Homemade Stuffed Pizza Crust

Making a homemade pizza crust is really an easy thing to do, but some people are intimidated by it. Others just see no reason to make it simply because there are some great pre-made ones in every grocery store – I often opt for those myself so I totally see your reasoning (Judgement will not be forthcoming from my neck of the woods!).

But on the off chance you ever want to make a homemade crust, I thought I’d show you how truly simple a delicious crust can be, and even toss in a stuffed crust option if you like!

You can do this, I promise, and it just takes a few minutes.

You’ll need: All purpose flour, a wee bit of sugar, fresh rapid rise yeast (check your date*), Olive Oil (can use vegetable), wee bit of salt, corn meal, and warm water*.

*I prefer Red Star rapid rise yeast because I am not a patient woman. This pizza crust is ready to go in under half an hour when you use rapid rise. You can, of course, use another brand and type, but it may take a little bit longer. There are other rapid rise yeasts on the market but I’ve always ended up with “good” yeast that worked when I got this particular brand and can’t say that for others. Just go with what works for you.

*Water temperature is one of the most important things when it comes to working with yeast. Too hot, and it will kill your yeast. Too cold and it won’t activate it or will make it slow as molasses. The key here is to think “Baby Bath Water”. If you’ve ever given a baby a bath, you can easily make your water the perfect temp just by feeling of it. If you haven’t ever given a baby a bath, see if some of your friends will let you borrow their baby… Just kidding. But hey, most folks won’t turn down free babysitting, especially with a newborn!

Place flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.

Stir that together a bit.

Add water…

and oil.

Stir that up until it starts to stick together like this.

Dump it out onto a floured surface.

Knead it for 3-5 minutes.

What I do is press it into a ball, then push into it with the heel of my hand.

Press it into a ball again, turn it a bit, push into it with the heel of my hand.

After a few minutes it will get all smooth and nice.

Now form it into a ball again but this time leave it be.

Loosely cover it with plastic wrap.

I cover that with a damp dish towel just to keep the plastic wrap from coming up and to help keep my dough from drying out while it rises.

Leave this be for 15-30 minutes if you used rapid rise yeast.

If you used regular yeast, leave it be for 30-45 minutes.

When you lift up your towel you’ll have a slightly larger ball but it’s not going to be doubled in size or anything.

Like this.

Now sprinkle about 1/8 cup corn meal onto a pizza pan.

Press your dough ball down and place it in the center of the pizza pan.

~squints eyes and tilts head~

Or kinda in the center.

It’s a pizza crust. The state of the world does not rest on how centered our dough is when we start.

Using your hand, press, press, press, press until you have your pizza pan mostly covered.

Then ignore this for five minutes.

This relaxes the dough and makes spreading it even further really easy.

After five minutes, press, press, press, press again until it slightly overhangs the edges of your pizza pan.

This is really easy to do since you let the dough relax a bit.

See? It pays to follow my advice sometimes

If you want to stuff your crust, take some mozzarella and add in some herbs.

I am using about 1 cup mozzarella with 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon basil.

If you don’t want to make a stuffed crust, skip down to where we start folding the edges over…

Toss that together a bit.

Then sprinkle it in a ring on the outer rim of your pizza crust.

Fold edges over cheese and press down.

Your pizza is now ready for sauce and toppings!

Add sauce, toppings, and cheese, and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is bubbly.

To get my recipe for Cowboy Pizza, click here.

To get my recipe for Taco Pizza, click here.

Homemade Stuffed Pizza Crust


  • 1 package Rapid Rise Yeast (I use Red Star)
  • 1 Cup warm water (the temp you’d use for a baby’s bath water)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/8 Cup corn meal


  1. In large bowl stir together flour, sugar, salt, and yeast until well combined.
  2. Pour in water and olive oil. Stir until dough sticks together.
  3. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes, or until it forms a smooth ball.
  4. Cover dough ball with plastic wrap and let rise 15-30 minutes, until you are ready to make your pizza.
  5. Sprinkle pizza pan with 1/8 cup corn meal. Press dough into pan, spreading as you press, until it reaches almost to the edges of pan. Allow to rest for five minutes. Return to dough and continue pressing until it overhangs the pan all around the edges slightly.
  6. Fold over edges and press to seal to form a crust.
  7. Top pizza with sauce and toppings of your choice and bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is bubbly.
  8. If making a stuffed crust: Combine 1 cup shredded mozzarella with 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano and 1/4 teaspoon dried Basil. Sprinkle around edges before step #6. Then complete step 6.



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 Any kid will run any errand for you,

if you ask at bedtime. 

~Red Skelton

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Spicy Tofu Pad Thai

As the weather gets hotter, our meals get lighter, and  I can’t think of a better summer meal than pad thai.  It’s healthy, fresh, and full of texture and flavor.  It’s so accommodating, too…you can eat it hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold.  And how easy are rice noodles?  You just soak them in hot tap water for a few minutes — what a nice change from the huge vat of boiling water you need for pasta. 

Normally pad thai isn’t spicy, but I like the added heat from the Serrano pepper, and I think it complements the mild silky tofu. I loosely based my recipe on the one on the box of rice noodles, and I like it because there are no hard to find ingredients. Don’t shy away from the fish sauce.  Yes, it’s made from fermented fish, and yes, it smells a little funky right out of the bottle, but it mellows out and really ads a lot of character to the dish.  It keeps forever in the fridge, so pick up a bottle next time you’re passing through the Asian section of your store.

Spicy Tofu Pad Thai
serves 4
8 oz pad thai rice noodles
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 large Serrano or jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced, seeds and all
12 oz firm tofu, but in bite sized cubes
1/2 large zucchini, grated
2 large eggs, beaten
a large handful freshly chopped cilantro (reserve extra for garnish)
2 cups bean sprouts
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (for garnish)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp fish sauce (find it in the Asian section)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce

  • Immerse the noodles in a bowl of hot water and soak for 8 to 10 minutes until softened. (Check the directions on the package of your specific noodles, they may require slightly more time) Drain and set aside. 
  • Mix the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, and saute the garlic, ginger and pepper for a minute or two.  Add the tofu and zucchini and saute for another few minutes. 
  • Make a space in the pan to scramble the eggs by pushing aside the tofu and zucchini mixture.  Add a little more oil, and the beaten eggs.  Cook, stirring, until the egg is cooked. 
  • Add the sauce and the noodles into the pan and toss everything well.  Make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.  Finally, toss in the cilantro, bean sprouts and scallions and heat everything through.  
  • Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold, garnished with the peanuts, more cilantro, and lime wedges.

You can adapt this recipe by adding chicken, shrimp, or thinly sliced beef or pork.  Stir fry the meat or fish along with the garlic, ginger, and pepper.

One year ago today—

Edible Flowers, Part One

Pico de Gallo

Pharmacist or full-time food blogger? I have been getting asked that question a lot lately, and my answer is always “Why not both?” Cooking and pharmacy are my biggest passions, and I couldn’t see myself doing one full-time and not the other… Lately I have been realizing that it is pretty hard to keep up with both since I am doing both full-time right now. Many nights after I get home from the hospital and finish studying, I find myself up at wee hours of the night editing photos for a client or writing for my blog. I love that I get to do both things I love right now, but I wish I had more hours in the day to get everything done AND have time for myself, which I am really missing these days!! Sure, making your own hours + working in your PJs + cooking/baking for WORK + eating everything you make + did I mention working at home in your PJs? is a dream job for me, but I completely love being at the hospital and working with patients to get better and learning about science everyday too. Hopefully I can find a way to keep both up without overwhelming myself…

This pico de gallo recipe is the perfect fresh dip for chips or snacks. It is a mild, chunky salsa that you can serve as a side dish to top tacos, or as an appetizer along with tortilla chips. I like to have some in my fridge just to snack on when I get home from work. You can make it as spicy as you prefer but controlling how many jalapeños you add. This pico de gallo is more on the mild side, so if you like it spicy feel free to add more!

Pico de Gallo
Save Print
Prep time
15 mins
15 mins
Type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, rinsed and diced
  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
  2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for best results.
  3. Serve with NatureBox Guacamole Bites (www.naturebox.com)
  4. Notes: Keep refrigerated. Best when eaten within 48 hours!

See this recipe on the NatureBox Blog!

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German Käsespätzle
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