Why Giada De Laurentiis Loves Store-Bought Pizza Dough

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If there's anyone who knows how to transform simple ingredients into extraordinarily flavorful Italian dishes, it's the queen of Everyday Italian herself, Giada De Laurentiis. The celebrity chef is certainly a fan of whipping up quick and easy weeknight dinners. Perfect pies laden with tomato sauce, cheese, and other tasty toppings are no exception because when pizza night rolls around, there's at least one cooking shortcut Giada De Laurentiis can always get behind: opting for store-bought pizza dough.

Of course, the cookbook author could probably whip up homemade pie dough with her eyes closed. Her famous Neapolitan-style pizza dough recipe is nothing short of drool-worthy. For those interested in rolling up their sleeves and getting down in the kitchen, you can certainly try your hand at making pizza dough from scratch at home. But, if you're short on time or simply don't feel like going the distance, De Laurentiis is here to reassure us that the ready-made variety will do just fine. Not only is it a major time saver, but it crisps just the same and tastes equally as delicious, too.

Giada's many uses for store-bought pizza dough

As it turns out, many of the recipes found in some of De Laurentiis' most popular cookbooks, such as 2012's "Weeknights With Giada" and 2018's "Giada's Italy," actually call for store-bought pizza dough — which means you can put the flour and yeast away because there'll be no kneading required. From cheesy pies to loaded calzones, the renowned chef says there's no shame in using pre-made pizza dough. 

For fun twists on classic Italian dishes, she recommends getting creative with the dough by forming it into interesting shapes, such as her adorable heart-shaped Positano pizza bites, the ingredients of which specifically call for ready-made pizza dough. 

De Laurentiis also enjoys turning store-bought dough into crowd-pleasing, mini appetizers, such as her caramelized onion proscuitto pizzettes, which are perfect for any party or gathering. And, she even uses it to make her signature cacio e pepe gnocco fritto recipe for fried cheesy bready goodness that's easily prepared in about a fraction of the time. 

Giada's other store-bought staples

When it comes to making an easy homemade pizza, the cooking shortcuts don't stop at just the dough. Even though De Laurentiis' simple tomato sauce recipe appears, well, simple enough to make, she's not against cracking open a jar of marinara in order to get the job done. Layer on the shredded mozzarella and all of your other favorite toppings for a meal that's as tasty as it is effortless to make.

The celebrity chef is also a fan of ready-made pie crusts, which make whipping up her signature salty-sweet apple hand pies and chocolate hazelnut pies an absolute breeze. And, while we're on the topic of desserts, she doesn't expect you to try your hand at operating a fancy ice cream machine — the store-bought variety will do just fine. Simply grab a pint of Edy's and get scooping to make melt-in-your-mouth ice cream sandwiches or one of her favorite Italian desserts: semifreddo.