If you want to be able to throw together the absolute best homemade pizza, I’m going to show you how to do it with a single shopping trip to Trader Joe’s!
This recipe is in no way sponsored by Trader Joe’s, although that would be lovely. This is my own go-to recipe for homemade pizza that I personally love because Trader Joe’s ingredients are of incredible quality.
You might think that using store-bought pizza dough wouldn’t be as fulfilling as making your own pizza dough, but I’m here to prove you wrong. Trader Joe’s pizza dough is some of the best I’ve had!
By using a single Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough (for about $2) we’re going to make two delicious 10″ pizzas!
Why not follow the Trader Joe’s package instructions?
The Trader Joe’s pizza dough contains preparation instructions right on the package, and they certainly work, but they are far from ideal.
Here is what the package recommends:
“Leave dough at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove dough from package. Flour work surface liberally and roll your dough into a 12″ diameter circle.”
There are three main issues with this that I’m going to help you remedy:
- Trader Joe’s pizza dough is incredibly sticky. As the dough softens at room temperature, it only gets stickier within the plastic, making it very difficult to remove.
- 20 minutes is not long enough to allow the dough to become light and airy. As the dough sits at room temperature, the yeast becomes more active, so a longer time works much better.
- As a fan of thin-crust pizza, I find that making a single 12″ pizza from this Trader Joe’s pizza dough creates a pizza that is far too thick. Instead, we’re going to create two separate 10″ pizzas.
If you’re in a pinch, you can follow Trader Joe’s instructions, but if you want to make the same pizzas I did, keep reading along.
What are the best ingredients for a Trader Joe’s Pizza?
Quality pizza dough is the star, but the toppings you choose for your pizza matter, too!
For this pizza recipe, we’re going to use the Garlic & Herb Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough. It is infused with a ton of amazing flavor, so I love using this pizza dough.
Trader Joe’s also sells plain pizza dough, which will work just as well for this recipe. In fact, the two pizza doughs are virtually the same, but this version has extra flavor that I really enjoy.
Notice how the entire package is one pound, which is more than enough dough for 2 pizzas. If you’re worried about the pizza being too small when split into two, they come to almost the same exact size as my homemade Neapolitan Pizza!
When it comes to toppings, you have the freedom to get as creative as you’d like, but this is what I chose to go with:
Trader Joe’s Bolognese Sauce is my preferred pizza sauce. While Trader Joe’s sells regular pizza sauce, their bolognese is one of my favorite products of theirs. It’s a thick meat sauce with a ton of flavor, and it really takes your pizza to the next level.
Trader Joe’s Lite Mozzarella has been my go-to cheese for quite some time. It’s the only lower-calorie cheese I’ve found that actually melts really, really well. Whenever you use low-fat cheese, not only does the flavor suffer, but it doesn’t melt nearly as well- that’s not the case with this cheese! Plus, I can’t complain about the extra protein it provides, either.
Trader Joe’s Part Skim Ricotta is an excellent addition to the pizza. I add a few dollops of this ricotta right on top of my pizza, and I love the extra flavor it provides. This is obviously optional, and it can be left out if you prefer to keep calories lower, but it’s a great addition.
Trader Joe’s Italian Style Soffritto Seasoning is my favorite way to season this pizza. You can go with any seasoning you’d like, but this Italian-style seasoning is the perfect compliment to the Trader Joe’s pizza dough.
Hot Honey is relatively new to the market, with Mike’s Hot Honey paving the way. Trader Joe’s recently started selling their own Spicy Honey Sauce, and it has changed pizza forever for me.
I was skeptical about drizzling spicy honey on top of my pizza, but it’s incredible.
While the pizza is still hot, drizzle some Spicy Honey Sauce over the top, and you’ll quickly learn why the combination of hot honey and pizza is so popular.
How to make your own Trader Joe’s pizza
Ready to make your own pizza using Trader Joe’s pizza dough? Let’s get into it.
Step 1: Drizzle a little bit of olive oil into the bag of pizza dough.
Trader Joe’s pizza dough is very sticky, so drizzling just a little bit of extra virgin olive oil into the back will make removing it significantly easier.
Step 2: Add the pizza dough to an airtight container and cover.
Flip the pizza dough a few times in the container to make sure it is fully coated in the olive oil, then cover and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours.
If you don’t plan ahead and do not have 4 hours to spare, that’s totally okay- let the dough sit for one full hour.
The Trader Joe’s pizza dough instructions say to let it size for 20 minutes, but I don’t find that to be nearly long enough.
When you cover the pizza dough and let it sit at room temperature, the yeast will become very active, and the dough will double in size. See the below photo for the before & after…
Step 3: Split the dough into 2 equal-sized balls
I weigh my pizza dough, then split it in half to get 2 perfectly equal-sized portions. Once split, lightly knead each dough ball for about 30 seconds to smooth them out.
You don’t need to knead the dough balls very much- at this stage, we simply want to smooth them out. Use a bit of extra flour to help eliminate too much stinkiness.
Check out this very short video demonstration from my Sourdough Pizza Dough recipe:
Step 4: Wet a towel with warm water, then cover the pizza dough balls for 1 hour.
Washcloths work great, but you can also use paper towels as I have done before (see photo below).
While the dough sits for the final hour, it’s important to preheat your oven.
I use a pizza oven, and I highly recommend investing in one if you plan on having pizza nights often! I have the Ooni Koda 12, which hooks up to a propane tank outside to make things super easy. It’s 12″, so it’s on the smaller side, but it works perfectly for me considering I always make 10″ pizza.
It can reach 700-900 degrees F, which is far hotter than a standard oven, making it ideal for pizza and getting that beautiful char on the crust.
Ooni is definitely one of the better ovens out there, although there are other options as well, so I recommend checking that one out.
If you do not have a pizza oven and are using a regular oven, I can’t recommend a Pizza Steel enough. Pizza steels create a cooking surface for your pizza that gets insanely hot, allowing the pizza to cook very quickly. Without a pizza oven, using a steel is the next best thing.
I like to crank the oven as high as possible (typically 500 degrees F) with the pizza steel or pizza stone in the oven for a full hour, allowing it to get really hot before cooking the pizza. The hotter the surface, the better!
Step 5: Form your 10″ pizzas
There’s nothing I love more than an airy crust (it always feels like hitting the lottery when you get a nice big crust bubble) so we’re going to carefully form each pizza.
First and foremost, sprinkle some semolina flour or cornmeal on your surface and over each ball of dough.
Rather than using a rolling pin to roll the pizza out, start by pressing down in the center of the pizza dough, then working your way towards the outer crust. This method helps to keep all of the air inside of the outer crust, which is what we want.
After you do this, you’ll pick up the pizza by hooking your fingers under the outer crust. You’ll slowly turn the pizza like a wheel, allowing gravity to stretch the pizza into shape.
Once stretched out, you should have a pizza that is right around 10 inches.
I form my pizza on this Silicone Pizza Mat that measures the pizza for you, which makes things very easy!
Sprinkle some semolina flour or cornmeal on a pizza peel and add your pizza dough to it. If you add the pizza dough to the pizza peel on its own, it will not slide off, so it’s important to use one of these (semolina is my preferred choice).
Step 6: Top your pizza and bake
You can use any toppings you’d like, and you can certainly play around with the amounts.
However, it’s important to note that you don’t want to get too heavy-handed with the toppings- a little goes a long way. Since this is thin-crust pizza, loading up the pizza with tons of heavy toppings is not going to work in your favor.
While this may not seem like a ton of cheese, it actually melts down into a perfect amount:
Whether you are using a pizza oven or a conventional oven, this pizza should only take around 5 minutes to fully cook, but this will obviously depend on your specific oven and your preferences.
Make sure to keep an eye on the pizza as it cooks, and be sure to rotate the pizza if you find one side is cooking quicker than the other.
For the same results as I achieve with this Trader Joe’s pizza dough, I cannot recommend getting a pizza oven enough. I own the Ooni Koda 12, which is compact and hooks right up to a propane tank outside, and I love it.
You’ll achieve a delicious result in a standard oven, but a pizza oven is worth the investment. Because of my pizza oven, “Pizza Friday” has become a weekly staple in our household.
I like to top my pizza with some Trader Joe’s Spicy Honey Sauce once I remove the pizza from the oven, and it’s the perfect finishing touch. It may sound odd, but the combination is unreal.
If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, first of all, I sincerely apologize. Second of all, you can follow these same instructions using any store-bought pizza dough you can find!
More Trader Joe’s inspired recipes
It’s no secret that I absolutely love Trader Joe’s. In fact, I love it so much that I put together a full guide that includes the nutrition facts for over 600 Trader Joe’s products. It is absolutely worth checking out.
I also have some other recipes here on my blog that revolve around Trader Joe’s ingredients, so you can plan to make multiple recipes from your next shopping trip!
- The Easiest Parmesan Truffle Fries
- The BEST Way To Cook Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken
- How To Make The Perfect Crispy Hash Browns in the Air Fryer
And many more to come!
- 1 Package Trader Joe's Pizza Dough (I use the Garlic & Herb Pizza Dough)
- 1/2 Cup Trader Joe's Bolognese Sauce (Can use pizza sauce as well)
- 1 Cup Trader Joe's Shredded Lite Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Trader Joe's Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
- Trader Joe's Italian-Style Soffritto Seasoning
- Optional: Spicy Honey Sauce Drizzle
- Pour a small amount of olive oil into the bag of pizza dough (roughly 1 tablespoon, but I did not measure) to help make the pizza dough easier to remove.
- Add the Trader Joe's pizza dough to an airtight container and flip it over a few times to spread the olive oil around the entire dough ball.
- Cover and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours. Note that you don't need to let it sit for this long, but I highly recommend an hour at minimum (the 20 minutes recommended time on the package is not enough for me).
- Split the dough into 2 equal-sized dough balls, then knead each ball for about 30 seconds to smooth them out. Wet a towel with warm water and cover the dough balls for 1 more hour.
- While the dough sits for the final hour, preheat a pizza stone or pizza steel in the oven at its highest heat setting (usually 500 degrees F). For a breakdown of why I recommend a pizza stone, and what alternatives you can use, see the notes above this recipe card.
- After the hour, shape your pizzas. Press out towards the crust to keep air in the crust, then pick up the pizza dough with your fingers hooked under the crust, allowing the weight of gravity to stretch the dough. You should be able to form 10" pizzas from your dough.
- Sprinkle some semolina flour (or cornmeal) on a pizza peel and add your pizza dough to it.
- Top with sauce, cheese, and whatever other toppings you'd like, being careful not to add too many toppings as this is a thin pizza.
- Slide the pizza off the peel and onto your pizza stone, then bake to your liking. The pizza should only take about 5-6 minutes, but monitor the pizza and pull it from the oven when it is cooked the way you like it, as oven temperatures can vary quite a bit and affect the cooking time.
- Drizzle with some Trader Joe's Spicy Honey Sauce if you really want to take your pizza to the next level!
- The Trader Joe's Pizza Dough contains 560 calories if you form 2 pizzas from a single dough as I did in this recipe. Otherwise, the entire pizza will have over 1,100 calories in the crust alone.
- You don't have to let your pizza dough sit for 4 hours, but that amount of time works great for me. At a certain point, longer doesn't necessarily equal better, but you won't be causing any harm by letting the pizza rest and rise at room temperature. Aim for at least one hour.
- If you have pizza dough in your freezer, let it thaw in the fridge overnight the day before you plan on making your pizza, then follow this recipe exactly the same way.
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Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size Entire 10" Pizza (With All Toppings)
Amount Per Serving Calories 790Total Fat 21gCarbohydrates 113gProtein 40g