Hosting your own pizza party doesn’t have to be a stressful affair. With the right tools and a killer recipe, you’re sure to host a successful get together!

Pizza party

Over hundreds of years, pizza has grown from a lowly peasant Italian food to a worldwide phenomenon. There’s variations of all kinds, from frozen to delivery to deep dish. But our favorite is the Italian-style: a thin, supple crust seared in a blazing hot oven, topped with simple, quality ingredients like peppery garden basil, sweet, juicy tomatoes, Pecorino cheese, and gooey fresh mozzarella.

Pizza is endlessly versatile; nearly anything you can find in your pantry or farmer’s market can transform into a topping. Pizza Friday is one of our favorite ways to end the week, just the two of us or with friends, as we contend for the most creative and satisfying flavor combinations. Our love for the Italian pizza was solidified on our honeymoon in Rome (which we revisited 7 years later). Since then, we’ve been working to perfect the art and science of pizza making at home. To help you with your own pizza party, we’ve got a full list of resources below.

Related: How to Make Artisan Pizza at Home | Homemade Pizza for Beginners

Pizza party | Pizza dough

How to make pizza dough

The key to a great pizza is first in the dough. Dough making takes a bit of time to perfect, but practice makes perfect! Since the texture and feel of the dough is so important, Alex created a video a few years ago that shows the optimal texture. We’ve also included our two tried-and-true methods for dough-making, one with a food processor and one with a stand mixer.

Here are all our secrets to making perfect pizza dough:

Pizza party pizza peel
Margherita pizza on a pizza peel

Essential pizza tools

The two essential tools for great pizza at home are a pizza stone, which makes for the perfect crisp crust, and a pizza peel to slide the pizza onto and off of the stone. And if you really want to nerd out on pizza, a portable outdoor pizza oven. But only the stone and peel are essential; here are our recommendations:

Pizza peel

To slide your homemade pizza onto that pizza stone, we recommend a pizza peel. What’s a pizza peel? It’s a paddle shaped wooden tray with a handle: you’ve probably seen people in pizzerias use them! They’re essential to using a pizza stone. You can use a rimless baking sheet instead, but it’s much more difficult. Try this standard pizza peel!

To step up your pizza game a bit, try this conveyor pizza peel! It makes it very easy to slide the pizza on and off the pizza stone.

What's the best pizza stone?

Pizza stone

To make really, really good homemade pizza, you’ve got to have a pizza stone! You’ll preheat your oven with the pizza stone inside, which then makes the pizza crust perfectly crispy. Round pizza stone $36

Related: What’s the Best Pizza Stone? | How to Clean a Pizza Stone

Our favorite pizza recipes

With literally thousands of pizza topping combinations, there’s endless variety of pizzas you could serve at your pizza party. Here are a few of our favorite pizza topping recipes! Or, you could do a Make Your Own Pizza party: see below.

Pizza party

Make your own pizza party

Instead of making a bunch of different pizza flavors for your pizza party, why not let your guests join in the fun and do a Make Your Own Pizza party? This way, you can just have a bunch of pizza toppings and let guests decide what they’d like to add. Here are a few ideas for toppings to have on hand:

  • Sauces: Best Homemade Pizza Sauce, Basil Pesto, Olive oil for brushing
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Other cheeses: Feta cheese, goat cheese, burrata cheese, Parmesan cheese, or Pecorino cheese
  • Vegetables: Chopped spinach leaves, chopped bell peppers, sliced red onions, thinly sliced tomatoes, avocado
  • Preserved vegetables: Olives, roasted jarred red peppers, artichokes
  • Sauteed vegetables: Sauteed mushrooms
  • Herbs: Fresh basil, fresh thyme or fresh oregano
Chopped salad recipe | Radish salad
Radish chopped salad is a fitting for a pizza party

Appetizers for pizza party

Once you have all your pizza gear and toppings decided: what kind of appetizers for a pizza party? Here are a few salads and appetizers that would be perfect for a pizza party:

Sides for a pizza party

And what about side dishes? Check out our 10 Best Sides to Go with Pizza. It also includes specific pairings for some of our favorite pizza recipes.

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How to stretch pizza dough

Party Sized Pizza Dough

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
  • Yield: 6 personal pizzas or 3 medium pizzas 1x


Want to throw a pizza party? Cooks everywhere agree: this is the best pizza dough recipe! It’s a trusted resource for how to make pizza dough with the perfect chewy texture—every time.

For the best possible pizza dough, we recommend this pizza stone. Here’s why we love it.


  • 500 grams* Tipo 00 or all-purpose flour (3 ⅓ cups)
  • 8 grams instant or active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
  • 7 grams kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 338 grams warm water (1 ¼ cups + 3 tablespoons)
  • 13 grams olive oil (1 tablespoon)


  1. Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine. Add the water and olive oil and stir until a raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  2. Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes.
  3. After the kneading is finished, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Using floured hands, gently shape each half into a boule (ball shape) by folding the dough under itself. Set each boule on a floured surface and dab the dough with a bit of olive oil to keep it moist. Cover all boules with a damp towel and allow them to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. The dough can be used immediately. However for the BEST flavor, transfer the dough to separate sealed containers, large enough for the dough to double in size again, and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. (Alex and I don’t always do this, but we try when possible because it makes for a noticeably nutty, unique flavor that truly is the best homemade pizza dough you’ve ever had.) 
  5. **If you’re using the dough after refrigerating: The day of serving, remove the dough from the containers, place it on a lightly floured surface covered with a towel, and allow it to come to room temperature before stretching, 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. To stretch the dough, place it on a lightly floured surface and gently press it into a circle, flipping several times and adding a pinch of flour if it is too sticky. Once you have about an 8-inch circle, pick up the dough and gently drape it over the knuckles on both of your hands. Slowly rotate it around, allowing gravity to stretch it into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Do not overwork or fold the dough. If the dough starts to resist stretching, put it down and allow it to rest for a few minutes, at which point it will stretch more easily.
  7. We bake our pizzas at 500F and use a pizza peel to transfer it to a preheated pizza stone in the oven: the bake time is around 5 to 7 minutes. See our pizza recipe posts for baking instructions.


*Using a food scale will ensure you have consistent results every time! We use this one.

You can make 6 personal pizzas or 3 medium pizzas with this size of dough. If you’re making personal pizzas, you can cook 2 at a time on a pizza stone. Or, cook them to order!

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: How to Throw a Pizza Party, Pizza Dough, Pizza Dough Recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. Hi ! Thanks so much for all the wonderful recipes and the enthusiasm you have shown through out the year through your blogs. I apprecitate your hardwork and patience . I am going to try this recipe surely this week. Happy new Year to you in advance.

  2. We rarely repeat recipes, but your Greek pizza makes an appearance on our table more than a few times a month! Thanks for the lovely pizza inspiration!