Pizza dough without yeast? Yes! You can make the perfect no yeast pizza dough and I’m going to show you how with this Italian Sausage and Caramelized Onion Pizza.

A closeup of the pizza showing the Italian sausage crumbles, caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil

I developed this pizza dough after running out of yeast and was not able to buy any. Perfectly tender dough that bakes to a thin, crispy Neapolitan-style crust is achieved by using baking powder and allowing the dough to rest after kneading.

There are no floppy pizza slices here (look at the picture below).  Every slice is crispy and able to hold itself up without having to do the ‘New York pizza slice fold’. If you don’t know what this is, Google it, you’ll know.

Holding a slice of Italian sausage and caramelized onion pizza

The dough recipe is the same I use for all my other pizzas that use yeast: Spring Vegetable Pizza and Grilled Margherita Pizza. A versatile dough that you can make with or without the yeast, cooks’ choice.

This Italian Sausage and Caramelized Onion Pizza may be my favorite that I have made up to now. Italian sausage is a great ‘cheat’ way to add a ton of flavor (I love mixing it in meatloaf, meatballs and adding to marinara sauce). 

Sweet or spicy Italian sausage can be used – again, cooks’ choice. My other favorite topping is caramelized onions that is delicious paired with the sausage. I have a recipe for curry caramelized onions that I use, I just simply omit the spices. You know that caramelized onions are delicious in and on just about any savory dish.

Italian sausage and caramelized onion pizza from overhead on a wood board

This is a sauce less pizza. Instead, I opted for sweet cherry tomatoes. The mozzarella I use is a good quality fresh mozzarella (dried of any moisture) but any favorite you like is fine to use.

Do I need to precook the sausage?

No. Since the sausage is crumbled and in a very hot oven for 20 minutes, this is enough time to cook it well. The tell-tale is the edges of the crumble will get a little crust. You can see it in some of the close-up pics.

How to freeze pizza dough

When I’m making pizza dough, I like to double the recipe and make one pizza to eat now and one ball of dough to freeze. Simply wrap the dough ball (after resting) in plastic wrap and store in a well-sealed freezer bag. Defrost at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

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Yield: 8

Italian Sausage and Caramelized Pizza

A yeast free pizza on a serving board

A yeast free pizza dough topped with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, Italian sausage and caramelized onions.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the dough:
  • ½ cup (118 ml) warm water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups (192 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • For the toppings:
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) mozzarella
  • 5 ounces (142 grams) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 sweet or spicy Italian sausages, removed from casing
  • Caramelized onions
  • Fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. For the dough:
  2. To a bowl add the warm water, honey and olive oil. Mix until the honey is dissolved.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl. While drizzling in the water, mix with a fork until the dough comes together. If it is too dry, add a little more water until it holds together to form a ball. You can switch to using your hands.
  4. Flour your counter and turn out the dough. Knead, sprinkling lightly with flour so it doesn’t stick to your hands. Knead for 3-4 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky.
  5. Coat the mixing bowl with a little oil and put the dough back in the bowl and cover with a towel. Place in a warm place. This can be the microwave or oven (both turned off) for 30 minutes to allow the dough to rest after kneading and make it easier to roll and keep the dough tender. Remove from the oven after 30 minutes.
  6. Position the oven rack on the top ¾ portion of the oven and preheat to 450°F/230°C.
  7. Place the dough onto a 12-inch (31 cm) round pizza pan or large baking sheet. Use your hands to press into a pizza shape.
  8. For the toppings:
  9. Spread the mozzarella all over, top with the cherry tomatoes, crumble the Italian sausage all over and finish with an even layer of caramelized onions.
  10. Bake for 20 until the crust is golden brown and the sausage is cooked.