If you ask any kid what their favorite foods are, it’s likely that pizza will make the top of the list. Though you can easily order pizza from a local shop or pull a pie from the freezer, it’s quick and fun to make your own. Plus, getting kids involved in preparing dinner sets them up for future success. Kids learn valuable cooking skills and, dare we say it, life skills? Cooking together introduces kids to new foods they may not otherwise try, and it's a great way for families to spend time together.
Before you start, here are a few tips and tricks for pizza success:
Dough: make your own or buy it: Making homemade pizza dough can be a fun (and messy) endeavor. It’s a great way to introduce kids to reading recipes, measuring, mixing and of course cleaning up. But, it’s also perfectly acceptable to buy pre-made pizza dough and just have fun preparing the toppings. If you’re using store-bought dough, give it time to warm to room temperature before rolling it out.
Taste the rainbow: Provide a variety of toppings and let your kids help prep and then chose what goes on their individual pizzas. You may be surprised at what your kids will try when they are allowed to be part of the process and experiment with new textures and flavors. The more colorful the ingredients, the more fun they are to work with, and the more nutrients they tend to have.
Make a mess: This is a time to be creative and have fun. Don’t worry about the perfect Instagram photo op, or keeping things neat and tidy. Just enjoy the process and have the kids help clean up while your pizza is baking.
Scroll through the arrows above to find delicious recipe ideas, including gluten-free options, shortcut versions and unique recipes the kids will love.
1. Pizza with hidden veggies
If your kids balk at the idea of adding veggies on top of their pizzas, try adding them into the pizza dough. Healthy Little Foodies has made the perfect cauliflower base mini pizzas that little hands will love making and little mouths will love eating. These pizzas are packed with nutrients and fiber, and are naturally gluten-free.
2. Gluten-free pizza
If you’re giving up gluten, but not willing to give up a thick and chewy pizza crust, check out Mama Knows Gluten Free’s gluten-free pizza crust recipe. Yep, it takes a little more elbow grease than some other recipes, but it’s a great teaching moment for older kids to learn how to mix, proof and bake gluten-free bread. Plus, this recipe is dairy-free and vegan, if you need to accommodate multiple dietary restrictions.
When you’re looking for a bit of a shortcut, but don’t want to run short on flavor, Happy Money Saver has you covered with a mini naan pizza idea. Pick up pre-made naan breads at the store, sauce them and then adorn them with your favorite toppings. Bonus: You can make a bunch and freeze the pizzas for up to six months for quick and easy future lunches or dinners.
4. “Pup-peroni” pizzas
The author behind the Hello Wonderful blog thinks outside of the box … literally and figuratively! Tiny Ritz Cracker “Pup-peroni” Pizzas are almost too cute to eat. Make sure to buy plenty of crackers, because the kids may snack along the way. The best part? They are ready to eat in just 3 minutes, with a quick melt under the broiler.
5. Octopus pizza
Sometimes the sillier it is, the better it tastes. Super Simple’s Octopus Pizza is no exception. Let the kids get super creative making their own undersea creatures, and then devour them one tentacle at a time. Make it into a fun lesson — talk about what other creatures live in the sea and how we can be good caretakers of our marine environment.
6. Dairy-free pizza
You don’t need cheese to make a delicious pizza. The Minimalist Baker proves that with her Favorite Vegan Pizza recipe. Follow the homemade pizza dough recipe or the gluten-free recipe at her site, or buy a garlic-herb crust from Trader Joe’s. Then follow the recipe for vegan parmesan "cheese" (made from cashews and nutritional yeast) to sprinkle on top.
7. Pizza muffins
Using store-bought biscuit dough, Living Well Spending Less has created the perfect little kid-friendly pizza muffins. They are easy enough for older kids to make all on their own and are totally customizable. All you need is a muffin tin, some fun toppings, and a few little (or big) hands to help you prep. You can even freeze leftovers to pull out for emergency snacks!
8. Crescent roll pizza
You can serve The Recipe Critic’s pizza-stuffed crescent rolls for lunch, afternoon snacks or dinner. These handheld delights are just as fun to make as they are to eat. Plus, who doesn’t love the surprise “pop” of opening up a can of crescent rolls? Be careful not to overstuff your rolls, though, so you don't lose all the yummy filling onto the baking sheet.
9. Breakfast pizza
Eat Move Make knows that pizza isn’t just for dinner. That’s why the blog's author came up with a “wackadoo” recipe for fruit pizza pancakes. To start, make one (very) large pancake, using a mix or preparing your own batter. Then top it with whipped cream and colorful sliced fruit. If whipped cream is not your thing, try saucing the pizza with nut butter, jam or Nutella.
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