A simple, yet effortlessly stunning pepperoni pizza, covered with fresh arugula and drizzled with ribbons of chili-spiced hot honey. The pizza comes together in minutes, making it the perfect weeknight dinner or a quick, company ready appetizer. Bake it at your hottest oven setting for a pizza that goes from everyday to extraordinary. Not a fan of pepperoni or need a pork free version? No problem – just use turkey pepperoni or slices of your favorite sausage.
What is special about this pepperoni pizza?
- Its a gourmet spin on the classic pepperoni pizza. A crispy thin crust pizza baked at high heat with sauce and cheese, topped with jalapeno and pepperoni. The pizza is then covered with fresh arugula and drizzled with hot honey which magnifies the intensity of every individual flavor.
- Prep is super simple – just use store bought pizza dough if you don’t have any homemade Thin Crust Pizza Dough in your fridge. Ideas for mixing and matching ingredients are provided in the next section.
- Clean up is easy – you just need a baking sheet for this recipe!
Ingredients and Substitutions
This gourmet pepperoni pizza uses a little bit of several ingredients to create layers and layers of flavor.
- Pepperoni is typically made from cured pork and beef and seasoned with a spicy chili pepper like paprika. Both regular and porkless pepperoni (made with turkey) are sold in grocery stores in the United States. Turkey pepperoni tastes like regular pepperoni as both meats are cured using similar processes. The only difference is that turkey pepperoni has a lower percentage of fat. Not a fan of pepperoni? Just use slices of your favorite sausage.
- Fresh peppery arugula adds a wonderful spicy bite that helps cut through the saltiness of the pepperoni. The closest substitute for arugula is watercress which still has a peppery flavor. However if neither are available, finely chopped baby kale, baby spinach or spring greens will also work. The idea is to add a fresh “green” counterbalance to the taste and texture of the spicy, chewy pepperoni.
- Hot Honey is basically an infusion of thinly sliced dry or fresh chili peppers with honey. The honey helps intensify and tie all the flavors of this pizza together. If you dont have hot honey, just use use regular honey and some crushed red chili flakes to simulate the taste or for a decidedly unique taste, drizzle some Nuoc Cham – Vietnam’s famous dipping sauce.
How to make this pizza
The full instructions are available in the recipe card at the bottom, however, here is a look of what’s involved.
A basic pepperoni pizza is made up of a pizza base or crust, pizza sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Pepperoni is an American salami which is typically made of a mixture of cured pork, beef, paprika. Pepperoni is typically served in thin slices and is bright red in color.
No, slices of pepperoni are put directly onto the pizza.
Pepperoni is available in most grocery stores in the United States.
Turkey pepperoni tastes almost the same as regular pepperoni because it is processed and contains the same spices as regular pepperoni. One great advantage of turkey pepperoni is that it has a lower fat content so there is less oil on the baked pizza.
I would use slices of your favorite sausage. If that is not available you can use something which is also salty and intensely savory, like anchovies.
Other gourmet pizza ideas
I love making homemade pizza because you can explore creative topping combinations and are not limited to a menu. Below is a list of some of our favorite topping combinations:
Finally, if you make this recipe..
I’d love to hear how it went – please leave a comment and rate this recipe. Above all, I love hearing from all of you and will do my best to answer each and every comment!
Hot Honey, Pepperoni & Arugula Pizza
- Baking Tray
- 16 oz pizza dough homemade or store bought
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup romano freshly grated
- 1 cup mozzarella
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- 15-18 slices pepperoni
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes optional
- 1 tbsp hot honey
- Rest the dough for at least an hour outside the refrigerator to bring the dough to room temperature before preparing the pizza
- Preheat oven to 500° F.
- Pour out the dough. Punch and press into a round shape. Stretch out the dough by rotating on your knuckles and letting gravity do the rest. Make sure the dough is stretched as evenly as possible. Press out as many of the bubbles as possible with your fingertips and mend holes by pressing the dough. Place the pizza onto a baking sheet (no flour dusting is necessary for the baking sheet.
- Add the toppings evenly on the pizza base in the following order: olive oil, pizza sauce, romano, jalapeno, pepperoni and parmesan.
- Put the pizza in the bottom of the oven. Bake for 6 minutes.
- Put the pizza in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 6 minutes.
- Immediately garnish with arugula, hot honey and red chili flakes (optional). Serve immediately.
- Tips for using store bought pizza dough
- Keep the dough in the store bought bag in the deep freezer until ready to use.
- Defrost overnight in the refrigerator in the bag.
- For optimal results, let the dough sit out for at least an hour so it is at room temperature before stretching into the pizza base.
- Assemble the pizza right before baking to avoid a soggy crust.
- If a hole appears in your dough, push it back in and seal the dough.
- Brush the entire dough surface with olive oil.
- There is no need to dust the baking sheet with flour. However if like a bit of a crunchy, nutty texture – a little semolina on the bottom of the dough does wonders.
- To reheat pizza, place the pizza on a hot skillet (I use cast iron), cover and heat on medium heat for a 3 minutes. The cheese will melt and the crust will become crispy again. Microwaving pizza results in the crust becoming soft and soggy.
- Recipe yields approximately 8 servings. The nutrition information has been calculated using an online recipe nutrition calculator and is intended for informational purposes only and should be used as a general guideline. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should independently verify it using your preferred tool.