Introduction: Microwave Pizza Dough & No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Picture of Microwave Pizza Dough & No-Cook Tomato Sauce

There are so many great pizzas in the world but there is no substitute for real yeast dough - having your dough rise in the microwave while you are preheating the oven and grating the cheese is faster than calling for delivery.

I make this pizza every week because I almost always have a bag of the dry ingredients sitting in the cupboard. I have probably made this pizza over 300 times. I have even taught classes on how to make it. My name on the Instructables site here should have been PizzaQueen instead of Ninzerbean.

The recipe is all mine but the process of letting the dough rise in the microwave is from a wonderful cookbook called Bread in Half the Time.

The no-cook tomato sauce is the tastiest you will ever have eaten and the only clean up you will have is your food processor, cheese grater and pizza pan. It is that easy. Just remember this mantra: cook for 3 minutes, rest for 3 minutes, cook for 3 minutes, rest for 6 minutes.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
  • Food processor
  • Microwave with adjustable power (almost all have it)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Pizza pan - I use a half sheet pan but I have used about everything you can imagine - even a grill. A half sheet pan is about 17 x 12 inches.
  • Oven
  • Knife for chopping
  • Measuring spoons
  • 2 cup measuring cup 

Step 2: Preheat Your Oven NOW

Picture of Preheat Your Oven NOW

Your dough will be ready to pop into the oven in about 15 minutes, you need to remember to get your oven going right now. The secret to this fantastic tasting pizza is that I precook the dough before adding the sauce and cheese. No soggy crusts and no burnt cheese. 

Step 3: Sauce Ingredients and Cheese

Picture of Sauce Ingredients and Cheese

  • 16 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese (there is less water than in part skim)

  • 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • Olive oil or grapeseed oil (a new kick I am on is grapeseed oil as it is more subtle)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (again, use Kosher, if you use regular salt cut it back by a quarter)
  • Some chopped fresh basil (3 Tablespoons or so) or dried - about 1 tsp dried. if you like basil use as much as you like, if you like garlic add some of that too.
  • 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes (optional of course)

The reason you are going to make the sauce first is because the tomatoes need to drain for a good 20 minutes while you are making the dough. So, to do this step drain the tomatoes from their juice in the can (I usually just drink this right up as it is so tasty), then chop the tomatoes pretty small, about 1/2 inch pieces - you can see the size in the second photo. 

I have a weird device that lets me chop in a shallow flat bottomed Tupperware container but you may use a cutting board, it is just a little messier. Remember, you don't want the juice, just the pulp.

Note: Try to buy canned tomatoes that don't contain sugar, I think Hunts are terrible, Publix (a local grocery store) are my favorites, but Flora and any of the Italian ones are good. If your Italian ones come in a slightly larger can don't worry about it. Salt as an ingredient is fine, it's just sugar that is not so fine tasting.

Step 4: Draining Your Tomatoes and Adding the Oil and Spices

Picture of Draining Your Tomatoes and Adding the Oil and Spices

Drain for 20 minutes, shake every so often or as often as you like to speed up the draining. 

Next put the drained tomato pulp back in the bowl you used for chopping and add 3 T olive oil or grapeseed oil. I have been on a grapeseed oil kick for a few months because I really like how subtle it is. It really doesn't matter which oil you use. 

Add your salt, I use a large pinch which means all of my fingers and my thumb and that turns out to be about 1/2 tsp. Try to always use Kosher salt, it is less salty and has a cleaner taste. Use less salt if you are using fine salt. Taste as  you go to make sure you don't need more.

I like to use fresh basil when I have it. If I don't I just use about 1 tsp of dried. If you buy fresh basil at the store just use the bottom most leaves and stick the stems with a few leaves left at the top to root. They will root in 3 days and you can keep using the leftover leaves or plant them.

Step 5: Dough Ingredients

Picture of Dough Ingredients
  • 3 3/4 C bread flour (if all you have is all purpose flour you can use it, the dough will just be flatter and not as chewy)
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast, rapid rise or regular is fine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil, any oil will be fine really, I just love grapeseed oil lately, it's not as heavy tasting as olive oil. Try it in salads instead of olive oil.
  • 2 tsp salt (kosher)
  • 2 T fine ground yellow cornmeal (if you don't have this it won't matter, it's really for a little extra body and color)
  • 2 1/2 T vital wheat gluten (if you don't have this it won't matter either except the dough will be a little harder to stretch to fit the pan, it will want to spring back, vital wheat gluten as it is called, relaxes the dough. It doesn't work on people though
  • 1 1/2 C water - maybe a little less. Use good water.
Add everything except for the water into the bowl of your food processor and pulse to mix, while the motor is running, slowly in a steady stream add the water, hold back just a little. You want the dough to hold together in a ball and whiz around in the machine for 60 seconds. If it is not a ball add the rest of the water. I count to sixty like this; one Mississippi, two Mississippi... etc.

Step 6: The Dough Ball

Picture of The Dough Ball

Isn't that just beautiful? It's warm too. Take a bite, yummers.

Step 7: Poke a Hole With Your Thumbs

Picture of Poke a Hole With Your Thumbs

So now it looks like a giant donut. Take out the food processor blade (don't forget this step because you are going to put the bowl into the microwave) and put the big donut of dough back into the bowl of the food processor. 

Step 8: Cover With Plastic Wrap

Picture of Cover With Plastic Wrap

This is so important I have made it a whole step. I forgot once and the dough ended up with a crust when it was finished rising and I couldn't use it. 

Step 9: Microwave Directions

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You may have to get out your manual but I think all microwaves have a variable power setting. The setting you want is the lowest. For example power 1. On my microwave I set the time, then push the power level button and set that to 1. Then I push the start button. In your case this is where you must remember the mantra from the introduction - just kidding, I am going to repeat it here.
  • First make sure your bowl is covered with the plastic wrap.
  • Put a glass of water in your microwave
  1. Set your time for cooking to 3 minutes and your power to the lowest power.
  2. When the bell rings set the timer for 3 minutes and just go shake your tomatoes or something.
  3. Set your timer for cooking to 3 minutes and your power to the lowest power.
  4. When the bell rings go do something else for 6 minutes. If you do something else for longer the dough will just get bigger so no worries. But don't go opening the door to check on it, it needs to be alone while it is changing.
  5. The glass of water you put in the microwave makes for a humid environment.

Step 10: Does This Microwave Make Me Look Fat?

Picture of Does This Microwave Make Me Look Fat?

Step 11: The Other Things You Were Doing As the Dough Was Rising

Picture of The Other Things You Were Doing As the Dough Was Rising
  • Grating cheese - large holes on the grater. I always use a 16 oz. block of mozzarella verses buying cheese that is already grated, that cheese has stuff on it  to keep it from sticking together and I don't think it can be that fresh if it lasts so long. 

  • Chopping those jalapenos - I love these guys in a jar, they are soft, not very spicy at all and even though I have tried fresh ones I like the texture of these. Of course these are optional - use anything you want on your pizza - pineapple, olives, garlic. I think for your first go around just follow the recipe though. When you come back to the rodeo do it your way.

  • Putting oil on the pizza pan

Step 12: Spread the Dough Out in the Pan

Picture of Spread the Dough Out in the Pan

I use both hands, the photo only shows one as I was trying to get as much oil on my camera as I could while taking pictures. 

Step 13: Into the Oven for 5 or 6 Minutes

Picture of Into the Oven for 5 or 6 Minutes

Use the top third of your oven. All ovens are different so you may want to keep a close eye on your dough as it is cooking in case you need to turn the pan around if one side is cooking faster than the other. I love watching big huge bubbles appear in the dough. 

Step 14: Adding the Sauce, Cheese and Jalapenos

Picture of Adding the Sauce, Cheese and Jalapenos

In that order. 

Step 15: Cook for About 7 Minutes

Picture of Cook for About 7 Minutes

Cook for as long as it takes to look like the cheese is cooked, a little speckled brown and bubbly. If it is taking a long time, move it to a higher rack.

Step 16: Plan Ahead

Picture of Plan Ahead

When ever I make dough and I am measuring out all those dry ingredients, I put a few gallon sized Ziploc bags close by and just measure the ingredients into them as well. Then it is super easy to pull out a bag when you are in a hurry and add 1 1/2 cups of water to it in the food processor and make pizza again and again. 

Step 17: It Smells Sooooo Good

Picture of It Smells Sooooo Good

I let it cool for a minute or two and the cut into big rectangles with SCISSORS - yes scissors, I don't know why every one finds that so amazing - they are the perfect tool for pizza. Enjoy! My friend Molly sure is.

If you liked this Instructable consider voting for it in the pizza contest, the voting days will be posted sometime in early September I think. Also subscribe to me for other great Instructables coming in the future. 

Consider becoming a pro member as that way you can really see the pictures much larger, and hey, we are a great community of like minded very generous and helpful people - you would be most welcome!


Sl0whand (author)2012-09-11

Thank you very much for sharing!
I very much enjoy the way you write. And, of course, can't wait to put in practice what I have read today...
Please continue sharing...

Ninzerbean (author)Sl0whand2012-09-12

I've been working on a big ible about how to sell your house, I have nothing planned for the day other than trimming Taxi so maybe you were just the impetus I needed - thank you!

tinker234 (author)2012-02-23

mm thanks for this i made some spaghetti using this sauce best sauce haven't made the dough don't have a food processor

Ninzerbean (author)tinker2342012-02-24

Thanks for sharing, that's an idea I will have to try, I never thought of it.

Databanks (author)2011-06-07

Tried this one with my kids. First go, my poor cheap processor died, but it was a cheap thing and was getting old anyway. Got a better quality processor and wizzed through. Kids loved it (they had ham & pineapple, I had home made chilli sauce as well in mine).
Even using the basics it makes a soft, evenly cooked pizza that's easy to slice and tastes good. My kids and I thank you for sharing

Ninzerbean (author)Databanks2011-06-07

Thank you! I hope it becomes a staple at your house and makes buying the new food processor worth it!

Databanks (author)Ninzerbean2011-06-07

It already has, although I did have to point out to the boys that we can NOT eat pizza every time they're here. It's supposed to be a treat, not the only thing in their diet.
I think the old processor was going to drop dead soon anyway. It blew out a huge cloud of smoke

Ninzerbean (author)Databanks2011-06-07

I just had that happen with an appliance but it turned out to be the wires coming into my house from the pole on the street, the shielding had worn through and there were surges going on, my computers were just lucky and the electric company is supposed to be paying for my fried appliance one day, I'm still waiting though. The wires were all replaced and my whole house is brighter. I am sure that is not what happened to you though you might want to look outside...

suayres (author)2011-05-23

Inthink i would add whole wheat flour (sub in 1 to 1-1/2 c in place of some of the bread flour--I think the ww gives bread/pizza dough a heartier flavor and texture.

chabias (author)2011-05-08

This looks like a fantastic recipe! Too bad I don't have a food processor, but once I tell the Mr. how he can save money with this recipe, he'll surely buy me one!

Ninzerbean (author)chabias2011-05-09

I've owned mine for about 24 years so they are a good investment. I like the Cuisinart brand because the blade comes extremely close to the sides of the bowl for great chopping work - this is vs others I have used at friend's houses.

chabias (author)Ninzerbean2011-05-09

Thanks for that info! Can't wait to try this recipe.

fduffey (author)2011-05-03

what about using a blender instead of a food processor?

Ninzerbean (author)fduffey2011-05-03

No, how would you put the blender in the microwave even saying you could take out the metal blade.... I think it is too small to knead the dough but you could try, and then of course take it out and put into something microwave safe and cover with the plastic wrap. I guess it is worth trying, let me know if it works.

hondaman900 (author)2011-05-01

Great instructable - thank you! Dashing out to get the ingredients and find a good inexpensive food processor..... The kids will love doing this with me :)

Ninzerbean (author)hondaman9002011-05-01

Good luck with the kids - mine just likes to eat this pizza each and every week, sometimes I can get him to grate the cheese.

ARJOON (author)2011-04-30

i will make one when nobody except me is at home for 24hrs. it will give me time to prepare cook, eat, play and sleep. then make like nothing happened the day before

Roxy 143 (author)2010-09-03


Ninzerbean (author)Roxy 1432010-09-03

Mmmmmm yes! Thank you!

Roxy 143 (author)Ninzerbean2011-03-07

Your ideas are worth trying !!!!

Ninzerbean (author)Roxy 1432011-03-08

Well go and try - let me know what you think, and thank you!

Roxy 143 (author)Ninzerbean2011-03-17

i dont want to spoil it!

Chin797 (author)2010-12-20

Nice 'ible I'm using it at the cooking night me and my friends are having, so i can go around the world with flavours, 'cause I'm also making my beloved chicken in porto and I'm also making a japanese style noodle dish with alot of veggies and meat.

Puzzledd (author)2010-10-15

I must try this- I hate waiting for dough to rise (so I make no-yeast dough). We love pizza. Great 'ible!

Ninzerbean (author)Puzzledd2010-10-16

It's especially fast when you have bags of the dry ingredients all together that you can just reach for. Sometimes you will have to wait a bit until the oven is hot enough because you will be done with your dough so fast. Never forget to cover it with the plastic wrap while in the microwave. Thank you!

Jayefuu (author)2010-09-21

I'm having this for dinner tonight :)

Ninzerbean (author)Jayefuu2010-09-21

I hope you are having people over to help you eat it all - it's fantastic for breakfast too though, or at 3AM when you can't sleep.

Jayefuu (author)Ninzerbean2010-09-21

Om nom nom way too much pizza....

Ninzerbean (author)Jayefuu2010-09-21

Oh I am hungry just looking at those!

porcupinemamma (author)2010-09-17

Wow Weeeeeeee Amazing! voted 5/5

Wow Weeeeeee - thank you!

ndnet (author)2010-08-20

I used the dough instructions tonight and it came out wonderfully! I curiously have the same trusty Cuisinart processor, so the pictures were extra topical in my first run. After having to wait so long to let dough rise on my previous pizza attempts, the speed of this recipe was a dream come true. Tucked away several baggies of dry ingredients for even zippier pies next time! To borrow from eBay parlance: A+, would bake again. ;-)

Ninzerbean (author)ndnet2010-08-21

Oh I love it - thank you for letting me know my instructions were good. You will be having a lot of pizza from now on. I have a friend who I taught this to who makes dessert pizza every week, she loads the finished crust up with sliced fresh fruit and sprinkles with sugar. Oh wait, that should be my next contest entry!

GRANDBUNNY (author)2010-08-20

This pizza is simply is the author!

animalsandearth (author)2010-08-19

your instructable makes me fat and happy

What a nice thing to say! Thank you:) And just for the record this the first time in my life I have ever used an emoticon.

Creativeman (author)2010-08-18

Amazing instructable, Ninzerbean! Wish I lived in your is so not fair....definitely something I won't attempt, don't have two weeks to spend in the kitchen and going to the store, and what not...don't laugh, it would take me that long! It's a winner, for sure, thanks for sharing. Cman

Ninzerbean (author)Creativeman2010-08-18

Thank you! You are really funny.

qznetsov (author)2010-08-18

Mmm it's so easy! I have a question: what is food processor?

onaclov2000 (author)qznetsov2010-08-18

it's similar to a blender, but the blades are flat and the container is more of a cylinder rather then cone if that makes sense, if you have food network on tv they use them all the time, you'll become familiar with a lot of things if you watch food network a lot (which I tend to when we vege out).

Ninzerbean (author)qznetsov2010-08-18

Well the most well known I think is a Cuisinart. I only wrote "food processor" because not every one has a Cuisinart. I am not being mean but I don't know where you live so your best shot would be to google either of the two words to find out more. Personally I have had my old Cuisinart for over 20 years so it must have been worth the money. When I use other folks food processors I notice that the blade clearance is greater between the sides of the bowl and therefor the food does not get chopped or mixed the way a Cuisinart does it.

seanquail (author)2010-08-18

great instructable. its in the oven now! fingers crossed!

Ninzerbean (author)seanquail2010-08-18

Take a picture when it's done - I'm so impressed! Lots of times I just read and read and "favorite" things but I don't get around to making them for weeks.

ggrenier (author)2010-08-18

The microwave rising idea is wonderful !!! Have you ever tried it for bread or other types of dough?

Ninzerbean (author)ggrenier2010-08-18

Yes, the book is great. I don't know how to use the new hyperlink or I would have hyperlinked it to Amazon. It's by Linda West Eckhardt and Diana Collingwood Butts, wow, long names. It has been a long time since I have used the book but I would recommend it highly.

Ninzerbean (author)NachoMahma2010-08-18

Yes, that is it, my copy is so old it doesn't have the same long title as the new edition. Thank you for making a hyperlink for me.

Joe Martin (author)2010-08-18

Thanks for sharing this! It looks delicious, I will try this very soon :D

Ninzerbean (author)Joe Martin2010-08-18

Thanks! It is soooo good, all my son's friends request it even if they have had pizza at their houses the day before.

Goodhart (author)2010-08-17

Oooo weee, a pizza just for me (the wife hates hot peppers) LOL

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