I’ve never loved quick dinners as much as I do right now. Get ready for lots this month & next! These are super quick and could be adapted in any way that strikes you. I was really wanting the combo of sweet pear & salty feta. While Mr. J and I ate this for dinner, the little one eat some pear pieces! Perfect!
I grabbed naan which make for the best pre-made crust option and realized that not only do meatless meals make dinner come together faster, but cheaper. Win win! Check out the cost below. Spoiler: it is staggeringly awesome.
2 naan (white, wheat, garlic all work great)
1/4 red onion
1/2 cup feta
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, or until syrupy. Then remove from the heat.
Chop the onion and saute over medium heat in just a little olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add pear to the onion for either just a minute to warm or 3 minutes to cook/soften as needed. (Don’t cook too long or you’ll have pear mush!)
Put the naan onto a cookie sheet and top with mozzarella, then onion & pear mixture. Then bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with feta. Then drizzle balsamic reduction over.
I loved this combo. These are such easy ingredients to have around and can be your starting point. For me, it was an easy few-ingredient meal. It has potential to be whatever you’re in the mood for.
Pear & Feta Flatbread (cost per quantity used)
total: $6.25 for 2, $3.12 each!
I overestimated the feta. I used really little so this could even cost less. Grab the feta from the salad bar if you won’t use the leftovers. It lasts quite awhile or use the remainder for Peach & Feta Salad or Quinoa Bowls or this quick Greek Dip with Hummus or Greek Meatball Wraps.
I saw this pizza topped with a pistachio spread and sausage from Don Antonio’s of NYC on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives and was instantly excited by the pistachios on there. Apparently I wasn’t the only one either. I only tweaked it a bit and thought it was great for a change of pace.
The pistachios up the price of making this pie for sure, but if you compare to a trip to NYC to have the real thing it is a bit more justifiable…also more convenient on a Thursday night.
1/2 pizza dough ball
~1 cup pistachios, shelled
1 sweet Italian sausage link
1/4 cup olive oil
6 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
1 large tomato, cut into chunks
Preheat the oven and pizza stone, if using one to 400-degrees.
In a dry skillet, toast the pistachios over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Stir regularly.
Spread the dough out to a very large, flat circle. Then put onto the hot pizza stone so it stops from shrinking back down in size and poke a few holes into the crust with a fork or knife. Then bake for 5-10 minutes – just until lightly cooking and beginning to brown.
In a large skillet, fry the sausage over medium heat with the casing removed. Break into chunks with the back of a wooden spoon.
In a food processor, add the toasted nuts, salt, pepper, and half the oil. Pulse and stream in the rest of the oil. Taste & adjust as necessary.
Spread the pistachio sauce onto the pizza dough.
Then top with sausage, tomato, and mozzarella.
Bake for 5 minutes, then broil for another 3 minutes or so. Watch it under the broiler!
Let it sit a few minutes before slicing…otherwise you’ll lose the cheese.
I liked the bubbly cheese with the pistachio crunch and the salty sausage. I probably should have added a fresh herb either into the pistachio sauce or onto the top. That was my goal with the tomatoes, but it could use a bit more of that.
I went heavy on the pistachio sauce since I figured if I bought this whole bag of shelled pistachios, I was better off using them instead of saving some and then forgetting about them hiding away in the cabinet. Less of that would have been fine, or some dollops instead of spread all over would be good. The little one was snoozing so I contemplated toasting the nuts and just chopping them up as a topping instead of as a sauce but I stuck with the original plan and the food processor didn’t wake him up.
I’ve been using a half of a ball of pizza dough to make pizza now. It makes for a much thinner crust and cuts down on how much dough we’re eating. It is mostly a measure of preference for reallllly thin crust but the health benefit doesn’t hurt either.
Seriously. I won’t run out of pizza toppings anytime soon. This pizza was inspired by teriyaki chicken wings. It was sweet and tangy from the teriyaki sauce and I mixed up the cheese using some cheddar. I loved it. I’ll put anything on a pizza! Hopefully by the end of this post I will have successfully learned to spell teriyaki correctly…not something my brain does naturally.
2-3 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
1 cup of teriyaki marinade
1/2 pizza dough ball
1 1/2 cups combined shredded mozzarella & cheddar cheese
2 green onions
1 cup bean sprouts
Preheat the oven and pizza stone, if using one, to 400-degrees.
Dice the chicken into bite size pieces and saute over medium heat with 1/2 cup of teriyaki marinade until cooked through.
Work the dough into a thin circle and spread the dough onto the pizza stone, or roll it out with a bit of flour until the desired size. Poke a few holes in it with a fork and bake for 10 minutes, until the edges start to crisp.
Brush a few tablespoons of teriyaki marinade onto the slightly cooked pizza dough.
Top with cheeses and chicken. Then bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the crust gets brown & crispy.
Remove from the oven and top with bean sprouts & green onions. Let cool a few minutes before slicing.
The bean sprouts add a nice cool crunch, as do the green onions with a pop of color. I can’t picture this pizza without either one. The chicken thighs cooked in the marinade and then it functioning as the sauce adds some real flavor, moreso than just a drizzle over the top. The thighs have such a stronger chicken flavor than a chicken breast would, and they’re more like a wing than a breast would be too.
Ain’t no thing like a chicken wing!
With spring in full bloom I wanted to make a flatbread to highlight veggies for a lighter/meatless meal. I also am crazed at work getting ready for my big event this week. This insta-dinner taking only a few minutes to throw together was ideal. With the babe at daycare and both Mr. J and I back to work, we’re getting into the new routine.
I love roasted beets but they take awhile and it involves the oven cranking away and you have to be careful not to stain anything with the juice. And and and. Apparently I’m full of excuses as to why I don’t make them all the time. I spotted packaged beets at the grocery store. That is one prepared item I can totally get behind. The convenience of these is much appreciated. The foil-wrapped potatoes is a whole different story. Who can’t do that on their own?!
Have you seen these? I found these cooked beets in the produce area near coleslaw mixes. Totally worth it. I forget what I paid, but I’d do it again. Maybe $4ish for 3 large beets. Or, if the grocery store has a good salad bar you might even find beets there too for even cheaper. That’s a great source when you don’t need much of something for a recipe.
Ingredients: (for 2 entree servings, or ~5 appetizer servings)
2 naan breads
2-3 beets, roasted
1/2 sweet potato, pealed
1/2 cup feta
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. Lay the naan on a baking sheet.
Slice the beets into thick slices and the sweet potato into thin slices.
Drizzle the naan with olive oil then top with slices of raw sweet potato and slices of the beets.
Crumble the feta onto the top.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes until the naan crisps a bit and the toppings warm through.
Slice & enjoy!
I loved these. I loved how little time it took for something different. The feta was so good with the beets and since I most often use feta cool, it was about time to put it in something cooked! I was lucky the sweet potato was so thin or it’d never have cooked in time with everything else. Using prepared flatbreads takes this from a more involved meal to a real quickie. Pita breads would work well too.
10 minute cooktime is PER-FECT for a weeknight. You can’t even decide on takeout pizza toppings in that amount of time!
This pizza was almost something entirely different. One of my toppings spoiled before I got to it so that pizza will just have to hit on my to-make list until I get to it next. I tossed the slimed produce and then thought: what in this fridge can become pizza? The answer: everything! I had chicken and then I spotted our favorite bean dip that got me thinking Mexican pizza! I’ve made Taco Pizza on a Tortilla Crust and Taco Pizza Topped with Salad but this one is different because it sports this unbelievable bean thing. It’s not quite a dip, not quite a salad. We eat it as a side dish or dip tortilla chips into it. So good.
1 large chicken breast (or 2 small), cut into cubes
1-2 tbs taco seasoning
1/2 ball pizza dough
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup tomato sauce
6 oz shredded mozzarella/cheddar/jack cheese
1 cup 3 Bean Fiesta dip/salad
3 green onions, chopped
1 avocado or guacamole
(make the 3 Bean Fiesta dip/salad in advance)
Cook the chicken in the taco seasoning until cooked through.
Preheat the oven and pizza stone if using one, to 400-degrees.
Roll the dough out to be a thin flat circle, or as close to that as you can get. Immediately place onto the pizza stone to cook slightly and to stop it from shrinking back to a ball. Poke a few holes into the dough.
Bake 15 minutes until lightly cooked and starting to brown. Then remove from the oven.
Top with tomato sauce & half of the salsa, cheese, chicken, and 3 bean fiesta. Then return it to the oven.
Bake 15-20 minutes until the cheese melts and the crust browns. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Top with green onion & remaining salsa.
Serve with avocado or guacamole & enjoy!
I liked this pizza. The tang of the 3 Bean Fiesta is really the wow factor. The sweet/acidic bite to it takes it from being just beans on a pizza to a whole different flavor. Plus, it has corn, green pepper, and onion to make it really taco-ish. I love it but 3 cans of corn, plus the other veggies, means you really need a few people eating it, or some solid plans for the leftovers. I use the leftovers on salad, on tacos/burritos/quesadillas, as a side dish, or still as dip. It is best a few hours after making it but everyone loves it and I can’t say enough good things about it.
Something I really missed while pregnant was blue cheese dressing. It wasn’t even a banned food I have all the time but I was definitely ready for it. (This one from the refrigerated produce area is my fav). I used some for this super quick buffalo chicken pizza as lunch one day. Blue Cheese dressing became part of the sauce and some drizzled on top. Pita bread as the dough is, hands down, the easiest way to whip up a pizza. Plus, it works perfectly when making pizza for one. Since there’d be zero nutritional value, I was glad this was a single serving.
1-2 breaded chicken fingers
1 Wheat pita bread pocket
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
4 tbs hot sauce/buffalo sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
Bake the chicken according to the package.
Mix together most of the hot sauce and most of the blue cheese dressing for the sauce. Taste it and add dressing or hot sauce to taste for your preferred spice level.
Cut the chicken into chunks and toss with some hot sauce.
Spread the buffalo blue sauce onto the pita.
Then top with cheese, then with chicken. Drizzle any extra sauce over the top.
Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees until the cheese melts and the pita crisps a bit. I used the toaster oven.
Drizzle some blue cheese dressing over the top and enjoy!
My chicken chunks are somewhat massive for the size of my pizza but I didn’t care. I was loving the buffalo and blue cheese together, plus each getting to shine on their own too. The chicken is crispy and the pizza hit the spot. You could always add celery, if you’re into that…I’m not a celery fan. I used wheat pitas because why not pretend there’s one healthy thing happening here?
Mr. J doesn’t like spice but these little pita pizzas are perfect to customize easily. They also freeze well if you wanted to make & freeze them, or prep them with just sauce and cheese to add toppings before eating sometime. I love good pizza crust but not messing with dough is pretty sweet as well.
I have made a lot of pizzas so I always wonder at what point I’ll run out of toppings, but then I realized I can always mess with the sauce and have totally different pizza options. I wanted to make a tomato-less sauce which would make a veggie pizza more exciting (and nutritious) by adding some beans. Beans are also a breastfeeding superfood so you may see a trend establishing here.
1 can white beans, undrained
2 tbs garlic
1 tbs parmesan cheese
1 tsp vinegar (apple cider, red wine, champagne, etc)
1-2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 small tomatoes, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
Preheat the oven (and pizza stone, if using one) to 400-degrees.
In a blender or food processor, blend beans, garlic, vinegar, parmesan, and salt & pepper until smooth.
Prebake the pizza dough for 10 minutes until lightly cooked and beginning to brown.
While the dough cooks, roast the broccoli in some olive oil until beginning to brown (about 10 minutes, it’ll cook a bit more on the pizza too).
Spread the white bean sauce onto the dough, then top with cheese, sliced tomato, and broccoli.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese melts and the crust crisps.
Drizzle with some truffle oil if you like. Enjoy!
I loved the creamy white bean sauce/spread on here. It added a nice subtle touch on this one.
This veggie pizza was a nice change of pace. The sliced tomato was great and not something I’d top a pizza with if it also had tomato sauce. I think this one would be a great addition to a bunch of pizzas and would keep vegetarians happy that they weren’t left only with a margarita pizza or a cheese option. You could vary it with any veggies you had on hand, and the white bean sauce will definitely have leftovers…perfect for dipping veggies & pita chips or for a sandwich spread.
Seriously, I may never run out of random pizza toppings. I was trying to come up with something fall-ish and vegetarian. I remembered drooling over How Sweet It Is’ short ribs pizza and decided I could Emily-ify it…aka, beef-less. Scheduling in a few meat-less meals helps highlight the veggies annnnd it is gentle on the grocery budget.
I love butter and mustard flavors with brussels sprouts so voila! That became the sauce.
Brussels Sprouts and Caramelized Shallot Pizza
(adapted from How Sweet it is)
1/2 ball of pizza dough
2-3 shallots, sliced thin
2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced thin
3 tbs cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
3 tbs butter
2 tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Preheat the oven and pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees.
Roll out or form the dough into a very thin circle and bake for about 8 minutes (until lightly cooked and starting to brown.
In a medium-high skillet, caramelize the shallots with a tablespoon of olive oil for about 5-10 minutes.
When the shallots are golden brown, remove them from the pan and add in the brussels sprouts.
Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, cooking for another 3 minutes.
Melt the butter, garlic, and mustard and whisk together. When the dough is cooked, spread on the dijon butter sauce.
Top with cheese, then shallots.
Then add on the brussels sprouts.
Bake for 15 minutes until the dough crisps and the cheese melts.
Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
The stretchy cheese with the touch of acid in the brussels sprouts and the buttery mustard flavors is perfect. I loved this one and can’t believe I’ve never put brussels sprouts onto a pizza before! This would also be a good use for leftover brussels sprouts.
This was one of those oops moments and times that I had to channel my inner Tim Gunn…make it work! I really meant this to be a calzone. Earlier this month we were celebrating sis’s bday with a calzone dinner and this one just could become a calzone. I was having dough challenges and as I started to get frustrated but had to remind myself sometimes it just doesn’t go how you want, but as long as it is still edible, then it can still be a success.
The challenge was that I was trying to rush the defrosting of the dough. Some things you just can’t rush. That’s kind of my soap-box lesson of the day. I was getting a hole-y dough with frozen lumps that just wasn’t working out. I plopped it onto the pizza stone hoping it would “cook” enough to keep the shape so I could fill it then fold the crust over. No dice. Where it plopped it stayed and pizza it became.
1 large zucchini
2 tbs fresh oregano
3 cups chopped baby spinach
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup feta
1 (or 1/2) ball of pizza dough
2 small chicken breasts, or 3-4 chicken tenders marinated in Italian dressing.
Preheat the oven and pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees.
Chop the zucchini and sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until cooked through, before getting squishy. Then add in the fresh oregano at the end.
Add in the tomatoes, feta, and spinach.
Cook for another 3 minutes.
Spread out the pizza dough onto the pan and bake for about 5 minutes. Cook just enough to go from doughy to lightly crisped.
Cook or grill the chicken until cooked through. Then slice into chunks when cooled.
Top with marinara, then mozzarella, then with the veggies and chicken.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust crisps and the cheese melts.
This was a good pizza. It wasn’t drastically different than some of my others but these are fresh, veggie-centric flavors I love. I really wanted it to be a calzone, but I’m also thinking the “filling”/toppings would be good with pasta or in a pita.
I love appetizers for dinner. I make pizza all the time but I was thinking of something different and decided on putting the best favors into eggroll wrappers. They’re kind of pizza kind of lasagna, kind of just Italian flavored. I don’t know what box to put them in!
1/2 pound Italian sausage, removed from the casing
1 cup ricotta
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup mozzarella
Pan fry the sausage, crumbling it and cooking it all the way through and sprinkling with dried oregano. Then drain on paper towel.
Lay the eggroll wrappers out and on a diagonal, to opposite corners, top with mozzarella, ricotta, sausage, and sauce.
Fold the opposite corners in and fold the bottom across the filling. Then roll toward the top corner. Be sure none of the filling escapes out the edges.
Pan fry in shallow oil or spray with nonstick spray and bake. (I baked at 375-degrees flipping on all sides).
Let cool 5 minutes. Serve with more sauce for dipping.
These freeze well too, then pop in the oven when you need lunch, dinner, or a hefty appetizer. I should have more of these things prepped & hanging out in the freezer. I really loved having some as a what-to-have-for-lunch on a weekend day. I’m currently working on going through the freezer so I can clear room for ready made stuff, though this babe is just past halfway so I have a little time for January freezer prep.
pizza rolls – sausage + chopped pepperoni = pepperoni pizza rolls
pizza rolls + green peppers + onions + mushrooms = loaded pizza rolls
pizza rolls – sausage + veggies = vegetarian pizza rolls