Just when you thought homemade pizza couldn’t get any better, Kimchi Pizza with Bacon for the easy win!
One of my favorite easy ways to make Pizza Night exciting again: Kimchi!
Why Kimchi Pizza?
The idea for Kimchi Pizza came a few years back. It was family pizza night and my family of 5 were all making individual homemade pizzas for dinner. I was tired of the usual flavor combinations. I puttered around in the kitchen, looking for something new and fresh.
Then I spotted a big jar of kimchi in the fridge. I thought to myself: Kimchi tastes good with cheese. Kimchi also tastes good when cooked. Why not?
I threw in some leftover bacon strips for good measure and now, Kimchi Pizza with bacon is my all-time favorite pizza combination!
What is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a popular Korean food made from fermented cabbage, radish, and spicy paste. Although there’s over 200 varieties, Napa Cabbage Kimchi (Baechu Kimchi) is the most well known and recognizable.
I always have a jar (or two!) of kimchi in my Korean American fridge. That spicy, fermented, acidic crunch of kimchi is so delicious and addictive! I add to everything because kimchi makes everything taste better! A probiotic, it’s also good for your gut and overall health and digestion.
Nowadays, kimchi is easy to find at Asian grocery stores, Costco, and Whole Foods. Or visit your favorite Korean restaurant and ask if they sell their house-made kimchi.
- Pizza Dough. Use store-bought, ready made dough. Or use my recipe for homemade pizza dough below.
- Pizza Sauce. Use jarred pizza sauce from the store for ease and convenience. I recommend Rao’s. Or, use my recipe for homemade pizza sauce below.
- Kimchi. Spicy, acidic, crunchy, and delicious. The star ingredient! If possible, use well fermented, old kimchi. Older kimchi tastes better when cooked. Super fresh kimchi will not taste as flavorful or deep.
- Bacon. Pork is kimchi’s BFF and the flavor combo is so delicious! Can be subbed with cooked sausage, leftover roast pork, pork carnitas, etc. If you don’t eat pork, add chopped, cooked chicken instead. Or leave it out altogether for a vegetarian option.
- Thai chilies. Optional but a great way to add more spice and flavor.
- Green onions. Optional garnish. Adds color and subtle onion flavor.
- Mozzarella Cheese. I use low-moisture mozzarella as it melts easily and beautifully. Shred
- Fry bacon.
- Shape dough.
- Add sauce, cheese, kimchi, bacon.
- Bake until cheese is melted and the crust is crispy and golden!
- Don’t fry bacon until crispy. Essentially, the bacon is cooked twice. The first time, it’s partially cooked in a pan. The second time, it finishes cooking with the pizza. It’s better to keep the bacon somewhat soft and limp in the first cook so it doesn’t get too crispy in the second cook.
- Preheat oven. Turn on the oven to 450F/230C and wait until fully pre-heated. A well pre-heated oven makes for the best pizza with a crispy, bubbly crust.
- Use a pizza stone. Conducts heat well for a better crust. I place a cast iron griddle on the bottom rack and let it preheat with the oven.
- For easy transfer: use parchment paper + non-rimmed baking sheets. To transfer the pizza easily to and from the oven, I recommend assembling the pizza on parchment paper. Slide a rimless baking sheet under the parchment paper and transfer to the oven by sliding gently onto the pizza stone.
- Bake pizzas one at a time. Although this can be a pain, baking one pizza at a time makes for the best at-home pizza flavor and crust.
More recipes with Kimchi to enjoy:
- Kimchi Jjigae with Pork Belly
- Crispy Hash Browns with Kimchi, Bacon, Fried Egg
- Tuna Kimchi Fried Rice
- Okonomiyaki with Kimchi + Fried Egg
- Kimchi Jumeok Bap (Korean Rice Balls)
- Kimchi Queso Dip
- Kimchi Cheese Fries
Easy Kimchi Pizza with Bacon
- Pizza Stone
- Parchment Paper
- Rimless Baking Sheet (to be used as pizza wheel)
Pizza Dough (for 3 pizzas):
- 4 cups flour
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
Pizza toppings (for 3 pizzas):
- 3 cups/24 oz mozzarella cheese, grated (1 cup/8oz for each pizza)
- 12 strips thick-cut bacon (4 strips for each pizza)
- 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (1/2 cup for each pizza)
- 1 cup kimchi (1/3 cup for each pizza)
- 3 green onions, chopped (1 green onion for each pizza)
- 3 thai chilies, chopped (1 thai chili for each pizza)
Homemade Pizza Sauce:
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp Italian dried red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 28oz can San Marzano whole tomatoes
- Add flour, yeast, and salt to a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a 2-cup measuring cup, add warm water and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit for 5 minutes. It should foam. (If it doesn't foam, you may need new yeast.) Add olive oil.
- Make a well in the center of the flour bowl. Add liquid to the well and start mixing with a spatula until it looks like a shaggy mound. Dump onto a flat surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add butter and olive oil and let it melt together. Add onion, oregano, chili flakes, garlic powder, bay leaves, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent and golden, about 5-6 minutes. Lower heat if the onion gets too dark and crispy looking.
- Add canned tomatoes. Crush tomatoes with a potato masher or a wooden spoon, making sure to break up the big chunks. It's ok if there's small chunks here and there.
- Cook, over medium heat, until the sauce is thick and rich, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool and set aside.
- Fry Bacon. In a non-stick pan, partially cook bacon. It should be somewhat soft and limp but no longer pink. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450F/230C. If using a pizza stone (highly recommended), place it on the bottom rack and let it heat up with the oven.
- Divide dough into thirds. Shape each piece into a round pizza crust. Stretch the dough with your hands and use a rolling pin, if necessary. Sprinkle with flour if it gets too sticky.
- Place each pizza on a piece of parchment paper. This will enable you to slide individual pizzas in and out of the oven with ease. (Without parchment paper, the pizza will stick to the baking sheet and/or the kitchen counter where you are assembling.). Use a rimless baking sheet to transfer the parchment paper pizza to and from the oven.
- For each pizza, top with 1/2 cup marinara sauce, 1/3 cup kimchi, 4 strips bacon, 1 cup cheese, 1 green onion, and 1 Thai chili. Repeat until you have 3 pizzas.
- Bake each pizza until the crust looks golden and the cheese has melted, about 7-9 minutes per pizza. (You can also bake multiple pizzas at the same time, if you have enough room on your pizza board.)