Homemade Pizza Crust & Sauce

Last Friday night was family “Pizza & a Movie” night with the kids.  When they were much younger, we had family night every Friday.  It usually involved making pizza and dessert which were eaten while watching a movie like Lion King or Homeward Bound.  Those were fun times!  This last Friday reminded of those times except that the kids are older, bigger, and put away way more pizza!

I had recently found these recipes from Paula Deen for homemade crust and sauce, so I wanted to try it out on my pizza loving crew!  I originally planned to make several interesting kinds of pizza, however my enthusiasm was toned down when a couple of my family members requested plain pepperoni.  BORING!  Anyway, I ended up making the pepperoni, Hawaiian, and California Chicken (recipe forthcoming).

Making your own sauce for pizza or spaghetti is cheaper, healthier, and super easy.  It really just takes minutes to throw together a big batch which could be kept for several days in the fridge.  You could also throw it in the freezer for future quick meals, too.

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Easy Pizza Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper


In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.

Add onion, and cook 5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in tomatoes and all remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days

Makes 3 1/2 cups (approximately)


Here is a picture of the pizza crust with the California Chicken Pizza.

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Here is the regular pepperoni pizza!

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Pizza Crust


  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (105˚ to 110˚)
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided


In a small bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes or until foamy.

In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour and salt.

Slowly add yeast mixture and 1/4 cup oil, processing until mixture forms a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 5 to 6 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Spray a medium bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place  for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Divide dough in half.

Generously sprinkle flour on a clean, flat surface. Place 1 portion of dough roll to a 1/4-inch-thick 12- to 15-inch circle or rectangle. Brush top of dough with 1 tablespoon oil.

(I like to pre-bake my crusts in a very hot oven (550 degrees) until just starting to turn golden.  Then, I add all toppings and cheese before placing back into the oven.  Bake with toppings until cheese begins to turn golden brown.)

Makes 2 (12 to 15 inch) crusts

Recipes adapted from Paula Deen Magazine