Chinese Takeout Pizza Recipe

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


It seems like all I ever do lately is complain about the heat?  Well, that’s because it’s HOT here, people!  Really, really hot.  And humid.  Hot and humid is miserable.  Thus, I am miserable too. Hot, cranky and miserable!   Yes, I know it could be worse.  The grass is always greener and all that.  But in this case, the grass actually is greener somewhere else.  Because it is so damn hot, our grass is mostly brown these days – brown and crunchy and sad.  I know that compared to much of the country, this place is considered a paradise.  But, living in paradise does have its drawbacks.


Heat makes me tired – and lazy.  I don’t feel like going anywhere or doing anything, including cooking.  Except for making ice cream.  Does making ice cream count as cooking?

But still, we have to eat, and I can only get away with heat-related cooking reprieves for just so long.  So, I’ve been resorting to lots of salads and other quick dishes that don’t require a lot of effort on my part.

One of the easiest ways to get a meal on my table in a short amount of time is to make pizza.  All you need is the dough, a stocked fridge and some imagination.  And, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I buy my dough.  Sure, I know how to make it from scratch, and I sometimes do – when it’s cold outside, and I’m in a good mood.  In fact, my favorite recipe can be found here.  But, I’m sure not going to go to all of that time and trouble making homemade pizza dough in the dead of summer, especially when I can buy some great stuff at several local pizzerias and bakeries.  I can even find an acceptable product at my neighborhood supermarket.


Pizza is a lifesaver because you can put just about anything on it – even leftovers –  and it will almost always taste good.  I’ve made a lot of pretty great pizza using some rather unconventional toppings, like leftover pulled pork, picadillo and even fruit salad.  Last Friday night, I think I created my most interesting and delicious concoction yet, and it all started with a leftover container of Chinese takeout.

I’d been having one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, and all I wanted to do  was go home, turn the a/c down to 68 degrees and crawl into a cool corner.    I would rather have chewed on broken glass than go back out and sit in a restaurant.  So, I called an Italian bakery that was on my way home and asked if they had any pizza dough left.  They did, and I swung by to pick up a few blobs.

After I got home, I foraged around in my kitchen to find something to put on my pizza.  I decided to make one pie with the last of my homemade ricotta and some tomatoes from my garden.


Coming up with the fixings for the other pie wasn’t so easy.  I guess I hadn’t been shopping in longer than I’d thought.   And then, I spied a small container of Szechuan Eggplant with Garlic Sauce leftover from the night before.  There wasn’t enough to make a meal out of, but there was plenty to top a pizza with.  So that’s just what I did.

I’ll admit, I was a little concerned about how that pizza would turn out.  But OMG!  It was out. of. this. world.  Seriously!  Mr. SGCC and I couldn’t stop eating it.  In the oven, the sauce thickened and the eggplant and onions got all melty and caramelized.  It had a subtle sweetness that cut right through the sharpness of the garlic.  Who would have ever guessed that a container of half-eaten Chinese takeout could be turned into such an amazing pizza?  Color me gobsmacked!


I’m leaving you with not so much a recipe, as a guide.  Don’t feel obligated to run out to your corner Chinese place for Eggplant in Garlic Sauce.  That is, unless you really love Eggplant in Garlic Sauce.  In that case, go right ahead.  If you don’t, however, any number of different dishes would work just as well on a pizza, like Moo Shu Pork or Beef and Broccoli.  (I wouldn’t try it with wonton soup, though.  Just sayin’.)   It doesn’t even have to be Chinese.  I’ll bet Butter Chicken or Saag Aloo from your favorite Indian restaurant would be great options as well.

I suppose that the moral of this story is that we need to keep our minds open to new things, especially when it comes to food.  Sometimes flavors that we would never think of mixing together can be a fantastic combination.  And also, that no matter how crappy your day has been, a fabulous pizza can put it all in perspective.


16 responses to Chinese Takeout Pizza Recipe

  1. On July 05, 2011 at 9:53pm, Elizabeth of AsianinAmericamag said...

    This is so unique. What a delicious take on pizza! I love how you’ve given it an Asian twist. Must try this one. Thanks for sharing!

  2. On July 05, 2011 at 10:19pm, Lisa~~ said...

    Eggplant in garlic sauce is my FAVE!! How fun on a pizza.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  3. On July 06, 2011 at 1:53am, Katrina said...

    This is such a neat idea! Yum!

  4. On July 06, 2011 at 1:59am, Rosa said...

    I love making my own pizzas from scratch too. That Chinese takeout pizza is so original and looks mighty scrummy.



  5. On July 06, 2011 at 9:27am, bellini said...

    The Leftover Queen would be proud of you Susan. This is my way to use those leftovers!

  6. On July 06, 2011 at 2:48pm, Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook said...

    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day! I love it. We have a 3 month old and two days ago he was in such a bad mood we pulled that book out and had to read it to him, if only to humor ourselves. ^_^

    So I always make pizza, even on the hot hot days. I am crazy, I know. I always want to get creative with my pizza, wanting to put left overs on or put things like avocado and lettuce on it. My wife always pleads me to just make “normal” pizza, so I do. I’ll have to show her this post next time we eat Chinese ^_~

    • On July 11, 2011 at 10:13pm, Susan said...

      I know what you mean about the book. I used to read it to my daughter when she was little and would get cranky.

      I love putting unusual toppings on pizza. One of my fave pizza joints makes an awesome baked ziti pizza. I think I’ll try a linguine and clams pizza next! 😉

  7. On July 06, 2011 at 3:55pm, Shirley @ gfe said...

    I’m betting there will be an increase in Chinese takeout AND calls to the favorite pizza place for leftover dough tonight! This pizza looks amazing, Susan. Now I’m remembering that I didn’t have much to eat for lunch!

    Try to stay cool, dear … maybe some luscious cocktails will help with that? 😉


    • On July 11, 2011 at 10:14pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Shirley! Yes, lots and lots of icy, cold cocktails! 😉

  8. On July 07, 2011 at 3:49pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    Why not? If you can put rice under it, why not pizza crust? Bets of both takeout worlds!

    Sorry you’re having not so good days. I’m having a few of those myself lately. My job rarely stresses me out this much! I need pizza! The heat isn’t much better in NY these days either and I’d make ice cream, but that means cooking the custard!

  9. On July 07, 2011 at 7:57pm, dani said...

    send some of that heat my way????

  10. On July 09, 2011 at 8:57am, Judith Kinney said...

    Where do you get good chinese take-out in the greater Sarasota area?

    • On July 11, 2011 at 10:31pm, Susan said...

      Not very easily, Judith. I go to the little place in Paradise Plaza because it is right near my house. Their eggplant dish is one of the best things they make. There are a few up north, near Bradenton. The Lucky Star on Cortez Rd in Bradenton is very good and has a dim sum menu. Rice Box Express on North Honore is good. And, The Lucky Star on N. Tamiami is also quite good and has a dim sum menu as well.

  11. On July 10, 2011 at 8:40pm, Dmarie said...

    wow, pizza sounds like a great way to use up leftovers. thanks for this idea!

  12. On July 24, 2011 at 4:24am, Ricky @ Cookie Recipes said...

    While the eggplant in garlic sauce one doesn’t look that appetizing, I would actually try it. I wouldn’t mind trying this with other leftover Chinese takeout as well. Definitely a unique idea anyway.

  13. On August 14, 2011 at 5:37am, Pattaya Seafood Restaurant said...

    Wow, looks really delicious. Thank you for recipe. I will let my cook do this for me. :)

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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