Essential Pizza Ingredients to Have in Your Kitchen

Believe it or not, you can actually make pizza straight from your pantry and fridge with ease. Before you pick up that phone and dial for takeout, check out your inventory and see what leftovers and food scraps you can repurpose. Healthy pizza is on the horizon folks, just read on!

Store-Bought Dough

Dough is the key ingredient needed to officially call something a pizza, so if you’ve come this far, you’re golden. Keep store-bought dough in the fridge for a rainy day or if you’re in a pinch and you’ll always have dinner ready. Grab some from the grocery store or local pizzeria and freeze it! Store-bought dough lasts three months in the freezer, but keep in mind you need to thaw and bring to room temperature before using.

Crushed Tomatoes

The beauty of pizza sauce is that it can take on many different forms. If you have a can of crushed tomatoes, just add a pinch of salt and we can call it tomato sauce. Bonus if you have some garlic and olive oil to add to the mix, but we promise it’ll still be tasty. There’s no need to pre-cook the sauce; keep it light and fresh by adding the sauce before baking and it’ll cook right along with the pie.

Pesto or Any Jarred Sauce

If tomato sauce isn’t your jam or you’re a big pasta fan, having a jar of pesto sauce on hand is a great way to create a pizza without needing marinara sauce. Pesto makes a great base for light, herbaceous, green pizzas that are topped with ingredients like fresh herbs, arugula, kale and salty, subtle feta. Remember, if you’re desperate, anything can be a pizza sauce.

Low-Moisture Mozzarella Cheese

While not 100% necessary, cheese is still one of those things that makes a homemade pizza feel like pizza, so having something that you can slap on some dough is important. Fresh mozzarella can be wet and not hold for very long in the fridge, so we suggest going for a low-moisture mozzarella, either shredded or in a ball, to achieve optimal, gooey results. Yes, we’ve tried this with string cheese and yes it works. You can also use almost any cheese you have to make a multi-cheese pizza, just be careful not to overload it.

Toppings Aplenty

Now that you have the essentials, you can add toppings to your heart’s content. Have leftover roasted mushrooms you’re trying to get rid of? Great! Fresh herbs that are on their way out? Even better. Grilled chicken from last weekend’s barbecue? OKAY! Any spare shredded veggie is also welcome here so long as they’re not too watery. No one wants a soggy pizza. To prevent this, you can always give them a quick roast before applying.


Next time you’re thinking of ordering in because the fridge looks too bare, think of your pizza essentials and get cooking. It’ll taste even better than takeout.