This Easy Cheese Pizza Recipe is smothered in a homemade tomato sauce, and topped with four cheeses: brie, gruyere, asiago, and ricotta!
Ahhh. The cheese pizza. The classic comfort food that’s adored by all. It can be as humble as a store-bought dough topped with canned sauce and pre-shredded cheese to please the kids and can be as elegant as homemade dough slathered in a slowly simmered fresh tomato sauce, and topped with the fanciest cheeses you can find to satisfy the pickiest of critics.
Today’s cheese pizza is a little bit of both. The dough and sauce can be store-bought or homemade and the cheeses are a notch above pre-shredded mozzarella: creamy ricotta, earthy brie, nutty asiago, and gooey gruyere.
You can make this recipe as quick or as time intensive as you’d like. If you’re rushed for time, feel free to use store-bought dough and/or pre-made pizza sauce. If you have a few minutes to spare, make it all from scratch. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
I made my dough from scratch using my taco pizza recipe. Feel free to use your favorite pizza dough recipe, or just use store-bought.
I chose to make homemade, but again, feel free to use your favorite pizza sauce – homemade or store-bought!
- Butter – gives the sauce a creamy, well-rounded flavor.
- Yellow Onion – adds a bit of tangy sweetness to the sauce.
- Garlic – gives the sauce a nutty taste and rich flavor.
- Tomato Paste – is the base of the sauce and gives a concentrated tomato flavor.
- Dried Basil – adds an earthy flavor to the sauce. I prefer dried basil over fresh for texture and flavor!
- Italian Seasoning – gives the sauce that “pizza” flavor. Italian seasoning is typically a combination of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, sage, and coriander.
- Red Pepper Flakes – adds just a touch of heat. Feel free to omit if you don’t like spice.
- Salt – brings out the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Black Pepper – adds some spice and flavor.
- Crushed Tomatoes – brings texture and makes up the bulk of our sauce.
- Brown Sugar – cuts the acidity of the tomatoes and adds a much needed sweetness.
Cheeses and Toppings
While I think the below cheeses are the perfect blend, have fun! Be sure to use something creamy, something flavorful, something sharp, and something gooey.
- Ricotta Cheese – is mild in flavor but adds creaminess to the cheese blend.
- Brie Cheese – gives the pizza bit of a fun, tangy, earthy flavor.
- Asiago Cheese – adds a sharp and nutty flavor to the pizza.
- Gruyere Cheese – is so gooey and melty. Gruyere is ideal for rounding out the other flavors and textures of the other three cheeses.
- Fresh Basil (optional) – is a great way to garnish the pizza but also adds a fresh, leafy flavor to your pizza.
How to make cheese pizza
The best part about this recipe is that you can really make it as easy as you want! There are three parts to today’s recipe: the pizza dough, the pizza sauce, and the assembly!
Making your own pizza dough can be a fun date-night activity or something fun to do with your kids! However, if you’re short on time you can certainly use store-bought pizza dough instead.
As with the dough, feel free to make your own or use store bought!
- Cook onions in a medium saucepan under tender.
- Stir in garlic, spices, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and brown sugar.
- Press dough into a skillet and spread sauce over the dough.
- Sprinkle cheeses on top.
- Bake and enjoy!
Only four simple steps and you’ve got yourself the cheesiest, gooiest, most delicious homemade pizza EVER!
How to store
This cheese pizza is best eaten immediately. However, you can store it in an airtight container either in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to two months.
Reheat in the oven for best results!
This cheese pizza recipe is one of my all-time favorites to use for a quick and easy, gooey and delicious dinner!
Cheese Pizza Recipe
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 pound pizza dough
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped, small
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 - 1 tablespoon salt more or less to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup ricotta
- 1/4 small wheel Brie thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup gruyere grated
- 1/4 cup shredded asiago
- Fresh basil minced
- You can find the directions here. You'll only use half the dough.
- Melt butter in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat.
- Saute onion for 5 minutes.
- Add in garlic, tomato paste and spices.
- Cook for 60 seconds.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes and brown sugar.
- Simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and grease a 9 inch cast iron skillet.
- Press dough in pan. The dough should go up the sides by an inch.
- Spread 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of the dough.
- Dollop with ricotta and then sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the sauce/ricotta.
- Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, or until crust is cooked through and cheese is melted.
- Garnish with fresh basil, red pepper flakes, oregano, etc.
- Serve immediately!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.
This post was originally published November 2, 2015. It’s since been updated to provide more detailed content.