Treat yourselves and your kids to a pizza night in! Whether you want to include the kiddos in an easy culinary project or take a well-deserved break from cooking, pizza is always a crowd-pleaser for the whole fam. If you decide to be your own pizzaiolo for the night, family members can customize their own individual pies so everyone’s tastes are accommodated.
Do It Yourself!
Lots of people have been getting super creative in the kitchen and making focaccia and their own sourdough starters. Either of those would make amazing crusts for pizza, but if you’re looking to keep it on the simpler side, I’ve got a few options for you.
For a less-complicated dough, check out this easy recipe from Portland food blogger The Kitchen Paper. If you’re looking for minimum effort, use store-bought dough and roll it out (perhaps with Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” playing in the background). I’ve used and liked the pre-made dough from both Trader Joe’s and New Seasons.
I recently branched out and tried Trader Joe’s frozen cauliflower pizza crust for the first time and hereby award it a solid 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a tasty change from regular crust and a great way to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it the perfect alternative for anyone who has celiac or a gluten sensitivity.
I’m not sure how many inches this crust is, but as you can see below it fits on a large dinner plate. I’d say it serves two, or one very hungry person. TJ’s also makes a broccoli and kale pizza crust, which I personally have not tried but a friend of mine said was “very broccoli-y”…so you probably want to steer clear of that one unless you’re a huge fan of broccoli.
Pizza is one of those great meals that can help with a fridge clean out for produce that needs to be used up. You can also use whatever protein you have on hand. Go the BBQ chicken route if you have some leftover shredded chicken or use bacon to make a breakfast pizza. While we’re on the subject of creativity, don’t limit yourself to plain ol’ tomato sauce! Some of my other favorite bases are Alfredo sauce, pesto, roasted garlic and olive oil or curry sauce.
The possibilities are endless with toppings and flavor combinations! To get the ball rolling, here are a couple of my favorite pizzas that I’ve made:
- ELOTE (Mexican street corn): Alfredo/white sauce base, cotija cheese, roasted corn, crushed corn nuts, Tajin seasoning, cilantro-lime crema drizzle.
- THAI CURRY CHICKEN: red or yellow curry sauce base, cubed chicken breast, crushed peanuts, red onions, cilantro.
Takeout / delivery
Both locations of Pizzeria Otto are accepting online orders for pickup. Best of all, their $6 happy hour Margherita special is also temporarily available for takeout between 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Straight From New York’s three Portland locations (and three Salem locations) are open with “expanded delivery zones”, free contactless delivery, and curbside pickup.
Located in the heart of the pearl, The Star has both your gourmet deep dish and thin crust pizza needs covered via takeout or delivery. They’re encouraging families to reuse their pizza boxes as canvasses for your littles’ art projects and sharing them on Instagram with the hashtag #starpizzaart.
PNW chain Papa Murphy’s is still doing what they do best and churning out take and bake pizzas. From April 20-May 20 they are also donating $1 for every Cheese or Pepperoni Mini Murph Make ‘n’ Bake Pizza Kit sold online to the nonprofit No Kid Hungry.
Janey Wong is an East Portland native and a freelance writer/social media manager. Her work ranges from copywriting to essays on food, culture, and identity. In her free time, she runs a food Instagram—@foodbbpdx, is an avid traveler, and a doting godmother to the best two year old ever.