Stuffed crust pizza is really easy to make at home using a little extra cheese and my pizza crust recipe. Skip the pizza delivery tonight because homemade tastes even better!
And for this month’s savory recipe: we’re going ALL IN. And by that I mean cheese ALL INSIDE pizza crust.
We’ve made pizza pull apart rolls, but today I’m showing you how to make real deal stuffed crust pizza, a recipe that will test every ounce of your self control. We’re using my trusty homemade pizza dough and some basic pizza toppings, but feel free to go hog wild. Hawaiian pizza or BBQ chicken pizza would be A+ with this stuffed pizza crust!
Are you a pizza crust person? Pizza would be nothing without its crust foundation and today’s recipe is for crust people. But if you’re not really a crust person, you’ve gotta be a cheese person. Don’t fret because today’s recipe is for cheese people too.
What a weird sentence…?
Let’s get started.
How to Make Stuffed Crust Pizza
Start with pizza dough. Now you can definitely use store-bought here, but I urge you to give homemade pizza crust a try. I have both a regular pizza dough recipe and a whole wheat pizza dough recipe. You can use either for this stuffed crust pizza. This dough is super stretchy and soft, which is exactly the kind you need for assembling a stuffed pizza crust.
Shortcut alert! Use string cheese. I know it sounds weird, but I swear by this little hack. The perfect shape, width, and texture for creating those melty cheese pockets inside the pizza crust. If string cheese isn’t your thing, create narrow piles of shredded mozzarella or cut fresh mozzarella into thin pieces to line around the edges.
But again, string cheese is the easiest. You’ll need 7 of them.
My #1 Tip for Stuffed Crust Pizza
Here’s the part that can make or break your stuffed crust pizza. Make sure you tuck it into the crust super tight—like I’m doing above. Fold the edges over the crust and firmly press down to seal shut. Any gaps won’t necessarily be a problem, but the cheese will melt out onto the pizza and not stay inside the crust. Just keep working with it to make sure the edges are folded over and snug shut.
The only things breaking open that cheesy crust are a pizza cutter and your big giant bite! And yes, it really is this easy to create stuffed crust pizza at home.
Because of the string cheese, the pizza won’t really be perfectly round. Rather, more like a heptagon with 7 sides. I haven’t heard any complaints though. 😉Print
This is a simple recipe for homemade stuffed crust pizza on top of from-scratch homemade pizza dough. Feel free to use store-bought dough if needed. Yields one 12-inch pizza or you can make two pizzas from the whole dough recipe. If doing so, double the string cheese and the topping ingredients.
- 1/2 recipe homemade pizza dough (or 1 lb. store-bought pizza dough)
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) olive oil, divided
- 1 Tablespoon (8g) cornmeal
- 7 string cheeses, unwrapped*
- 1/2 cup (127g) homemade or store-bought pizza sauce
- 1 and 1/2 cups (6oz or 168g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- big handful pepperoni (or any other toppings you like)
- optional: sprinkle of dried herbs such as basil, oregano, or an Italian seasoning blend
- Dough: Prepare pizza dough through step 3. If using store-bought frozen pizza dough, make sure it’s thawed.
- Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C). Allow it to heat for at least 15–20 minutes as you shape the pizza in the next step. If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well. Lightly grease a large baking sheet or pizza pan with 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal, which gives the crust extra crunch and flavor.
- Shape the dough: When the homemade dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half and freeze half the dough for another time—see freezing instructions in the pizza dough recipe. On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc. Place on prepared pan (if using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on a baker’s peel dusted with cornmeal) and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 12-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick. If the dough keeps shrinking back as you try to stretch it, stop what you’re doing, cover it lightly and let it rest for 5–10 minutes, then try again. Once shaped into a 12-inch circle, lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim.
- Add cheese filling: Arrange the string cheese around the edges of the crust, leaving a 3/4-inch space. Fold the edges of the dough over the string cheese, pinching down to seal. Do your best to completely seal the string cheeses inside. Let the dough rest for a couple minutes if you’re having trouble sealing it completely.
- Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for a few minutes as you gather the pizza toppings.
- Top & bake the pizza: Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Brush remaining olive oil all over the dough. Top with pizza sauce, the mozzarella cheese, then the pepperoni. Sprinkle lightly with dried herbs, if desired.
- Bake for 14–16 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven.
- Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freezing and reheating instructions below.
- Freezing Instructions: See homemade pizza dough recipe for how to freeze the pizza dough. You can freeze the baked and cooled pizza or pizza slices. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place wrapped slices in a freezer container or bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Reheating Instructions: Reheat leftover cold pizza in the microwave or cover with aluminum foil and bake on a lined baking sheet/pizza pan in a 350°F (204°C) oven until warmed. (About 10 minutes for slices, 15–20 minutes for whole pizza.)
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Pizza Pan | Pastry Brush | Pizza Cutter
- Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Feel free to use my whole wheat pizza dough recipe instead. You only need half of the dough to make 1 pizza, so freeze the extra dough according to those directions or make 2 pizzas.
- String Cheese: String cheese is the perfect shape, width, and texture for creating those melty cheese pockets inside the pizza crust. Instead of string cheese, you can create narrow piles of shredded mozzarella or cut fresh mozzarella into thin pieces to line around the edges.
Keywords: stuffed crust pizza