When you’re feeling nostalgic, School Pizza is the pizza you want! Absolutely reminiscent of the elementary school cafeteria, this classic and comforting take on pizza is easy to make at home.
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Even if you’re not nostalgic for your school days, you’re going to love this solid pizza recipe! Chewy crust, zesty pizza sauce, loads of melted mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, and meaty sausage make this a pizza that doesn’t just need to be saved for the cafeteria. And if you use a store-bought pizza crust you can have pizza ready in about half an hour.
Classic School Pizza Recipe
Did you love pizza lunch day at school? I definitely did! Those huge sheet pans full of melty, cheesy pizza were a highlight of my academic week. So when I have a burst of nostalgia for my elementary school days I recreate school pizza at home!
So what makes school pizza, well, school pizza? For one thing, it’s cooked in a rectangular shape rather than the circles you’ll find at most pizzerias. This means that the pieces will be cut into rectangles or squares rather than pie slices. For another, the toppings and cheese are spread all the way to the edge of the crust (meaning there’s no end crust piece to hold onto like in a more traditional pizza).
In fact, that’s really the main factor that makes a pizza school pizza. When you assemble your pizza, to make it as authentic as the cafeteria version, fill the crust space fully with the sauce and toppings. I like to add sausage to my homemade school pizza, but you could easily make it just with cheese or go wild and throw on as many toppings as you like.
This is such a great recipe to make for a crowd—like when your kids invite all their friends over at the last minute or you need to make a huge amount of pizza for a birthday party. Or make it for a quick weeknight dinner and save slices for lunches later on (leftovers freeze well). Just add a fresh salad for a complete meal.
Ingredients for School Pizza
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Olive oil – I use extra-virgin olive oil.
- Cornmeal – To dust the baking sheet.
- Pizza dough – You can use store-bought pizza dough for ease of prep or make your own.
- Italian sausage – I use mild ground Italian sausage.
- Italian seasoning – If you don’t have Italian seasoning you can do a blend of dried basil and oregano.
- Pizza sauce – Choose your favorite jar of pizza sauce.
- Shredded mozzarella
You can use this base recipe as a jumping-off point for all sorts of pizza flavors. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Hawaiian pizza – Leave off the sausage and add ham and pineapple.
- Add veggies – Add all the vegetables you like—mushrooms, peppers, olives, spinach, and more.
- Make it vegetarian – Skip the sausage and keep this a vegetarian cheese pizza.
- Use homemade sauce – You can use your own homemade sauce on this pizza in place of the store-bought sauce!
- Use turkey sausage – To lighten things up a little, use turkey sausage in place of the regular sausage.
How to Make School Pizza
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 400℉. Drizzle a half sheet pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, then brush with the pastry brush to coat evenly. Sprinkle it with the cornmeal.
- Shape the dough: Stretch the pizza dough into a rectangle onto the bottom of the sheet pan. If the dough starts to resist being stretched, let it rest for about 5 minutes to let it relax a bit before continuing.
- Cook the sausage: Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated through and begins to shimmer, add the ground sausage and Italian seasoning. Sauté until cooked through and no longer pink, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain any excess oil from the pan.
- Bake the pizza crust: Bake the pizza crust for 7 to 8 minutes, until it no longer looks wet and begins to take on a little color. Remove it from the oven.
- Finish: Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the crust, reaching all the way to the edges. Sprinkle with the cooked sausage, followed by the shredded mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is completely melted and begins to turn a golden brown color. Remove from the oven and slice into 8 rectangles to serve.
For a change in the basic pizza dough crust, you can purchase whole wheat pizza dough to add extra nutrition and flavor to your pizza.
How to Store School Pizza
Store leftover school pizza wrapped in foil in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven on low heat until the cheese is melted and the crust is slightly crisp. Leftover pizza also freezes well; wrap individual slices of pizza in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can heat unwrapped, frozen slices in the oven, but note that they will take slightly longer to reheat.
Pizza is a filling meal but it needs some vegetables to go with it! Salad is always a good choice as a side to pizza. Some of my favorites include my Broccoli Salad, Summer Salad, Cucumber Tomato Salad, or Watermelon and Feta Salad for a refreshing accompaniment to school pizza.
School pizza is your familiar pizza, which consists of pizza dough, sauce, cheese, and other toppings.
Cook a frozen school pizza on 400°F for 17-20 minutes, until hot.
Either method works well to cook pizza, but if you use the air fryer your pizza will cook more quickly than when you use a regular oven. Try my Air Fryer Pizza
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 pound prepared pizza dough
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage, mild
- 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 13-ounce jar pizza sauce
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella
- Preheat an oven to 400℉. Drizzle a half sheet pan with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, then brush with the pastry brush to coat evenly. Sprinkle it with the cornmeal.4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, 3 tablespoons cornmeal
- Stretch the pizza dough into a rectangle into the bottom of the sheet pan. If the dough starts to resist being stretched, let it rest for about 5 minutes to let it relax a bit before continuing.1 pound prepared pizza dough
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is heated through and begins to shimmer, add the ground sausage and Italian seasoning. Sauté until cooked through and no longer pink, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain any excess oil from the pan.1 pound ground Italian sausage, mild, 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- Bake the pizza crust for 7 to 8 minutes until it no longer looks wet and begins to take on a little color. Remove from the oven.
- Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the crust, reaching all the way to the edges. Sprinkle with the cooked sausage, followed by the shredded mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is completely melted and begins to turn a golden brown color. Remove from the oven and slice into 8 rectangles to serve.1 13-ounce jar pizza sauce, 4 cups shredded mozzarella