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Kevin J. Miyazaki

A classic cheese pizza is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. The delicious combination of crispy pizza crust, flavorful tomato sauce, and bubbly cheese make for an unbeatable combination. Even if you’re a fan of unique toppings, it’s hard to resist a slice of a plain cheese pie! Ree Drummond has all sorts of fun pizzas on the menu at P-Town Pizza in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, like fig-arugula and potato-leek. But she made sure to have a classic cheese pizza in the mix, too—and it’s a fan favorite. Keep reading to get the recipe.

A good classic cheese pizza starts with a good basic pizza dough—and it’s not hard to make your own. Once you know your way around homemade pizza dough, making your own pizza is easy. Of course you can always use store-bought dough like Ree does for her Sausage and Peppers Pizza or Steakhouse Pizza, or you can use flatbread like she does for these Broccoli and Tomato Pizzas. But if you want to make the ultimate classic cheese pizza, be sure to try the recipe below from P-Town Pizza!

What is the best cheese for pizza?

While pizzas nowadays get topped with all sorts of different cheeses, the one that is by far the most common is mozzarella—and for good reason. Mozzarella is a great topping for a classic cheese pizza for a few reasons, including the fact that it melts super well, especially if it’s fresh. Though you might not have put much thought into your cheese’s “meltiness” prior to now, its ability to boil and bubble away in the oven makes for a great texture and eating experience. Additionally, whole-milk mozzarella usually melts and stretches nicely on a pizza, so if you’re looking for the best cheese to sprinkle on your homemade pizza, reach for mozzarella. You could even try freshly grating some yourself. 

What is a classic pizza?

While traditional pizza originates from the Campania region of Italy, more particularly, Naples, pizza in North America often takes on all different varieties, many known for classic toppings and types of crusts. At any pizza shop or chain, you’re sure to find classic pizzas like cheese, pepperoni, sausage, and vegetable. You’ll likely also find menus touting pizzas topped with ham and pineapple, buffalo or barbecue chicken. In terms of crusts, pizza in the U.S. typically comes in “thin”, “thick”, and sometimes somewhere in between. Some companies and pizza chains have popularized crusts stuffed with cheese as well as pizzas made with untraditional “crusts”, like croissant dough. 

What is the standard cheese on pizza?

Mozzarella is most commonly used on pizza, but you can definitely use other cheeses you like. Other cheeses that taste delicious on homemade pizza include parmesan (often used with mozzarella), fontina, cheddar, provolone, pecorino romano and ricotta, just to name a few. Also, don’t feel limited to just one at a time; sometimes, pizzas that include a number of different melty cheeses taste great!

What are the four cheeses on a pizza?

While the combinations of cheeses used for a four-cheese pizza vary, you’ll usually find both mozzarella and parmesan, with others like gorgonzola, provolone, ricotta, parmesan and sometimes cheddar commonly used.

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shredded low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella cheese

shredded low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella cheese


grated parmesan cheese

  1. After you’ve made the dough, divide it in half and let come to room temperature, uncovered, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, place a pizza stone or an inverted baking sheet on the oven floor and preheat to 500˚.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll out 1 piece of dough into a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Dust a pizza peel or another inverted baking sheet with cornmeal and lay the dough on top.
  3. Spread half of the sauce on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Top with half of the provolone, then with half each of the mozzarella and parmesan.
  4. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone or baking sheet and bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted, 10 to 12 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings. Makes 2 12-inch pizzas.
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