What is Grandma Pizza?

When most people think of “New York pizza,” they envision a thin, round Neapolitan-style pie. Another lesser-known type of pizza originated in New York, and if you’ve never tried it, we recommend you do so right now. Here’s everything you need to know about Grandma pizza, the nostalgic Italian-American pizza that deserves a place in your recipe collection.

The Sicilian-style pie known as Grandma pizza originated in New York. It’s baked in a square pan with a thin crust. Grandma’s pizza is traditionally made without a pizza oven because home cooks invented it on Long Island. As the name implies, Grandma-style pizza was once only made in the kitchen by Italian grandmothers. Grandma pizzas have a shorter proving time, resulting in a crust that is still tender and fluffy – but a little crisper and denser than Sicilian pizzas.

What is on a Grandma Pizza?

What is grandma pizza

Notable for its distinctly thin crust, Grandma’s pizza is cooked in an olive oil-coated rectangular pan and topped with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce (the sauce is typically layered over the cheese.

This square-shaped pie has parallel strips of a light cheese accompanied by a homemade marinara sauce that was precooked for four hours on a low flame. Extra virgin olive oil is added, and the ingredients top a fragile crust. Kind of like an upside-down pie. It’s almost always drizzled with a heavy dose of garlic-infused olive oil and finished with some Sicilian oregano and Pecorino Romano cheese.

It is a relatively thin sheet-pan pizza baked in a pan heavily coated with olive oil.  This creates the perfect environment to fry the bottom of the pizza, giving Grandma pizza that unmistakable crunch. Grandma’s pizza contains sliced mozzarella cheese and randomly scattered thick plum tomatoes on top.

Why is it Called Grandma Pizza?

It is unclear where Grandma pizza originated, but many people speculate it originated with Italian-American grandmothers living on Long Island in the 1970s. These women were likely trying to recreate a pie they remembered from their home country, but with the ingredients they had on hand since they were first-generation Italian immigrants. A nod to simple home-style preparation: baked in a pan, without the benefit of a pizza stone or some other fancy implement.

Grandma’s pizza tastes like the kind of pizzas you’d get in Italy if you were invited to someone’s home.

Drunken Grandma Pizza

This is a grandma’s pizza with vodka sauce–the “Drunk Grandma”!  This pie is delicious and famous and can be had at  Made in New York Pizza. It may be challenging to find Grandma pizza outside New York, but it is becoming increasingly popular in NYC restaurants.

Visit Made in New York Pizza for a fun and tasty experience in a place that serves high-quality pies regularly. As soon as you eat pizza that has been topped with fresh, hand-selected ingredients, you’ll understand why cheap, mass-produced pizza is such a disappointment.

This delicious New York favorite can be found on our menu. Since it was created by Long Island home cooks, Grandma’s pizza is traditionally made without a pizza oven. Today, we would like to treat you to a special grandma pizza we offer!