“Homemade” Tomato Summer Pizza

STOP! Before you reach for a frozen pizza or open a delivery app, try out this quick & easy “homemade” pizza hack.

We all need a little help sometimes. Especially in quarantine. For example, making pizza from scratch sounds great, but someone taking care of that whole dough from scratch part sounds a lot better. Enter: Trader Joe’s pre-made dough. Way fresher and healthier than a frozen pizza (which we eat more of than I’d like to admit) but requires a lot less waiting than actually making your own pizza end to end.

This recipe is super customizable. Tomato season is in full swing so I knew that I wanted to feature those in my dish and build the other toppings (red onion, fresh basil, parmesan cheese) around what I had on hand, but you can do whatever you have in your fridge/are craving. I also really wanted to optimize for easy, so just used my go-to Rao’s marinara sauce instead of buying pizza sauce. This definitely made the pizza a bit wetter (because pasta sauce has a higher water content than pizza sauce which contains more undiluted tomato puree)– but I didn’t mind! See my notes for more easy hacks if you think you might mind 🙂


(Serves 2)

  • 16 oz fresh pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s garlic and herb)
  • 2 tbs all purpose flour
  • 4 tbs pasta sauce (could use pizza sauce if you have– see notes)
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • Canola / olive oil spray
  • Salt & pepper
  • 5 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • Optional- red chili flakes to taste


  1. What will you cook your pizza on? Whether a baking sheet or pizza stone, make your pizza on this from the start. Dust with flour, and let your fresh dough sit out for 30 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475F. Slice your tomatoes then lay them out on a towel. Sprinkle with salt and let them sit to pull out the excess moisture.  
  3. After 30 min, roll your dough out with a floured baking pin (or wine bottle!). It’s okay if your pizza rolls out to a funky shape— we’re going to fold over the crust so no need for perfect symmetry. Spread tomato sauce on dough, leaving about a half inch perimeter on the outer edges. 
  4. Switch back to your tomatoes. Pat them dry, then layer on the dough with the red onion. Sprinkle your cheese on the pizza: half on the tomato/ onion, and half on the dough around the edges you left uncovered by sauce.
  5. Fold over the outer edge dough to form a crust, and spray with olive/canola oil (or drizzle if you don’t have spray). 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges turn golden. Top with fresh basil, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes (if you’re into spice) and enjoy!


Using pasta sauce instead of pizza sauce has its benefits; namely, it’s convenient as it’s likely something you already have on hand! That being said, there are two key differences to note between pasta and pizza sauces. First, pasta sauce has a higher water content than pizza sauce– so your pizza will be a bit more watery. Second, pasta sauce has already been cooked, so the flavor will be slightly different. Two ways around this if you have more time (beyond simply buying pizza sauce): 1. reduce your pasta sauce on the stove so it thickens a bit or 2. puree fresh or canned tomatoes to make your own pizza sauce!

What am I listening to as I make this?All I Want” by Bob Moses

What can I learn while I make this? Spain holds a tomato festival every year. Why is this notable? It’s not a tomato tasting festival– it’s a a massive tomato fight! Check it out here.

What if I want to make something with fresh tomatoes but not this? Don’t worry, I won’t be offended! Check out these recipes below:

Za’atar and White Bean Salad

Looking to put a little crunch in your lunch? Make a batch for your fridge to eat plain, over lettuce, as a side salad, heck, as dessert (!!) all week.

Second Chances Tomato Compote with Eggs on Toast

This egg on toast has an epic tomato spread made of old, wrinkly grape tomatoes I forgot about, and decided to get creative with rather than toss. 11/10 recommend! Our planet and your taste buds will thank you

Actually Good Turkey Bolognese

Allow me to convert you to the dark (aka turkey) side of bolognese with the right combo of ingredients to make this as good as the real (read: pork/beef) thing!

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