Top 12 Delicious Ingredients for Pizza Night in 2024

Family pizza night is special and filled with joy. Making a homemade pizza together is a fun, memorable experience.

I still remember my first time kneading dough, preparing the sauce, and picking the perfect toppings. It felt like creating a masterpiece.

The joy of homemade pizza goes beyond taste. It’s about the process and spending time together.

The excitement before the first bite, choosing toppings, and the pride in a pizza you made yourself transform the night into something magical. The dough’s crunch and the cheese’s creamy goodness make it extraordinary.

In this guide, you’ll find tips for every pizza lover. We’ve covered you from sauces to fresh ingredients for pizza night. Gather your loved ones and get ready for a fun pizza-making night.

Try classic toppings like pepperoni, or get creative with bell peppers and olives. Let’s explore the top ingredients for your homemade pizza!

1. Homemade Pizza Sauce

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Homemade Pizza Sauce

Making your pizza sauce can lift your pizza nights. Start with top-notch tomatoes. Then, add various spices for a fantastic taste.

An excellent pizza sauce begins with a solid tomato base. Start with 28 oz. of canned crushed tomatoes. They add a rich and tangy taste.

Mix in 6 oz. of tomato paste too. This blend ensures your sauce is thick and full of flavor. It sticks perfectly to your pizza dough.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a minced garlic clove. They bring a rich flavor and a hint of garlic, a must for pizza sauce. Also, a 1/2 tablespoon of sugar cuts through the tomato’s acidity. This creates a perfect flavor balance.

The secret to excellent pizza sauce is the right mix of spices. Here it is:

  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes for optional heat

Add herbs like thyme or parsley to suit your taste. Making your sauce lets you choose. This way, every pizza you make can be unique.

Here are the key ingredients:

Canned crushed tomatoes28 oz.
Tomato paste6 oz.
Olive oil2 Tbsp
Garlic cloves1
Sugar1/2 Tbsp
Salt3/4 tsp
Basil (dried)1 tsp
Oregano (dried)1/2 tsp

So, when you make pizza sauce again, remember to use great-quality tomatoes. And don’t forget the perfect mix of flavors. Your pizza nights will be unforgettable.

2. Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Fresh mozzarella cheese is critical for authentic Italian pizza, like Margherita. It’s soft, creamy, and full of flavor. When it melts, it covers the pizza in a tasty layer. This mixes perfectly with the dough and sauce, making the pizza rich and milky.

Finding Italy’s finest cheese is crucial for a great pizza. Quality fresh mozzarella brings a genuine Italian taste. It turns your pizza into a work of art, drawing in anyone who loves cheese.

Take the Caprese pizza, for example. It features fresh mozzarella and is a veggie option. It’s simple yet elegant, with fresh tomatoes and basil. Bake it on a hot pizza stone for a crispy base that supports the melted cheese perfectly.

Here’s what you need for a Caprese pizza:

Pizza dough1 lb
Pizza sauce1/2 cup
Tomatoes2 medium, sliced
Fresh mozzarella8 oz
Fresh basilHandful
Balsamic glazeTo drizzle

The cheese blend is crucial for the perfect pizza. Mixing ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan makes it rich. Fresh mozzarella is essential; it makes your pizza both natural and tasty.

3. Pepperoni Slices

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Pepperoni Slices

Creating an excellent pepperoni pizza starts with the right slices. Pepperoni is loved for its hot, tangy taste. Choosing high-quality slices is essential.

  • High-Quality Selection: The best pepperoni makes your pizza taste unique. It should have a good meat and fat balance. This lets it cook evenly, and its oils blend perfectly with cheese and sauce.
  • Deep Flavors: High-grade slices add deep flavors. They make your pizza as good as any from a restaurant without the high cost.
  • Even Cutting: Cutting pepperoni right is crucial. It needs to be even for your pizza’s best cooking and taste. A pizza usually requires about 18 to 20 slices. This way, each piece has just the right flavor and spiciness.
  • Post-Baking Addition: If you like trying new pizza toppings, try putting pepperoni slices on after baking for a fresh, less greasy taste. Let the pizza cool for 10 minutes before adding the pepperoni.

4. Italian Sausage

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Italian Sausage

Creating a tasty pizza often starts with Italian sausage. Its robust and savory taste is loved by many. It adds a bold and meaty flavor that takes pizza toppings to a new level.

Cooking the Sausage

Cooking the sausage well is vital before you put it on your pizza. This is important because pizzas bake quickly, around 8-10 minutes in an oven. If the sausage isn’t pre-cooked, it might not be thoroughly cooked on the pizza and could be unsafe.

The best Italian sausage for your pizza should be 80-85% pork and 15-20% fat. When choosing sausages, look for ones low in sugar and sodium. Also, try to find sausages without nitrates or nitrites for a healthier meal.

How to Cook the Sausage?

Cooking the sausage correctly before putting it on the pizza is a must. This ensures your meal is safe and that the sausage tastes excellent. Pre-cooking will let the sausage spread its full mix of spices and flavors across your pizza.

This sausage recipe uses 1 cup of cooked and crumbled Italian sausage. It’s combined with ½ cup of red pizza sauce and ⅓ cup of green pesto sauce. Plus, it includes a tasty combo of mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses.

Flavor Pairings

Italian sausage goes well with many flavors. Try it with sweet bell peppers or sharp onions for a balanced meal. The Italian sausage and pepperoni pizza will be a flavorful adventure with every bite.

A Vegan Italian Sausage Pepperoni Pizza is also a great choice. It reflects a growing interest in healthier, plant-based meats. You can prepare it in 40 minutes and enjoy a delicious meal with Outside Table Pizza Thyme and Dairy-Free cheese.

With Italian sausage, your pizza topping options are wide open. Whether it’s for a special Friday dinner or you’re looking for quick, frozen meals, an Italian sausage pizza is always a hit.

5. Bell Peppers

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Bell Peppers

Adding bell peppers to your pizza is a great idea. They come in many colors, each with its flavor. Green peppers are a bit bitter, while red and yellow are sweeter. Mix them to please all taste buds at your pizza night.

Preparing Bell Peppers for Pizza:

To prepare bell peppers for pizza, follow these steps to ensure they cook well and have a good texture:

  • Wash and Slice: Wash the bell peppers thoroughly and slice them evenly. This ensures uniform cooking and a pleasing texture.
  • Cooking: Bake the sliced bell peppers at 440°F (230°C) for about 25 minutes for optimal results.
  • Enhancing Flavor: For added flavor, you can roast or grill the bell peppers:
    • Roasting: After slicing, roast the peppers. Once roasted, let them cool for 10-15 minutes to make peeling easier.
    • Grilling: If grilling, cook the peppers at 400°F for about 15 minutes. This method enhances the taste and makes the peppers a delicious topping for your pizza.

6. Onions

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Onions

Onions add a sweet and savory taste to pizza. You can use them raw for an intense flavor or cook them for a rich sweetness. Either way, they are a must.

Choosing the right onion type matters a lot. Here are the two go-to choices:

  • Red Onions: These onions are bold in flavor and boost your pizza’s visual appeal with their vibrant color.
  • Yellow Onions: Known for their sweetness, yellow onions are perfect for caramelizing, adding a rich and sweet depth to your pizza.

Caramelized onions make any pizza gourmet. Simmer yellow onions to make them sweet and deep in flavor. They go perfectly with many pizza toppings.

Prep time30 minutes
Total Time55 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Serves6 people
Nutrition356 calories per serving

To caramelize onions, slice 2 yellow onions thinly. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a pan and the onions. Cook on medium for about 30 minutes, stirring now and then. They should turn gold and smell amazing.

I caramelized onions for the last week in the fridge. This makes them a perfect topping for your next homemade pizza. Just add a lot of them to make your pizza irresistible.

7. Mushrooms

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Mushrooms

Mushrooms are the top choice for pizza nights, adding unique tastes and textures to each slice.

There are typical kinds like buttons and more exotic ones like Shiitake and Cremini. Use them right, and your pizza will reach new levels of deliciousness.

Varieties of Mushrooms

Popular mushroom choices for pizza include Button, Shiitake, Cremini, and Oyster. They each bring their flavor and feel to the table:

  • Button Mushrooms: They have a mild taste and are soft, fitting well on any pie.
  • Shiitake Mushrooms: They taste intense and earthy, have a meaty texture, and are great for a gourmet feel.
  • Cremini Mushrooms: They offer a deeper flavor than the button kind, ideal for stronger pies.
  • Oyster Mushrooms: With a mild taste, they add a subtle, complex layer to your toppings.

Cooking Tips

For the best mushroom toppings, you must sauté them. This brings out their natural tastes without making them soggy. Here’s an easy way to do it:

  1. Start by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add 10 ounces of sliced fresh mushrooms, 3 minced garlic cloves, and a finely chopped shallot or small onion.
  3. Also, sprinkle in ½ teaspoon each of dried thyme, oregano or rosemary, and chili flakes.
  4. Sauté for 5-6 minutes until the mushrooms turn tender and brown.
  5. Then, add a splash of white wine or Dry Sherry, and let it simmer.

After sautéing your mushrooms, place them on your pizza dough with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Cook at 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes. Your pizza will have a rich, aromatic topping, perfect for enjoying on pizza nights.

8. Basil Leaves

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Basil Leaves

Basil leaves are vital in making a perfect margarita pizza. They add a fresh, peppery taste. This taste goes well with the tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. The use of basil goes way back with this pizza type.

It’s known for its fresh ingredients, like San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella. When you add basil to your pizza, it tastes better. It also smells great and looks green and lively.

The basil must be top-notch when you make a Margherita pizza at home. Choose fresh basil that’s bright green and full of life. A good margarita has fresh mozzarella and lots of basil, topped with a bit of olive oil.

Fresh basil is essential because it brings out the herb’s authentic flavor. This makes your pizza even tastier and smells fantastic.

9. Olives

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Olives

Olives add a briny and slightly bitter taste to the pizza. They work great with rich and savory toppings. Adding olives makes your pizza night tastier.

Black vs. Green Olives

Think about the taste you want when choosing between black and green olives. Black olives bring a subtle, earthy taste. Green olives have a tangy kick, adding a strong flavor.

Pitting and Slicing

To make olives blend well and give a good texture, prepare them right. Use a pitting tool for pitting. Slice them for easier eating and mixing with other ingredients.

Black or green, prep your olives well. This step will make your pizza taste even better.

Here’s a quick look at olives’ nutrition in a typical pizza:

Nutrient5 Kalamata Olives (38 grams)Large Slice of Olive PizzaSmall Slice of Olive Pizza
Fat (g)6126
Carbs (g)52613
Fiber (g)3N/AN/A
Protein (g)584
Minerals & VitaminsIron, Calcium, Copper, Vitamins A and EN/AN/A

Use different olives in pizza. Castelvetrano olives are great for high heat. Cerignola olives are rich and buttery and work well. Manzanilla olives are also a good pick.

10. Parmesan Cheese

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese is vital for adding great taste to your pizza nights. It’s a favorite of mine for its sharp, nutty flavor. This flavor quality lifts your dish to a higher level with a beautiful umami taste.

Grated Parmesan

Grated parmesan is a top choice for topping your pizza. Adding 1/2 cup of it to a hot pizza gives a nice texture. It mixes well with melted cheese layers. Freshly grated parmesan gives your pizza a rich, savory flair.

Using Parmesan in Sauces

Adding parmesan to sauces boosts flavor and joins the ingredients together. Parmesan makes it bold in a white sauce with butter, milk, and roasted garlic. It also makes the sauce creamy, perfect for the pizza dough.

Parmesan is great for making your pizza unique. You can sprinkle it on top or mix it in the sauce. This cheese brings an unforgettable taste that pairs well with solid toppings like sausages or spicy pepperoni.

A mix of mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan enhances your pizza. Pair them with fresh mozzarella and provolone for rich flavors and satisfying bites.

11. Pesto Sauce

Ingredients for Pizza Night - Pesto Sauce

Pesto sauce is a fragrant, herb-filled option for your pizza instead of the usual tomato sauce. It’s usually a mix of fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.

This creates a bright green, rich, and flavorful paste. Pesto sauce is great because it brings a bold taste to pizza night, adding variety.

Homemade Pesto

Making your pesto lets you tailor it to your liking and ensures everything is fresh. A classic homemade pesto mixes fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, and olive oil until smooth. This homemade sauce can last weeks in the fridge, enhancing all sorts of foods.

It’s not just about customizing the taste. Creating something by hand is rewarding.

Unlike store-bought options, putting homemade pesto on your pizza makes it taste fresh and lively. Mixing it with pizza dough, mozzarella, and tomatoes makes a delectable pesto pizza.

Store-Bought Pesto Options

Short on time? Store-bought pesto makes a convenient option. Choose one with top-notch ingredients like fresh basil and olive oil. This makes it perfect for quick dishes, providing a tasty flavor without much work.

AspectHomemade PestoStore-Bought Pesto
FlavorCustomizable, freshConvenient, consistent
IngredientsFresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, olive oilVaries, but often includes similar core ingredients
ConvenienceRequires preparationReady to use
Shelf LifeUp to 2-3 weeks in the fridgeExtended shelf life due to preservatives

Homemade or store-bought pesto can elevate your pizza night. Try it with extras like cooked chicken or your favorite toppings. This is how you make your dream pesto pizza.

12. BBQ Sauce

Ingredients for Pizza Night - BBQ Sauce

Adding BBQ sauce to your pizza night can make it more exciting and tasty. Making your BBQ sauce lets you choose the flavors you like.

Mix tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices for a perfect balance of sweet and tangy. This sauce is excellent for pizzas like smoky or BBQ chicken ones.

Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

Making BBQ sauce at home is easy and fun. It only takes 10 minutes to prep and about 2 hours to cook. This recipe makes 5 cups of sauce.

It can stay fresh in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for six months. It goes well with BBQ chicken pizza.

Use about 1/3 cup of sauce with ¾ pound of chicken. Mix 2/3 cup of mozzarella and smoked gouda for a tasty meal.

Using Pre-made BBQ Sauce

If you’re short on time, using a pre-made BBQ sauce like Primal Kitchen’s can work, too. It offers the same great smoky flavor. This quick option lets you focus on other parts of your pizza.

Try it with Wholly Gluten Free’s dough for a speedy and yummy BBQ chicken pizza. In just 15 minutes at 475°F, you’ll have a tasty meal that’s 677 kcal. It gives you 51g of protein and a hint of smoky sweetness.

Whether you make or buy it, BBQ sauce brings something unique to pizza night. It lets you choose what fits best for you, saving time without compromising taste. Enjoy your culinary journey with these sauces.

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