Do you know what’s the biggest day for the pizza business? If you said Super Bowl Sunday, you’re wrong. Although Super Bowl Sunday is a boon for the pizza industry, the biggest sales night might surprise you: Thanksgiving Eve. Pizza sales surge the night before Thanksgiving, since the families are busy making preparations for the big Thanksgiving feast the next day. This is particularly true for people who are getting up at 6 am to start cooking the turkey, roasting the potatoes and baking the pies. It’s just too much work to bother with cooking the night before. Or is it? Making homemade pizza is fast, fun and inexpensive. What’s even better is that the pizza-before-Thanksgiving could become a new Thanksgiving Eve tradition.
Thanksgiving Eve Pizza is something that everyone can chip in on. The kids can pick the toppings and place them on the pizza, and you can send the people who aren’t cooking Thanksgiving Day dinner to the store to grab the ingredients they want, giving you a nice break!
What You Need
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1-1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
3 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 medium green pepper, diced
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded
Directions: First make the crust. In large bowl, dissolve the yeast and the sugar in water; then let it stand for 5 minutes. Add the oil and salt. Stir in flour, one cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic. This takes about 2-3 minutes of kneading. Next, place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
While the dough rises, cook beef and onion over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. After the dough has expanded, punch down the dough, and then divide it in half. Press each into a greased 12-in. pizza pan. Combine the tomato sauce, oregano and basil and spread over each crust. Top with beef mixture, green pepper and cheese.
Bake the pizza at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. This recipe makes two pizzas, enough to feed the whole family.
Tips: If you are not up for making the crust, then there are good alternatives on the market. The Whole Foods Fresh Pack Pizza Dough is good for those who like a softer crust. It also lacks salt, so pairs well with the typically salty pizza toppings. Trader Joe’s Traditional is a combination of chewy and crunchy, so pizza texture lovers would prefer this option. Boboli pizza crusts are pre-made and good when you want the simplest possible option. Although Pillsbury makes a dough you can roll out, I would not recommend their crust because it tastes more like a biscuit
Alternative Toppings: Since not everyone eats meat and Thanksgiving is a very heavy food day, consider making a veggie version of this pizza. Just substitute your favorite toppings, like tomatoes, garlic, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and peppers.