Holy Sheet Pan Pizza

sheet pan pizza

Some people see the light and get religion. Other people see the light and get sheet pan pizza. That’s what happened to me this past Friday night when I cooked up the best sheet pan pizza of my life here in my own apartment, setting off a smoke detector and freaking out the dog in the process, but oh was it worth it. (Sorry, Winston.) Now that I know how to make a killer sheet pan pizza, I plan to make sheet pan pizza on the regular.

There’s No Knead, There’s None

Basically this recipe is a combination of two recipes: Deb Perelman’s, from her new terrific cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Keepers and Carla Lalli Music’s from Bon Appetit and this video, which I found very helpful.

From Deb, I gleaned that you don’t need to work the dough. Just combine the flour, yeast, oil, and salt, let it rise for a bit, and then refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready, let it come to room temperature for ten minutes, and you’re good to go.

Is there anything more satisfying that finding a giant blob of pizza dough ready to go in your refrigerator on a Friday night? I think not!

It’s a Stretch

Once the dough was on my massage table — aka: the sheet pan — it was slathered with so much oil, it probably thought it was getting a happy ending. The Carla Lalli Music recipe tells you to pour 1/2 cup of olive oil onto the sheet pan (and both of ours are 18 X 13, though at first I thought hers was bigger) and the idea is that the oil helps get you that crispy bottom that makes sheet pan pizza so good. Personally, I thought it was too much… but then again: it was an amazing pizza.

The name of the game is stretching the dough into the corners. I did a great job of stretching the dough in general, but getting it into those corners took work. The secret is counterintuitive. You think you need to keep working on it, but actually you need to step away for the gluten to relax. Eventually you’ll get there.

Choose Your Own Sheet Pan Pizza

There are lots of theories about what to put on your homemade pizza, but I subscribe to the raw sauce theory. As in: don’t put cooked tomato sauce on your pizza. Instead, strain a can of tomatoes and put the tomatoes in a food processor with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, and basil and blitz. The tomatoes will concentrate in the oven and you’ll get something truly great.

Both Deb’s pizza and Carla’s pizza have soppressata, fennel, mozzarella, Pecorino, and chilies. Mine were homemade pickled Fresno chilies because that’s just how I roll. What you’re seeing in the above pic was my decision to broil the pizza towards the end to get the cheese nice and bronzed. As for the bottom of the pie…

…I was scared it was going to burn, but in just fifteen minutes at 550 degrees, the only thing that burned was a little cheese towards the top. The bottom was golden and crisp, like your favorite focaccia.

And that’s how to think of this pizza. It’s like the love child of a deep-dish pizza and a focaccia and, hot out of the oven, it’s just as good as any pizza you could have delivered. Next time I’m playing around with the toppings (maybe anchovies, chilies, and olives?) and, more importantly, disabling my smoke detector. Let that cheese burn in peace.

sheet pan pizza

Holy Sheet Pan Pizza

A combo of two different recipes, this is my new favorite go-to Friday night pizza-at-home recipe.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pizza
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 12 slices


For the dough:

  • 2 cups warm water (not hotter than 116 F)
  • 1 packet instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

For the sauce:

  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, drained
  • 2 anchovy filets (optional, but they add some pizazz)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Kosher salt

For the pizza:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil + more for drizzling on top
  • 12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese You should probably use fresh and shred it yourself, but I bought the pre-shredded stuff and thought it was great
  • 4 ounces soppressata, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 2 fresh red chilies thinly sliced I used pickled red chilies which worked great
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano


  • The night before you want to make your pizza, whisk together the warm water and the yeast in a large bowl. Let sit for a few minutes and as soon as you see small bubbles, add the salt, olive oil, and all-purpose flour and combine with a rubber spatula. Grease another large bowl with olive oil and transfer the dough to the new bowl. Set it aside for 1 1/2 hours and as soon as it's almost doubled, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. (Note: you can actually use this dough day-of when it doubles, it's just more flavorful after a night of fermentation.)
  • Heat your oven to 500 degrees, or as hot as it will go. While it's heating, make your sauce by combining the drained tomatoes, anchovies, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, basil, and a pinch of salt in a food processor, pulsing just until combined. (You don't want to aerate it.) Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  • Pour the 1/2 cup olive oil on to an 18 X 13 cookie sheet and spread all around. Remove your dough from the refrigerator and transfer it to the sheet, allowing it to warm up for fifteen minutes before beginning to stretch. Gently start pulling at the dough, trying to get it to cover the width of the sheet. If it gives you any trouble, just step away for a few minutes and let the gluten relax. Continue stretching until you have the dough reaching all four sides and all four corners.
  • Now's the fun part: topping the pizza. Sprinkle the entire surface with the mozzarella cheese. Then dot with small spoonfuls of the tomato sauce in various spots, making sure not to overdo it (you don't want soggy pizza). Use about a cup. After that, lay on your soppressata and your fennel and scatter with the chilies. Sprinkle with the Pecorino Romano and drizzle with a little more olive oil.
  • Bake in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is golden brown (you should use a spatula to test it before removing it from the oven). If you want an extra burnished top, turn on the broiler and let it go until the cheese starts to turn golden. Remove from the oven and garnish with the reserved fennel fronds. You can serve it in the pan or carefully transfer it to a large cutting board and slice it into twelve large pieces. I'd tell you how to reheat the leftovers, but you won't have any.

3 thoughts on “Holy Sheet Pan Pizza”

  1. 5 stars
    I cannot wait to try this!! I have been making your other sheet pan pizza regularly since 2014. You called it Tasty Sheet Pan Pizza That May Actually Be Focaccia and it is a family favorite. Your kitchen sink pasta salad is my other favorite. I am a huge fan and love your recipes so much. I have been living in France for 15 years and met David L twice at book signings. Nothing made me happier than to see the two of you together recently :)

    1. Hi Stephanie, honored to be such a big part of your pizza life! Let me know what you think of the new one. I’m making it again tonight, this time with ricotta, mozzarella, asparagus, sugar snap peas, and Pecorino.

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