrumptious. The rectangular shape became the style my family requested, especially John. We call it “Cookie Sheet Pizza“. John is an excellent cook and now that he has a family of his own, he makes pizza often for them. However, when he comes home to visit, he’ll ask, “Mom, will you make us a cookie sheet pizza?” It’s fun and easy to make, especially with a food processor. Buon Appétito!


  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm not hot water 115-120 degrees
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pizza Sauce/Marinara Sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 28 oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings

Preparing the pizza dough:

homemade pizza dough recipe

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit until foamy (3 minutes). Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to yeast and water.
  2. With dough blade or steel blade in food processor, place 2 ½ cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse several times (3 pulses).
  3. While food processor is on, slowly pour yeast mixture down feed tube. Process until dough starts to form a ball. Gradually add ¼ cup flour at a time until dough is moist but not sticky. Process a few more times. This kneads the dough.
  4. Remove dough to a floured countertop and knead a few times with hands and form a soft ball.
  5. Place dough in large bowl, greased with olive oil. Turn dough over a few times to coat all sides of dough with oil.
  6. Cover bowl with a plate or towel. Keep in a warm place, away from drafts. After dough has risen to double in size punch it down. Let it rise again.
  7. While dough is rising prepare tomato sauce and additional toppings.

Sauce Directions:

  1. Place tomatoes in large bowl and using hands crush tomatoes in small pieces. In medium saucepan, over medium heat, add olive oil and heat, add garlic and sauté until soft.
  2. Add tomato paste and stir until hot.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes. Stir together paste, garlic and tomatoes.
  4. Add basil, oregano, Italian seasonings and salt and pepper. Stir to blend spices into sauce.
  5. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to low and occasionally stir uncovered for 35-45 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and prepare toppings.

Here’s my recipe for Marinara Sauce along with a video.

Topping Ideas for Pizza with tomato sauce:

pizza toppings

  • Shredded mozzarella cheese – 2 ½ cups
  • Grated Parmesan cheese – 2 tablespoons
  • Sliced fresh plum tomatoes- 3 plum tomatoes
  • Other additions can be pepperoni, cooked crumbled Italian sausage, mushrooms, or your favorite toppings. A topping used in Rome, Italy was sliced uncooked red peppers, delicious!

Preparing Pizza for Baking:

thin crust pizza dough recipe

  1. Preheat oven 475 degrees
  2. Grease a cookie sheet with olive oi
  3. Roll out pizza dough to fit cookie sheet, stretching the dough to fit to all corners of pan.
  4. Place pizza dough in oven and bake 5 minutes to crisp bottom of dough. Remove from oven.
  5. Spread an even layer of prepared sauce. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and top with slice fresh plum tomatoes (optional). Sprinkle with dried oregano and chopped fresh basil. Drizzle top with olive oil.
  6. Place the pan and pizza in the oven on the bottom rack. Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice and serve at once.

pan pizza recipe

neopolitan pizza recipe

15 Responses to “Homemade Pizza Recipes – John’s Favorite”

  1. Pat says:

    Home made pizza is the best! Yours looks so good.

  2. Mary says:


    Yes, and the aroma of homemade pizza cooking in the oven is another plus.

  3. Jo Shaw says:

    Your recipe brings back many memories. There is nothing like the aroma in an Italian kitchen especially when cooking a home made treat with the ingredients needed for Pizza.To the readers of your site,I encourage them to give their baking skills a try especially if they have never had home made pizza. Jo

  4. Mary says:

    I agree about the great aromas of pizza baking and sauce cooking. I hope making pizza dough from scratch with the use of a food processor will help make the job easier and quicker.

  5. JiYe says:

    It looks so yummy!!!
    I’ll make it this!

  6. Mary says:

    Hi JiYe

    Thank you for your comment. The main thing for successful dough raising when dissolving the yeast the water should be at the correct warm temperature of 105 degreesF to 115 degreesF. Love to hear how it comes out.

  7. JiYe says:

    I made it on sunday!!
    It’s wonderful!!

  8. Mary says:


    So happy you enjoyed the pizza. Keep cooking and have fun!

  9. terri allen says:

    hey mary love your recipies,Wanted to let you know i saw this competion for cooking on oprah w paula dean for 25,000 I thought of you look into it see you in the salon:]

    • Mary says:

      Hi Terri:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and I’m happy to know you enjoy the recipes.Interesting about the competition but if Butter is one of the main ingredients, then count me out!

  10. Lisa Kelly Antinarelli says:


    I’m half Irish half Sicilian. Your pizza reminds me of what my Italian aunt used to make. Pretty good for an Irish girl! I even have a Mary Ahearn in my own family!

    Lisa A

  11. Heidi says:

    Hi Mary,
    My Grandma used to make the best pizza on a baking sheet. She is 92 this year and in a nursing home, so now everyone brings yummy food to her for visiting, since she fed the rest of us so well for so many years.
    I’ve tried many different recipes, but could never quite get it to taste as good as Grandma’s. (no one can!) Most recently I made my pizzas on a pizza stone. Well my stone broke, and I’m in the mood for pizza, so I’m going to try it Grandma’s way, and use some of the tips you’ve shared here.
    I love your video, you obviously cook for your family with lots of love.
    Mangia bene.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Heidi,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts of your Grandma. May God bless her and you and your family. I love sharing my family recipes with others and hope it will bring to them wonderful memories of those times shared together. Try this recipe on a cookie sheet and let me know what you think. Make sure the oven is very hot, the cookie sheet coated with olive oil, and spread the dough evenly over the sheet, use toppings you like and bake.Enjoy!.

  12. Rick says:

    I recently came across your site and looked at a few of your recipes. I came to this pizza and decided it looked interesting and very quick and easy. I made it, just adding a little barley malt to the dough as an enhancer and the toppings I like. I wanted to say this was the best pizza I have ever made or ever had… My travels in Italy included! I’ve never written to anyone on one of these sites before but I really wanted to let you (and anyone reading this) know just how good I think this is… enjoyed your video as well. I have bookmarked your site and I know I will be trying some of your other recipes also. Thank you much for sharing a little of your home with us!

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