We love to try new ways to make our favorite food, pizza. From pizza bagels to unusual toppings, we are always up for creative takes on pizza. So we tried making pizza with naan bread, and the verdict is that it’s a great way to make pizza.
You can use store-bought naan to make an easy weeknight dinner or make naan from scratch. If you are new to naan bread, read on to learn everything you’ll want to know about this style of bread and how to make pizza with naan.
What is Naan?
Naan is a flatbread from South and Central Asia. It is a leavened bread made from a few simple ingredients, making it a versatile flatbread.
It is sometimes referred to as an Indian flatbread because it’s most commonly associated with Indian food and many diners know it from Indian restaurants.
Naan has lots of variations and is sometimes thicker or thinner. Each region has its own style of making naan, and the ingredients can vary. But it’s usually some combination of flour, yeast, yogurt, milk, sugar, and salt.
Some recipes call for an egg or olive oil too. Naan was traditionally baked by slapping the bread dough onto the side of a hot dome-shaped clay oven called a tandoor. But modern home chefs usually make it in the humble cast iron skillet.
Differences Between Naan and Pita Bread
Naan and pita are both flatbreads and are often mistaken for one another. While they are similar, they have some key differences. Naan is a softer, fluffier bread due to the added dairy in the dough.
And pita is not as soft because it’s a simple dough of just flour, water, and yeast. Pita bread can be sliced open and filled but naan is one piece.
Naan is popular all over Central and South Asia, and pita is common in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Both breads are versatile and are often used as a scoop to hold rice and other goodies. We love to eat both with hummus.
Technically you can make pizza with naan and pita, but naan is softer and has a chewier texture, so for us it’s the better choice for pizza.
How to Make Homemade Pizza with Naan
Before you can make pizza with naan you need to make some naan. Making homemade naan is easier than you might think.
We have a simple recipe for naan that you can make ahead of time and then use for a pizza crust. All you need is a cast-iron skillet and a few basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
- 2 ½ cups flour
- ½ cup warm water
- ⅓ cup of plain yogurt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 egg
Combine the water, yeast, and sugar to proof; when it’s bubbly or foaming it’s ready. Next, add the oil, egg, and yogurt, and whisk together.
In a separate bowl, combine ½ cup of flour and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the flour. Gradually add more flour and keep mixing. Knead the dough for a few minutes. Then cover and let rest for one hour.
Pour dough out on a lightly floured surface. Divide into eight balls.
Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium heat. You don’t need to roll the dough out. You can kind of press it in the pan, similar to focaccia or Detroit-style pizza. Cook one side for around one minute, then flip and cook the other side.
You might need to adjust the heat because the pan could be too hot by the fifth naan, so adjust the heat and cooking time as needed.
Since we are making naan for pizza, we let it cool and then assemble our pizzas. If you won’t use all the naan right away, you can save it in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze it for a month to make pizza with naan bread when a craving hits you.
If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet or don’t feel like using the stove to make naan, you can also make it on the grill. It’s the same process as grilling pizzas.
Making naan on the grill works great, but since the grill is much hotter than the stove top, the naan will cook much faster, for around thirty seconds on each side.
Once the naan is ready, you can add your pizza toppings and finish cooking. Since the naan is already cooked, the pizza doesn’t need to be in the oven that long. You are basically putting it in the oven to melt the cheese and warm up the toppings.
Similar to grilled pizzas, you will want to be careful not to overload the naan with too much sauce or wet toppings. And any meats or seafood on the pizza must be fully cooked.
We like to make our naan pizzas with just a couple of toppings. Since the naan is so yummy, we don’t want to cover the taste.
Naan Pizza Ideas
- Pesto chicken
- Moroccan pizza with ground lamb and spices
- Thai peanut naan
- Eggplant, zucchini, arugula
- Artichoke, olive, and pine nuts
- Hummus, olives, cherry tomatoes, and mint
Other Ways to Use Naan
Naan is so versatile you can use it in many ways other than pizzas. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Huevos rancheros
- Tandoori chicken paninis
- Soft tacos
- Chicken tzatziki wraps
- Grilled cheese
Have you made homemade pizza with naan bread? What’s your favorite way to use naan?