Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cheap and easy pizza at home

I live in Chicago, home of the best deep dish pizza in the world, so I'm not suggesting you never go out for pizza or order in. But it gets pricey if you do that every time you have a craving.

I've never been much of a fan of the taste of frozen pizzas (at least the cheaper ones... I must be honest and say I have never tried frozen pizza that costs more than $5, since I figure that if you're paying that much you might as well order in!). And I worry that they are hideously unhealthy and have all sorts of weird chemicals in them. Not that other processed foods don't, but for some reason I'm really aware of it with frozen pizza.

I have often thought about making pizza from scratch, but I never end up doing it. In my head, it always seems too complicated. (And you have to muck around with yeast!) I'd love to hear stories from people who make pizza dough from scratch to reassure me that it's really not that hard, and maybe I'll give it a go sometime. But so far, it just hasn't happened.

So what's my solution? Jiffy pizza crust mix, 60 cents a pack. Add hot water, let rise for 5 minutes, knead a little, spread out into crust. Add tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings, and pop in the oven for 10-20 minutes. About 2 servings for a total of $2 or so, depending on your toppings. The taste won't bowl you away or anything, but it's yummy and it hits the spot. It's cheaper and faster than delivery, easier than making it from scratch, and tastes better and is healthier than frozen pizzas... so it's a winner for me.

(P.S. While we're on the subject, I think that one of my favorite foods of all time is delicious Giordano's deep dish stuffed spinach pizza. A tip for Chicago-area readers: Giordano's pizza is half-price when you dine in on Monday in their Evanston restaurant. I don't know if they offer similar deals in other locations-- they certainly don't at the one nearest to me now-- but when I lived in Evanston I took advantage of the deal far too often...)


Finance Junkie said...

Another quick and easy pizza recipe:

(1) Slice one loaf of french bread in half and re-cut halves to desired length for individual slices
(2) Cover w/ spagetti sauce (cheaper than pizza sauce)
(3) Sprinkle some cheese on
(4) Add your topping... I prefer pepperoni
(5) Sprinkle on more cheese
(6) Cook around 350 or so until cheese nice and melted
(7) Cool... Then eat

Tiredbuthappy said...

Thanks for the Jiffy idea. We buy Jiffy cornbread mix and it's pretty good.

For at-home pizza, we buy them at Whole Fds or Trader Joe's. Also, Amy's brand has good ones that are often on sale for under five bucks (at Whole Fds). We usually add a little more sauce and maybe another kind of vegetable because they're a little skimpy otherwise.

My Boaz's Ruth said...

Where do you get the Jiffy Crust mix? I wanted to do this when I started making pizza but couldn't find it!

Jenn said...

For folks with a bread machine-you can make a crust easily. Every friday I make a double batch of crust in the breadmachine. It only takes a couple of minutes to throw everything in , and then it does all the work. in 1 1/2 hours you have nice dough to roll out.

Also, I just love brocoli on my pizza. Just take raw brocoli, cut it up small, place it on top of the cheese. Then cook the pizza at 425 for about 12 min. The brocoli will come out roasted. Yum.

Mom2fur said...

I haven't tried it yet, but I bet pizza toppings would taste really good on ciabatta bread!

Anonymous said...

I like your recipe: Cheap and easy, that's my style.


bill consolidation said...

Fast, easy and cheap is my style too.

Anonymous said...

As much as I am one to make my crust when I have time (and surprisingly it is a highlight for my teenage son - how did that happen?), I also love making really interesting toppings while on the fly (way more often than I like to admit) so I use a hearty whole grain crust - Rustic Crust - I can leave in the pantry. Yesterday, it was potato slices heated for five minutes in a pan,with fresh rosemary and sage chopped, pre-grated mozzarella and paremesan - yummmy!Whole thing accomplished in 15 minutes - yahoo!