Dinner/ European/ Lunch/ Recipes/ Snack/ Super Simple

Pizza Fritta – Italian Fried Pizza

11/07/2022 (Last Updated: 05/08/2020)

This Italian pizza fritta recipe is ready in 10 minutes, thanks to its super fast, crispy fried pizza dough! No baking required, simply layer your epic fried pizza with our quick pizza sauce, melty mozzarella and fresh basil for a quick snack or easy dinner.

Close up of fried pizza topped with passata, bocconcini and basil.

Why We Love This

Like all good Italian recipes, pizza fritta is simple food done amazingly well. It’s easy to make and ready in minutes

No special pizza oven and no wood stove required, just a frying pan. You can literally make this pan fried pizza anywhere!

We love the chewy and pillowy pizza dough. It’s flash fried until crispy, yet still light on the stomach and not greasy at all.

Related: Homemade Italian Pizza Dough / Napoli Sauce

Fresh pizza fritta with tomato sauce topping.

What is Pizza Fritta? 

Pizza fritta or pizza fritte (literally fried pizza) originated in Naples, Italy, after WWII. 

When the price of traditional Italian pizza ingredients like mozzarella, not to mention wood for pizza ovens, became very expensive, fried pizza was a cheaper way to make and serve this classic Neapolitan street food.

There are two main ways to make pizza fritta:

  • Pizza Fritta Montanara – This is the full name for today’s recipe, which originated in the mountains near Naples, hence the name montanara. The dough is usually round and deep fried, with Italian tomato sauce and toppings added on top.
  • Pizza Fritta Calzone – Shaped like a half moon, this version is usually stuffed with ingredients before being deep fried. It can then be served as is, or topped with tomato sauce, Parmesan and basil leaves.

Where We Learned This

Today’s pizza fritta recipe comes to you straight from Naples, Italy, the heart of fried food and the home of Italian fried pizza! Big thanks to our wonderful friend Ida and her mum Rita who shared their beloved family recipe.

A pizza fritta on a white plate.

What You’ll Need

  • Dough – Store-bought dough will get you up and cooking faster, but for the best tasting pizza, make your own homemade pizza dough. If using store bought dough, let it sit on the bench to bring it up to room temperature before you cook it. This will give you the best texture and a nice crispy outside once cooked.
  • Vegetable Oil – Use a vegetable oil for frying the dough (such as canola, corn, peanu or  sunflower oil). The high smoke point and low flavour profile make them perfect for shallow frying the pizza and won’t fill your kitchen with that smoky smell. You can use olive oil as a topping for flavour if you like.
  • Sauce – Follow the recipe below for a quick pizza sauce using passata, garlic and olive oil. Sub with crushed tomatoes, store-bought pizza sauce or use leftover homemade tomato pasta sauce.
  • Toppings – This pizza is amazing with simple margherita style ingredients like mozzarella or bite-sized bocconcini, fresh basil leaves and Parmesan.

Flat lay of ingredients for pizza fritta.

How to make Pizza Fritta:

For the quick pizza sauce (optional):

  • Heat up the passata in a small saucepan along with the garlic and olive oil. Simmer for a few minutes for the flavours to infuse, then switch off the heat. Note: Skip this step if you want to use plain passata.

For the pizza fritta:

  1. Sprinkle flour over a clean work surface, then portion out pizza dough into pieces roughly the size of your fist. Flatten and stretch the dough out into rough circles around 1 cm / 0.4 inch thick and 10-15 cm / 4-6 inch wide. 
  2. Pour vegetable oil into a small frying pan until it’s just covering the bottom of the pan by about 0.5 cm / 0.2 inch. Heat through. Test with a wooden chopstick or toothpick and when bubbles form on the tip, it’s ready to start frying.
  3. Stretch each piece of dough out again just before cooking so it cooks evenly. Fry each piece separately for 1 minute per side until golden brown and puffy. Drain on paper towel.
  1. Top fried dough with sauce, mozzarella / bocconcini and fresh basil leaves or your chosen pizza toppings. Optional: Garnish with freshly grated parmesan.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Preparing the Dough – Dust your hands with flour while you shape the dough. This will stop it sticking to your fingers, and make it nice and easy to work with.
  • Oil Temperature – Test the oil temperature with a wooden skewer or chopstick. When tiny bubbles form at the base, the oil is ready. 
  • Dough Size – With this method your pizza bases should be perfect for a single serving, so each person can add their own toppings once the bases are cooked. Cook one piece of dough at a time to allow plenty of space for the dough to puff up. This also maintains the oil temperature and stops the dough becoming gluggy.

FAQs

How much oil do I need?

You need just enough to cover your frying pan around 0.5 cm / 0.2 inch deep. Use the right size frying pan to suit the size of dough you want to make, that way you won’t have too much excess oil in the pan.

Can I freeze pizza dough?

Yes, so don’t feel like you have to use all the dough at once. You could portion it out and store some in the freezer in an airtight bag or container. Place some in the fridge for tomorrow, and leave the rest out on the bench to come up to room temperature.

Frozen dough can take around an hour or two to thaw, so plan ahead and leave enough time before you want to start cooking.

What else can I use leftover pizza dough for?

Turn leftover pizza dough into dessert pizza (similar to fried donuts). Portion the dough out into smaller pieces and cook until crispy. Drain and then roll in powdered sugar mixed with cinnamon. Serve drizzled with melted chocolate, sliced strawberries and ice cream to make them even fancier!

Variations

  • Char the Crust – After frying the pizza and adding your toppings, bake for another minute or two in the oven to crispen the edges. This isn’t essential with our recommended toppings, but is a nice way to add extra crunchy texture and smoky flavour.
  • Make it a Calzone – Fold the dough into a half moon shape, filled with traditional Italian ingredients like salami with mozzarella or provolone, charred capsicum / bell pepper, eggplant, or your favourite combo of classic pizza ingredients before frying. 
  • Extra Simple – Serve the fried dough with napoli sauce on the side for dipping.

More Italian recipes our readers love:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and star rating below!

Close up of fried pizza with mozzarella and basil.

Pizza Fritta – Italian Fried Pizza

This Italian pizza fritta recipe is ready in 10 minutes, thanks to its super fast, crispy fried pizza dough! No baking required, simply layer your epic fried pizza with our quick pizza sauce, melty mozzarella and fresh basil for a quick snack or easy dinner.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 small pizzas
Calories: 342kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Equipment

Ingredients

For the sauce:

For the pizza bases:

For the toppings:

  • ½ cup mozzarella or bocconcini sliced into small pieces
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp parmesan grated

Instructions

For the quick pizza sauce (optional):

  • Heat up the passata in a small saucepan along with the garlic and olive oil. Simmer for a few minutes for the flavours to infuse, then switch off the heat. Note: Skip this step if you want to use plain passata.
    400 g passata, 1-2 tsp garlic, 1-2 tbsp olive oil

For the pizza fritta:

  • Sprinkle flour over a clean work surface and your fingers, then portion out pizza dough into pieces roughly the size of your fist. Flatten and stretch the dough out into rough circles around 1 cm / 0.4 inch thick and 10-15 cm / 4-6 inch wide.
    250 g pizza dough
  • Pour vegetable oil into a small frying pan until it’s just covering the bottom of the pan by about 0.5 cm / 0.2 inch. Heat through. Test with a wooden chopstick or toothpick and when bubbles form on the tip, it’s ready to start frying.
    ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Stretch each piece of dough out again just before cooking so it cooks evenly. Fry each piece separately for 1 minute per side until golden brown and puffy. Drain on paper towel.
  • Top fried dough with quick pizza sauce or passata, mozzarella / bocconcini and fresh basil leaves or your chosen pizza toppings. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan.
    400 g passata, ½ cup mozzarella or bocconcini, ½ cup fresh basil leaves, 2 tbsp parmesan

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Dough – Store-bought dough will get you up and cooking faster, but for the best tasting pizza, make your own homemade pizza dough. If using store bought dough, let it sit on the bench to bring it up to room temperature before you cook it. This will give you the best texture and a nice crispy outside once cooked.
  • Preparing the Dough – Dust your hands with flour while you shape the dough. This will stop it sticking to your fingers, and make it nice and easy to work with.
  • Dough Size – With this method your pizza bases should be perfect for a single serving, so each person can add their own toppings once the bases are cooked. Cook one piece of dough at a time to allow plenty of space for the dough to puff up. This also maintains the oil temperature and stops the dough becoming gluggy.
  • Vegetable Oil – Use a vegetable oil for frying the dough (such as canola, corn, peanu or  sunflower oil). The high smoke point and low flavour profile make them perfect for shallow frying the pizza and won’t fill your kitchen with that smoky smell. Test the oil temperature with a wooden skewer or chopstick. When tiny bubbles form at the base, the oil is ready. 
  • Sauce – Follow the recipe below for a quick pizza sauce using passata, garlic and olive oil. Sub with crushed tomatoes, store-bought pizza sauce or use leftover homemade tomato pasta sauce.
  • Toppings – This pizza is amazing with simple margherita style ingredients like mozzarella or bite-sized bocconcini, fresh basil leaves and Parmesan.
  • Char the Crust – After frying the pizza and adding your toppings, bake for another minute or two in the oven to crispen the edges. This isn’t essential with our recommended toppings, but is a nice way to add extra crunchy texture and smoky flavour.
  • Make it a Calzone – Fold the dough into a half moon shape, filled with traditional Italian ingredients like salami with mozzarella or provolone, charred capsicum / bell pepper, eggplant, or your favourite combo of classic pizza ingredients before frying. 
  • Extra Simple – Serve the fried dough with napoli sauce on the side for dipping.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Pizza Fritta – Italian Fried Pizza
Amount per Serving
Calories
342
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
25
g
38
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Cholesterol
 
4
mg
1
%
Sodium
 
353
mg
15
%
Potassium
 
299
mg
9
%
Carbohydrates
 
26
g
9
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
6
g
7
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
459
IU
9
%
Vitamin C
 
8
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
65
mg
7
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Pizza Fritta - Italian Fried Pizza

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    kim
    08/04/2020 at 10:24 pm

    5 stars
    Such a great recipe! I love how easy and tasty this was! I will definitely be making again and again!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/04/2020 at 4:56 pm

      Aww thanks Kim, glad you liked them!

  • Reply
    Jordin
    08/04/2020 at 9:58 pm

    5 stars
    These pizza fritters look soo good! I need to make these for my house I know everyone will love them!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/04/2020 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks, hope you have fun frying them! 😀

  • Reply
    Liz
    08/04/2020 at 9:43 pm

    5 stars
    Pizza night is my favorite night!! This fried pizza sounds AMAZING! My husband and my son are going to love this!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/04/2020 at 4:56 pm

      Same! We usually do pita pizzas to save time, but these are even quicker than that!

  • Reply
    Dannii
    08/04/2020 at 9:29 pm

    5 stars
    Pizza in just 10 minutes sounds amazing to me.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/04/2020 at 4:55 pm

      Yep, it’s hard to go back to the oven now haha!

  • Reply
    Jacqueline Meldrum
    08/04/2020 at 7:24 pm

    5 stars
    That looks great. I was just watching Jamie Oliver on TV making a similar pan pizza. It must be a sign! Sharing!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/04/2020 at 4:55 pm

      Haha! Timing! Hope you enjoy making this version. 😀

  • Reply
    Agness of Run Agness Run
    21/01/2017 at 4:57 am

    5 stars
    This is such a pleasure to prepare. Quick and easy to prepare + very tasty, it is marvelous combination. Thank you Laura and Sarah!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      25/01/2017 at 11:22 am

      That’s fantastic feedback thanks Agness, so glad you enjoyed!

  • Reply
    Tina
    07/12/2016 at 9:21 am

    It sounds so good to fry the pizza dough! I’ve never done it before, and I really need to give this method a try now.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      13/12/2016 at 10:26 am

      Haha yes you do Tina! It has a totally different texture to dough cooked in the oven.

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
    07/12/2016 at 9:17 am

    I’m so hungry right now– and this pizza sounds amazing!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      13/12/2016 at 10:27 am

      It’s definitely the cure for those hunger pangs haha.

  • Reply
    Platter Talk
    07/12/2016 at 9:04 am

    5 stars
    Oh! That looks pretty darn good. I love fresh basil, mozzarella and tomato. I’ve never fried pizza dough before.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      13/12/2016 at 10:27 am

      Ooh keen to hear how you go. This trio of toppings is an oldie but a goodie – and sometimes simple is best!

  • Reply
    swathi
    07/12/2016 at 8:50 am

    I never tried fried pizza, I like fried goodies, now i am not making it as often as earlier, I need to try it . I make pizza dough in bulk and freeze them. I think next time I can make this.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      13/12/2016 at 10:28 am

      Ohh that’s a great idea Swathi, we’ll definitely do that next time we make up a big batch of dough.

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