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16 Recipes to Up Your Pizza Game

Munchies Staff

From grandma style to bagel bites, here are the best recipes for everything that tastes like pizza, even if it doesn’t look like it.

Pizza can take many forms, but it never really loses its identity. Sure, the purist may argue that there’s only one way to make it, and, as much as we love a good Neapolitan margherita, we have to disagree.

As far as we’re concerned, the unshakeable pillars of dough, cheese, and tomato sauce are just markers for further inspiration and these 16 creative recipes are evidence of that. Not only are they easy to make, but they capture the essence of pizza and its ability to shapeshift into many delicious contexts. From the supreme nacho pizza to the French toast pizza, this is a true testament to the power of the pie.

Let’s start with the basics: a “Grandma Pie” from Pizza Show host Frank Pinello. It’s a big, cheesy rectangle of nonna love and the sheet pan method assures maximum crunchiness. No pizza stone or dangerously high oven temp required.

Got any leftover pizza dough laying around your kitchen? If so, you can turn every bite into a mini-pizza by shaping that dough into garlic knots covered in pecorino and parsley. Or, better yet, serve them with your pizza for the full homemade double-dough effect.

Bagel bites are damn good out of the microwave, but they’re way better when they come out of your oven. These pizza-bagel mutants are the ultimate party snack or main course when you’re drinking wine alone at home.

Speaking of party food, if you’ve ever debated between serving pizza and nachos, the answer is obviously both—at the same time. Supreme pizza nachos perfectly blur the line between their progenitors and a little ranch dressing and a lot of parmesan go a long way in getting the most pizza-like flavors out of your nachos. Your guests will be confused and amazed.

Pizza isn’t a privilege, it’s a basic right, and vegans and those who don't eat gluten should be able to get in on the action too. Puréed cauliflower makes a tasty, sturdy foundation for this cheeseless pie, which is instead topped with a rich and nutty pesto. Just open your mind, man.

There’s no need to throw your leftovers into the trash or a sandwich. The third, and best option, is pizza. Any holiday leftovers will get a serious lift by having cheese melted on top of them, especially those sweet potatoes and turkey on the brink of complete fridge dehydration.

Try to tell someone from New Haven that a white clam pie isn’t a real pizza. In Connecticut, it’s as real as it gets and this recipe hails from none other than clam pie maestro Frank Pepe and it’s a masterclass in simplicity and quality ingredients.

Carrot tops and mustard greens are not ingredients that you would typically associate with pizza toppings. However, since pretty much any green qualifies for pesto-making, what we have here are extremely seasonal pies begging to be topped with roasted carrots, mortadella, and speck. Let the smells inspire you.

The Greeks do pizza too, and it’s fucking tasty. The crucial component here is the skillet that imparts a perfectly greasy finish to the crust. Thanks to the indestructibility of cast-iron, you can really crank your home oven on this one and ensure that edge of your pie becomes an unrecognizable cheese-bread hybrid.

Stare into this spiral for too long and you will become hypnotized by its mathematical perfection. But the smell of a pizza bun lined with mortadella and ricotta baking is even more hypnotic, as you shall see. And eating too much of it will probably make you sleepy, so it’s effectively a form of self-hypnosis.

Is flour not starchy enough for you? Then pizza potatoes is the move. Frank Pinello’s aunt’s casserole is about as hearty as it gets and can be assembled hours before your guests arrive to be stuffed by pizza potatoes.

There are more than enough pumpkin pies making the rounds this time of year. Break the mold with the other kind of pumpkin pie. Sage and oregano are the new pumpkin spice, while blue cheese and Italian sausage will make you forget all about orange filling.

Need a pizza recipe to match with your heavy beer drinking? This German pizza was designed to be washed down with your favorite pilsener; the sauce is spicy and the dough is light, which makes the sips more frequent and more refreshing.

Over here in the soigné corner, we have a leek, pancetta, and black trumpet pizza made with "biga" dough. The sourdough starter makes the whole experience more complex and can be thought of as your typical onion, bacon, mushroom pizza brought to new heights.

Pizza on fried pork rinds could never be a bad idea. Without any dough or tomato, it definitely looks a little experimental, but the basil and homemade ricotta will inevitably send that crack-like “this is pizza” signal to your brain.

Finally, we have a dish from the brilliant, hungover mind of Lee Tiernan, who one a particularly banged-up morning decided to reheat pizza slices by covering them in eggs and frying them into something so monstrous that it's beautiful.

This first appeared on MUNCHIES in December 2017.