This Old School Cafeteria Pizza recipe captures the essence of all that was good in the school cafeterias of our youth. (Cafeteria ladies not included.)
If you don’t know what I mean by Old School Pizza, you’re going to love it. As long as you like pizza, that’s enough. It’s a delicious and unique treat to your taste buds. However, if you know what I’ve been talking about, and you love and miss the old school rectangle pizza, I’ve got you covered with this wonderful recipe.
To keep track of your weight loss diet, the recipe has about 282kcal per slice, with 24g of carbohydrates, 15g of fat, 13g of protein, 514mg of sodium and 298IU of vitamin A.
Apart from all the usual pots, pans, bowls and spoons that always end up in the dishwasher after most cooking/baking experiences, there are a few more things you’ll need when you’re trying to recreate the Old School Cafeteria Pizza, like:
- Half sheet pan
- Parchment paper (which will be used to line the half sheet pan.)
- An oven
- A whisk and maybe
- Oven mitts
The recipe for the Old School Pizza is divided into three parts; one for the delectable pourable crust, one for the delicious filling, and the last one for the amazingly fantastic sauce. The treat you’re about to make wouldn’t be the Old School Cafeteria Pizza we all know and love – okay, maybe not all of us – without any one of those three. So, we’ll be laying down everything you need for all three:
For the pourable crust, which is one of the most important parts of this recipe because it gives the Old School Pizza its distinctive texture and mouth-feel, what you need is:
- 2 ⅔ flour
- ¾ cup powdered milk
- 2 T sugar
- 1 packet of quick rise yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ⅔ cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
- 2 T vegetable oil
The Old School Pizza filling is just as important as the crust, to give this treat the flavorful and delectable taste it deserves. You’ll need:
- ½ pound ground chuck
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 8oz block mozzarella cheese – grated yourself (To be authentic school pizza, you will have to use imitation mozzarella shreds.)
Sauce (I make sauce the day before):
Now, this is really important. Some people would prefer something meat based, but as this is a recreation of the Old School Cafeteria Pizza, we’re leaving the meat out and doubling down on the tomato paste and spices. Therefore, you’ll need:
- 6oz can tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ tbsp dried oregano
- ½ tbsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried rosemary crushed
The first thing we like to recommend before we begin creating anything out of our recipes is a clear and uncluttered cooking area. We think it’s best to start out that way, even though it’s highly unlikely that that’s how it’s all going to end – and maybe because of that fact – so, clear away the clutter and clean up that kitchen counter. When everything is neat and tidy, bring out all the ingredients and arrange them neatly, in clean bowls. Do NOT mix the ingredients together until we ask you to!
Are you ready?
Take in a deep breath and let’s begin.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees (We’re preheating the oven to regulate the heat inside it so that when we slide in our baking pan the heat inside it will be evened out and all parts of the crust will get done at the same time, both on the inside and on the outside.)
- Spray pan with Pam and lay Parchment paper down (Pam makes it stick)
- In a large bowl – flour, powdered milk, sugar, yeast, salt – whisk to blend
- Add oil to hot water (110-115 degrees) – pour into your mixture
- Stir with a wooden spoon until batter forms – don’t worry about lumps – you just want no dry spots
- Spread dough into pan using fingertips until it’s even. If dough doesn’t want to cooperate, let rest 5 minutes and try again
- Bake just the crust for 8-10 minutes – remove from oven and set aside.
- Brown meats until it resembles crumbles – set aside and drain (browning meats is simple. All you have to do is to put the meat inside a skillet – after you’ve washed it first – and put it over a stove set at medium heat. Stir repeatedly until the meats start to lose their pinkish color and become brown. At this point, there’ll be some grease in the pan, and that’s what you’ll drain away.)
- Get out the pizza sauce
(The sauce has already been prepared; usually, I do that the previous day. But if you’re looking to make yours from scratch – which you probably should – it’s pretty easy. All you have to do is to assemble all those ingredients; the 6oz can tomato paste, 1 cup water, ⅓ olive oil, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, ½ tbsp dried oregano, ½ tbsp dried basil, ½ tsp dried rosemary crushed. Put them in a sauce pan set over low to medium heat and let it simmer. Stir repeatedly to avoid clomping and to mix all the ingredients well. Add salt to taste, as well as the other ingredients and do this for about twenty to thirty minutes until a thick tomato sauce is formed. Some people may want it to simmer for longer than that, like stew. As long as there’s enough water in it and you continue stirring at intervals, this should be fine too.)
- To partially baked crust, assemble: Sauce – spread all over crust – sprinkle meats, sprinkle cheese.
- Bake at 475 degrees for 8-10 minutes until cheese melts and begins to brown
- Remove from oven – let stand 5 minutes
- Cut in slices and serve!