Homemade pizza doesn't have to eat up all your SmartPoints® values, and you might be surprised how simple it is to make. If you start with pita bread, packaged naan or a bagel, it doesn't even need to be time-consuming. Try these great tips for enjoying this American favorite.
Putting Together a Pizza: The Crust
- Stop in at your local pizza joint and ask if you can buy some unbaked dough. You'll get restaurant-quality yeast dough that's already risen — ready to stretch, roll, top and bake. (You can also buy pre-mixed unbaked dough in the refrigerator or freezer section of your supermarket.)
- Use whole-wheat pita rounds as crusts. Don't split them; just spoon on sauce and toppings and cook them on a baking sheet.
- Buy naan at the grocery store; find it in either the bread section, or frozen. The teardrop shape doesn't lend itself to conventional slices, but the flavor (and built-in portion control) more than makes up for it.
- Split onion or garlic bagels in half and scoop out the doughy filling. Hollowed out, these make great vehicles for your delicious toppings and sauce.
- Make your own homemade yeast dough with whole-wheat flour. Try our Pizza Dough recipe.
Putting Together a Pizza: The Toppings
Jarred pizza sauce is often full of fat and sugar. Try fat-free/sugar-free pasta sauce — just whisk in a little tomato paste to thicken it. Or, try one of the other delicious toppings below. Likewise, think beyond the typical thick layer of mozzarella.
Excessive cheese does not make a pizza, and it adds lots of calories. A pizza without cheese can be delicious, especially when topped with fresh vegetables. If you do opt for cheese, buy a good-quality one and use it sparingly.
Ten new ideas for pizza toppings
- Pimiento, goat cheese and spinach pizza Checkerboard the dough with baby spinach leaves. Place jarred pimiento strips on top of the leaves, and dot with soft, low-fat goat cheese.
- Zucchini and ham pizza Cover crust thinly with prepared pizza sauce (as indicated above). Shred one large green zucchini; squeeze out all moisture. Toss with finely diced, low-fat ham; sprinkle on dough. Top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, then bake.
- Shrimp nacho pizza Spread a thin layer of salsa over the crust. Cover with cooked, peeled shrimp. Sprinkle shredded low-fat cheddar cheese on top. Dot with fat-free sour cream after baking.
- Salad pizza Spray crust with nonstick spray and sprinkle evenly with your favorite salt-free herb blend. Bake without any toppings until browned and crisp, then top with your favorite salad, dressed with fat-free vinaigrette.
- Garden pizza Cover crust with chopped, frozen mixed vegetables (thawed) before baking. Bake. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and, if desired, extra-virgin olive oil before serving.
- BBQ chicken pizza Cover crust with a thin layer of BBQ sauce. Sprinkle chopped, cooked chicken breast, chopped red onion, minced cilantro and shredded smoked mozzarella (optional) over top before baking.
- Fajita pizza Top crust with thinly sliced onion and red bell peppers. Sprinkle canned, chopped green chiles and sliced, cooked chicken breast over pizza before baking.
- Hawaiian pizza Drain 1 large can pineapple rings. Place rings on crust. Sprinkle with chopped Canadian bacon, thinly sliced scallions, and reduced-fat Swiss cheese (optional) before baking.
- Turkey club pizza Cover crust with thinly sliced tomatoes. Crumble cooked turkey bacon and chopped turkey breast over top. Bake. Toss shredded iceberg with fat-free vinaigrette then spread onto pizza.
- Dessert pizza Spread fat-free hot fudge or caramel sauce thinly on dough; cover with sliced bananas and bake. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
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