When it comes to family dinners, sometimes they can get repetitive and even a little mundane.
There are times when I feel like I’ve made grilled chicken, potatoes and a vegetable just one too many times.
I love any type of do-it-yourself type of meal that allows our kids/friends to be part of the cooking process. It just adds some merriment to the night. We love to make sushi, have pad thai parties and crab boils just to name a few. (Click on any of those to the left to see how we do them!)
Enter pizza night.
Pssssst….Moms, this is also a great way to get your kids to try some new vegetables! Kids love bright colors and sometimes will add veggies to their pizza and then realize they like them!
To start, decide whether or not you’re going to make your dough homemade or not. I have a bread machine recipe for Garlic Pizza Dough that is pretty good and easy if you happen to have a bread maker. CLICK HERE to print it out.
Otherwise, you can buy the pre-made crusts at the market like we did tonight. When my kids were little, we bought English muffins and used those. Those are great for a small children’s party and pretty inexpensive.
Tonight we used the pre-made 7-inch crusts.
Next you’ll need to decide on sauces.
And you’ll need to think about some toppings.
Toppings we love include pulled chicken (grill a few chicken breasts or purchase a store-bought rotisserie chicken), sliced mushrooms, sliced red onions, chopped poblano peppers, sliced red peppers, and a variety of cheeses. and my favorite thing – slice up a few garlic cloves thinly and tuck them on top of a pizza. They roast and become yummy and sweet as the pizza bakes.
The cheeses we used tonight were fresh mozzarella, feta and a jack blend. You can really go crazy with cheeses and experiment with Asiago, pecorino, Gruyère, Manchego and other fabulous options.
Other gourmet fruit and veggie toppings to try – figs, grapes (roasted grapes are fabulous on pizza!), leeks, sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, broccoli, shaved Brussel sprouts or zucchini. You are only limited by your imagination!
Most of our family likes chicken, but meats could include crumbled or sliced sweet Italian sausage, bacon crumbles, prosciutto or the ever popular pepperoni.
You could even theme your pizza nights. One week you could do Mexican…offer ground cooked chorizo sausage, black beans, cooked corn, chopped jalapenos or poblanos and onions. Serve it with salsa and chopped lettuce and tomato after it comes out of the oven.
Play with a Thai night and offer grilled shrimp, red or green curry sauce, sliced onions and peppers and napa cabbage.
You can really switch it up and get some new flavors on your kids’ (or hubby’s) palate.
Want a new breakfast idea? Make pizza with scrambled eggs, fresh veggies and your favorite breakfast meat. Top it with cheese and bake it up! Or be more creative and add pesto, meat, veggies and crack some eggs around the top and let them bake until the yolks are soft.
Tonight we enjoyed our pizzas.
The kids, even the grown ones had fun. Make sure you brush the crust with a mixture of olive oil and a sprinkle of garlic powder mixed together.
We all made them the same, heaped with pesto, chicken, veggies and cheese.
Except the picky boy, who had BBQ sauce, chicken and cheese on his.
Try a pizza night soon with your family! It’s so fun!
Do you have special nights that you do a “group cooking” project with your family? I’d love to hear about it! Tell me in the comments below!