Pizza with Pizzazz

by Dian Thomas

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    Sometimes nothing hits the spot steaming, cheesy piece of pizza. You don’t have to limit pizzas to tomato-spicy sauce on crust, however. Have you tried pizzas garnished with fruit, made with rice or tortilla crust, or smothered with peanut butter? Whether you’re cooking for friends or family, you’ll enjoy these recipes for party pizzas—and they’re just as much fun to make as to eat!

    Main Dish Pizzas

    Deep Dish Tortilla Pizza

    1/3 pound hamburger

    2–3 tortillas

    3/4–1 cup thick spaghetti sauce

    1/2 cup chopped green pepper

    1/2 cup chopped onions

    1/3–1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, grated or sliced

    Optional: chopped olives, sliced pepperoni, chopped mushrooms

    In saucepan, cook hamburger until browned. Line 9-inch pie tin with flour tortillas. (Press tortilla edges against side of pie tin, so they form a deep bowl. Pour spaghetti sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle with drained hamburger, onions, and green pepper (and olives, pepperoni, and mushrooms, if desired). Cover with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is crisp around edges.

    Instant Minipizzas

    1 can refrigerator biscuits (or 6 English muffins)

    1 16-oz. jar pizza sauce

    1 pepperoni sausage

    10–12 slices mozzarella cheese

    Optional: chopped onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and olives

    Flatten and spread each biscuit into 3- to 4-inch round and place on baking sheet (or place muffin halves cut side up on baking sheet). Spoon sauce onto biscuit or muffin. Top with meat, chopped vegetables, then cheese. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until cheese melts and toppings are warmed through.

    Rice Pizza

    2 cups cooked rice

    1/4 tsp. salt

    1 egg

    2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

    1 16-oz. jar pizza sauce


    3/4 pound cooked hamburger or sausage (or 1 sliced pepperoni sausage)

    1 chopped green pepper

    1 chopped onion

    Optional: 1/2 cup chopped olives or mushrooms

    1 12-oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained

    1 chopped onion

    2 green peppers chopped into 1/2-inch chunks

    3–4 slices ham, cut in pieces

    In large bowl, mix cooked rice, salt, egg, and 1 cup grated cheese. Press into 12-inch pizza pan, pressing mixture up sides of pan to form crust. Spread pizza sauce over rice mixture. Top with pizza ingredients (conventional or oriental). Bake 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake until cheese melts (3–4 minutes).

    Dessert Pizzas

    Your friends and family can help you create these sweet pizza treats.

    Peanut Spread Pizza

    1 pizza crust (homemade or packaged), cooked and cooled

    1 1/2 cups peanut butter

    1/3 cup honey

    1/2 cup raisins

    2–3 bananas, sliced

    1/2–3/4 cup pineapple chunks, drained

    3/4–1 cup coconut

    1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

    Optional: 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

    Mix peanut butter and honey. Spread over cooked, cooled pizza crust. Sprinkle raisins, banana slices, pineapple chunks, coconut, and walnuts, if desired, over peanut butter. Top with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

    Cookie Fruit Pizza

    1 recipe sugar cookie dough (or 1 15-oz. package sugar cookie mix)

    1 8-oz. container whipped topping

    Fruits of your choice, for example:

    2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries

    3–4 bananas

    1/2 cup pineapple chunks, drained

    1 cup seedless grapes

    3/4 cup sliced peaches, drained

    1 maraschino cherry

    Prepare cookie dough according to directions on recipe. Press dough into lightly greased pizza pan, about 1/8 inch thick. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. Cool.

    Spread whipped topping over cooled cookie dough crust. Arrange fruits on topping, starting at the edges and working to the center. For instance, arrange sliced strawberries around outside of pan, then bananas (soak slices in pineapple or orange juice to keep them from browning before you use them). Next arrange pineapple, grapes, then peaches. Place the cherry in the middle. Use any fruit you prefer to change tastes and designs of your pizza. This dessert tastes best if served immediately.

    If you must make the dessert ahead, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. For another attractive combination, use sliced strawberries on the outside, then arrange slices of kiwi fruit and peaches, and place strawberries in the center.

    Pizza Faces

    This variation on the cookie fruit pizza will attract the young at heart. Instead of arranging fresh fruit in designs on the whipped topping, create a giant fruit face. For instance, use sliced peaches as hair curls and kiwi fruit or strawberry slices as eyes. Maraschino cherries make a colorful nose or mouth. Use your imagination to create a colorful, delicious pizza face.

    Basket Salad Accompaniments

    To complete your pizza party, you may want to provide a make-it-yourself salad bar for your friends or family. It makes serving your salad easy and decorative.

    Arrange ready-to-eat vegetables in a large (at least 18- by 23-inch) wicker flower basket. Cover the bottom and outer edges of the basket with lettuce to provide a colorful green frame for your salad ingredients. Add large, attractive red cabbages cut in wedges and a large beautiful cauliflower (you may want to separate it into flowerets). Next, cut the tops off large, cleaned green peppers and fill them with grated carrots or carrot sticks. Arrange the peppers in the basket with clean, fresh mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. You may want to use florists’ wire to attach green onions (cleaned and prepared) to the handle of the basket. Serve ingredients such as bean sprouts, peas, croutons, and dressings in clean flowerpots lined with plastic wrap or in other attractive containers.

    To serve your salad, provide sharp knives and scissors near the basket so guests can assemble their own salad by snipping off greens and chopping trimmings into their salad bowls.

    Photos by Marty S. Mayo and Michael McConkie