Dont get me wrong, I love knowing a freshly delivered pizza is just a phone call away, but I have to say this Greek Pizza is so much better than take-out and just as fast! Its loaded up with artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, basil, feta and black olives and its ready in only 20 minutes.
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Though I have come a long way in better managing my time, thanks to learning how to do time blocking, I still end up overly busy sometimes. The kids have one thing or another, or lets face it, I try to squeeze in one more task.. and then there I am, its 6pm, and I have to get dinner on the table.
Thats when calling in an order for pizza happens, right?. Wrong! Thats when I pull a par-baked store-bought pizza crust out of the freezer, a few jars out of the pantry and I whip up this Greek Pizza in 20 minutes. Boom! Dinner solved! And no need to get a car or the local pizza place involved.
This recipe is super simple and I will get into how to make it in a jiffy, but first I wanted to talk about store bought pizza crusts. Because if you havent tried one in the last 15 years, then I need to tell you that theyve come a long way! There are so many on the market now, they no longer have a cardboard like texture, and I really like a couple of them.
Tips For Buying Store Bought Pizza Crusts
- Here in Vermont we have locally baked pizza crusts by Red Hen Bakery that you can buy in the bread section of some markets. I adore them because they have a legit chewy texture like pizza from freshly baked dough. I know that doesnt help most of you if you dont live here, so my advice would be to look in your area and try any made by local bakeries. Hopefully youll find one you love. These crusts freeze beautifully! So when you find them, stock up!
- At the supermarket, youll find lots of options for national brands. It can be overwhelming. To narrow it down, Id say to look for a thin crust pizza for the best texture. The thicker the crust, the more the cardboard-like the texture. I like the Boboli Thin Crust and Stonefire Artisan Thin Crust best. There are some that are ultra thin. I just want to warn you that they brown and then burn easily, so make sure to follow the timing instructions on the package.
- If youre a purist, and you have the extra ten minutes, then you can also use pizza dough to make this recipe, simply shape it and par-bake it on a sheet pan on the bottom rack of the oven until it is nicely set up but not browned and crispy before removing it from the pan and adding the toppings. Be careful not to make it too big to deal with without a pan! A pizza peel is helpful in these situations!
- Once you bring the crusts home, and if youre not planning to use it in the next day or two, just pop them in the freezer. They thaw really quickly, and the texture isnt affected at all! I like to stock up so I can always bust out a 20 minute dinner for those crazy hectic days followed by rushed dinner prep evenings.
How To Prep This Greek Pizza Recipe
There is really very little prep work involved in making this Greek Pizza, so I will keep this short.
- Watch out for extra liquid. The roasted red peppers, olives and artichoke hearts are all packed in brine or water, so its important to dry them before adding them to the top of your pizza. That way they wont weep on top of the melted cheese. Drain them well and then blot them dry with clean paper towels.
- Mozzarella. I used part-skim mozzarella for this Greek Pizza because it helps to save a step of grating the cheese. Part skim cheese is lower in fat, so youll save on additional fat calories, but know that it will not melt as perfectly as full fat mozzarella would.
- Pre-Shredded Cheese. Also pre-shredded cheese is coated with a small amount of cellulose or starch to keep the strands of cheese from sticking together. When the cheese is melted the starch inhibits the cheese from melting as smoothly as possible. I dont have a problem with this, but I thought you would want to know.
- Melting Tip. If you want your pre-shredded cheese to melt more smoothly, place it in a medium bowl, and toss it with two teaspoons water to moisten it. That will dampen the starch and allow the cheese to melt together. Tricky!
- Grate Your Own Cheese. If youre not a fan of pre-shredded cheese, you can grate mozzarella by hand with a box grater. Look for harder (aged) not water packed (or fresh) mozzarella for the easiest grating experience. Youll need 6 ounces total.
Ingredients for Greek Pizza
Tomato Basil Sauce:
Because this is one of those K.I.S.S. recipes, I like to use store-bought tomato sauce. I recommend Tomato Basil sauce for the classic neutral flavor. I have been buying Newmans lately, but there are so many decent jarred sauces on the market. You only need 1/2 cup of the sauce, so you can use the rest to make Stuffed Shells with Spinach.
This is an ingredient that I discovered a few years ago. As you may know, I call for Italian Seasoning in a lot of recipes. I use it in Chicken Cacciatore, Minestrone Soup and Crispy Skin Chicken to name a few. I love it mostly because it is like using several spices all at once.
Well, Greek Seasoning is the same deal, only it has a slightly different flavor profile. I love the mint in it! Once you have it, try it in garlic marinade or my Greek Tofu Kebabs with Zucchini and Eggplant! Its amazing how much flavor it adds.
If you dont have it on hand, you can sub in Italian Seasoning, or 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon dried mint (if you have it.)
Once you try this recipe, youll make a mental not to always keep your pantry stocked with these Greek Pizza ingredients. Mark my words! Just cruise down the international isle (or sometimes the pasta isle) and grab yourself a jar of roasted red peppers, canned artichoke hearts in water and a jar of olives.
Canned Quartered Artichoke Hearts in Water:
I like to use artichoke hearts that are chopped up, but if youre in a rush, just leave them in quarters. Note that if you cannot find canned artichoke hearts the kind that comes in oil in a jar is also very good, but it will add extra calories from fat.
Frozen Artichoke Hearts:
Some grocery stores also carry frozen artichoke hearts. I dont find them as useful for this kind of recipe since you wont need a whole package, and it is hard to break off what you need from the block.
Ill leave it up to you to decide which black olives to use. For me, I like to buy the pre-pitted kalamata olives because theyre so convenient. If you prefer a more mild black Greek olive, youll probably have to pit them yourself. To do so easily, just crush the olive with the side of your chefs knife then pull out the pit. Chop the olives once or twice.
Though I do love them for their buttery mild flavor, I think California ripe black olives would be a missed opportunity for flavor here so I do not recommend them.
I know youre going to think Ive lost my mind here, but I call for reduced fat feta cheese in this Greek Pizza. Normally I am all about using a smaller amount of a full fat ingredient over a reduced fat version, because often times they pale in comparison and have a bunch of fillers added in.
Reduced fat feta doesnt have fillers, its just made with skim milk. And in a recipe like this, you wont be able to tell the difference. Plus it is half the calories of full fat feta! That makes a difference for a pizza which can be very high in fat overall. I like the reduced fat feta on my salads for lunch too, so its nice to have it on hand.
The only two produce items are red onion, which I pretty much always have on hand. Just make sure to cut it very thin for this pizza. And the other item is basil. It adds a really nice flavor. I add it on top a the very end to add a fresh burst of basil flavor.
How To Bake Homemade Greek Pizza
To bake the pizza, youll need a nice hot oven. I set mine to 450 degrees. I also like to bake the pizza right in the middle of the oven. When I am making a pizza with fresh dough like my Potato Pizza, I would say to position the rack in the bottom of the oven. Here though, you want the toppings to heat and the cheese to melt as the crust is crisping up. So the middle rack works better.
When you open your package of crust(s) make sure to take a peek at the instructions for baking. If you bought a super thin crust, it may take less time than my stated 8 to 10 minutes or more for a traditional thicker crust.
Then I set the pizza directly on the oven rack! That allows the hot air to crisp up the bottom of the crust. It makes a big difference! If you have a pizza peel this is super easy to do, so use that for sure. If not you can use a rimless cookie sheet to transfer the pizza into the oven. Just slide it right off. You could also use an inverted rimmed baking sheet if thats all you have. I like to have a set of tongs too, incase the pizza sticks to the peel a bit.
Bake the pizza until the crust is crispy and the mozzarella is melted. It takes about 8 t 10 minutes for Boboli Thin Crust or Stonefire Artisan Thin Crust. Check your package for more information.
What To Serve with Greek Pizza
For a vegetarian meal, I like to serve this pizza with steam green beans drizzled with lemon juice salad dressing.
You can also make a spinach salad with beets and maple ranch dressing if you have the time (or use jarred beets if youre in a pinch.)
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And remember, make sure you come back to rate and review this recipe after you make it!!
Heres an easy homemade Greek Pizza recipe that comes together in only 20 minutes thanks to a few convenience items and pantry staples! Its loaded with artichokes, roasted red peppers, feta and black olives.
1 store-bought thin-style pizza crust, 10 ounces (11 to 12 inches diameter)
cup purchased tomato basil marinara sauce
teaspoon Greek seasoning herb blend
1 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
cup artichoke hearts drained and chopped
cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese, preferably reduced fat
cup sliced roasted red pepper
cup Greek black olives, such as Kalamata, pitted and roughly chopped
1/8 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil
- Arrange oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Set pizza crust on work surface. Spread tomato sauce over the pizza crust to inch of edge. Sprinkle Greek seasoning over the tomato sauce. Top with mozzarella, artichoke hearts, feta, red onion, olives and roasted peppers.
- Bake pizza directly on the oven rack until the crust is crispy and the mozzarella is melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Top with basil just before serving.
Make sure your roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and olives are dry before adding them to top of the pizza. To do so, drain them well, then blot them dry with a clean paper towel.
- Serving Size: 2 slices
- Calories: 378
- Sugar: 4 g
- Fat: 16 g
- Saturated Fat: 7 g
- Carbohydrates: 28 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 18 g
Greek Pizza originally published by Katie on Fri, 27 Dec 2019 10:45:24 +0000 at _https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/greek-pizza/