Buffalo-Style Pizza


What this pizza lacks in Frank's RedHot®, chicken, blue cheese, and celery, it more than makes up for by being a really great pepperoni pizza. I might add, since it doesn't include those things, it's perfect to serve alongside Buffalo chicken wings—you know, at a Super Bowl party, or something similar.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
6 servings

Despite spending the first 17 years of my life in Western New York, until recently, I'd never heard of "Buffalo-style pizza." I was familiar with thin crust and thick crust, but was completely unaware that just an hour or so down the Thruway there was apparently a third style.

I learned that Buffalo style is a hybrid between thin and thick crust pizza. It features a sweet tomato paste-based sauce, lots of mozzarella, and what they call "cup and char" pepperoni. They're called that because the small, slightly thicker-than-usual slices of pepperoni curl up into a cup shape and the edges char in the hot oven.

That all sounded great, so I gave it a try. While I enjoyed it very much, I quickly realized I'd had this pizza before. It was remarkably similar to what we used to call "party pizza" as kids. Most of the pizzerias where I grew up offered a large rectangular sheet pizza with a crust somewhere between thin and thick. It featured a fairly sweet sauce and lots of cheese, and pepperoni, which while not as "cupped and charred," was pretty close.

So, what the kids today are calling "Buffalo-style" pizza, is really what many Americans (not living in New York City and Chicago) enjoyed growing up all across the country. In fact, beyond the local pizza shop, this is pretty much what most homemade pizzas comes out like. It's good to know it finally has a name. Enjoy!

Buffalo-Style Pizza
Buffalo-Style Pizza . Chef John

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For the Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • ½ teaspoon dried basil

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

  • 2 cups water

For the Pizza:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed

  • 1 (14 ounce) package refrigerated pizza dough

  • 1 pound low-moisture mozzarella cheese

  • 3 ½ ounces thick pepperoni slices


  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, salt, and sugar. Saute until the tomato paste starts to caramelize on the bottom of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.

  2. Pour in water and whisk to combine; bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces to your desired thickness. Turn off the heat and reserve until needed.

  3. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Generously grease a sheet pan with olive oil, rubbing some on your fingers as well.

  4. Press, stretch, and pull pizza dough until it fills the prepared pan, going all the way to the corners. If the dough stops stretching, let it rest for 5 minutes before resuming.

  5. Top dough with cooled sauce, spreading all the way to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese and add pepperoni. Place the pan on the stove over a high flame, and slowly move it around to evenly apply the heat, until you hear it starting to sizzle, about 1 minute.

  6. Transfer into the lower center of the preheated oven and bake until cheese is beautifully browned and pepperoni is charred, about 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

    Buffalo-Style Pizza
    Buffalo-Style Pizza . Chef John

Chef's Note:

Use the dough recipe in my Detroit-Style Pizza recipe.

You can add whatever you want to this pizza. If you can find smaller, thicker pepperoni, use that for a more authentic look.

Make sure you use a heavy-duty professional sheet pan for this.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

520 Calories
26g Fat
41g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 520
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Sodium 1726mg 75%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 615mg 47%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 417mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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