For years, one of my favorite go-to quick-dinner tricks has been to grab a bag of pizza dough from the freezer aisle of my supermarket, a jar of marinara sauce, some cheese and a few veggies and whip up a delicious, homemade pizza.
But for all my years of using this easy freezer item (some supermarkets carry thawed dough with their specialty items instead), I was really surprised by all the other things you could make with whole-wheat pizza dough when the EatingWell Test Kitchen decided to devote a story to it in our September/October issue. It turns out that this item is surprisingly versatile—usable for everything from pies to sandwiches to “Hot Pocket”-style meals. It’s truly the secret weapon of your freezer aisle. Check out these tasty meals you can make with it:
Salami & Spinach Stromboli —Traditional stromboli recipes are stuffed with tons of mozzarella cheese and Italian cured meats. In this healthy stromboli recipe we fill whole-wheat pizza dough with plenty of spinach and a judicious amount of salami: the results are still delicious. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce on the side for dipping.
Grilled Thai Chicken Sandwich —Juicy grilled chicken, onions and peppers combine with a Thai-inspired sauce in this chicken sandwich recipe. We love how the flatbreads made from whole-wheat dough sop up the extra sauce. If you have one large (12-ounce) chicken breast instead of two smaller (6-ounce) ones, cut it in half horizontally before grilling so the chicken cooks in the time specified in this recipe.
White Pizza with Clams —Of course, I have to include one pizza recipe here. This is an easy homemade pizza recipe that is a take on white clam pizza, which was first made famous by Frank Pepe of Pepe’s Pizzeria in New Haven, Connecticut (my hometown). Look for fresh clam strips in the seafood department. You can find them ready to use out of their shells at most large supermarkets. If you don’t want to use fresh, we also like the briny flavor and convenience of canned chopped clams.
Corn & Broccoli Calzones —These calzones are stuffed with a delicious combination of corn and broccoli, but you can use whatever you have in your fridge. Part-skim ricotta and mozzarella make our pizza pockets lower in saturated fat. Plus a whole-wheat crust adds a nutty flavor and extra fiber. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.
Pear & Blue Cheese Flatbread —The classic combination of pears, walnuts and blue cheese isn't just for salad. Toss the same ingredients onto purchased whole-wheat pizza dough and make your own gourmet flatbread at home. Any type of ripe, firm pear will work—red pears look great.
And here’s the recipe for one of my personal favorite new creations you can make with whole-wheat pizza dough:
Jerk Chicken Pockets  (pictured above)—These tasty sweet potato and jerk chicken “pockets” are spiced up with jerk seasoning, a Caribbean spice blend that typically contains allspice, thyme and hot pepper. The spice combo and heat level vary widely among brands. Experiment and find the one you prefer. Look for jerk seasoning in the spice section of most supermarkets.
Have you tried cooking something other than pizza with your pizza dough? Tell us what you think below.