Among the staple items in my cart on almost any trip to Trader Joe's are the fixings for Friday pizza night. As you might expect, they offer fun twists on otherwise basic ingredients like dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings that really help me step it up on pizza night, without making a fuss.
Here are the things I always buy at Trader Joe's for my weekly pizza night.
The Pizza Dough
I know making homemade pizza dough is easy, but come Friday pizza night I'm happy to opt for the convenience of store-bought dough, whether that means sticking with the classic or changing things up with a veggie crust.
1. Ready-to-Bake Pizza Dough, $1.20 for 16 ounces: Whether you grab a bag of classic dough, whole-wheat, or garlic-herb (my favorite!), rest assured this dough, found in the refrigerator case, is easy to work with and cooks up wonderfully crisp around the edges. Plus, it's a bargain at just over a buck.
2. Cauliflower Pizza Crust, $4 for 10.6 ounces: I've been into this gluten-free crust made with riced cauliflower and corn flour from the get-go. It's a fun alternative to traditional pizza crust, bakes up with crisp edges (a must for any pizza!), and is surprisingly sturdy.
3. Organic Tomato Basil Marinara, $2.50 for 25 ounces: Traditional pizza sauce always feels a touch thin to me, which is why I opt for this thicker, full-flavored sauce every time. I love the taste, and for an organic sauce you can't beat this price.
4. Kale, Cashew, and Basil Pesto, $3.70 for 8 ounces: Found in the refrigerator case, this bright and nutty pesto really stands out from the classic version, and is my favorite pick to change up pizza night. This herby green sauce is actually vegan and replaces the Parm with cashew butter for an amazing creamy texture and nutty undertones.
If you've caught even a glimpse at TJ's cheese selection, you know that there are so many options for this requisite pizza topping.
5. Quattro Formaggio Shredded Cheese Blend, $5 for 12 ounces: Among the hanging rack of shredded cheeses, this mix of Parm, Asiago, Fontina, and Provolone is my favorite pick for pizza night. It has the meltiness you love in mozzarella, but swaps that mild, milky flavor for one that's a little more sharp and punchy.
6. Whole-Milk Ricotta Cheese, $3 for 16 ounces: Because of its extra-smooth, creamy texture and milky flavor, this is my favorite brand of grocery store ricotta, and it is in regular rotation on pizza night. It's a classic addition to white pizza, and I'm happy to include it on almost any pie (especially when it includes pesto).
I don't like too many toppings on my pizza — usually just one will cut it. And my favorite place to score my go-to pizza topping is in the freezer section.
7. Mushroom Medley, $3.50 for 12 ounces: If you love mushroom pizza as much as I do, you must grab one of these bags from the freezer section. Forget the standard white button or cremini mushrooms — this is a super-flavorful, earthy mix of Champignon, Oyster, Boletus, and Slippery Jack mushrooms lightly seasoned with garlic and herbs that will instantly make the simplest pizza feel fancy. Just make sure to cook them first before adding them to the pie.