I don’t think there’s ever been a time where pizza wasn’t in the running for one of my top three favorite foods. It really has everything going for it – it’s crisp, doughy, carb-y (♥), saucy, cheesy, meaty…I can go on.
Buuut I won’t. Instead I’ll introduce you to my latest favorite in the pizza game – meatball parm pizza!
Growing up in NJ we had the luxury of living super close to about a million and five amazing pizza places. A million and six if you count our own kitchen with the homemade pizza my mom whipped up. You’d think we’d have a go-to flavor or two, but there were so many delicious flavors we switched up our take-out pizza a lot. There were Sicilian pies, pizzas piled so high with onions that your car smelled for three days after bringing it home, white ULTRA garlicky potato pizzas, and cheesy meatball parm pizzas that combined so many of my favorite Italian flavors into one.
Since we have a few less than a million and five pizza places here in our neighborhood in Nashville, I decided to recreate the meatball parm pizza of my dreams here at home. So good! Crisp thin crust pizza with marinara sauce, garlic, onions, fresh basil leaves, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and homemade meatballs sliced thin. You’ll want to give this one a try for your next pizza night!
For starters you’ll mix up some homemade meatballs, which are as simple as mixing, rolling, and baking. Because the dough requires about an hour of rise time, I started on that as soon as I put the meatballs in the oven. Kitchen multitasking for the win! The meatball recipe as written below will also yield a leftover meatball or two, which I’m happy to report have resulted in a few lunchtime meatball parm sandwiches. Built-in leftovers are the BEST.
This pizza is baked on a pizza stone, but you can also use a baking sheet, no problem. There are a few extra steps involved (such as preheating the stone) and you may face an anxious few seconds of transferring the dough to the stone without burning your fingers, but the effort is well worth it! Using the stone results in a crust that crisps up just right. I’d say it definitely earns its keep taking up scarce cabinet space in our tiny kitchen.
Pizza is one of Brian’s specialties, so he was more than willing to help out with preparing the dough while I snapped a few pictures. Maybe next time I’ll mention I’d like to take pictures of someone doing the dishes… 😉
Meatball Parm Pizza
For the Meatballs:
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb. ground beef
For the Pizza Dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
- 2 1/4 tsp 1 pkg. active dry yeast
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup warm water about 110°F
- 1 tsp olive oil
For the Pizza Toppings:
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder to taste
- Approx. 1 cup marinara sauce
- Sprinkle of dried oregano optional
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 2-3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Approx. 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese to taste
- 6-7 fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
- 4 or 5 meatballs cooked and sliced
For the meatballs:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. In a bowl, mix together all meatball ingredients. Form mixture into six meatballs and evenly space on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through and internal temperature reaches 160°F. Once cooled, slice 3-4 meatballs and set aside.
For the dough:
- To a large bowl, add flour, yeast, and salt and stir together to combine. Add warm water and 1 tsp olive oil and mix until all ingredients are combined. If dough is too wet, add additional flour 1 tbsp at a time. If dough is too dry, add additional water 1 tbsp at a time. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and briefly knead. (10-15 kneads). Form dough in a ball and place in a greased, covered bowl set in a warm, dry place until doubled in size (approximately one hour).
- Place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 375°F (you'll want the stone to heat with the oven to avoid sharp temperature fluxes). On a floured surface (and with floured hands), press out dough into a 12" x 12" circle.
- Once pizza stone and oven are fully heated, remove pizza stone from oven (using oven mitts!!) and slide dough round onto the pizza stone. You may need to carefully reshape dough if it gets a little misshapen in the transfer process.
- Brush dough with 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder. Spread marinara sauce over top and sprinkle dried oregano. Add onion, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, basil, and meatball slices.
- Bake pizza (on the stone, if using) for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Slice and enjoy!