May 21, 2024

Diamond Dishes: A comfort food comes back for Super Bowl

Remember French bread pizzas? If so, those memories are likely nostalgic, comforting, cozy, crunchy, soft and warm, with that aroma that made the whole house smell good.

The French bread pizza is a 1960s invention. The story goes that a Cornell University New York food truck owner named Bob Petrillose — aka “Hot Truck Bob” — invented French bread pizza.

These first French bread pizzas were called PMP or “Poor Man’s Pizza” and were well-loved by the late-night student crowd. Eventually, in the 1970s, this style of pizza flourished in popularity with Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza of freezer aisle fame.

While the frozen variety was standard 1980s afterschool snack and Friday night fare, the homemade PMPs are still a hit for anyone who wants an easy and inexpensive way to get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes any day of the week.

This family favorite is perfect for Super Bowl because it comes together so quickly, you could easily make it during halftime.

You can enjoy this recipe even if you’re not watching the big game — or only watching the commercials and halftime show and feeding the masses, like me. But if you’re watching the game, I hope your team wins.

Let’s keep making memories with French bread pizza for generations to come!

French Bread Pizza

Servings: 8


1 large loaf French bread, day old is perfect

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided

1 cup pizza sauce, purchased or recipe below

2 cups low moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded

3 ounces pepperoni, sliced

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a serrated knife, cut French bread loaf in half lengthwise through the center. This will give you two long pizza shells.

Use your hands to press the center of each piece down a bit. Deflating the bread will give you plenty of room for filling while keeping the bread from getting soggy while it’s in the oven.

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together the butter, garlic powder, salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. Brush the melted butter evenly on top of the bread.

Place the bread on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted.

Remove the bread from the oven and spread each half with 1/2 cup pizza sauce, spreading to coat. Then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly on top of the sauce. Add the pepperoni on top, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon remaining Italian seasoning onto each half.

Place the pizza back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Slice and serve.

Petite Portion Pizza Sauce

No need to ever purchase pizza sauce again with this handy dandy, frugal and fabulous recipe.


1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 to 2 teaspoons sugar


Put a coffee filter into a small strainer, and place over a small bowl. Pour 1 (8-ounce) can of tomato sauce in the coffee filter contraption to drain for 10 minutes to remove excess liquid. Mix the drained sauce with 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and Italian seasoning and 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar, according to your personal taste.

Patti Diamond

Patti Diamond

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal Meets Fabulous!” at © 2024 King Features Synd., Inc.