Instead of using pizza crust, why not try pita bread? This recipe is great topped with Italian sausage, green peppers and mushrooms, but feel free to use your own favorite toppings. These pizzas can also be grilled easily. Grill over medium heat 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. Not only are these pizzas delicious, but they are economical and child-friendly. 


Mushroom Pita Pizzas

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


3/4 lb. spicy Italian sausage

1 cup marinara sauce

4 (6-inch) pita bread rounds

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup diced green bell pepper

11/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Brown sausage in a medium pan over medium heat 5 minutes or until meat crumbles; drain, if needed

2. Spread each pita round with 1/4 cup marinara sauce. Top evenly with sausage, mushrooms, green pepper and cheese.

3. Bake at 350F 15 minutes or until pita is browned and cheese is melted.


Chicago-Style Pizza

If you’re celebrating the inauguration with friends, family or even throwing a party, serve up one of President-elect Obama’s favorite main dishes. Instead of preparing Chicago-style stuffed pizza, try this lighter (but still delicious option). The combination of turkey pepperoni, diced tomatoes, fresh Parmesan, mozzarella, and basil is wonderful. Feel free to add mushrooms, sausage, bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes or any of your favorite toppings. The pizza cooks quickly and takes only a few minutes to prepare, so it’s easy to make while you enjoy the party with your guests.


Easy Thin Crust Chicago-Style Pizza

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 14 minutes

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 piece)


2  (10-ounce) cans refrigerated pizza crust dough (I used pillsbury)

Cooking spray

3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

11/2 cups turkey pepperoni, sliced

3  tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

11/3 cups marinara sauce or 1  (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained

1/2  cup  (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup (2 ounces) low-fat mozzarella cheese

1/8  teaspoon  black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes


1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Unroll dough portions onto a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray, slightly overlapping the edges. Pinch edges together to seal. Pat the dough into a 15 x 12-inch rectangle. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border, and top with pepperoni, basil, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pepper. Bake at 450° for 2 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 425° (do not remove pizza from oven), and bake an additional 12 minutes or until cheese melts.