The Pizza No-Recipe Recipe - Savory Stories

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

The Pizza No-Recipe Recipe


I started making pizzas in college, when I was paying my way through the University of Maryland, working fulltime at a local fast-food place and going to school fulltime (I later changed to a different fulltime job).


Over the years I have continued to create pizzas at home, at times getting more creative and adventuresome. I cook a lot of other stuff, too, sometimes following formal recipes, but other times just creating from scratch. That’s part of the fun of cooking, isn’t it?


My feeling with pizza is that the best are simply crafted, without following any sort of formal recipe…it’s all about what ingredients appeal to you, what’s in the fridge and cupboard, and combining flavors and textures to create your masterpiece.


homemade pizza


Each one is unique, but there are some favorite items I like to include regularly – basil, arugula, prosciutto, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, pesto, a little goat cheese, although not always all of these. I sometimes add grilled chicken.


With respect to crust, I have made it from scratch on a few occasions (buy frozen or fresh dough to roll out), and have used flatbread from Trader Joe’s, but we often purchase the gluten-free frozen crusts at Costco – Sabatasso’s 3-pack frozen thin crust pizza already has sauce and 4 cheeses. A lot depends on time available.


A purist would likely argue you HAVE to make the crust from scratch. My son-in-law, whose family hails from Sicily, is a master at this! I tend to go for convenience (or is that being lazy?!).


homemade pizza


No-Recipe Recipe (last night’s offering)

Start with the crust of your choosing (if plain, such as flatbread, add a good quality marinara sauce and grated cheese – I like the packages 4-cheeses already grated available at many grocers including Trader Joe’s but plain mozzarella works well, too). When we use the frozen thin-crust pizza mentioned above I add additional grated cheese.


About ½ cup coarsely chopped arugula


10 – 12 fresh basil leaves from the garden, coarsely chopped or torn


Sundried tomatoes (in oil) to taste – about 20 pieces


If using pesto (either homemade or from a jar) put small amounts on the pizza, the amount depending on your taste


3 – 4 thin fresh tomato slices, cut in halves or quarters


Goat Cheese – to taste, if you like it


Good quality grated parmesan or parmigiano reggiano cheese (I like adding afterwards) or freshly grate your own


Bake directly on the rack in the oven until desired crispness – or follow the directions if using a prepared crust (usually about 450 degrees for around 10 - 12 minutes).


On a side note, we found a terrific Italian food website, Sogno Toscano, and have ordered a variety of pasta, sundried tomatoes in oil, artichoke hearts in oil, cheese, roasted peppers in oil, and other products and have always been impressed with the quality. And the delivery has been quick!!


This is an entry in Rocky Dickerson’s July AR Challenge – Savory Stories.

Comments (25)

Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

George Souto 

Well we felt like vegetarian last night, and I had no grilled chicken around.


Jul 26, 2021 04:31 PM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

So I had pizza for lunch today and, now that I have seen your post, want it again.  😉  Thank you for the pizza making tips.  I will have to try them soon.

Jul 26, 2021 04:57 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jeff- I have never been a huge pizza eater but if it means I don't have to cook, then I'm all in! LOL I like the looks of your pizza!!!  Larry usually makes our pizza including the dough. Some people cringe but I like anchovies on my pizza!!!

Jul 26, 2021 05:42 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

I like anchovies, too!!

Jul 27, 2021 08:24 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Jeff - did someone say pizza?  I wasn't aware of your professional pizza-making history.  Good for you and great for all those who can experience your expertise and creativity.  

Jul 26, 2021 05:49 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

That is something I can definitely get behind Jeff! When cooking, I use the the touch and taste method, it works.

Jul 26, 2021 06:00 PM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Jeff, I see you take pride in your pizza 'creativity' and must admit that look pretty dang good.  Mark

Jul 26, 2021 10:30 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Jeff.

We had pizza 2 days ago, there is no Trader Joe's in my area and the nearest Costco is a two hour drive (one way).  Pity

Jul 27, 2021 01:21 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am definitely too lazy to make my own crust, so I applaud you for doing it yourself from time to time.

Jul 27, 2021 06:01 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning Jeff! What a wonderful entry into this month's challenge. Love to see that creativity.

Jul 27, 2021 07:14 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Jeff, I think I started making pizza when I was 12 years old, my parent being in the restaurant business wanted to always help out the high school in making money for the different groups and brough 3  make pizza  oven that with pre cook pizza dough 12 inch shell  and we would put on pizza sauce and mozz cheese and seasoning.  They could just cover there cost and the school would sell them at half time doing the basketball games.  it would only be about 18 pies but I would make most of them.


Jul 27, 2021 08:41 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank Raymond Henson, eXp Realty  I'd be interested in what you decide to add to YOUR pizza!

Kathy Streib  - I don't make the crust from scratch all that often, and I DO like anchovies...but so few others do!


Jul 27, 2021 04:20 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Michael Jacobs  - well, hardly professional training, but I did learn a few things.

Touch and taste works well, I think Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!  But there are some things that are worth following a specific recipe.


Jul 27, 2021 04:22 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!

Yes, some recipes demand step-by-step instruction for good reason! 

Jul 27, 2021 06:48 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint  Thank you for the kind words. This one turned out pretty well.

No doubt you can find similar products at other groceries to substitute, James Dray if desired. I sure wouldn't drive 2 hours to Costco or even an hour!


Jul 27, 2021 04:24 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Brian England I don't make the crust all that often myself.

Thank you Rocky Dickerson 

You certainly started earlier than me, and have far more pizza-making experience than I do Will Hamm 


Jul 28, 2021 08:12 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Jeff, this looks like my kind of pizza. Thanks for sharing!

Jul 29, 2021 07:13 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jeff Dowler, CRS - what I like best about this post is your artistic presentation and stressless way of making pizza! I like meals that are simple, without stress, and looks like I just have to eat it! I'll bet no matter which ingredients you choose, it smells good too!

Jul 30, 2021 08:29 PM
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FL Probate Agent, Hotel & Land Specialist

OH 😋mouthwatering Jeff Dowler, CRS 

Jul 31, 2021 07:34 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

That pizza looks scrumptious and healthy too, Jeff.  I'm also fond of using artichoke hearts on my pizzas.

Aug 01, 2021 03:45 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Jeff Dowler, CRS - Now that looks like a very healthy pizza! Yum!

Aug 01, 2021 08:15 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Jeff - I attended a cooking class which was billed as fresh summer pizzas on the grill.  I have similar pizzas to yours.

Aug 09, 2021 04:21 AM