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hands pulling out a slice of stuffed crust pizza

Homemade Stuffed Crust Pizza

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: one 12-inch pizza
  • Category: Pizza
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


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


  1. Dough: Prepare pizza dough through step 3. If using store-bought frozen pizza dough, make sure it’s thawed.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Bake for 14–16 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven.
  8. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. Special Tools (affiliate links): Pizza Pan | Pastry Brush | Pizza Cutter
  4. 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.
  5. 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