A Game Day Pizza Party

Half of the fun (if not all of it!) of watching football is the food, right? All those salty finger foods, cheesy things everywhere, and carbs up the wazoo. Nothing says fall like football Sunday comfort foods!

The best part is that, with the help of Simple Mills, your favorite football grub doesn't have to be unhealthy. Take this pizza, for example. You already know that Simple Mills uses only the best quality real food ingredients, so that's no surprise. But did you also know that the pizza crusts can be par-baked in advance and used as the base for a Build Your Own Pizza Bar that will make any football party one to remember?

It's not only easy to set up, but it also means that you get to watch the game for a change, rather than running around making sure everyone is well fed! Most of the work can be done in advance, too. Here's what you need:
  • Crusts: Simple Mills pizza mix, dough prepared according to the package instructions and divided into four small crusts. Prebake 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

  • Sauces: Red sauce, pesto, white sauce, BBQ sauce

  • Veggies: Spinach, Mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, roasted or fresh red pepper slices, onions

  • Meat: Pepperoni, sausage, shredded chicken or pulled pork, and even anchovies if you're feeling adventurous!

  • Herbs and spices (Optional): The Simple Mills pizza crust is already seasoned to perfection, but if you like bold flavors, you may want to add some more herbs and spices. Use dried herbs like oregano flakes, garlic powder, chili powder and red pepper flakes on top of the sauce, and fresh chopped herbs like basil and flat leaf parsley on the finished pies.

  • Cheese: Mozzarella is a classic, but you can also try a mix of mild and more pungent cheeses like swiss, asiago, feta or gouda. Don’t forget parmesan to sprinkle on the finished pizza! For a dairy-free alternative, try cashew cheese (soaked cashews pureed with some of the soaking liquid until smooth and spreadable; seasoned with salt, pepper, herbs and spices to taste if desired) or a commercially-available brand like Daiya (their shredded vegan cheese melts well).
Once your ingredients are laid out, these mini pizzas are so easy to prepare! You can even have your dining companions prepare their own. Here is what you need to do:
Prepare one box of Simple Mills pizza crust mix according to the directions on the package, but divide the dough into 3-4 crusts instead of only two. Pre-bake them for 5 minutes so that they are sturdy enough to pick up. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool. You can do this in advance, if it's easier, but if you're not going to assemble the pies for more than an hour from the baking time, it is best to store them in an airtight container or zip top bag until you're ready to top them.

Once the crusts are cooled to room temperature, preheat the oven to 350F. Assemble each pizza by spreading the sauce, then the veggies, meat, herbs and spices, then the cheese (if you're using it).

Place each prepared pizza directly on to the oven racks (though, if you have a pizza that is heavy on the cheese, you should place it on a cookie sheet or pizza pan to avoid melted cheese drilling on to the bottom of the oven) and bake for 5-10 more minutes until the cheese is completely melted, then set the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Serve immediately, then go back for seconds!