Upgrade Your Homemade Pizza With One Flaky, Store-Bought Ingredient

When you want to pull off a stellar homemade pizza but don't have time to make a crust from scratch, the go-to options are typically ready-to-use crusts (fresh or frozen) or store-bought dough that allows you to put in a bit more effort. However, there's another store-bought ingredient that makes for a flaky pizza crust that you might not have thought about: The puff pastry in your freezer. You likely use puff pastry solely for tarts, other pastries, and more complex dishes like beef wellington, but it works as a pizza crust, too.

This ingredient swap is for anyone who likes a light and flaky crust as opposed to a bready, crusty base for the toppings because it's made of layers of buttery dough. It also works well because it's basically ready to use after it's defrosted and rolled out. Puff pastry will make a rectangular pizza as opposed to a round one, but that means it will fit perfectly on a baking sheet so you don't have to deal with a special pizza stone to make it happen. Be sure to stick with an all-butter puff pastry to obtain the most flavor and buttery texture in each bite of pizza.

Tips to pull off small and large puff pastry pizzas

Before you add the toppings, there are a few options to turn puff pastry into a pizza crust. Use an entire puff pastry for one pizza, cut it into two even pieces to appease cravings for different toppings, or combine two sheets to make a bigger pizza. To ensure a crisp crust to use with heavy toppings, pierce holes in the puff pastry with a fork and bake it without toppings for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, add the toppings before it goes in the oven and leave a half-inch border to allow the edge to rise and create a crust like a traditional pizza. You can even use a knife to score an edge to ensure the crust rises around the toppings properly.

All of the same toppings you use for traditional pizzas work for puff pastry pizzas. The key is to not overload it with too many toppings or the light puff pastry crust might not be hearty enough to hold them up — and you don't want to serve pizza that's soggy or falling apart. For inspiration, try out our flammkuchen (puff pastry pizza), a German-inspired recipe that uses red onion and salami as toppings. For any pizza lovers who prefer to skip the meat, the ingredients in our extra cheesy spinach artichoke pizza recipe like artichoke hearts and blue cheese will also elevate your homemade puff pastry pizza.