Like so many of you, my family has been hunkered down for the past several months due to Coronavirus. While so many things in our lives have been turned upside down and backwards through distance learning, sports and activities being cancelled, and just living in the world of COVID-19, one thing that has remained an absolute constant and the anchor for grounding us each week is our Family Pizza Night!
A Weekly Ritual: Family Pizza Night
We started the tradition of making pizza every week a few years ago right after my twins were born, and now it’s just part of our weekly routine. Like clockwork, I start my two batches of pizza dough every Friday at 3 pm, and have done it so many times, it has become a sort of meditation routine for me.
We recently started doing personal pizzas, and it was such a hit! I heard my girls say, “This is the best pizza ever!” and “It’s so much more fun to make your own pizza!” and “I want to make mine look like a Nintendo Switch!” As you can see, it has been thrilling for me to watch them create their own dinner and feel empowered to try new things.
Since this has brought so much joy to me, I thought I’d share a few tips that help our Family Pizza Night go smoothly and leave us all with full bellies and smiling faces.
1. Setting Up Your Pizza Night
- Portion your pizza dough into eight balls.
- Put the toppings in the middle of the table so they’re easily accessible.
- Place pieces of parchment paper at each chair with a ball of dough on top so everyone has their own work station, then let the kids shape the pizza however they want! My husband and I like a thinner crust while our kids like thicker crusts, so this do-it-your-own-way method makes everyone happy.
I like this setup, because then you’re all sitting down and talking while making the pizzas. The interaction is half the fun!
HOT TIP: Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. This way the dough flattens easily without making a giant mess on the table!
2. Pizza on the Grill!
Grilling is by far the quickest and easiest way to cook individual pizzas.
While I help get everyone’s dough rolled out, my husband fires up the grill. I follow Simply Recipes’ How To Grill Pizza guide:
- Grill the dough briefly on one side first.
- Then flip it so the grilled side is on top, and add the toppings.
- Finish grilling.
3. The Pizza Toppings
Pizza is a great way to clear out the fridge and to also get kids to try new pizza toppings. I like to set out all the toppings in little ramekins on a tray to keep them anchored to a certain spot on the table. This not only keeps the toppings separated, but it makes it easier for the kids to reach and pass around. I put the cheese and sauce in regular bowls since we tend to use more of those ingredients.
Here are some toppings we commonly use:
- Marinara sauce (homemade, or I use Rao’s)
- BBQ sauce
- Alfredo sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Red onions
The more available toppings, the better! Let your kids mix and match, because you never know what they’ll end up trying and loving.
My 13-year-old daughter discovered she loves feta on pizza, and my seven-year-old decided to mix BBQ sauce with marinara. It seemed weird, but she was so proud and loved it.
Somehow, food just tastes a thousand percent better when on a pizza.
4. Have Fun!
This isn’t a competition of who has the prettiest pizza (although my 13-year-old would beg to differ). In the words of my husband, “It may not look the prettiest, but it sure is going to taste amazing.” So true!
We love our Family Pizza Nights and hope you will, too!
Check out my other fun Summer at Home idea: Throw a Backyard S'mores Party!
Need Some Pizza Inspiration?
- Grilled Pizza with Red Peppers, Broccoli, and Onions
- Spicy Sausage Pizza
- BBQ Chicken Sheet Pan Pizza
- Spinach & Artichoke Sheet Pan Pizza
- Sheet Pan Pizza with Roasted Cauliflower and Greens
Or peruse all our pizza recipes right here!