Sheet pan pizza is the minivan of the pizza world. It's not as classically cool as thin-crusted Neapolitan-style pizzas, nor does it have the trendiness of flatbread pizzas, but what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in utility, dependability, and downright delicious ease.
That's because sheet pan pizzas are all about the heavy lifting. They quickly and efficiently feed a crowd. The crust is sturdy enough to hold everything you throw on it, so don't be shy. Load it up! Our recipe for meat-lover's pizza will show you how to make this crowd-pleasing pizza so that you too can feed the masses (aka the gaggle of kids you piled into the minivan without breaking a sweat).
The Old-School, No-Frill Pizza That Gets Dinner Done
Sheet pan pizza is also sometimes called "Grandma Pie" for its homey, imperfect appearance. Baked in its namesake sheet pan, the crust doesn't get wafer-crisp, but instead gets a tender crispiness from olive oil in the baking sheet. The crust is usually thick and chewy and loaded with sauce and toppings.
We're topping our sheet pan pizza with pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, and mushrooms for the ultimate meat-lover's pizza to really feed a crowd.
Key Steps for Meat-Lover's Pizza
- Press the dough into a sheet pan to rest. Whether you're using homemade pizza dough or store-bought, remove the dough from the fridge at least an hour before you're ready to bake the pizza. Oil a sheet pan and press the dough out towards the edges of the pan and set it aside before cooking the toppings.
- "Dock" the crust before topping. Docking is a baking term for perforating the dough so that air and steam can escape the dough. This is especially important for this thicker pizza crust; it keeps the bottom from getting soggy and helps the crust stay nice and flat (no big air bubbles!) while it bakes.
- Cook some of the toppings. Not all toppings for sheet pan pizzas need to be cooked, especially since the pizza will cook for about 25 minutes — ample time for tender vegetables. But when it comes to meat and potentially watery vegetables like mushrooms, pre-cooking is key. Brown the sausage in a skillet while the dough rests and the oven preheats. Follow it with the mushrooms in the same pan.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a hot oven. Sheet pan pizzas aren't as quick-cooking as thinner pizzas because of their heft and thickness, and also because we don't want to crank the heat as high as we would for thin, crispy crusted pizzas. An oven temp of 450°F is the sweet spot.
Serving Sheet Pan Pizza
Cool the pizza for 10 minutes in the baking sheet and then use a pizza cutter to cut the pie into squares. I just set a cooling rack in the center of the dining room table and let everyone serve themselves from the sheet pan, with a stack of paper plates and a roll of paper towels on the side.
How To Make Classic Sheet Pan Pizza
Serves 10 to 12
What You Need
pizza dough, at room temperature for at least 1 hour
uncooked pork sausage, casings removed
mushrooms, thinly sliced
precooked meatballs, cut into quarters
shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
finely grated Parmesan cheese
13x18-inch rimmed baking sheet
Pizza wheel or knife
Measuring cups and spoons
Large frying pan
Preheat the oven and oil the sheet pan. Arrange a rack in the lowest position and heat to the oven to 450°F. Pour the olive oil into the 13x13-inch rimmed baking sheet and tilt the pan around to sort of spread out the oil — don’t worry, the dough will push the oil around a bit more.
Press the dough out into the sheet pan. Place the dough on the baking sheet and use your hands to press the dough out to the edges of the pan — it doesn’t need to be perfect, but work the dough into as even of a rectangle as possible. Set the dough aside to rest while you cook the sausage and mushrooms.
Cook the sausage and mushrooms. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage in large pieces. Break up the large pieces of sausage with a spatula or wooden spoon and cook until browned, stirring regularly, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to one side of a large plate and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the same pan and cook until the mushrooms are golden-brown and have released most of their moisture, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms next to the sausage.
Dock the pizza dough with a fork. Use a large fork to pierce the pizza dough all over, focusing on the center, to within an inch of the edge.
Spread on the sauce. Spread the sauce into a thin, even layer on the pizza, leaving some exposed dough along the edges for the crust.
Top with the meats and cheeses. Place the pepperoni in a single layer first, then evenly distribute the meatballs, sausage, and mushrooms. Sprinkle on the mozzarella, followed by the Parmesan.
Bake the pizza for 20 to 25 minutes. Bake until the crust and cheese are golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool and slice. Cool the pizza for about 10 minutes in pan before slicing into squares and serving.
Storage: Leftover pizza can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.