This homemade bolognese pizza is one you're going to want to share with all of your friends and family. Made using leftover bolognese sauce, homemade pizza dough, and mozzarella cheese, it truly is one of the most delicious and satisfying pizzas I've ever had.
Homemade pizza is a weekend staple at my house. My fiancé and I love being able to customize our pizzas to suit our taste or try some fancy combinations you might not find at your local pizza shop (hello, goat cheese and roasted kale).
But most of all, making pizza at home is a great way to use up leftovers from the week before. In fact, my attempt to use up leftovers is what inspired this bolognese pizza recipe.
Last week, I made a huge batch of my Creamy Bolognese Sauce and ended up with way more leftovers than I knew what to do with. I froze most of it, but I also wanted to get creative and try something new. And pizza seemed like the perfect fit!
This homemade bolognese pizza recipe is deliciously rich and filling. As it bakes, the oils from the bolognese sauce rise to the top of the pizza, leaving you with super flavorful slices of melty, cheesy, meaty goodness. It pairs perfectly with friends, a glass of wine, and maybe a refreshing side salad.
So, if you have leftover bolognese sauce that you have no idea what to do with, look no further than this bolognese pizza recipe.
>> Looking for a vegetarian pizza recipe? Give my Creamy Garlic Parmesan Pizza recipe a try.
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Why This Recipe Works
- Uses Leftovers- If you've ever made bolognese sauce, you know most recipes make quite a bit. So, unless you have a large family, you'll likely end up with some leftovers. This bolognese pizza is one fun way you can jazz up your leftover bolognese game.
- Simple, Yet Flavorful- Bolognese sauce is one of the most rich and flavorful sauces you can make so, adding it to a pizza makes for one of the most flavorful pizzas I've ever had. Plus, since we're using leftovers, you'll have this pizza on the table in under 30 minutes.
- Customizable- While the bolognese acts as the base sauce for this pizza, you can make it your own by adding on additional toppings. Want more cheese? Try some creamy ricotta or goat cheese. Love vegetables? Mushrooms and spinach would be delicious! Customize until your heart is content.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Bolognese Sauce- For this recipe, I used my leftover Creamy Bolognese Sauce. You can try my recipe or use your favorite bolognese sauce recipe. It is used in place of the traditional pizza sauce.
- Pizza Dough- I love making my own pizza dough. There is something very satisfying about seeing the dough rise and bubble in the oven knowing I made it. You can try my 72-Hour Pizza Dough or my Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough, use your favorite pizza dough recipe, or purchase a fresh pizza dough ball at the grocery store.
- Low-Moisture Mozzarella Cheese- If I could recommend one thing and one thing only in regards to homemade pizza, it would be to shred your own mozzarella cheese. It does take a little more work; however, it is so worth it. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in anti-caking agents that prevent it from melting properly.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this bolognese pizza.
Step 1: Prepare the oven. Start by placing your pizza stone on a rack inside the lower third of your oven while the oven is still cold. Preheat the oven to 550°F. Once the oven has reached temperature, allow the pizza stone to preheat for another 30 minutes or so.
Step 2: Stretch the dough. Remove your pizza dough from the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes before stretching to allow it to come to room temperature. This will help the gluten relax and make the dough easier to stretch. Stretch your pizza dough to the desired size and place it on a lightly floured pizza peel.
Step 3: Assemble the pizza. Once your dough is stretched and on the peel, spread the bolognese sauce evenly over the surface of the dough. Make sure to leave a little area around the edge to be your crust. Then, sprinkle your mozzarella cheese over the bolognese sauce.
Step 4: Bake the pizza. Carefully slide your pizza off of the peel and onto the pizza stone in the oven. Try to do this quickly to allow as little heat to escape as possible. Bake the pizza for approximately 8-10 minutes or until all of the cheese is bubbling and beginning to turn golden brown.
Step 5: Remove the pizza. Using oven mitts, lift the pizza stone out of the oven and slide the pizza off onto a cooling rack. Place the pizza stone back in the oven and allow it to cool. Letting it cool outside of the oven may cause it to crack due to the temperature change.
Tips and Tricks
- Preheat your pizza stone. Just like you preheat your oven, you also want to preheat your pizza stone. Once your oven has reached 550°F, allow at least an additional 30 minutes for the pizza stone to fully heat up.
- Keep the oven closed. The longer the oven is open, the more precious heat you lose. We want to keep the oven as hot as possible to ensure a crispy crust and a well-cooked pizza. So, work quickly and only open the oven when it is absolutely necessary.
- Flour and shake. To prevent your pizza dough from sticking to your pizza peel, lightly flour the surface of the peel. Then, add your toppings as quickly as possible. The longer the dough sits on the peel, the more likely it is to stick. When the pizza is ready for the oven, shake the peel side-to-side to unstick the dough. Then, use a back and forth motion to slide the pizza off the peel and onto the pizza stone in the oven.
Here are a few ideas for how you customize this homemade bolognese pizza.
- Red Pepper Flakes- Like things a little spicy? Add some red pepper flakes after the pizza has finished cooking to give it a nice touch of heat.
- Creamy Cheeses- Fresh mozzarella, ricotta, or goat cheese would all complement the bolognese sauce quite nicely. You can used them in place of or in addition to the shredded low-moisture mozzarella called for in the recipe.
- Fresh Herbs- When I think of pizza, basil and oregano are two herbs that come to mind. Both would be fantastic chopped up and sprinkled on top of the finished pizza.
- Sautéed Vegetables- Spinach, kale, mushrooms, or peppers would be delicious on this bolognese pizza. Just make sure to sauté them prior to using them as a topping to help get rid of some of their moisture. No one likes a soggy pizza!
Here are a few ideas of how you can serve your bolognese pizza.
- Green Salad- A leafy green salad perfectly complements a rich, meaty dish like this bolognese pizza. Try a simple garden salad, a spinach salad, or an arugula salad with a tart vinaigrette dressing.
- Roasted Vegetables- During the cooler months, roasted vegetables would pair well with this pizza. Try roasted brussels sprouts drizzled with a honey-garlic glaze.
- Vegetable Soup- Another cool-weather classic is soup. A brothy vegetable soup, such as minestrone, would be delicious with this pizza.
Storage and Reheating
Refrigerator: Wrap leftover slices tightly in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Freezer: If you need a longer storage time, freezing is an option. Double wrap your individual slices - first in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil - and freeze for up to 2 months.
How to Reheat
From Refrigerator: My favorite way to reheat pizza is by baking it in the oven. Line a baking sheet with foil and preheat in the oven at 375ºF. Once the baking sheet is hot, add your leftover pizza slices and bake for 10-15 minutes, watching the crust to ensure it does not burn (wrap the crust in aluminum foil if it's getting too dark). You can also try microwaving or air frying your leftover pizza.
From Freezer: The best way to reheat frozen pizza is to thaw it first in the refrigerator. Once thawed, you can follow the same reheating instructions mentioned above.
If you forgot to thaw your pizza, you can try baking it directly from the freezer at 325ºF for 30 minutes. I personally have not tried this so I can't say for sure how well it works.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bolognese sauce is a thick, slow-cooked, meat-based tomato sauce that is most often served over tagliatelle pasta. It is made using ground or minced meat, soffritto, milk, white wine, and tomatoes. My Classic Creamy Bolognese Sauce is my favorite way to make it.
If you don't have a pizza stone, I highly recommend investing in one if you make homemade pizza with any sort of regularity. A pizza stone allows you to make as close to restaurant-quality pizza as you can get right at home. In the meantime, you can cook your pizza on a baking sheet, on the grill, or in a cast-iron skillet.
Yes, you can use meat sauce in place of the bolognese sauce in this recipe. Just keep in mind, meat sauce is thinner than bolognese sauce and so you will need less to cover your pizza dough. Your finished pizza will also be less rich in flavor if you go with meat sauce instead of bolognese sauce.
- Place your pizza stone on a rack inside the lower third of the oven while the oven is still cold. Preheat the oven to 550°F. Once the oven has reached temperature, allow the pizza stone to preheat for an additional 30 minutes or so.
- Remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator approximately 30-60 minutes before stretching to allow it to come to room temperature. Stretch the pizza dough to the desired size and place it on a lightly floured pizza peel.1 whole 72-Hour Pizza Dough Ball, All-purpose flour
- Once the dough is stretched and on the peel, spread the bolognese sauce evenly over the surface of the dough. Then, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the bolognese sauce.1 cup Creamy Bolognese Sauce, 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
- Carefully slide the pizza off of the peel and onto the pizza stone in the oven. Try to do this quickly to allow as little heat to escape as possible. Bake the pizza for approximately 8-10 minutes or until all of the cheese is bubbling and beginning to turn golden brown.
- Using oven mitts, lift the pizza stone out of the oven and slide the pizza off onto a cooling rack. Allow the pizza to rest for about 10 minutes prior to slicing.
- Use a back and forth motion to slide the pizza off the peel and onto the pizza stone in the oven.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Did you try this recipe?
Let me know! Comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @enwnutrition.