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!
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.
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:
- How to make easy homemade pizza dough + video!
- Best Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
- Food processor pizza dough
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:
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. Standard pizza peel $21
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. Conveyor pizza peel $57
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
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.
- Perfect Neapolitan Pizza
- White Pizza with Egg
- Best Pizza Margherita
- Spicy Vegetarian Diavola Pizza
- Pesto Pizza
- Best Ever Taco Pizza
- Veggie Pizza with Avocado
- Mexican Pizza
- Greek Pizza
- Kale & Pistachio Pizza
- Thai Curry Pizza
- Our Best Vegan Pizza Recipe
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
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Feta cheese, goat cheese, burrata cheese, Parmesan cheese, or Pecorino cheese
- Chopped spinach leaves, chopped bell peppers, sliced red onions, thinly sliced tomatoes, avocado
- Olives, roasted jarred red peppers, artichokes
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Fresh basil, fresh thyme or fresh oregano
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:
- Healthy Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip and veggies
- Classic Hummus or Glowing Green Hummus and veggies
- Burrata Salad with Arugula and Tomatoes
- Famous Tomato Dip with Grilled Bread
- Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Radish Chopped Salad Recipe
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.