I have fond memories of pizza nights with my dad. When my mom was away on long trips (she was a flight attendant), my dad and I ate a lot of leftovers. Towards the end of the week, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to microwave another serving of casserole. So we’d do 1 of 2 things: buy a bunch of English muffins, pizza sauce, cheese, and fresh veggies and make our own mini pizzas. Or, we would take a more traditional (read: not as healthy) approach and order our favorite stuffed crust pepperoni pizza for delivery. Both options ended in us plopping ourselves in front of the TV enjoying pizza and a movie together. I really treasured these special nights with my dad, and I’m so excited that my kids are now the perfect ages to start our own family pizza night tradition.
This holiday season, I’ve partnered with Simply Organic to help you experience the simple joys of sharing moments with family and friends around the table. The unique part of this effort is that these moments will take place on Thursdays, outside of the busy weekends, to encourage us to take time out of our hectic week to slow down, cook a wholesome meal, and enjoy each others company.
In the spirit of carrying on the pizza night tradition I shared with dad, my family and I recently designated Thursday evenings as our pizza nights…with a few extra requirements. Our pizza night is media-free, meaning all phones, tablets, and laptops are turned off for the night. Also, no pizza delivery allowed. We’re making homemade stuffed crust pizza topped with all kinds of fresh veggies. And instead of watching a movie, we’ve decided to do puzzles and board games while we munch on our stuffed crust veggie pizzas. Another bonus to making our own pizzas is the opportunity for the kids to try new veggies. Tip: Call them “rainbow pizzas” and the kids will go crazy with all the veggie toppings.
Veggie Rainbow Pizza Toppings
In preparation for our pizza night, I combed through the produce section for a bunch of unique veggies that would lend vibrant colors and plenty of nutrients to the pizzas.
If you’re wondering about options for each color, check out this handy list!
Red: tomatoes, bell pepper, radishes
Orange: bell pepper, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, heirloom tomatoes
Yellow: bell pepper, yellow squash, corn, heirloom tomatoes
green: broccoli, bell pepper, spinach, green onion, zucchini squash, avocado
Blue/Purple: red onion, red cabbage, eggplant, purple potatoes, purple carrots
I never thought I’d see my kids try radishes. But, put them on a rainbow veggie pizza and they’re the tastiest things ever.
Pizza Making Tips
Be sure to follow these tips and hacks to ensure the most flavorful stuffed crust pizza.
For the crust:
- Purchase a pre-mixed, uncooked pizza dough from the refrigerated section of your grocery store.
- Preheat your pan at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes prior to baking the pizza to prevent a soggy crust.
- Lay out a piece of parchment paper and build your pizza on the parchment. Then, you can easily transfer the pizza to the hot pan when it’s ready to bake.
- Once the string cheese is placed on the dough, sprinkle a bit of Simply Organic garlic powder over the cheese to create a garlic cheese bread flavor in the crust.
- When folding the pizza dough over the string cheese, press the dough firmly into the other side to create a tight seal.
For the toppings:
- After the sauce, top the pizza with cheese first, then the veggies so the bright colors are visible on top.
- If using root vegetables like radishes, butternut squash, or potatoes, roast them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper prior to topping them on the pizza so they’re tender.
- Sprinkle on some Simply Organic red pepper flakes if you like a little bit of spicy heat on your pizza.
- Make your own pizza seasoning. I used a blend of Simply Organic’s dried rosemary, basil, thyme, and oregano. Simply Organic’s Italian seasoning is another great blend to use as well.
Our first pizza night was the most fun we’ve had as a family in a long time. The kids loved the fact that they could roll out the dough by themselves and treat their pizza as a blank canvas to create a delicious work of art. Did they love all the toppings on their pizza? Nope! But they tried new veggies, had a blast with the ingredients, and we made some beautiful memories in the process. And the best part? We were completely unplugged from emails, texts, tablet games, and social media so we could enjoy quality family time together.
If you’d like to start your own #ThursdayMoments tradition, be sure visit the Organic Moments page to find even more ways to plan your evening. Additionally, Simply Organic encourages you to share your organic moments and enter to win the Ultimate #ThursdayMoments Giveaway by taking photos of your parties and recipe creations and uploading them to Instagram using the #ThursdayMoments hashtag.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Simply Organic, but all opinions and colorful veggie pizza creations are my own.
- 1 pound unbaked whole wheat pizza dough
- 4 pieces mozzarella string cheese
- ½ teaspoon Simply Organic Garlic Powder
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1½ cups or more of vegetables (like tomatoes, peppers, onion, potatoes, radishes, cabbage)
- 1 teaspoon Simply Organic oregano
- 1 teaspoon Simply Organic basil
- 1 teaspoon Simply Organic thyme
- ½ teaspoon Simply Organic rosemary
- Heat the oven and baking sheets: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Once heated, place the pizza baking sheets in the oven for about 15 minutes or until you’re finished topping the pizzas.
- Roll out the dough and form crust: For mini pizzas, divide the pizza dough into two pieces and roll out into a ¼-inch thin layer. For a large pizza, roll out the whole mound of dough. Split each piece of string cheese into 2 long strings. Place the string cheese along the border of the crust. Sprinkle garlic powder over the cheese to obtain a garlic cheese bread flavor in the crust. Gently fold the crust over the string cheese to form a thick cheese crust border. As you fold the dough over, be sure to firmly press the dough down to seal in the cheese.
- Top and bake the pizza: Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the crust. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Layer vegetables over the cheese. Then, sprinkle the Simply Organic herbs over the veggies. Place the pizza on the baking sheet. Careful, the baking sheet will be very hot! Bake the pizza for 20 min until the crust is golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside.