Not Your Mamas English Muffin Pizza

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

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Remember eating English muffin pizzas as a kid? I do. My mom used to make them for us all the time. She’d take a few muffins, slather on some marinara sauce (homemade, of course) and top it with whatever kind of cheese she happened to have in the fridge.  Then, she’d pop them in the toaster oven until they were hot and bubbly. The sauce would puddle up and settle into those nooks and crannies under a gooey blanket of melted cheese. We loved them!

Later on, when I was in college, English muffin pizza became one of the mainstays of my diet – and my social life. With a hotpot and toaster oven being the only appliances allowed in my dorm room, my culinary options were limited to canned soup, ramen noodles and whatever I could find to toast. Preparing anything beyond that required both resourcefulness and creativity. I spent many a late night study break whipping up English muffin pizzas for my dorm mates and me with sauce from a jar and regular old Kraft singles. It was far from gourmet, but every bite was filled with the taste of sweet independence.

When Mini SGCC was little, I carried on the English muffin pizza tradition. By that time, I had a well equipped kitchen, a fully stocked fridge and a lot more choices. I began to experiment a little with different sauces and toppings, and tried to sneak a few healthy bits of fruits and vegetables into my pizzas.

Bays-muffins

Last May, I met some of the folks from Bays English Muffins at BlogHer Food in Atlanta.  After the conference, they were nice enough to send me some free samples to try out.   When the package came in the mail, the first thing I thought of was pizza.  English muffin pizza to be precise!  So, I put on my pizza-making thinking cap and came up with a few ideas to take them to the next level.  These are not your mama’s English muffin pizzas, people!

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This one is topped with a zesty basil pesto sauce, slices of fresh Roma tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese.  I had some homemade pesto in the freezer, but store bought pesto would work fine here.

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For this pizza, I cooked diced red onion and zucchini in olive oil until soft.  For the “sauce” I used Boursin cheese, a spreadable garlic and herb cheese.  Topped with a little shredded mozzarella, it was out of this world!

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I think that this one was my favorite of all.  I spread a layer of cream cheese on the toasted muffin, and spooned on a mixture of diced fresh pineapple, pepperoni and red onion sautéed in butter.  Then, I sprinkled some shredded Swiss cheese on top.  When I sank my teeth into it, I got sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy all at the same time. Divine!

The topping possibilities for these pizzas are literally endless!  Pretty much anything that you have in your fridge can be turned into a mini pizza masterpiece.  It’s a great way to use up leftovers too.

Making English muffin pizzas is one of the easiest things in the world to do.  It’s almost impossible to ruin them.  But, there are a few tricks you can use to make them even better.  First of all, you should always lightly toast the muffins before you add on any toppings.  By doing this, you’ll prevent “soggy bottoms” and keep your pizzas nice and crispy.  Second, if you’re using fresh tomatoes, set them on a plate lined with a paper towel for ten minutes or so before putting them on the pizzas.  This will help to “dry” them up a bit so that they hold their shape when baked.  Finally, if you are using fresh vegetables to top your pizzas, take a few extra minutes and sauté them on the stove to get tender.   The pizzas only bake for about ten minutes, and I found that the veggies were still kind of raw.

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English muffin pizzas are fast, easy and super delicious.  Plus, they’re a lot of fun!  They make a great lunch for the kids, a quick weeknight dinner and a perfect, self contained nosh at cocktail parties.  So, channel your inner child and make some now!

Thank you to Bays for providing the English muffins used in making these recipes.  As always, however, the opinions presented are mine – all mine!

 

24 responses to Not Your Mamas English Muffin Pizza

  1. On August 03, 2011 at 10:15pm, ciaochowlinda said...

    Oh yes I remember these. I made them for my kids, and they were the standard meal before Halloween trick or treating.

  2. On August 04, 2011 at 1:40am, Rosa said...

    Mmmhhh, those look mighty scrumptious!

    cheers,

    Rosa

  3. On August 04, 2011 at 6:07am, Coleens Recipes said...

    I haven’t thought of these in years; I’m excited to see an upgraded pizza muffin!! Thanks for the reminder, they really are tasty.

  4. On August 04, 2011 at 9:19am, Erin said...

    I really like how you posted variations of an English muffin pizza! Pizza is one of my favorite things to make, because you can add whatever you want, or whatever you just happen to have in your fridge that needs to be eaten. I love all of these!

    • On August 05, 2011 at 11:14am, Susan said...

      They’re perfect for “empty out the fridge” day! :)

  5. On August 04, 2011 at 12:43pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    I do remember eating these as a kid. I recall there was a big “make pizza out of anything craze” in the 70s/early 80s where pizza was made from French bread baguettes, pita, and even toast, but muffin pizzas prevailed.

    I dont’ know why this triggered a memory of wanting a muffin pizza as a snack and asking my grandfather to make one for me. He told me I only wanted one. I said, “I want two” thinking that “two” meant I wanted to eat both halves of the muffin. He took it to mean two entire muffins. I have four mini pizzas to eat that afternoon! I felt so bad about insiting Grandpa make two pizzas that I ate them all. Good thing I’ve always had a big appetite!

    Ah, me and the novel-length comments!

    • On August 05, 2011 at 11:16am, Susan said...

      Ah, yes! I remember French bread pizza too. Good, but not as yummy as the English muffin ones.

      And,I love your novel length comments! :)

  6. On August 04, 2011 at 2:23pm, Katrina said...

    Quick and delicious looking!

  7. On August 04, 2011 at 4:30pm, The Food Hunter said...

    I haven’t had English Muffin Pizzas in years and never anything this fancy. I’m loving the idea of the creamy cheesy zucchini. Will have to get myself some english Muffins for sure.

    • On August 05, 2011 at 11:17am, Susan said...

      Do try it! The Boursin cheese is fabulous on a pizza. And any veggie combo will work too.

  8. On August 04, 2011 at 5:03pm, LizAnderson said...

    English Muffin Pizzas? No your’e talkin’! That was our childhood, too.

    I’ll be right over —- forget that I live 3000 miles from you :)

    • On August 05, 2011 at 11:18am, Susan said...

      Anytime, Liz! I’ll keep a few warm for you. ;)

  9. On August 04, 2011 at 5:29pm, Joan Nova said...

    Oh, yes, I have the same memory and haven’t done an English Muffin pizza in ages…but what a fun experiment! The varieties are endless, you can make it for just one person, and you don’t have to make and roll dough!!

    • On August 05, 2011 at 11:19am, Susan said...

      Ha ha! Any excuse not to roll dough is good enough for me. ;)

  10. On August 05, 2011 at 9:44am, Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook said...

    I have fond memories of English Muffin Pizza after school when I was a young lad. These certainly are not my Mama’s English Muffin Pizzas, they look so much tastier! (Don’t tell my Mom please!)

    • On August 05, 2011 at 11:19am, Susan said...

      Thanks, Chris! My lips are sealed. ;)

  11. On August 05, 2011 at 1:31pm, Michele said...

    I LOVE all your ideas!!! Can’t wait to try them and get creative myself!

  12. On August 05, 2011 at 4:50pm, sweetsugarbelle said...

    A grown up version of a childhood fave…I’m going to have to share these with mom. She’d love!

  13. On August 24, 2011 at 10:27pm, Susan with Permanent Posies said...

    Found this on Pinterest! Wow! It made me happy. My mom always made English Muffin pizza too and kept it in the freezer in Tupperware. She made hers with marinara, cooked ground beef and Cheese Whiz. However, as good as those were….Your rock the day for sure! I MUST try them.

  14. On September 27, 2011 at 5:34pm, Everett said...

    I just stumbled onto this and I’m about to try them out, but out of curiousity, any creative ideas for what would go well with some mushrooms on something like this? I feel like they could have some potential…

  15. On October 11, 2011 at 10:25am, Women clothing fashion said...

    That looks so delicious! Yum!

  16. On December 02, 2012 at 2:09pm, me said...

    linguica and onion yummy

  17. On August 22, 2013 at 3:18pm, Nancy Goldstein said...

    Bays are the best for English Muffin pizzas. The grand top with strange concoctions but eat them which doesn’t always happen when I make them “healthy meals”. Thanks for the reminder

  18. On August 22, 2013 at 3:20pm, Nancy Goldstein said...

    That’s grandchildren.
    Sorry

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kiss the cook!

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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