In 1995, the pizza chain Pizza Hut changed the pizza game with their stuffed crust pizza. It was new, it was novel, and it was, and still is, oh so cheesy.
But a lot has changed since they first introduced stuffed crust pizza, and creative pizzaiolos have been modifying stuffed crust pizza and creating all sorts of new ways to remake the original.
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Nowadays, there are more people making pizza at home and learning all about pizza making. If you love stuffed crust pizza, then it’s time to get excited because we are going to teach you how to make stuffed crust pizza at home.
What is Stuffed Crust Pizza?
Stuffed crust pizza is exactly what it sounds like; it is a pizza with filling in the crust. The story goes that the owners of Pizza Hut noticed that diners were leaving behind the crust. So they thought, how can we get diners to eat the crust, too?
And that is where the idea for stuffed crust pizza came from. Originally stuffed crust pizza was made with mozzarella filling, but today you can find a lot of different styles of stuffed crust pizza. And the beauty of making it at home is you can customize your stuffed crust with all of your favorite fillings.
How to Make Stuffed Crust Pizza at Home
Stuffed crust pizza starts the same way as regular pizza with good quality homemade pizza dough using your pizza calculations of choice. You can use whole wheat, sourdough, gluten-free, or yeast-free pizza dough to make stuffed crust pizza.
Once you have your dough made and ready. Roll it out like normal. We generally like a thin crust to medium crust, so we use a rolling pin to help keep the dough thickness consistent throughout the whole pizza. Keep in mind that you need to roll it out a bit bigger because we are going to add the stuffed crust filling and then roll it over the edges.
The original Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza is stuffed with mozzarella cheese. If you want to keep it traditional, then make this one. The best and easiest way to do this is with string cheese. You will need 7-8 packets of string cheese.
Lay them around the edges of the pizza dough, then roll the dough over to cover the string cheese. Pinch the dough together to make sure the cheese is fully covered in the dough. Skipping this part could cause the cheese to leak out while cooking and make a big mess.
Again, mozzarella string cheese is obviously the best choice to keep consistent with the original stuffed crust. But you can also use marbled cheese sticks for a more nuanced flavored crust.
Once you have your crust ready, use a pastry brush and brush the crust with olive oil and par-bake the crust for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and add your sauce, cheese, and toppings. Then bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted. For even more flavor, sprinkle garlic salt on the crust after you brush it with olive oil.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Stuffed crust pizza is made for dipping.
Difference Between Using String Cheese vs Shredded Cheese For Your Stuffed Crust Homemade Pizza
When it comes to creating the perfect stuffed crust pizza, the cheese used can make a significant difference in both flavor and texture. Two common options for the cheese are string cheese and shredded cheese. Let’s explore the differences between these two options and help you decide which one is right for your easy homemade stuffed crust pizza.
One of the most significant differences between using string cheese and shredded cheese in stuffed crust pizza is the texture. String cheese has a stringy, chewy texture that melts beautifully when heated. This texture is perfect for stuffed crust pizza because it creates a deliciously gooey and stretchy cheese layer that complements the crispness of the crust.
Shredded cheese, on the other hand, has a finer texture that doesn’t melt quite as well. While it can still be used in stuffed crust pizza, the texture will be slightly different, and the cheese won’t have the same stretchy quality as string cheese.
Another important consideration when choosing between string cheese and shredded cheese for stuffed crust pizza is flavor. String cheese typically has a mild, slightly salty flavor that complements the other ingredients in the pizza without overpowering them.
In contract, shredded cheese can vary in flavor depending on the type of cheese used. For example, mozzarella is a popular choice for pizza, but it has a more distinct flavor than string cheese.
If you’re looking for a mild cheese flavor, string cheese may be the better option. However, if you want a more pronounced cheese flavor, the many flavor options of shredded cheese may be the way to go.
Ease of use
It’s essential to consider the ease of use when choosing between string or shredded cheese for your stuffed crust pizza recipe.
String cheese is incredibly easy to work with because it’s already portioned into individual sticks that can be easily rolled into the crust. Shredded cheese requires a bit more effort to evenly distribute throughout the crust. However, if you prefer shredded cheese and are willing to put in the extra effort, it can still be a great alternative for a homemade stuffed crust pizza variation.
Variations on Homemade Stuffed Crust Pizza
You can stuff pizza crust with just about anything. Just make sure to leave enough room to fill and rollover. You can do a themed stuffed crust like these.
Mexican pizza with ground beef, jalapeños, and tomatoes, with a stuffed crust of corn and cheese.
Meat Lovers pizza with ham, salami, and pepperoni with a stuffed crust of Italian sausage.
Thai pizza with chicken, feta, cilantro, and hot chilies with a stuffed crust of scallions and cheese.
Greek pizza with Kalamata olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers, with a stuffed crust of feta cheese.
Grilled Four cheese pizza with Asiago, blue cheese, and mozzarella, with stuffed rust of cheddar or Monterrey Jack.
Spicy Italian pizza with spicy salami, marinated artichokes, and a stuffed crust of nduja salami.
Get creative with cheese and try using different cheeses for stuffed crust pizza.
Here are a few meaty ideas to try adding in your crust for stuffed crust pizza at home.
You can even add sauce when you make stuffed crust pizza at home. But be sure to caution your eaters. Like eating a cream-filled don’t, we don’t want any surprises in the crust of our pizzas!
There are no rules when it comes to stuffed crust pizza; if you can think of it, you can add it into a stuffed crust. The key is texture. Be careful when adding wet ingredients so that they aren’t so wet they will make the stuffed crust soggy.
For ingredients like pineapple, olives, artichokes, San Marzano tomatoes, or anything that is wet, use paper towels to remove excess moisture so the dough stays intact. Also, consider a mix of ingredients. For example, blue cheese by itself may be too much, but a cheese blend that includes blue cheese lets you experience that pungent cheese at a manageable level.
This applies to hot chilies, too! Even pizza lovers who adore spicy food don’t want a mouthful of hot chilies. Try mixing some chilies in with cheese or even a hot sweet mix with pineapple and jalapeño-filled crust.
However you decide to stuff your pizza crust, the key is to have fun and get creative.
Stuffed Crust Pizza Around the Globe
Stuffed crust pizza isn’t just popular in the U.S.; it’s popular across the globe. Here are some interesting ways stuffed crust pizzas are enjoyed in other parts of the world.
Germany Hot dog stuffed crust
Japan Whole shrimp stuffed crust
Korea Sweet potato mousse and cheese
New Zealand Marmite stuffed crust
China Durian stuffed crust
Taiwan Peanut sauce stuffed crust
Hong Kong Abalone stuffed crust
Australia Mini meat pie stuffed crust
Finland Smoked reindeer meat stuffed crust
South Korea Cranberry and apple stuffed rust
The absolute worst stuffed crust pizza we’ve ever had was actually in China. We lived there for over 10 years, so we’re bound to have a few good pizza stories. Thankfully, it was not durian, but a tasteless hot-dog-like structure inside the crust. They probably got the idea from Germany on this list. It was seriously uncooked and inedible. We can laugh now but it ruined our dinner for sure. Be careful our there!
What’s your favorite stuffed crust pizza? Get creative and make stuffed crust pizza at home with your favorite filling.