How to Make a Heart-Shaped Pizza

published Feb 11, 2021
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A few years ago I ordered a heart-shaped pizza from a big pizza chain, and boy was I disappointed; I paid something like $14 for a pizza that was barely big enough to feed me and my two preschoolers at the time and was more oblong than heart-shaped. I vowed to never order a holiday pizza again and set out to find the best method for making heart-shaped pizza at home.

As it turns out, shaping pizza dough into a heart and keeping it that shape through topping and baking takes a couple of tricks, but the result is always worth the effort: We get to have a fun date night at home, complete with heart-shaped pepperonis and pizzas. Here’s everything you need to know about making this festive pizza at home.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

How to Make a Heart-Shaped Pizza at Home

To make heart-shaped pizza at home you need three things: relaxed pizza dough, your favorite pizza sauce, and your favorite toppings. My years of research have taught me that homemade or store-bought pizza dough of the classic variety (read: not thin crust!) works best. And if you grabbed a ball of dough from the bakery section of your grocery store, make sure you bring it to room temperature for about an hour before you start shaping.

Our favorite homemade dough for hearts: How To Make the Best Basic Pizza Dough

Whether you’re going to bake your pizza on a baking stone or sheet pan, you’ll want to build your pizza on parchment paper. The parchment paper will help you move the pizza dough from topping to oven, even if you’re using a pizza peel.

Start by roughly shaping your pizza dough disk into a heart on your parchment paper before stretching or rolling. You want to avoid trying to turn a round pizza into a heart, because the dough is likely to shrink back to a round in the oven. Use your fingertips to gently prod the dough out into a heart shape before stretching further into a heart. If the dough keep shrinking back into a mound on you, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, let it rest for 10 minutes, and then come back to it.

Bottom line: There’s no shortcut to heart-shaped pizza. You’ve got to stretch it slowly but surely like any other pizza dough. Once you’ve got a heart you’re happy with, top it with your favorite topping. My family sticks with classic pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.

Our step-by-step pizza tutorial: Our Guide to Making the Best Homemade Pizza Ever

A Tip for Keeping the Pizza’s Shape

When you move the pizza into the oven, don’t try to shimmy the pizza onto your pizza stone with the peel — you’ll risk smooshing the shape. Instead, use the parchment paper to pull the pizza onto the stone.

Bonus: Making Heart-Shaped Pepperonis at Home

This is a bit silly, but it delights my two little Valentines, and you don’t need a special cookie cutter to accomplish them: heart-shaped pepperonis!

To make them, fold your pepperoni slices in half and cut a half heart shape with the fold down the center, just like you did with paper hearts in your youth. The festive pepperonis are usually devoured by my kids, but they would be just as cute on your heart-shaped pizza.