I’ve got a dirty little pizza secret.

Mini Meatball Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella + Roasted Red Peppers I howsweeteats.com

I don’t really care for pepperoni and… wait for it… I really only like my pizza plain.


Plain as in the word that I’ve used to describe my husband’s boring eating habits and favorable dishes. Plain as in absolutely nothing on top except for loads and loads of gooey cheese. Plain as in what my closet should probably look like at this age instead of resembling an 80s tweener.

Plain. It’s another embarrassing reveal, but it’s real.

The preference depends, however, on exactly where the pizza is coming from. If it’s delivery pizza or from a few local places that we’ve ordered from all our lives – I definitely want it plain. If it’s out at a restaurant, specifically one that specializes in pizza, I want a plain (or margherita) version but also want to try ones with an array of toppings.

And if it’s a pizza I’m making at home? I don’t want it plain at all. I want to pile on as much trash as I can.

Mini Meatball Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella + Roasted Red Peppers I howsweeteats.com

But as a safe choice… I’ll go with plain plain plain. And finally, after five years of marriage and who knows how many ordered pizzas, my husband finally stopped asking what I wanted on my pizza. He got it.

Also: please see my pizza stone cheese fail below. I contemplated peeling off that burning cheese and eating it for about five straight minutes. I will say this is a nice save though, since I’ve managed to drop entire unbaked pizzas on my oven floor when it’s 425 degrees.

That’s really fun.

So this sort of looks like slop pile pizza. It’s so saucy (which is a whole other feat in itself for me!) and cheesy and hot that in order to serve it in perfect slices, you may as well let it get cold.


Just grab a fork… piggy time.

Mini Meatball Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella + Roasted Red Peppers I howsweeteats.com

Nothing too crazy about the rest of this pie – just some of my mini meatballs (you could sub turkey, chicken, lamb – whatever), mozzarella and red peppers. I’m currently watching Eddie shove the last leftover slice into his face. Pretty sure that actual meatballs on pizza is a dream meal for him.

One more little secret is that these are not just any old roasted red peppers. They are those sweet and tangy sun dried peppers that I keep yapping about and ugh… I just can’t describe how incredible they are. We’ve been loving on roasted reds for years, but these are completely different. Actually, the best way that I can remotely begin to explain their taste is by their name: sweet and tangy.

We are still blowing through jar after jar of them. This past weekend I walked into the store and bought SIX. Six freaking jars. In our defense they are slightly teeny. Yesterday I had them on whole grain toast with goat cheese, and they make a KILLER addition to avocado toast. We’ve been eating them in salads, in pasta, in sandwiches and now… on pizza.

Freaking flavorful. That is all.

Mini Meatball Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella + Roasted Red Peppers I howsweeteats.com


Mini Meatball Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella + Roasted Red Peppers

Yield: 1 pizza

Total Time: 2 hours


1 1/8 cups warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 batch of bite sized meatballs
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups pizza sauce
4 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 (12-ounce) jar of roasted red peppers, or 2 homemade roasted reds


In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 2/3 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.

While the dough is rising, make the meatballs. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Brown the meatballs on all sides, cooking until just browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let the meatballs cool a bit.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (sometimes I use baking sheets and do rectangles or free form pizzas - this specific dough will yield one pizza large enough to feed about 3-4 people) and place on a baking sheet or pizza peel. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (or if you're using a pizza stone or the skillet method, follow these directions). Spread the sauce on the dough then cover it with the fontina cheese. Add on the meatballs, sliced mozzarella and red peppers. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.

Mini Meatball Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella + Roasted Red Peppers I howsweeteats.com

Cute little balls right?

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69 Responses to “Mini Meatball Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella + Roasted Red Peppers.”

  1. #
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker — October 18, 2013 @ 6:55 am

    God pizza is one of those things I fail at! On the off chance I do get it right, I would want it to a pizza bianco with four cheeses. Yep I am dairy addict and not ashamed.
    Wow I love how you described those peppers, it must been such a yummy experience to have them on this pizza!


    • Jessica — October 18th, 2013 @ 10:31 am

      that’s one of my favorite pizzas too!


  2. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 18, 2013 @ 7:40 am

    Sun dried peppers? Oh my, I need to find these! I’m nuts about the roasted kind but sun dried sounds amazing too. Pepperoni was my favourite type to pizza when I was a kid, but now I’m not too keen on the stuff either. For me, the more veggies, the better!


  3. #
    Emily aka The Three Bite Rule — October 18, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    this pizza is so photogenic! I make lots of pizzas but I don’t know why I hadn’t done a meatball one! Maybe that’ll be next! I definitely like to set my pizza expectations from seeing the crust before I know what is ahead of me.


  4. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter And Onion — October 18, 2013 @ 7:49 am

    If I had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of my life, it would be pizza!


  5. #
    Tieghan — October 18, 2013 @ 7:52 am

    On Wednesday I literally threw a pizza across the floor and trust me it was not on purpose. I tripped with a bowl full of pomegranate arils, a pizza cutter, oven mitts, my camera and the tray of pizza all in my hands. It was a loud crash and resulted in tears, but not because it hurt. No, it had just been a day. Too long. But whatever, I picked the pizza up, pieced it together, photographed and ate it. Day over.

    I am loving the meaty pizza and trust me, it looks good! Cheesy and delicious!


  6. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — October 18, 2013 @ 8:08 am

    Salvation! I have at last found someone else who won’t give me the evil eye when I confess that I don’t care for pepperoni. I also have found the way to keep my husband married to me, despite my crazy daisy habits. The answer: Meatballs + Pizza.


  7. #
    Ali @ Inspiralized — October 18, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    Meatballs on a pizza?!?! This is like my dream come true. Love the creativity… and your pictures!


  8. #
    Harper — October 18, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    I now embrace you as a member of the “no pepperoni” club. I didn’t know there were others. Maybe we should have t-shirts.

    Always order cheese only from chains but I’m trying to get better about ordering new fancy things. Did you see the new pizza post over on Bev cooks? It may change lives.


    • Jessica — October 18th, 2013 @ 10:31 am

      yes, love it!!


  9. #
    Kim — October 18, 2013 @ 8:45 am

    Hi, my name is Kim and I’m not mature enough to read things like “some of my mini meatballs.” :)


    • Jessica — October 18th, 2013 @ 10:32 am



  10. #
    Kelly Jo — October 18, 2013 @ 9:00 am

    Plain pizza all the way! Is there anything better than a gigantic cheese pizza? No. But these mini meatballs are so cute they might make it onto my pizza


  11. #
    Laurie {SimplyScratch} — October 18, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    piggy time is right! holla!


  12. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — October 18, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    Fridays and pizzas are my two best friends in life. Love this one! Does this really cook for 30-35 minutes? I’ve never cooked a pizza for more than 15, but am totally intrigued.

    Also, lately, I’ve been putting my pizza stone in the broiler and preheating it in there, it makes the pizzas cook extra fast and apparently can typically get to 600+ degrees! It does require sliding it into my broiler though, which is a bit terrifying (and potentially incredibly messy).


    • Jessica — October 18th, 2013 @ 10:34 am

      i usually cook mine anywhere from 25-35 mins, but i think it totally depends on the method you are using! sometimes i do a baking sheet, sometimes a skillet, someties the stone. the directions above are for a baking sheet or pan, but i also include a link to ones for the skillet or stone method. :)


  13. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — October 18, 2013 @ 10:08 am

    Looks delicious! This meal has Friday night written all over it! :)


  14. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — October 18, 2013 @ 10:12 am

    I love any and all pizza….except supreme. I think it’s the green bell pepper. They just don’t belong. This is one beautiful pie! :)

    If you try pepperoni again, try adding some green olives. Oh my gosh…so good!


  15. #
    Heather — October 18, 2013 @ 10:18 am

    You know, I’ve been thinking about the fact that you like plain pizza and I think I can work past that ;) Because OMG this one is killer. Really. I hardly ever pin pizzas because I like to just order my own, but this is getting showtime at dinner ASAP.


  16. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — October 18, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    Hello Friday night dinner! This pizza looks ah-may-zing…I love me a good, saucy pizza!


  17. #
    Meggan — October 18, 2013 @ 11:29 am
  18. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — October 18, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    This looks crazy good and reminds me of my fav pizzeria in D.C., where I used to live. Mmmm, meatballs.


  19. #
    Zainab @ Blahnik Baker — October 18, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    Friday night PIZZA just got a hot upgrade from feta and cheese!!!


  20. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — October 18, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

    I like my pizza plain too and i could eat it every day, haha. I’m not a huge sauce fan either, so I love how cheesy this pizza looks. Delicious!


  21. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — October 18, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    I want this so bad I could faint.


  22. #
    Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina — October 18, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    Wow this looks amazing! My bf loves meatballs on his pizza, so I will definitely be giving this one a try!


  23. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — October 18, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

    I tend to feel the same way – just plain with lots and lots of cheese. I can definitely get on board with adding some meatballs to my pizza though!


  24. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — October 18, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    I don’t like pepperoni either. I won’t do it. My biggest rule for pizza though is one meat at a time. Anything else goes…except anchovies. Always a no with anchovies. This pizza is right up my alley. Lovely little meatballs!


  25. #
    Kari@Loaves n Dishes — October 18, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

    I’m pretty much the same way, if I order pizza it’s either plain cheese, or just one topping, and if I make pizza I put all kinds of stuff on it. I think it’s a control thing ; ) This pizza has just the right amount of stuff! Sooo yummy!


  26. #
    Krystina — October 18, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

    My boyfriend hates me. I almost always want either pizza margherita or pizza with pesto, fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. He wants pepperoni/sausage, peppers and onions. Since I do the cooking, I always win.


  27. #
    Amy | Club Narwhal — October 18, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

    Jessica, this looks like my every pizza dream come true! And while I am totally on board with a gloriously plain cheesy pizza, I will never say no to pizza with meatballs :)


  28. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 18, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

    Ok you have me convinced to find those DeLallo sweet/tangy sundried peppers! I have a sweet and tangy red pepper chutney recipe I created b/c I love that flavor profile and now have to get my hands on a jar of these! I buy the TJ’s hot pepper jelly by the jarful…usually 2-3 jars a week, every week, for years. Love red pepper-based condiments!


  29. #
    Sydney — October 18, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

    Honestly, I’m ok with plain pizza too.

    My favorite is is just cheese, mushroom, tomato, and spinach. That’s it. I especially don’t care for meat on pizza, which is weird because I’m normally a pretty voracious carnivore.


  30. #
    ATasteOfMadness — October 18, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

    My favorite pizza is pretty plain too: pesto cheese, But I think I will need to change my favorite to this, because this looks freaking fantastic!


  31. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — October 18, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

    I’m with you. I tend to prefer plain pizza, but it totally depends on where it comes from. This looks pretty darn delicious though! :)


  32. #
    Annie @ Annie's Noms — October 18, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    Oh wow! Pizza has to be my favourite thing in the whole world, and meatballs come closely behind that, this is a match made in heaven!


  33. #
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — October 18, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    I totally get you about the plain pizza. It’s all about the cheese and the crust. I hate pepperoni. Those peppers look amazing! I would have eaten the cheese off the oven/pizza stone and burned my mouth and not cared one bit!


  34. #
    Larry — October 18, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

    DUDE…. that last little comment? “cute little balls”?! I DIIIIIIIIIIIEDDDDDDDDDDDD!


  35. #
    Sara — October 18, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

    Mmmmm, we love doing pizza night in our house, and this one looks SO good! Love the combination of toppings, especially the mini meatballs – SUPER CUTE! :)


  36. #
    Kate — October 18, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

    Is it weird that I don’t like cheese on my pizza? I do like most toppings though so I guess that makes it less wierd? But that pizza looks freaking awesome and I will definitely be making it soon.


  37. #
    natalie @ wee eats — October 18, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

    Nothing could have stopped me from eating that burny cheese. Nothing.

    And PLAIN!? I’m shocked! Meatballs are actually one of my FAVORITE pizza toppings, but I’m SO PICKY about meatballs that I almost never get them.

    Also, I NEED TO FIND THOSE PEPPERS! So that i can put them on ALL THE THINGS.


  38. #
    Sara — October 18, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    Um, pizza is my favorite food. Cheese or margherita. Period. I have faced ridicule throughout my entire life. I didn’t write this article but I might as well have: http://thoughtcatalog.com/christopher-hudspeth/2013/09/loving-cheese-pizza-isnt-a-choice-so-stop-criticizing-me-for-it/


  39. #
    Mandy — October 18, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

    I’ve been into plain pizza for years, but just recently fell in love with the extra zip some onions give a pizza. I don’t like meatballs, but am thinking of just tossing on some sweet peppers next time I want a pizza ;)


  40. #
    Jennifer — October 18, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

    This looks like Heaven!

    xo Jennifer



  41. #
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — October 19, 2013 @ 3:31 am

    Mini meatballs on pizza looks heavenly!!


  42. #
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate — October 19, 2013 @ 10:30 am

    I like my pizza fairly minimalist too. Mushrooms and blue cheese do it for me. No tomato sauce, just white.


  43. #
    Chelsea Shead — October 19, 2013 @ 7:03 pm
  44. #
    Simone — October 21, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    I made this pizza yesterday, but made mini (ground)chicken meatballs. My husband absolutely loved the pizza, as did I. There are hardly any leftovers, but I cannot wait to devour them!


  45. #
    Chantel B. — October 23, 2013 @ 7:17 am

    This pizza looks ah-mazing. I am also a fan of plain pizza. I prefer mine with a little more sauce than cheese. I can’t wait to try this when I get home.


  46. #
    Plazma — October 23, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    Not sure why you are using whole wheat flour.. there isnt enough gluten in there to make a proper pizza dough. Need to use a higher protein dough, let it ferment a bit also to gain flavor (sit in the fridge for 2-3 days) and it will taste better and work better in your bands. I either use 00 Flour or Sir Lancelot flour from King Arthur.


  47. #
    Thanh @ eat, little bird — October 27, 2013 @ 5:57 am

    What a delicious-looking pizza! If you like plain pizzas, you might like the traditional Italian pizzas, i.e. the ones they make in Italy. There, the pizzas scarcely have any topping and the crusts are almost paper thin. They make similar pizzas here in Switzerland (being next door to Italy), so whenever I feel the need for a more heavily-loaded pizza, I make my own. I do love the sound of meatballs on pizza!


  48. #
    Alexandra — November 2, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

    I just finished making (and eating) this! Made it along with the pesto, prosciutto and squash one and they both turned out great. Very good feedback from the family. Also I loved the wholewheat flour as a base. Everyone said it gave it a really lovely flavour. Fantastic recipes, you’re a gem!


  49. #
    Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen — November 3, 2013 @ 11:32 pm

    I’m not kidding when I tell you that I stare at this pizza every day on my Pinterest board. I’m going to make it with my boyfriend when I see him next. I might try it with burrata and a touch of basil too. I’ll be sure to Instagram the shit out of it.


  50. #
    Annie — December 21, 2013 @ 2:56 am

    This is sad and disgusting.

    Piggy time? Well yes, piggy pizza for a piggy person. Your poor husband..



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