A few weeks ago, I ordered pizzas from our local joint, a nothing-special strip mall spot. With a few additional toppings and delivery added in, our casual dinner for four set me back about $60.What’s worse, the pizza wasn’t even very good. 

This wasn’t an isolated incident: Restauranteurs and customers alike are feeling the pinch of food inflation. A report in the San Francisco Chronicle confirms: Pizza (along with everything else) is becoming more expensive. Charting data from six pizzerias over seven years, the paper reported that the price is going up, up, up. A slice of cheese pizza now costs 30% more than it did in 2016, with some spots topping the chart at $6.50 a slice (!). Overall, prices at restaurants and other eateries are up 5.1% compared to January 2023.  

If it seems like you’re spending more on food, you’re right: The Wall Street Journal recently reported that it has been 30 years since food ate up this much of our income. And while food in general has gotten more expensive across the board, dining out will always be much more expensive than cooking at home. Which brings us back to pizza. 

After the sticker shock of my delivery pizza wore off, I made a resolution: It’s homemade pizza for us from here on out. Not only because homemade pizza is inexpensive to make, but also because it’s better than almost anything you can have delivered.  

Baked pizza cut into slices on a cutting board. Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
Is Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza the GOAT? Make it and find out.

I’ve long been a devotee of our Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza. She’s crispy, she’s cheesy, she’s easy: Make the dough the night before, shape it in a cast-iron skillet a few hours before you want to eat. Fresh from the oven, this pizza — crisp-edged with a puffy interior — is a wonder. Also a wonder? All the ingredients needed to make one 10" pizza will cost you around four bucks: That’s 70 cents for the flour, 68 cents for the pizza sauce, another 50 cents for olive oil, yeast, and salt, and about $2.00 for mozzarella. There you have it: A truly awesome homemade pizza for about the same cost as a single slice at the pizzeria. 


It’s not an anomaly, either. Our Pick-Your-Pan-Pizza, the recipe I turn to when I want great same-day pizza and don’t feel like shaping dough, also costs about $4 — for two (!) 10" pizzas (or one half-sheet pan or 9" x 13" pizza).  

And if I’m not sure exactly what night of the week will be pizza night, I make our Artisan No-Knead Pizza Crust, which is so dead simple that I have my children make the dough. It’s ready in 24 hours, but it will keep for five days in the refrigerator; it costs about $1.25 to make the dough, which yields two 10" to 12" pizzas. Even with cheese and toppings, the cost per pizza tops out around $5.

Toppings are another place you can get economical. Cheese is the most expensive part of the pizza (and I don’t suggest scrimping there), but you can save money by opting for vegetables instead of pepperoni or sausage, or by repurposing leftovers, like the steamed broccoli from last night’s dinner, the last handful of spinach, or the dregs of a jar of pesto. 

In addition to the aforementioned favorites, there’s a pizza for every personality: We’ve got sourdough pizza recipes, gluten-free pizza recipes, Detroit-style pizza recipes; and more. What they all have in common? They’re cheaper than delivery. 

If you’re thinking that there’s no way you’d find time to make homemade pizza on a weeknight, there are shortcuts: Make a big batch of dough and freeze it; the night before you want pizza, thaw the dough in the fridge, then top and bake. Here’s our guide for how to do it

Neapolitan-Style Pizza Crust Photography by Kristin Teig; food styling by Liz Neily
Neapolitan-style pizza ... at home!

But maybe you want more than dough. Maybe you want a whole frozen pizza, ready and waiting for you when life gets busy. Frozen pizza is a $7 billion dollar industry; according to industry statistics, 1 in 3 American freezers have a store-bought frozen pizza in there. And while they’re convenient, they’re typically not all that delicious, and often contain some surprising ingredients, including palm oil and caramel color. They’re also not necessarily affordable; oftentimes the less-expensive frozen pizzas are so small they’re essentially a single serving (meaning you need several to feed a family, ratcheting up the total cost), while the larger so-called “premium pizzas” can set you back between $9 and $20, double (or quadruple!) the cost to make a pizza at home. But if you make your own frozen pizza, you can control what goes in and on it, resulting in a fresher tasting pie that’s customized to your liking. 

They say you have to spend money to make money. Well turns out, sometimes you’ve got to make dough to save dough, too. 

For the cost of a few delivery pizzas, you could learn to make pizza at home, forever! Learn all the tips and tricks for perfect pizza in our On-Demand pizza class. 

Cover photograph (South Shore Bar Pizza) by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne

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Pick-Your-Pan Pizza
Pick-Your-Pan Pizza
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 Reviews
4 hrs
one Detroit-Style Pizza Pan, one 9”x13” pan, one half-sheet tray, or two 10” cast iron pizzas
Filed Under: Recipes
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The Author

About Jessica Battilana

Jessica Battilana is the Staff Editor at King Arthur Baking Company and an award-winning writer, recipe developer, and ardent supporter of eating dessert every day. She is the author of Repertoire: All The Recipes You Need and coauthor of eight other cookbooks, including Tartine Book 3 with Chad Rob...
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