Thin Crust Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers

Story time!

Wait, did you just GROAN?

I spent most of my formative years in Hobbs, New Mexico. Way out in the desert with tumbleweeds and dust and sleeveless muscle shirts. So from the ages of 9 to 19, if my family had any major shopping to do, like back-to-school style, we drove two hours to Lubbock, TX. The big city! With fancier tumbleweeds, dust and sleeveless muscle shirts.

One late summer Saturday morning in 1989 my family of four hopped into our blue Astro minivan and made the trek to the Lubbocks. I was 13 years old and desperately needed some new neon Esprit coolots. I MEAN DUH. We arrived late morning and were all utterly famished and grouchy and I had just learned the exciting word “methane” and was adorably overusing it in every sentence, thus resulting in my 16 near deaths. Like, that morning.


Outside the GIGANTIC Lubbock mall (which is probably actually a regular sized mall now that I’m all grown upy and mature) there’s a slew of chain restaurants. I’m talking chachki.ville. We jumped on the nearest Pizza Inn, slid into a booth (which my mom wanted a table because she’s so tiny she can’t ever reach the table, bahahah!), scanned the menu and quickly made our order before we resorted to feeding on our phalanges.



“Did we order thin crust?”  “Dad, do you remember us actually saying the words THIN CRUST? I can’t remember!” “Can you, mom?”  “Barbara, do you remember if we said thin crust?” “Oh no, Tim. We didn’t say thin crust. I really don’t think we said thin crust.”  “Joan, I don’t know either. I don’t think we did. I don’t think we said thin crust.”  “Do you think they’ll put methane in it?”


My dad flags down our waitress. She walks over to our table, pen in her mouth, already visibly annoyed. My dad, “So sorry to bug you. We just wanted to double check our order. Did we make that thin crust?” She halfway scans her scribbled notepad, “Uh huh.”

In unison, my entire family (I’m embarrassed just remembering) sinks into the hugest sigh of relief, “WHEEEEW! OH YAAAAAY. OH MY GOSH. I MEAN THAT WAS SOOOO CLOSE.” Like, the whole entire restaurant heard it. All of the restaurants heard it. The whole mall a parking lot away heard it.

She slightly shakes her head, turns to walk away and under her breath, “Y’all needs ta get out more.”

But we got our thin crust pizza.

That’s right we did.

Thin Crust Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers:

What it took for 2 (roughly) 10-inch pizzas:

* half of this pizza dough recipe
* 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
* 1 large red bell pepper
* 2-3 cups cherry tomatoes (or your pizza sauce of choice)
* 2 links Italian sausages, casings removed
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella

Place the sliced onions into a large skillet, over low heat. Occasionally toss the onions, as they caramelize over the next hour or so. They’ll turn brown and sugary and oh so lovely.

In the meantime, throw your tomatoes into a small food processor. Blitz until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a small sauce pan and simmer on low for about 30 minutes, reducing the tomatoes. Season with a small pinch of salt.

Also in the meantime, turn on your broiler. Using tongs, place the pepper on the top oven rack and cook until it’s black and charred all over, turning the pepper as you go. Remove the pepper from the oven and place it in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The skin will loosen on the pepper. You’ll then just pull the skin away from the pepper. Slice into strips!

(or you can buy them already roasted)

Once you’re done broiling, set your oven to 400. Stick a pizza stone in there too if you have one.

Once the onions are caramelized, transfer them to a small bowl. To the skillet, add the Italian sausages. Cook until browned all over, about 7 minutes.

Roll out 2 balls of pizza dough until you get roughly 10-inch circles.

Evenly spoon the tomato sauce over each crust. Arrange the onions on top of the sauce. Then sprinkle the sausage crumbles over the onions. Then on go the roasted red pepper strips.

Then sprinkle the cheese over each pizza, slide each pizza onto the stone (preferably with a little corn meal on the stone) and bake about 13 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

Slice. It. And. Serve. It.

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39 Responses to Thin Crust Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers

  1. the 3volution of j3nn October 12, 2012 at 8:27 am #
    You said esprit and coolots in the same sentence... I think I love you! Lol. OMG, that's sooo 80s. Love, love, love it. And this pizza, love that too. :D
  2. claire @ the realistic nutritionist October 12, 2012 at 8:30 am #
    Beverly SUEEEEE. I'm saying that in a deep,Southern drawl. Either way, I'd eat this pizza. while wearing neon shoes.
  3. Tracey @ Cooking With Love October 12, 2012 at 8:37 am #
    Cute story! I remember Esprit too! I loved neon, but coolots, not so much. Pizza looks really yummy and I LOVE the thin crust! :)
  4. Abby@ Totes Delish October 12, 2012 at 8:37 am #
    Agree with this so much! Pan style is just too much sometimes!
  5. marla October 12, 2012 at 8:38 am #
    Oh girl!!! LOVE this pizzzzzzaaahhhhhh :)
  6. Loretta E October 12, 2012 at 8:53 am #
    Oh boy. It's been way too long since I've made a pizza and this one sounds about perfect!
  7. Barb October 12, 2012 at 9:21 am #
    I am dying. Why were we so stupid? We needed to get out more. Hey, Pizza Hut is calling me for lunch. Yum. And your dish looks delish. Too bad I'm lazy!
  8. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom October 12, 2012 at 9:22 am #
    OMG, love this! I seriously need to get a pizza stone! The last time I made homemade pizza, I just stuck it on a foiled lined pizza pan. This would taste so much better I'd imagine?
  9. Heather @ Heather's Dish October 12, 2012 at 9:50 am #
    um, WHAT?! i had no idea that you a) lived in Hobbs and b) came to Lubbock - I was born and raised there! craaaaaaaaazy...
    • Bev Weidner October 12, 2012 at 10:11 am #
      YOU. are kidding. No way! Yeah, I graduated from Hobbs in '94. I was a HAWBS EAGLE. I can't believe you lived in Lubbock! And now you're in LR. I was born THERE. This is freaking me out.
      • Heather (Heather's Dish) October 13, 2012 at 11:48 am #
        Um I know, right! I was totally humming the twilight zone theme in my head while I was reading this post
  10. Christina October 12, 2012 at 10:09 am #
    It's not weird and a tad creepy that I'm licking my screen, is it? I mean, seriously, look at that pizzzzaaaaa. Slurp.
  11. Traci October 12, 2012 at 10:14 am #
    This looks like a great variation for game night. This looks fantastic--we're trying it!
  12. Erin October 12, 2012 at 10:43 am #
    This looks really good. I'm going to try it :-)
  13. Jen @ Savory Simple October 12, 2012 at 11:15 am #
    That is one drool-worthy pizza.
  14. Averie @ Averie Cooks October 12, 2012 at 11:31 am #
    Bev thanks for relinking your dough recipe. I am paying more attn to dough and bread these days and trying to start making more - so thanks for the inspiration!
  15. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar October 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm #
    This pizza is maaaaadness! Yum!
  16. Christina @ Be Mindful. Be Human. October 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm #
    Love the story. Reminds me of my family. Loud and proud! Love the pizza recipe especially thin crust.
  17. Cassie October 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm #
    Thin crust is the only way to go!
  18. Katie @ Blonde Ambition October 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm #
    Thin crust yesssssss. Also, red bell pepper and caramelized onions yesssssss.
  19. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious October 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm #
    I'm a thin crust gal so this pizza is screaming my name! Plus, I love the topping combo!
  20. Julie @ Table for Two October 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm #
    you're killing me. this pizza looks fantastic!
  21. Jane October 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm #
    No green chiles on it? I will add them for my husband, he will love it! Looks great from another New Mexican.
  22. Sues October 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm #
    I prefer thin crust pizza 495803 times over all alternatives. And sausage on my pizza. Always.
  23. Kathryn October 14, 2012 at 4:50 am #
    There are times when only a thin crust pizza will do.
  24. Brian @ A Thought For Food October 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm #
    I moaned with joy when I saw this pizza. I might have to do something similar as an app for our holiday dinner party!
  25. Alan October 15, 2012 at 10:57 am #
    OK...this is scary. Are you stalking me? I also went to Hobbs High, and then on to Texas Tech in Lubbock. We always went to Lubbock for our "big shopping" (after all, the mall had two Dillard's and we could eat at The Brittany and order our food from a red telephone at each table). Anyway, from one former Eagle to another, that is one fine looking pizza. My kids won't eat anything other than thin crust so I can't wait to give this a try.
    • Bev Weidner October 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm #
      You're kidding me! What year did you graduate from Hobbs High? I was '94. We miiiight know the same people!
      • Alan October 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm #
        I graduated quite a few years ahead of you ('79) so unless you have older siblings we probably didn't cross paths. However my parents are both retired teachers and still in Hobbs (Mom taught elementary at Mills and step-dad taught band at high school and most elementary schools) so it's possible you may have known them.
  26. Alison @ ingredients, Inc. October 15, 2012 at 11:33 am #
    oh my... yumminess!
  27. Ashley October 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm #
    yummm!! I love thin crust pizza!!
  28. Pauline March 8, 2013 at 1:08 am #
    I'm new to baking pizza at home and I loveeee thin crust pizza. This pizza looks soo good.. Can you please tell me what brand of pizza stone do you have or recommend? Thanks so much! =)
  29. Raneen July 18, 2013 at 4:26 am #
    This pizza turned out tasty. Honestly, the crust was OK, the caramelized onions and roasted red peppers gave it a wonderful flavor!
  30. Jim Clark August 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm #
    Pizza Inn Thin Crust with Sausage and Onion is my FAVORITE pizza, but I've never found a pizza crust recipe that comes even close to that crust. Worse... all of the Pizza Inn locations in our area closed up years ago... the nearest one is a 5 hour drive away! This one looks good, but the crust just doesn't look the same.
  31. Linda Muse January 24, 2014 at 11:01 pm #
    I LOVED this recipe! Better yet, my family really loved it! I will definitely be making it again. My crust wasn't so thin (didn't have the right size pan and just used what I had so it was a bit thicker) but it was delicious. I also used a commercial pizza sauce (local one sold where I live) instead of making the one in the recipe. Loved the reminiscing! I have friends and family in and around Hobbs and the Texas Panhandle so I really connected with all you had to say!
  32. Amy April 2, 2014 at 9:47 pm #
    I have made this pizza crust at least thirty times and every single time people ask me for the recipe! Everyone knows me as the go to person for pizza now and it's all because of this crust! I roll it out super thin and it is crispy perfection! Thank you so much for this recipe it had literally changed the way I look at pizza forever. My siblings actually force me to make them pizza every week so I always have a frozen batch ready. Well, I'm off to make some kale and bacon pizza with Thai basil pesto instead of tomato sauce and vintage cheddar yum!


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