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Jalapeno Popper Pizza with Garlic Marinara

Recipe Info

Difficulty: Easy
Mess Level: Moderate
Yield: 3 12 inch Pizzas
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 1 hr


  • 1 Batch of Tony’s Pizza Dough
  • 1 32oz Can Diced Tomatoes or Sauce
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt to Taste
  • Pepper to Taste
  • 8 oz Muenster, Parmesan, or Provolone Cheese
  • 16 oz Mozzarella Cheese
  • 16 oz Pepperoni Slices
  • 12 oz Cream Cheese
  • 3 Jalapenos


  1. Preheat oven to 550 Fahrenheit (Do not use the broiler setting).
  2. In a medium pot, bring the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and crushed red pepper to a simmer. Meanwhile chop the garlic finely and add to the pot. Allow the marinara to simmer for 20 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, and then mash the mixture to break up the tomatoes or blend it to desired smoothness. Add salt to taste.
  3. Dust your pizza pan with cornmeal or brush it with butter. Place your pizza crust on the pan and spread about ⅓ cup of sauce or to your liking.
  4. Grate the cheese and spread ⅓ of it per pizza.
  5. Make rings of pepperoni, then slice the jalapenos and add desired amount.
  6. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and scatter around the pizza, ½ block (4 oz) per pizza.
  7. Bake for 9 minutes or until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden and bubbly. Enjoy!

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Savannah Says...

  1. Can I use different toppings?

    1. When in Rome...
      Absolutely! Feel free to make this pizza your own with chicken, vegetables, sausage, etc.
  2. Can I use pre-shredded cheese?

    1. Only if you have pissed off your local cheese monger...
      You can but I avoid it as it has that preservative white dust on it. I like to use my food processor attachment, it shreds cheese in about 10 seconds and can double to blend the sauce if you don’t like it chunky (which I do!).
  3. What if I don’t like spicy sauce?

    1. No sweat!
      No problem! Leave out the red pepper flakes, use less garlic, and add some dried basil.

Ramblings of a Line Cook

In Fort Collins, CO there is a pizza joint called Krazy Karls. If you’re a true local, you’ll know that Krazy Karl's is the place to go if you want pizza. Open till 3:00 am, 7 days a week, they have takeout, delivery, dine-in and the kraziest pizzas! Additionally, they are entirely staffed with t-shirt wearing college students and I’m pretty sure the kitchen staff is constantly stoned which meant that nine times out of ten, you get an extra wing thrown in with your order.

If you’re really in the know you followed them on Facebook and would watch eagerly on a Monday for the “Pizza of the week,” which could be any one of their pizzas that they would run on special for $9.00.

Tony and I spent the spring of 2017 training for a half marathon in the Colorado hills. We’d head out after work on Monday for our long runs and end back at the house where I’d excitedly phone in an order to Krazy Karls. Tony and I don’t disagree on much but we had an ongoing disagreement about whether ordering takeout or delivery was better.

Tony was of the strong opinion that the pizza needed to be as hot as possible, therefore we should pick it up ourselves, nevermind if we had to wait at the restaurant for a little while at least it would be hot. And I was of the equally strong opinion that by the time I’m ready to order a pizza, they may bring it to my doorstep because if I am at that point, I am tired enough that I want to sit on the couch and be the least productive member of society that is humanly possible.

This disagreement went on for pretty much our entire relationship and never really became resolved, yet somehow we managed to eat a Krazy Karl's Pizza almost every week and are still happily together almost two years later. Moving to New Orleans, we’ve tried four different pizza places and none of them come close to comparing. So dash it all we just decided to make our own. And lemme tell you, while I still believe you can’t beat the pizza those stoner college students are cranking out, this comes pretty darn close.

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