Are you ready to never buy a pre-made pizza again? Do you have an oven or toaster oven? You'll be making pizzas at home multiple times a week with this recipe!
(This page contains affiliated links)
Pizza is made frequently in our home. Although I love warm weather, we don’t use the oven when it’s hot out. But, WE STILL WANT PIZZA! We do have a toaster oven and I’ve gotten better and better with perfecting my toaster oven pizza.
Many resources will vow that you can use a toaster oven the same as a conventional oven. But, I disagree, and one of the instances is making pizza.
When using a conventional oven the best way to bake a pizza is on a pizza stone, with high oven temperature. I would recommend always aiming for 500-550℉. But, (at least for me) my toaster oven doesn’t reach that temperature. And, I can’t fit my pizza stone in the toaster oven. I have looked into smaller pizza stones but it’s harder to find something high quality.
To bake, I use a toaster oven tray with parchment, which definitely does not absorb moisture like a pizza stone. So, you have to work around that and blind bake the crust. That way you get a crispy crust that bakes all the way through while still getting cooked veggies with golden brown cheese.
The length of the bake takes a bit longer than high heat oven, but it’s worth it to be able to bake pizza even on the hottest days!
This recipe yields 2- 9″ x 12″ pizzas or 1 large (usually the large can only fit in conventional oven).
Dough: I really like to use this Saf Instant Yeast. I use to only use active yeast that you have to let sit in warm water to activate. But, I wanted to buy yeast in a larger batch and this one has been great. I mix it directly in with all the ingredients and the rise is still great.
I find that a white wheat flour works really nice for pizza dough. I have made this recipe many times with all wheat flour, and also with 2 cups white, ¾ cup wheat and all of the above work great.
Pizza Sauce: If you search the web about whether cold or cooked sauce is most traditional, you’ll likely find that cold sauce is the answer. However, I love to cook my sauce to increase the flavors, and decrease the acidity of tomato products. It doesn’t take long and it’s well worth it. This recipe uses my homemade Pizza Sauce that I always use!
I recommend making a large batch and freezing some. Most of my large pizza’s call for ⅔ cup sauce, with smaller ones, such as this toaster oven pizza, using ⅓ cup. You can measure out the sauce into ⅔ cups to freeze if you want to make it easier on yourself in the end. I use 8 oz. jars to freeze mine and any leftover sauce I like to use to dip the pizza and crust.
Vegetables: I must admit that it’s not often that I make a pizza without meat. But, sometimes I like things a little simpler and the flavor of this pizza just wouldn’t be quite the same if adding a meat. But of course it would still be delicious. Get creative if you use this recipe. I change up the vegetables all the time. I love to add kalamata olives, and sweet bell peppers too. The key to this pizza is to not over do the toppings. I’m always one to stack my pizza topping high, which sometimes leads to them not sticking to the pizza, a moist crust, or floppier piece of piece because of the weight. Nothing wrong with that, I still make it that way often. But, with this recipe you really get a perfect piece of pizza.
Cheese: Most pizza recipes call for mozzarella or a “pizza blend” already shredded for you. Those definitely save time and they’re an easy go-to. However, if you have a couple more minutes to spare and a little money to buy some nice cheese I would definitely recommend this combination.
You will need about 1 ½ cups shredded cheese total for 2 small pizzas or 1 large. I recommend having more gouda and here are the portions I love: ¾ cup Gouda, 6 tablespoon Parmesan, and 6 tbsp. Romano. You can of course change those portions as you like but just be aware of how salty the cheeses are you’re using and how strong the flavors are to make sure you’re not putting on too much of an overpowering cheese (like Romano).
Romano, Parmesan, and a soft Gouda make for an incredible pizza topping!! I do have to admit that Romano is not a favorable cheese in my house. We all think it stinks and we don’t often buy it. But, truth be told, my local grocery store miss-labeled their clearance “Parmesan” cheese not once, but 2 times I bought it and it turned out to be Romano, both times. When is Romano amazing? When it’s blended with other cheeses for a pizza. Do it, it’s delicious.
We buy blocks of cheese from the deli as opposed to pre-packaged/pre-shredded cheese in the dairy section of most stores because we want to avoid all the extra ingredients and preservatives that those cheeses have. I’m not saying you need to because that’s not always preferred, and sometimes it’s just not an option because fresh cheese is so dang expensive! But, I recommend looking for discount cheeses and find something new and fun, and throw it on your pizza to see how it turns out!
How To Build This Pizza
Begin with making the dough. Combine all ingredients and mix with a fork and your hands. No, I don’t use any stand mixers so you can if you choose but I think pizza made only with your hands is just so much better. If you’re kneading for at least a minute and your dough is feeling dry and not coming together, add ½ Tablespoon of water at a time and rework the dough. It should quickly come together to form a smooth dough that you can easily knead with your hands without it sticking to you.
Continue to knead for about 8 minutes. Cover and let sit until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
Meanwhile, make the sauce, chop vegetables, and shred the cheese.
Making the Sauce is easy and relatively fast. For this recipe you’ll use ⅔ cup sauce total (⅓ cup each if making 2 small pizzas). The recipe I included below is for about 14 oz. of sauce total. That amount will give you extra for dipping. What I would recommend is doubling the recipe and freezing leftover for another time!
The best method is to cook on low heat for 30 minutes. But, you can save a few minutes by cranking up the heat to start (level 3: low-medium) for 5 minutes, then decreasing to Lo for 20 minutes for the spices to fully integrate. Turn off the heat and blend with an immersion blender, or wait for it to cool and use a stand blender. Set aside.
Cutting the Vegetables is the easy step. Slicing everything very thin is the key. If you have chunky pieces then you run the risk of the toppings not sticking to the pizza. You can always choose to add more vegetables than this recipe calls for.
Making the Crust is a quick step but you have options. I like to “knead out” my dough to form an oval shape, especially when using the toaster oven pan. I do find that using my hands to either toss the dough, or stretch and knead the dough to it’s finished shape creates a fluffier crust than if you roll it with a rolling pin. It still works if you roll it, but it knocks out some of the air. Either way, once the dough has been rolled out to approximately 12″ x 9″ press your fingers all over to create dimples. Spray the dough with olive oil which helps to create a crispier crust and creates a better barrier between crust and sauce, whether you’re blind baking a crust or not.
Like I mentioned above, I blind bake the crust to ensure that it’s cooked through and gets nice and crispy while still having a soft center.
Layering the sauce, and toppings makes a difference. After the crust has blind baked, add ⅓ cup sauce, then ⅓ cup cheese, followed by the vegetables, then another ⅓ cup cheese. This helps make sure everything will hold together and just works out perfectly.
As with all pizzas, you can top it even more with red pepper flakes, but my husband loves using ground chipotle, smoked paprika, or hot sauce. Sometimes I think that just masks all the amazing fresh flavors of the pizza, but with this recipe in particular I do that to say that ground chipotle goes really well!
Baking Temperature is different between conventional oven and toaster oven. You can definitely use this recipe using either method.
Conventional Oven– I recommend baking at 500℉ for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is golden and crust is crispy. You shouldn’t need to blind bake the crust at this temperature.
Convectional Oven/Toaster Oven– See what your toast oven maxes out at. Mine is 450℉ and that’s where I set it. Use the middle rack. I blind bake the crust for 5 minutes, then complete building the pizza, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Please refer to the printable ingredients and instructions below. It looks very lengthy because you’re making each step from scratch. It’s really not complex. For building the pizza please note that I broke it down into separate sections for if you’re making 1 large pizza or 2 small pizzas.
For the preparation time I’m taking into consideration the time to allow the dough to rise. If you’re using a conventional oven your bake times will be considerably less.
From Scratch Veggie Pizza
For the Dough
- 2 ¾ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 optional pinch of white sugar
For the Sauce
- 1 cups tomato sauce, no salt added
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste, no salt added
- 6 tablespoon diced yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic granules
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
For the Toppings
- ½ cups thinly sliced yellow or purple onion
- ¾ cups thinly sliced crimini or baby bella mushrooms (I like to cut a little extra just in case I want to add more)
- ¾ cups thinly sliced green bell pepper
- 2 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh garlic (or mince if easier)
- 6 tablespoon shredded Paremsan cheese
- 6 tablespoon shredded Romano cheese
- ¾ cups shredded soft Gouda cheese
Make the Dough
- Add dry ingredients for dough in a medium-sized mixing bowl and combine. Add oil.
- If using active dry yeast: Combine the yeast with warm water (stick your finger in to cuticle depth and it shouldn't be hot at all, just warm). Let sit until it begins to activate (about 10 minutes). Adding a small pinch of sugar sometimes helps it activate more but isn't needed. Then add to remaining ingredients. If using instant or rapid rise yeast: Combine all ingredients and mix with a fork and your hands.
- Begin to knead the dough. If you're kneading for at least a minute and your dough is feeling dry and not coming together, add ½ Tablespoon of water at a time and rework the dough (You shouldn't need more than 1 additional tbsp. even when using wheat flour). It should quickly come together to form a smooth dough that you can easily knead with your hands without it sticking to you. Continue to knead for about 8 minutes. Cover and let sit on the counter until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
Make the Sauce
- Add all sauce ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan. Set heat to low (level 1) and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and blend with an immersion blender, or wait for it to cool and use a stand blender. I use this Instant Ace Plus Blender which is safe for blending hot ingredients so you don't have to wait for it to cool! Set aside.
For the Vegetables
- Slice all vegetables thin.
- If using conventional oven, preheat to 500℉ at this time.
For Building 2 Small Pizzas in Toaster Oven
- Cut the dough into 2 portions. Remove half and return the other half to the covered bowl.
- Lightly flour work surface with flour, cornmeal, or coconut flour Use your hands to toss or press out the dough, or use a rolling pin to roll dough out to approximately 9" x 12." Transfer dough to a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Use your fingers to press dimples into the dough. Spray lightly with olive oil. Blind bake for approximately 8-10 minutes at 450℉.
- Remove crust from oven. Layer toppings: ⅓ cup pizza sauce ⅓ cup blended cheese 1 heaping cups of veggies ⅓ cup blended cheese again
- Bake at 450℉ for 20 minutes on middle rack.
- Repeat process with the other half of the dough. Or save dough and remaining toppings for the following day.
For Building 1 Large Pizza in Conventional Oven
- Use your fingers to press dimples into the dough. Spray lightly with olive oil. Layer toppings: ⅔ cup pizza sauce ⅔ cup blended cheese 2 heaping cups of veggies ⅔ cup blended cheese again
- Bake at 500℉ until cheese is browning and bubbly (about 10-15 minutes). Watch your pizza, if may take a little more or little less time. Every oven can be a bit different and if you added more or less topping that will change things too. The crust should get slightly brown and be hard and crispy when you tap it.