How to Make Homemade School Cafeteria Pizza

Rekindle your childhood memories with this Homemade School Cafeteria Pizza recipe, a delightful nod to the thick, cheesy squares that graced your school lunch tray. Unlike the typical round, thin-crust pizzas, this version boasts a soft, doughy base with a slightly crispy bottom, smothered in a savory tomato sauce and blanketed with gooey mozzarella cheese. Perfect for family movie nights, casual gatherings, or when you’re simply craving a slice of nostalgia, this homemade version lets you recreate and customize your school-day favorite right in your kitchen. Dive into this easy, comforting recipe that’s sure to bring smiles and warmth to your table.


Why You’ll Love Homemade School Cafeteria Pizza:

  • Nostalgic Flavors: Relive the cherished flavors of your youth with a recipe that captures the essence of classic cafeteria-style pizza.
  • Easy and Fun to Make: An uncomplicated recipe that’s perfect for baking with kids, teaching them the joys of homemade pizza.
  • Customizable: Adapt the toppings to suit your tastes, making it a versatile option for pleasing everyone.
  • Perfect for Any Occasion: Ideal for a laid-back dinner, a kid’s party, or whenever you need a comforting meal.

Ingredients Notes For Homemade School Cafeteria Pizza:

  • Pizza Dough: This recipe uses a homemade dough that’s thicker and softer than traditional pizza bases, providing that unique cafeteria-style texture.
  • Tomato Sauce: A simple, seasoned tomato sauce brings the vibrant, tangy flavor characteristic of classic school pizza.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Generously topped, the mozzarella melts into a beautiful, stretchy layer.
  • Pepperoni: Optional but popular, pepperoni adds a spicy, savory depth, though you can substitute or omit it based on preferences.
  • Seasonings: Oregano, basil, garlic powder, and salt enhance the sauce, giving it that authentic pizzeria taste.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Prepare the Dough: Mix the dough ingredients and knead until smooth. Let it rise until doubled in size.
  2. Pre-bake the Crust: Press the dough into a greased baking sheet, forming a thick layer. Pre-bake the crust in a preheated oven at 475°F (245°C) for about 10 minutes or until it’s just starting to brown.
  3. Add Toppings: Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the pre-baked crust. Sprinkle with cheese and arrange pepperoni or other toppings as desired.
  4. Bake: Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 15-20 more minutes.
  5. Serve: Let the pizza cool slightly before cutting into squares and serving.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Store leftover pizza in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven for best results.
  • Freeze: Freeze cooled pizza slices on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. Reheat from frozen for a quick meal.


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How to Make Homemade School Cafeteria Pizza



For the Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 1 packet (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup warm water (about 110°F or 45°C)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Toppings:

  • 1 cup pizza sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni slices (optional)
  • Additional toppings of choice (e.g., mushrooms, bell peppers, onions)


Make the Dough:

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt.
  2. Add Water and Oil: Add the warm water and olive oil to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
  3. Knead the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Let it Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it once to coat all sides with oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Prepare the Pizza:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well; otherwise, a large baking sheet will work.
  2. Shape the Dough: Punch down the risen dough and transfer it to a greased baking sheet. Press it out with your hands to form a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick, leaving a slight lip around the edges for the crust.
  3. Add Toppings: Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce, and arrange the pepperoni slices and any other toppings you like on top of the cheese.
  4. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
  5. Cool and Serve: Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before cutting into squares. Serve warm.
  • Author: Maria

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