A few years ago, we were doing some personal and business budgeting, taking a deep look at our finances, where we were at, where we wanted to go, and what changes we needed to make to achieve them. It was pretty enlightening.
We learned a lot about ourselves and our spending habits, and while that’s a topic for another post, one thing was clear. We were spending A LOT of money on eating out, and I mean A LOT.
So we crunched some numbers, and by simply reducing our food budget we were able to quickly achieve some of the goals we had set. As a family of four, we went from spending almost $2,000 per month on groceries and eating out to spending $800 per month ($200 per person). It was a huge shift in how we thought about food, meal planning, and money — and it took some time to get used to.
After a while though, we settled into a routine. With $400 allotted for every two week period, we shopped smarter, ate better healthier meals, and the whole family felt better. The grocery budget became a game, with us trying to see how much money we would have leftover at the end of a grocery cycle, and planning what we should do with it.
That’s how these Naan Bread Pizzas came to be.
We didn’t plan to make homemade pizzas with naan bread. I didn’t even buy the package of naan bread with a specific meal in mind. I had just wanted something different in terms of a bread item, saw the bag at Costco, and bought them.
We were having a lazy Saturday at home getting things done around the house, everyone was hungry, no one wanted to go out to lunch, pizza sounded good, and we still had the full bag of naan bread that wasn’t going to be good much longer. Fresh baked items just don’t stay fresh very long.
So I decided to do some experimenting — to play with my food and make homemade naan bread pizzas, using all of the leftover ingredients from other meals that were in the refrigerator.
This is probably one of my best “use up the leftovers to create a new amazing meal” pantry cooking moments ever. I pulled out of the fridge and used:
- The rest of a jar of white pasta sauce and the rest of a jar of red pasta sauce
- Some pizza sauce
- The Kung Pao and Orange Panda Express sauces (good to buy once, but kind of salty)
- Cheese leftover from pizza night earlier in the week
- The remaining spinach from salads and breakfast burritos
I also grabbed:
- The last bit of black olives and artichoke hearts bought for pasta salad
- Baby carrots from my sister’s garden
- Mixed baby tomatoes and green onions (we always have those on hand)
- The last few frozen chicken meatballs and the last bit of vegetarian sausage from the freezer
All of our homemade naan bread pizza toppings were purchased for another meal, were staples we always have on hand, or were actual leftovers from another meal.
Once cooked, Brian and I tried a piece of every naan bread pizza I made (except the cheese pizza).
By far my favorites were the Asian inspired pizzas that used the Kung Pao sauce and the Orange Sauce as the pizza sauce. The carrots were delicious and with no cheese, these two pizzas were light and yummy — and the naan bread cooked up spectacularly as a pizza crust.
The vegetarian sausage crumbles, originally bought for breakfast burritos, also turned out to be an awesome pizza topping, especially with the Sockarooni pasta sauce as the pizza sauce.
I also loved the naan bread pizza with marinated artichoke hearts and the chopped chicken meatballs. To be honest, the meatballs weren’t that great and I’d probably never buy them again. But in this context, they totally worked.
These homemade pizzas, with little to no cheese, were gorgeous and so rich with color when I was making them, and I was thrilled to see that they retained their color and still looked just as mouth watering after they were cooked.
The naan bread made the perfect personal size pizza crust — it was a little crunchy, yet still fluffy and light at the same time.
The pasta sauces and stir fry sauces worked great for pizza sauce and added much more flavor than a traditional pizza sauce.
And, the pizza toppings were all things we already had one hand, so this was not only super cheap to make, but it made A LOT of food!
We had fun experimenting with naan bread for homemade pizzas and I’m thinking it may be one of our go to options for dinner when we have family over.
It’ll be a fun activity we all can do together in the kitchen and because everyone will make their own pizza, it will be exactly how they like it best!
Everything Left In The Fridge Naan Bread Pizzas
A creative way to use up all of your leftovers, these Naan Bread Personal Pizzas will be a hit with every member of your family.
- 1 package of naan bread, with at least one flat naan bread for each person in your family
- Any sauces you may have on hand, preferably ones that are already open and need to be used up
- Any leftovers you have in the refigerator
- Any extra vegetables you have on hand
- Any chese you have available — or no cheese at all!
- Seasonings of your choice
- Preheat oven to 400°. Layout the naan bread flats on a clean surface. Use the sauces you have on hand to coat the top of the naan breads.
- Based on the flavor of the sauces you have, chop up your leftovers and veggies, and choose which pizza they should go on. If you're making several different types of pizzas, remember you don't need very much of each topping.
- Sprinkle the pizzas with the seasoning of your choice. Use Italian, southwestern, Asian, or good old salt and pepper.
- Place the naan bread pizzas on a baking stone or baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges become a golden brown.
For Asian or stir fry sauces, go for carrots, bell peppers, onions, broccoli — think about what you see when ordering Chinese food. For barbecue sauce, go for olives, red onions, tomatoes, hot peppers, chicken, celery, green onions, or bell peppers. For pasta sauces, think about Italian toppings, bacon crumbles, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, or sun dried tomatoes.