Fun fact: Approximately 2/3 of American households have at least one pizza in their freezer right now. I was fully prepared to make up that statistic but a quick google search showed me that someone actually spent time conducting this survey. I love pizza and I really believe that, taking topping preferences out of the equation, it’s almost impossible to have bad pizza. However, there is definitely some pizza that is better than others and there is definitely some frozen pizza that is way better than others.
The great downfall of buying frozen pizza is being stuck with the toppings that come on it. When you make homemade frozen pizza, you can be the master of your own pizza destiny. I wrote down the ingredients I used but you can choose whatever sauce and toppings you like. Just make sure that any meats you are using are cooked first.
I could tell you to make your own pizza dough for this recipe but I’m not going to. Making your own dough would take away the quickness of this recipe. Also, even I find making dough to be somewhat intimidating so I’m not going to assume anyone else wants to do that either. Please, please, please, do not get the canned pizza dough that is sold in the biscuit section at the grocery store. If you do, I’m sure everything will turn out fine but there is a better alternative to that dough or making your own. Most grocery stores sell pizza dough that was made in their bakery. I’ve normally found it either by the deli section or right by where they sell take-and-bake pizzas that were made in the store. This dough is normally pretty dang good.
The secret to being able to freeze the pizza is par-baking the dough. This means that you must partially bake dough before topping it and freezing it. It’ll help make sure that when you bake the frozen pizza, it will still have the same crispiness.
Pesto Chicken Pizza
6-8 cloves roasted garlic
½ yellow onion
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup freshly shredded Romano cheese
1 large chicken breast
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
A little bit of flour
- This is a recipe where I’ll tell you start one thing before you do your mise-en-place because there is more than enough time to get everything prepped. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. While it is preheating, take the skin off all of your cloves of garlic. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Sprinkle the salt on both sides of your chicken breast and put it on this baking sheet. Lay out the cloves of garlic on this baking sheet as well. Drizzle all of it with a little bit of olive oil. When the oven is preheated, put the pan in the oven.
- Mise-en-place: Chicken takes a bit of time to cook so you should have plenty of time to get this all done while it cooks.
- Slice the mozzarella cheese into thin slices
- Shred the Romano cheese
- Thinly slice the onion
- Separate the pizza dough into two separate balls. On a floured surface (I just use my counter-top), roll out each ball. Sprinkle more flour onto the counter or on top of the dough if everything is sticking too much. I rolled out my dough pretty thin. If you like a thicker dough, that is fine but be aware that the cooking times may need to be adjusted a little bit. Put each piece of dough onto a separate cookie sheet or pizza pan. For the one you are going to be par-baking and freezing, line the pan with parchment paper.
- About ten minutes into baking your chicken and roasting your garlic, I’d check on it and maybe flip the chicken and garlic cloves over. When the garlic cloves have turned to a light brown color and softened up, they are done. Mine were done roasting at the same time as my chicken, about 20-25 minutes. Cut into the thickest part of the chicken. If it is no longer pink in the middle, it is done.
- Now it is time to par-bake one of the doughs. Throw it in the already preheated oven for just 4-5 minutes. You don’t want it to cook all of the way but it should be just starting to get a golden color. Mine puffed up a little because air pockets formed in the dough. This is okay. Once I took it out of the oven and it cooled a second, I just lightly pressed down on it and the air escaped.
- Chop the chicken breast into cubes. Cut the little ends off of your garlic cloves and discard. Mince up the roasted garlic. Roasted garlic is soft enough that when you mince it, sometimes it sort of just squishes. That’s okay.
- Now it is time to top your pizza. First, spread the pesto in a thin layer.
- Now, add the toppings and then the cheese. I like to add the cheese on top of the toppings because I think it really helps to keep everything together.
- For the pizza that you aren’t freezing, bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned to your liking. If you chose to have a thicker crust, you may need to cook it a little longer.
- For the pizza you are freezing. Do not bake it. Once it is topped, put the whole pizza on the cookie sheet into the freezer. After about an hour, it should be frozen enough to take it out and wrap it for freezer storage. First, wrap the pizza well in plastic wrap. Then, wrap it well in aluminum foil. Both of these layers are important in order to keep the quality.
- When you are ready to cook your frozen pizza, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Unwrap the pizza entirely and please make sure to take the plastic off before putting it in the oven. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about 18 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden. For a crispier crust, cook it directly on the oven rack.