Recipe Monday: Updated Pizza Crust Recipe & Greek Inspired Pasta

14 Nov

Good morning and happy Monday to you all!  I hope you all took advantage of the weekend and spent your time with family and friends having fun!

Crusty Pizza Dough Recipe

In yesterday’s weekend recap post, I wrote about Keith and I making homemade pizza on Friday night.  Before I share our recipe we love so much, I want to let you guys know that it is super easy and quick to make you own pizza dough!  It is not scary and it tastes so amazing!  Here is our new updated recipe that is almost identical to our old crusty pizza dough recipe with just a few minor tweaks.

Updated Crusty Pizza Dough

(adapted from the Kitchen Aid Mixer Recipe Collection)

  • Prep Time:  1 hour 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time:  15 – 18 minutes
  • Servings:  Makes one thick crust pizza or two thin crust pizzas


  • 1 Packet Yeast

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • 3 teaspoons Olive Oil

  • 3 (possibly 3 1/2) cups of flour, plus enough to lightly dust the bottom of a baking sheet


1.  In your Kitchen Aid mixer bowl, dissolve the yeast in one cup of warm water (approximately 10 minutes).  Add in the salt, garlic powder, rosemary, oregano, crushed red peppers, black pepper, olive oil and 2 1/2 cups of flour.  Mix using the dough hook for one minute of setting 2.  Add in the rest of the flour (1/2 cup) and mix for another 2 minutes on setting 2 until the dough is stuck on the dough hook and fully mixed (or longer if needed). 

*If you need to add more flour go ahead and do so until your dough looks like dough, or if you need, you can add in extra olive oil and water if you dough has too much flour. 

2.  Place the dough in a greased bowl and make sure to coat the dough on all sides.  Place a towel over the bowl and let the dough sit for one hour or until it has doubled in size (I like sticking it in the oven). 

3.  Grease the bottom of a pizza pan and lightly sprinkle on flour.  Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and begin making your crust.  Bake pizza at 450 degrees for 15 minutes for thin crust and 15-18 minutes if making only one pizza.

*If you want a crisper crust, bake the crust by itself for 3 minutes (thin crust) or 5 minutes (thick crust).

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Greek Inspired Pasta

Last night for dinner, I wanted to use up some ingredients we had on hand I didn’t want going bad.  Enter Greek Inspired Pasta.  If you regularly read my blog, you already know my husband and I are huge fans of pasta and eat it on average twice a week for dinner.  I love it because it is so easy to make and there are always leftovers for dinner the following night as well.  That makes my life easy.

While taking account of what needed to be ate, I decided we would make a Greek inspired pasta that would include black olives (leftover from pizza night), roasted red bell peppers (that have been in the fridge for a month now), and a box of frozen spinach I bought last week (I love this stuff).  I immediately thought of Greek flavors with these three ingredients as my starting flavors of the pasta.

Fast forward to tonight and what we have is an awesome Greek pasta recipe that is stock full of vegetables and protein and is sure to please the palate of the pickiest eater.

Greek Inspired Pasta

  • Prep Time:  15 Minutes
  • Cook Time:  20 Minutes
  • Servings:  4-6 (depending on how hungry you are and what else you are serving with the pasta)


  • 5 servings of whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 box frozen spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus an additional tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (more or less depending on your love of garlic)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 4 spinach chicken sausages
  • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to package.

2.  Chop the onion, bell pepper, chicken sausages, black olives and roasted red bell peppers and set aside.

3.  In a skillet on medium heat, add in 2tbsp olive oil and garlic.  Once the oil is hot and the garlic starts cooking, add in the onion and green bell pepper.  Once you see the vegetables starting to soften, add in the chicken sausages.  Turn off the heat and let sit until the pasta is minutes away from being ready.

4.  Once the pasta is minutes away from being fully cooked, turn the heat back on the skillet and add in the black olives, roasted red bell peppers and parmesan cheese.  You may want to add in 1tbsp olive oil if your mixture is looking dry (remember this is going to be the sauce of your pasta)

5.  Before draining the pasta, add in 2-3 tablespoons of starch water to the vegetable and chicken sausage mixture.  Drain pasta and serve vegetable mixture over top!


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  • Are you a fan of black olives?
  • Do you like Greek flavors?
  • Do you buy or make your own pizza dough?



12 Responses to “Recipe Monday: Updated Pizza Crust Recipe & Greek Inspired Pasta”

  1. Shanna, like Banana November 14, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    I love the dough recipe, especially the addition of rosemary for a bit of a kick. I really *should* make my own, but Trader Joe’s makes such good refrigerated dough, that I go the easy route 😉

    I’m a green olive and kalmata olive fan, but not black..yick. I have no idea why, but never did like them.

    Have a great Monday 🙂

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life November 14, 2011 at 10:11 am #

      I love black olives on pizza, but don’t think I could eat a green olive or a kalamata olive! I can’t stand how they taste! You would think if a person liked one type of olive they would like them all! So werid!

      I bet TJ’s makes good dough! My husband and I have a lot of fun on a Friday night making pizza at home! It is always so much fun!

  2. loftyappetite November 14, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    This post reminds me that I need to add make your own pizza night to my new meal planning rotation! Yours looks delicious!!

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life November 14, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      I always forget to add it in as well, but then end up craving pizza and thinking about it! Keith and I always have so much fun in the kitchen together making and deciding on what type of pizza to make!

  3. Claire @ Live & Love to Eat November 14, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    The dough looks amazing with all of those herbs – I love when I have the time to make homemade dough!

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life November 14, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      It is really good! I love how convienient premade dough is, but nothing compares to homemade dough! It always tastes so good!

  4. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather November 14, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Other than on pizza, olives really aren’t my thing. Love the huge pizza’s you made! And so fun that you and the hubs made pizza together. Wish my man would help me in the kitchen and enjoy it 🙂

    Happy Monday!

  5. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers November 14, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    I don’t usually make or buy dough. I just buy pizza. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try though, so thanks for the recipe!

    Oh, and I really really really like black olives. Kalamata are good too. Actually, I like all olives.

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life November 14, 2011 at 11:24 am #

      Black olives on pizza are so good! I can only eat them baked into something otherwise can’t stand their flavor!

      Try the pizza dough out and let me know if you liked it!

  6. Heather B November 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    Yum, that sounds so good. I bet it would be a good dough for a veggie calzone too! I don’t like black olives and always pick them off the veggie pizza we get, however, my son picked them off my plate and ate them!! So weird that a 1 year old likes olives!! I guess I’m missing out!!

  7. Erica November 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Great recipe! I love home making dough! I use 101 cookbooks recipe. Wonderful! I love Greek food but not olives. I can’t wait to try having feta again!

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