Oh, the art of pizza making! Whether it is a once-a-month treat or your family has a tradition for Saturday night pizza, making pizza together can be an enjoyable family experience.
But have you ever tried pizza without the crust?
The No-Crust Option
Yes, pizza without crust is a real thing! Consider it a way to still enjoy the luxury of pizza without all the carbs. Or think of it as a way to try something new and delicious.
So how exactly do you make a pizza without the crust? You don’t need a crust for your pizza.
How? Simple! Put your ingredients directly onto your stone or metal surface (pan or skillet) just as you would on the dough.
It will not take as much time as it would if you used dough. But that will be part of the fun.
A Note About Crust Alternatives
No matter what reasons you choose to make a no-crust pizza, whether you are seeking a healthier alternative, have a gluten allergy or are just feeling adventurous, please note that many no-crust recipes have delicious options.
These are only a few:
- Portobello Mushroom
- Sweet Potato
Where Do I Cook My Pizza?
This cooking option choice is part of the fun of experimenting with no-crust pizzas. You may think of a traditional oven as the only cooking option, but you can cook your pizza in a brick oven, frying pan on your stovetop, or even in your toaster oven.
Much of your decision depends on the options you have, of course. Consider some of the possibilities and themes below that might spur you on to some new and fresh ideas.
A Word About Toppings
Have you ever asked someone their favorite pizza topping? I sure do, and people almost always answer with cheese or pepperoni.
Now that’s boring! Feel free to experiment with different toppings. Think of all your meat, veggie, and cheese options.
Consider the following meat options:
- Canadian bacon
- Pork sausage
- Italian sausage
- Ground beef
Look for something new with these veggie options:
- Black olives
- Green olives
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Bell peppers
- Banana peppers
How many of the following cheese options have you tried?
- Blue cheese
- Goat Cheese
You might want to think about trying one of the following sauces if you have never tried them before:
- Tomato sauce
- Barbeque sauce
- Olive oil
- Chunky marinara
The fresher the toppings, the better the pizza. No one wants their pizza to end up like the school cafeteria soup — where they throw in all the leftovers from the week, so nothing goes to waste!
Use your imagination and let your taste buds be your guide.
What Ingredient Do I Place Down First?
This is a great question. There are several approaches to answering that. Some have strong opinions about which ingredient goes down first. Consider the following as you plan your no-bake pizza:
- Olive oil
- A mixture of everything!
Think about cooking other items with olive oil. Consider your no-bake pizza contains a lot of yummy vegetables. Putting the oil down first and then the veggies will help those vegetables cook first. You can almost hear them sizzle.
Then add your sauce, cheese, and any meats when the vegetables look ready. This approach is pizza cooked in stages.
Many traditional pizza recipes choose a tomato sauce as the first ingredient. You can try any of the sauces mentioned above or countless more you find in yummy recipes. Toppings are layered on top of the sauce afterward.
Some sauces are a bit difficult to spread evenly across the pan. Use a spoon to help you smooth out the sauce layer. Choose the amount of sauce you would like. The choice is up to you.
Last of all, add your choice of meats or veggies, and don’t forget the cheese!
Many people are genuinely passionate about cheese. Why not? It is one of the favorite snacks in many places around the world.
Consider cheese as the first layer of your pizza. You can choose to start with a layer that melts first and gets crispy if you would like. Some cheese is better as a topping than a crust, but part of the fun is experimenting to find out.
Do you love cheese? Or maybe you just love to layer your pizza. Consider trying the following cheesy goodness layering pizza option:
- A layer of cheese
- A layer of veggies on top
- Another layer of cheese
- A layer of meat on top of that
- Topped by, you guessed it! One more layer of cheese.
A Mix of Everything
We call this Dad’s approach. You take everything you want on your pizza, throw it in a bowl, and stir it up!
This approach is sure to be a saucy favorite and provide a consistency that is the same throughout your toppings. You may want to switch from a pan to a casserole dish with a particularly saucy pizza mixture. Your no-bake pizza will taste just as yummy!
So just spread (or pour) your mixture of toppings on your pan and cook away! As Dad sometimes says, “it gets all jumbled in your tummy anyway!”
Make it a Family Night
There is nothing greater than making a family night for your family. Start a weekly tradition to make and eat delicious pizza together. Consider the following family-friendly options:
- Make Your Own Pizza Night
- Pizza and a Movie Night
- Themed Pizza Night
Make Your Own Pizza Night
This idea is a fun one for kids (and the young-at-heart). Buy a lot of topping choices and let everyone make his or her pizza!
Have you tried pineapple with pepperoni? Well, you can on build-your-own pizza night!
Build your meat pizza with leftover bacon from breakfast, ham from lunch, and burgers from Saturday night if you like. You might try some things you never thought of before.
Or go bold with new flavors. How about blue cheese and green olives? How about red peppers and yellow onions?
The sky’s the limit! But you might poll everyone for favorites before you start buying toppings.
Consider putting all the toppings in separate bowls before you begin assembling the pizza. Decide whether you will have a utensil (fork, spoon, or toothpick) for picking up the toppings.
You will also need lots of separate pans or bowls to cook the pizzas in (enough to have one per person, of course). Don’t throw away the packaging because you may need it to store any leftover toppings for later use, but you can also use zipper-locking sandwich bags if they’re available.
Pizza and a Movie Night
There is nothing more fun than having everyone enjoy a slice of pizza together while watching a movie. No matter the genre, it is a lot like trying a new kind of pizza — full of adventure!
To add some spice to movie night, take turns choosing the movie. Make a rule that no one complains at someone else’s choice of film.
It is also a good idea to make it a rule that the person choosing must have selected their movie ahead of time.
Although movie night is fun, there is nothing worse than wasting time searching through hundreds of films trying to find the correct one. Or you may spend your entire movie night looking for a movie!
Combine a movie with making your pizza night, and you will be a real winner! If you have a particularly fun and witty family, look for pizza references throughout your movie.
You might just find some fun games and gags related to pizza in films that you never noticed before.
Themed Pizza Night
What theme will you choose when you host a pizza party? Have a luau night where everyone wears a Hawaiian shirt and create ham and pineapple individual pizzas.
Top things off with fruity drinks, and you will have the most popular party in town.
Enjoy looking up pizza recipes around the world and try to add some spice to your pizza recipes. You’ll be glad you tried some excellent recipes with some around-the-world flavor.
Experiment with a group of toppings from the lists previously given to create your themed pizza. You might even have each person try to create their face out of pizza toppings.
Or even better, work pizza charades! Form an object out of the pizza toppings and have everyone guess what the object is.
Fresh Ideas for Fresher Pizzas
If you want to bake a better pizza, sometimes it is fun to find your favorite restaurant pizza and try to recreate it at home.
Sometimes you might have the right ingredients, but it just doesn’t taste the same. It can leave you looking for the secret sauce, but it can also be loads of fun to try!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.