Weeknight Cooking

Why You Should Put Yogurt on Your Pizza

August 16, 2015

If the grocery store isn't your favorite place, it should be. We're sleuthing for the best back-of-the-box recipes and every Sunday, Posie Harwood from 600 Acres will share our latest find. 

Today: Like yogurt? Put it on your pizza.

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You're always reading about how yogurt does a body good—healthy probiotics and calcium and all that. You use it in all sorts of places—condiments, desserts, pasta sauces, and even cocktails—so it's only natural that I put it on a pizza (right?).  

I can't take credit for the idea of using Greek yogurt in a white pizza base. While reaching into the refrigerator, I noticed a picture of pizza on the back of the Chobani container. Odd, I thought. What could it be? Yogurt pizza? Pizza-flavored yogurt? Yogurt dipping sauce for pizza bread? 

None of the above. Instead, this clever recipe uses Greek yogurt as part of a light, tangy base that replaces tomato sauce.

Don't worry, the cheese is not abandoned—there's still plenty of it: You fold the yogurt into ricotta cheese and spread that mixture on your prepared dough. A few generous handfuls of ripe cherry tomatoes and fresh basil yield classic pizza flavor (and make good use of your summer produce haul).

Because I'm pretty into cheese as a life philosophy, I covered my pizza in a snowfall of grated Parmesan as well. The Parmesan adds a crisp, crunchy, salty layer to the top of the pizza. 

For the dough, use Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough recipe. In my experience, it produces the best homemade pizza in a relatively foolproof way. If you don't want to make the pizza dough, you can usually find very good dough in the frozen aisle of your grocery store. Even better, stop by your local pizzeria and ask if you can buy a ball of dough. You save time and get the pleasure of freshly baked pizza at home.

About baking pizza: Forget what you think you know about brick ovens and pizza stones and 500-degree ovens. Those all help make great pizza, but you don't need them. Sprinkle some cornmeal on a baking sheet, or line it with parchment, and crank your oven as high as it will safely go. The pizza will be delicious. If you do have a pizza stone, definitely use it. It will help get a crispier crust with those gorgeous charred spots. 

White Pizza with Ricotta, Yogurt, Tomatoes, and Basil

Adapted from Chobani

Makes one 10-inch pizza

1 batch Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup ricotta
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Do you have a favorite back of the box recipe, or have you heard about a great one? Leave any suggestions in the comments, and I'll try them out and share them here!

Photos by Posie Harwood 

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
  • Bella B
    Bella B
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


Sarah J. August 18, 2015
I'm making pizza this week primarily for the purpose of trying this.
Bella B. August 16, 2015
It looks tasty! My favourite back of the box recipe, besides Rice Krispie squares, lol, is Frenches Crunchy Chicken. You should try it. My family loves it.

xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com