School Cafeteria Pizza

School Cafeteria Pizza Recipe – pizza day was my favorite day in school. I loved that rectangle pizza! I found the recipe in a government cookbook and had to give it a try. OMG! So good and super easy to make with a simple pourable pizza crust. Yeast, flour, dry milk, sugar, salt, water, and oil. Top the pizza with your favorite toppings. Can freeze the pizza for a quick meal later!

lunch tray with rectangle pizza, milk, corn, and a roll

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Lunch Lady Pizza

I don’t know about you, but when I was in school my favorite day of the week was pizza day! Chicken Legs and I were talking about lunchroom pizza the other day, so I started Googling where to buy school pizza. While I couldn’t find a good place to buy it, but I did find an authentic recipe! I came across a government cookbook and it had the pizza recipe! I immediately added it to the menu. OMG! It was SO good. It was much better than the School Cafeteria Pizza I remember eating. I’m pretty sure it has to do with using real cheese and homemade pizza sauce. This has quickly become our go-to recipe for pizza night!

sheet pan of rectangle pizza

How to Make School Cafeteria Pizza

The original recipe made enough pizza for 100 servings. Obviously most people don’t need to serve 100 people at a time, so I had to scale the original recipe WAY back. This recipe is made in a half-sheet pan and serves at least 8 people.

The crust is very easy to make. Start with dissolving some yeast in warm water. Let it stand for a few minutes and then add flour, dry milk, sugar, salt, and oil. Mix in a stand mixer for 10 minutes. Oil a rimmed sheet pan and sprinkle it with some cornmeal. Pour the batter into the baking sheet and let rest for 20 minutes. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Add the sauce, pizza toppings, and cheese. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Slice and serve.

  • This recipe uses non-fat dry milk. I bought it at Walmart.
  • I used our Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce on the pizza: https://www.plainchicken.com/easy-homemade-pizza-sauce/
  • You can also use our No-Cook Pizza Sauce: https://www.plainchicken.com/no-cook-pizza-sauce/
  • The original recipe for old school cafeteria pizza was topped with ground beef/hamburger.
  • Top the pizza with your favorite pizza toppings – sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, olives – anything goes! You can even add toppings in sections so everyone gets what they want.
  • Can School Cafeteria Pizza be frozen? Yes! Bake the crust and add the toppings. Let the pizza cool completely and cover the pan with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze the pizza. When ready to eat, bake the pizza at 425ºF until the cheese has melted and the crust is warm.
  • You can also freeze the leftover pizza slices for a quick meal later. Let the pizza cool and place the slices in a freezer bag. To reheat, heat in the microwave or in the oven.
lunch tray with rectangle pizza

What to Serve with Rectangle School Pizza

Our cafeteria always served corn, a roll, and a cookie or brownie with our pizza. When I make this pizza at home we usually eat this pizza with a salad or some pasta salad. You can also whip up some garlic breadsticks. YUM! Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this homemade pizza:

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lunch tray with rectangle pizza, milk, corn, and a roll

School Cafeteria Pizza

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 55 mins
School Cafeteria Pizza Recipe – pizza day was my favorite day in school. I loved that rectangle pizza! I found the recipe in a government cookbook and had to give it a try. OMG! So good and super easy to make with a simple pourable pizza crust. Yeast, flour, dry milk, sugar, salt, water, and oil. Top the pizza with your favorite toppings. Can freeze the pizza for a quick meal later!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp shortening
  • Tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 (0.75-oz) packet of yeast
  • 1⅔ cup water
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups instant non-fat dry milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • tsp oil
  • 1⅓ cups pizza sauce, or to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, or to taste
  • pizza toppings of your choice

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 475ºF. Oil a half sheet pan with 1 Tbsp Crisco shortening. Sprinkle pan with cornmeal and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add flour milk, sugar, and oil to the bowl. Mix with the whisk attachment for 10 minutes. The batter may be lumpy.
  • Spread batter into the prepared pan and let rest for 20 minutes.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the crust from the oven and top with sauce, toppings, and cheese.
  • Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Slice and serve.

Notes:

  • This recipe uses non-fat dry milk. I bought it at Walmart.
  • I used our Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce on the pizza: https://www.plainchicken.com/easy-homemade-pizza-sauce/
  • You can also use our No-Cook Pizza Sauce: https://www.plainchicken.com/no-cook-pizza-sauce/
  • The original recipe for old school cafeteria pizza was topped with ground beef/hamburger.
  • Top the pizza with your favorite pizza toppings – sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, olives – anything goes! You can even add toppings in sections so everyone gets what they want.
  • Can School Cafeteria Pizza be frozen? Yes! Bake the crust and add the toppings. Let the pizza cool completely and cover the pan with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze the pizza. When ready to eat, bake the pizza at 425ºF until the cheese has melted and the crust is warm.
  • You can also freeze the leftover pizza slices for a quick meal later. Let the pizza cool and place the slices in a freezer bag. To reheat, heat in the microwave or in the oven.

Steph

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slice of rectangle pizza on a spatula
lunch tray with rectangle pizza
sheet pan of rectangle pizza

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Comments

  1. This was our dinner tonight……so good! I was surprised at the crust since it turned out soft and pillowy. It was like a soft dinner roll rather than the usual pizza crust, so I guess this is normal. (?) No problem though…even picky son raved about it and wants me to be sure and put it on my “keeper” list! I made three sections with different toppings, using items that are each person’s favorite; love that you can do that!

  2. I’m going to reduce the sugar to 1 TB next time (and double it!!!), but this was such a trip down memory lane. Thank you!

    1. Keep in mind that reducing the sugar may change how much the dough rises. Sugar is part of the formula for how dough rises quicker.

  3. Wow, memories… was lunchroom lady myself in Naples Fl for years. We did not make our own pizza but our pizza was Tonys brand. it came in frozen cases that we only had to open and place on full sheet pan, it was made to fit perfect in the pan and was presliced. Also served on Friday so we could deep clean and inventory. Just a another bit of info… chicken nuggets served were Tyson brand.

  4. I was born in Los Angeles County in ’71. I don’t remember cafeteria pizza. But the 2 years I spent in parochial school reminds me if my favorite meal day.

    It was a hamburger that sort of tasted like sausage, served with mashed potatoes and corn. Probably also with the much talked about cafeteria brownie or chocolate cake. Spooned the potatoes inside the burger, funny thing it was so tasty.

  5. please print recipe for school brownies…sooooo good Pizza day was my favorite I think brownies were made with dried eggs ….will be watching

      1. I want to try this recipe. It calls for oiling the pan with shortening, but in the directions it doesn’t say if you are to melt it or use as a solid form.

  6. I loved pizza day! We had corn with it too.
    Do you have the name of the Government recipe book? I’d probably like to see it.
    Thanks!

  7. This looks easy and great. I was a lunch lady and our pizza crusts came premade and all did is proof them and them top and bake them. I think the homemade crusts would be wonderful. I will definitely try this and keep it handy for my Grandkids and family. Thanks for sharing.

  8. OMG I remember this!!!! Anyway you can do the chocolate cake recipe from the school lunch lady? Soooooo Yummie!!!!

    Thanks!!!!

    1. Hi Paula– When I checked the Amazon link, it said the half sheet was 13x18x1. I’m going to measure mine now and double check it!

  9. This is awesome Stephanie! My family had this conversation not too long ago. They must have changed how they make the school pizzas these days b/c my kids are not fans at all! And my husband and I both used to love it! We will have to try this and see what the kids think.

  10. What a fun dish to make while we are still staying home! This will bring back memories to share along with the pizza. Thanks for sharing!!

  11. What memories that brings back. Yours looks better than what ours looked like in school. Ours was always dry but I did love it!!! Thanks

  12. Awesome! How fun to find a government cookbook. My daughter would love to know how school burgers are prepared, but pizza is also a favorite.

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