"Cafeteria school lunch" pizza from the 80's. Can an individual get this anywhere?

People of a certain age know what I’m talking about. The rectangular pizza slices, with a somewhat spongy thin crust (which invariably soaked up the grease), cheese, and pepperoni in “chunks”, not circles.

I don’t care if you find it revolting, I LOVED it and have a huge hankering for it.

Based off discussions with the kids, school pizza is a lot more more like “regular” pizza now. Thanks, Obama (j/k).

Does this still exist? If so, who sells it, and will they sell it to private individuals in non-bulk quantities?

And before you say “No, but here’s a recipe from…” you have to have personally tried it and can confirm unequivocally that it is an EXACT match.

In NC, in elementary school in the 80s we had a really interesting cafeteria pizza. I think the crust was some sort of a roll dough. The sauce was a spaghetti sauce (very little herbs/spices) with ground beef in it. The cheese was a yellow cheese, somewhere between cheddar and american. Sounds disgusting but I loved it. Never seen anything like it again.

In middle school (early 90s) we had the pizza you describe, which I also loved. It had much more of a proper pizza sauce and normal pizza cheese. Little cubes of pepperoni on top, or else sausage which was terrible IMO. For some reason the pepperoni slices were sort of a truncated right triangle shape but the sausage slices were left in a plain rectangle. We used to roll up the pizza into a fat jelly roll shape, which was very satisfying to bite into.

I would expect that this pizza was provided by a huge corporate supplier such as Sysco.

According to the experts at Public School Rectangle Pizza the pizza of your youth is gone. The people who make school pizza today, rectangle or not, are forced to ruin the pizza with things like whole grain flour and healthy sauces / toppings. You can apparently buy cases of “school pizza” from Gordon Food Service or Sysco, but they will disappoint.

What? NO! Okay, looks I’ll need to to join that facebook group. Surely someone on there has made one of the unhealthy variety. I will be shocked if they were able to “perfect” the crust, but one can hope.

This recipe is for a ‘pourable’ pizza crust using the old USDA school cafeteria recipe. It might get you part of the way there.
Now I want to open a business called “Old School Pizza” with this pizza as one of the offerings.

You might find this article interesting:

It purports to link to the Actual Recipe, but of course I haven’t tried it myself.

For my money the closest easily available approximation is Ellio’s frozen pizza.

If you do this and can really pull it off, you can shut up and take my money! :smiley:

I’m of a certain age, and it was universally hated. The ONLY reason anyone ate it was that the only choices were take it or leave it. Even if it had tasted good, just the shape was enough to disqualify it from being decent pizza.


As for the Ellios, their “Italian Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza” certainly LOOKS quite a bit like it, if only they didn’t “ruin it” with the sausage. Their actual pepperoni pizza uses the dumb circle kind.

I’ll give it a shot anyway. :slight_smile:

I ate that pizza daily at lunch all three years of high school in the mid-70s. Oh, the memories. Usually accompanied by a box of chocolate milk, and either a Cherry Hostess fruit pie or one of those absolutely wonderful “fudge drop” desserts. :smiley:

I would be curious to see how the following would work out:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. On bottom rack, place sheet pan with water in it (possibly let warm several minutes?)
  3. On top rack, place Red Baron frozen pizza
  4. Bake until cheese is melted

I feel like the Red Baron crust might be about right if you keep it wet enough.

We don’t have Ellio’s in my area, although it looks interesting.

Did your school prohibit sack lunches?

I think it’s worth noting that childhood memories ain’t always what they’re cracked up to be.

As a child, I used to think Chuck-E-Cheese had an awesome pizza. As an adult, I think it’s absolutely horrible.

I’m shocked that apparently thousands of people have fond memories of that horrible stuff.

This sounds similar to sicilian pizza.


It was similar to Sicilian pizza, in that it was rectangular slices.

Oh I’m sure it’s much worse than that. It’s much more than the shape. This stuff is a cult classic so bad it’s good, kind of like The Room.

OMG, I had Ellio’s as a client a few years ago. I agree, while it may not be spot-on to that old school pizza, it’s pretty close.

Amazon has everything

If you think that’s bad, I actually have some fond memories of elementary school itself.