We all have those long days where exhaustion sets in at about 5 PM, and yet dinner can’t wait. Everyone is hungry. The kids want pizza, but you don’t feel like going out. And the thought of popping a cardboard-tasting frozen pizza in the oven makes you want to gag. So what do you do?
The answer — simple and tasty pizza boats!
These are so easy and require ingredients you probably already have on hand. And if you don’t have these ingredients on hand, you’ll see that nothing required is expensive to buy.
These are guaranteed to make absolutely everyone at the dinner table happy. The only problem you might have here is running out too quickly! And if kids are in the kitchen? No problem. They will love putting together their very own boat.
So the first thing you’re going to need to do is pre-heat your oven to 400, then chop up whatever veggies you’re planning to use as toppings. We like bell peppers and onions around here:
After you’ve got your chopping done, you’re going to need to cut your hoagie buns length-wise, then hollow out the insides so you can fill them with your toppings, cheese, etc. So they’re just like little boats (hence the name, pizza boats).
Next step is to make your garlic butter. This is so easy! All you have to do is melt butter in a bowl in the microwave for about 45 seconds, with a generous amount of garlic powder. Stir it all up once it’s out, and you have delicious melted garlic butter for your pizza boats.
Brush all the buttery goodness on the inside and outside of your pizza boats. Then, start sprinkling some grated (or powdered if you prefer) parmesan cheese all over the bottoms. If you’ve decided to use ricotta, you can put that on top of the parmesan. Then, you would add about two or three spoonfuls of pizza sauce over the cheese.
And finally, the fun part! Add your toppings. The kiddos will love helping out with this step.
And for the finishing touch, top it all off with a generous amount of parmesan and mozzarella cheese:
Then, put all your pizza boats on a baking sheet and just pop them in the oven at 400 degrees.
In about 15-20 minutes, these boats should be bubbly, browning, and ready to serve! Goes without saying, but let them cool a bit before you handle them.
Remember, Love Madly, Laugh Loudly, and Eat Like a Boss!
Want to print this off for your future reference? Your printable recipe card is below:
- 1 Package of 6 Subway or Hoagie Buns
- 1 8 oz package shredded mozzarella cheese
- Grated parmesan cheese
- 6 oz ricotta cheese (optional)
- 1 Small jar of premade pizza sauce (Ragu makes a good one but any will do!)
- Cup of chopped bell peppers
- Cup of chopped onions
- Pepperoni slices
- Get creative! Use what you personally like on pizza.
- 1/2 stick butter
- Garlic Powder
- Preheat over to 400 degrees
- If you're going to be using any veggies that need to be chopped, now is the time to do it. In the recipe I've used bell pepper and onion
- With a very sharp knife, put the hoagie buns flat side down and shear off the rounded top.
- When the tops are removed,use the knife to cut a rectangle inside the bun but DO NOT go all the way to the sides or the bottom. You are making a trench, to turn the bun into a "boat".
- TIP - Once you've cut the rectangle, use your fingers to pull out the dough inside the rectangle. Lots of ways to do this, but I found that using two fingers to loosen the dough at one of the narrow edges works best. Once it is loosened you just kind of roll it back and tug and it will most always come out in one piece. You can also just start pinching out dough inside the rectangle. Doesn't really matter, just hollow them out as close to the edges and bottom as you can get while still leaving about a half inch of bread shell behind.
- Make your garlic butter. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Depending on your microwave, this should only take 30-45 seconds.
- Remove from microwave and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Brush the melted garlic butter both inside and outside the boats.
- Start with a good dusting of parmesan cheese on your boats.
- If you have decided to use ricotta, spread a thin layer along the bottom of the boat. Then add pizza sauce. Typically each boat will take two or three spoonfuls of sauce. This is something you can adjust to taste.
- Next, add the toppings that you've decided to use.
- Once the toppings are on, smother everything in a nice thick layer of mozzarella cheese and a final dusting of parmesan cheese.
- Place the boats on a large pizza pan or baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated 400 degree oven until tops are bubbly and starting to brown. Ovens vary, but this usually takes 15 or 20 minutes. I would recommend checking them after 15 minutes, though 20 minutes is the norm.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy!
- This serves six adults at one boat per, but of course small children might typically only eat half a boat. Much of the prep time includes chopping your onions, peppers, etc. Depending on what you choose as your toppings the prep time would be greatly affected. For instance, using only pepperoni and cheese would cut the prep time in half, down to about 15 minutes.