‘Ugly Tomato’ Grandma Pizza Recipe and Lefotover Homemade Pizza Pockets

Reader Contribution by Chuck Mallory
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During summer, we all use up what we can grab from the garden before Old Man Winter sets in. Here’s a way to use up garden veggies, especially those ugly and gnarly-shaped tomatoes, in the easiest homemade pizza you’ll ever make. No kidding. I’ve made this dozens of times, and have used tomatoes, onions, peppers, spaghetti squash, zucchini, butternut squash, garlic, herbs, and more–all from the garden.

The trick is to quickly saute the vegetables so they don’t get too soggy on the pizza. And this easy crust is so forgiving, even a new cook  practically can’t go wrong.

Prepare the Toppings

Whatever vegetables you want to put in, cut them up in bite-sized chunks and saute them in olive oil (just guess on the amount on oil). 

Get the items ready for the crust. Cooking instructions follow near the end of the photos.

E-Z Pizza Crust


  • 1 packet (3/4 oz.) of active dry yeast, not “rapid rise” or “instant” (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water, about 110 degrees F
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (bread flour is also okay)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for working the dough


1. Put yeast and sugar in a medium bowl. Add warm water. Stir, then let mixture set until creamy-looking or “foamy”, about 10 minutes or so.

2. Add flour, salt and olive oil, and mix until in a formable ball. Let rest another 5 minutes or so.

3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

4. Spray a large baking sheet (or pizza pan) with cooking oil spray, or coat it with a thin layer of olive oil. Then oil your hands and put dough on the baking sheet. Spread it out until about 1/2 inch thick. The dough can be thinner, but no need to spend a lot of time working it. It will spread somewhat easily.

5. Start putting on whatever toppings. Here I drizzled on a little olive oil, threw on the sauteed onions and tomatoes, then I sliced some mozzarella cheese and threw it on. I’ve made this many times without tomatoes, just olive oil and veggie toppings, and sometimes skip the cheese.

6. Once everything is on, bake pizza on middle rack for 15 to 20 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

I tossed on some arugula I had, for extra crunch and flavor. The entire homemade pizza I made in a half-hour, and the finished product is always delicious.

If you cut the pizza in squares, just fold over each leftover slice, press together, and wrap with clear wrap. You can keep in the fridge and microwave these for 45 seconds or so on high for an instant snack.

Chuck Mallory
is a North Carolina cook and vintage cookbook collector who strives to keep alive Grandma’s country cooking and foods of the Heartland by giving his recipes modern twists on old fattening favorites. When not in the kitchen, he is writing and exploring genealogy. Connect with Chuck on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and read all ofhis
Country Cooking series with GRIT here.

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