Make Magic in Minutes with Poor Man’s Pizza Recipe

Are you looking for a quick and delicious meal that won’t break the bank? Look no further than the Hot Truck PMP, also known as the Poor Man’s Pizza. Originating from the food trucks of New York City, this recipe has become a classic comfort food that comes back super strong every Super Bowl season. As George Orwell once wrote, “Good food is worth making.” And this recipe guarantees just that: good food at an affordable price.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Bob Petrillose, a pizza chef who started his own food truck business on the Cornell Campus called The Hot Truck. Since then, this open-faced pizza sandwich has become a staple for students and locals alike in Ithaca, NY. The best part? You can make it from the comfort of your own home with just a few simple ingredients.

In this recipe article, I will guide you through the steps to create your own Poor Man’s Pizza using ordinary French bread loaf and everyday pantry staples. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is easy and satisfying. So let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Hot Truck P M P - Poor Man's Pizza
Hot Truck P M P – Poor Man’s Pizza

Let me tell you why you will fall in love with the PMP – Poor Man’s Pizza Recipe. This recipe is inspired by the legendary Hot Truck of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. It is a classic comfort food that comes back every Super Bowl season, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love comfort food?

The PMP – Poor Man’s Pizza Recipe is everything you want from a homemade pizza but made on an open-faced French bread loaf instead of pizza dough. The bread adds an enjoyable crispy layer to the pizza sandwich, which makes it both convenient for a quick lunch or perfect for an afternoon picnic.

One of the best things about this recipe is the simple ingredient list. You only need 1-1/2 cups of your favorite pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, dried oregano, and pepperoni (if you choose to add it). And the best part is that you can easily substitute ingredients to make it vegetarian or vegan-friendly.

This dish brings back fond memories for many alumni who attended Cornell University and visited the Hot Truck in West Campus. But don’t worry, even if you have never been to Ithaca, this recipe will still hit home for anyone who wants easy-to-make comfort food that tastes like true New York-style pizza.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a budget-friendly meal that packs a big flavor punch and evokes nostalgia with each bite, then look no further than the PMP – Poor Man’s Pizza Recipe. So gather your ingredients and get ready to experience one of Cornell’s finest traditions right in your own home.

Ingredient List

 A slice of heaven in every bite!
A slice of heaven in every bite!

Let’s gather our ingredients!

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious Hot Truck PMP – Poor Man’s Pizza recipe:

  • French bread loaf: The first French bread pizzas were called “PMPs” served from a food truck on the Cornell Campus in Ithaca, NY. You can use any type of French bread for this recipe. But the traditional one that is used is usually a New York style French bread loaf.
  • Pizza Sauce: You can use homemade or store bought pizza sauce for this recipe. It will add a lot of flavor to your PMP.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: The cheese is what brings all of the ingredients together. You could also use other cheeses like cheddar, gouda or parmesan.
  • Dried Oregano: This herb adds a nice flavor and aroma to the PMPs.
  • Pepperoni: This popular pizza topping can also be added to these open-faced PMP sandwiches.

You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of pizza sauce, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, around 10-12 pepperoni slices and a sprinkling of dried oregano.

The Recipe How-To

Now, it’s time to get cooking! Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create your very own Hot Truck PMP- Poor Man’s Pizza.

Ingredient Preparation

  • French bread loaf – slice in half lengthwise.
  • Tomato sauce – spread evenly on top of the sliced bread halves.
  • Pepperoni – lay on top of the tomato sauce.
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese – sprinkle generously over the pepperoni.
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of dried oregano – add a pinch on top of cheese.

Cooking Process

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the French bread slices on a baking sheet.
  3. On each slice, add the tomato sauce, then layer with pepperoni and cheese.
  4. Sprinkle the oregano over the cheese.
  5. Transfer the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. When finished, transfer pizza onto a large cutting board and let it rest for several minutes before slicing.

Congratulations, you have just made your own Hot Truck PMP- Poor Man’s Pizza! Enjoy your homemade pizza sandwich and savor every bite.

Substitutions and Variations

When it comes to making the Hot Truck P M P – Poor Man’s Pizza Recipe, you can always play around with the ingredients and substitute some of them with your favorite ones. Here are some substitution and variation ideas that you can consider:

– Pepperoni: If you’re not a fan of pepperoni or want to try something new, switch it up with your preferred meat toppings such as sausage, ham, bacon, or ground beef.

– Cheese: While mozzarella cheese is the classic choice for pizza, you can always experiment with different types of cheese such as cheddar, Monterey jack, provolone, or even feta cheese for a more tangy taste.

– Bread Loaf: Instead of using French bread loaf, you can replace it with a baguette, ciabatta, or even pita bread if that’s what you have on hand.

– Pizza Sauce: If you don’t have tomato sauce available, use marinara sauce or even barbecue sauce. Be creative and choose whatever suits your taste buds!

– Dried Oregano: This herb adds an aromatic touch to your pizza. But if you prefer other herbs like basil or thyme, feel free to add them instead.

– Open-faced Pizza Sandwich: You can also transform this recipe into an open-faced pizza sandwich by cutting the French bread loaf lengthwise and adding more toppings in between.

– Homemade PMPs: For those who want to recreate the famous Hot Truck P M P from Cornell University but cannot visit Ithaca, NY, why not try making homemade PMPs? Simply make your pizza dough from scratch, add your choice of toppings (pepperoni is a must!), sprinkle with dried oregano and baked until golden brown.

Remember that cooking is all about creativity! Don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust the recipe according to your preferences. Who knows, you might even create a new pizza masterpiece!

Serving and Pairing

So, you’ve made your hot, cheesy PMP Poor Man’s Pizza and now it’s time to serve it up. This dish is perfect for a casual family dinner or a party with friends. You can even prepare it as an open-faced pizza sandwich if you want to mix things up a bit.

To serve, slice the French bread pizza into portions or cut them into bite-sized pieces, depending on how you plan to enjoy their company. Sprinkle some dried oregano over the top and watch as everyone gathers around with eager anticipation.

Pair the PMP Poor Man’s Pizza with a fresh green salad or some sautéed vegetables to balance out the richness of the cheese and add some much-needed brightness to the palate. And if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, you could also pair this comfort food with one of your favorite beverages such as beer, wine or soda.

The PMP Poor Man’s Pizza is incredibly versatile and perfect for any occasion – from game day parties to intimate family dinners. It’s always bound to be a hit!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Once you’ve made your Hot Truck P M P – Poor Man’s Pizza, you may find yourself with leftovers. Don’t fret, though! Poor Man’s Pizza reheats beautifully and makes excellent leftovers.

If you’re planning on reheating your Hot Truck P M P – Poor Man’s Pizza, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, I don’t recommend reheating the entire bread pizza in the oven. This can result in the bread becoming overcooked and the cheese melting unevenly. Instead, I suggest separating the top and bottom halves of the sandwich and reheating each half separately.

To reheat the poor man’s pizza in the oven, preheat it to 350°F (175°C). Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave. Place one sandwich half on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for about 30 seconds.

If you’re looking to make this dish ahead of time or store leftover ingredients, there are several options available to you. You can prepare everything ahead of time and keep it stored in your refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble and bake your sandwiches.

I recommend storing your leftover ingredients separately from each other. Keep any bread slices or rolls in a plastic bag or airtight container so they stay fresh. You can refrigerate pepperoni or other meat toppings for up to five days, while tomato sauce and cheese will last for six days.

Additionally, you can freeze the assembled sandwiches – just wrap them tightly in foil before doing so. Make sure to label and date them so that you know how long they’ve been stored for.

Whether you’re preparing this recipe ahead of time or simply dealing with leftovers, there are many ways to enjoy Poor Man’s Pizza. With its comforting flavors and easy preparation, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights, lazy weekends, or even as part of your game day spread during the Super Bowl!

Tips for Perfect Results

As someone who has made this Hot Truck PMP – Poor Man’s Pizza Recipe countless times, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the process. Here are my recommendations to guarantee delicious, restaurant-quality results every time.

First and foremost, make sure to use high-quality ingredients such as fresh french bread loaf, top-grade mozzarella cheese, and flavorful dried oregano. The quality of your ingredients will translate directly into the taste of your final product.

Another important tip is to toast the bread slices in the oven or under the grill before adding any toppings. This assures that your bread slices maintain their texture and don’t become soggy from the tomato sauce.

If you’re not a big fan of pepperoni, feel free to substitute it with other toppings such as thinly sliced mushrooms or sautéed onions.

When baking your pizzas, be mindful of cooking time and temperature. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the mozzarella cheese has melted and turned golden brown.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this recipe. Try swapping out the pizza sauce for marinara sauce or adding in some diced bell peppers for extra crunch. The possibilities are endless and can lead to some delicious flavor combinations.

With these tips in mind, I am confident that you will have success creating this Hot Truck PMP – Poor Man’s Pizza Recipe every time you make it!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Hot Truck PMP – Poor Man’s Pizza recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves comfort food. With its savory combination of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and dried oregano baked into a French bread loaf, this dish is sure to satisfy any pizza lover. Whether you’re a poor man looking for a tasty meal or you simply want an easy and delicious recipe to make at home, the PMP poor man pizza recipe is sure to hit the spot.

In addition to being a popular menu item at the Hot Truck on Cornell University’s campus in Ithaca, NY, this recipe has also been recreated in homemade versions that still hit the mark for anyone who wants an easy version of this food truck delicacy. And with its open-faced approach that turns it into something like a pizza sandwich, you’ll definitely want to make this recipe again and again.

So why not try making this delicious comfort food dish at home today? With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, you can’t go wrong with the Hot Truck PMP – Poor Man’s Pizza recipe. Whether you’re watching the big game for the first time or you’re just craving some classic New York-style street food, this recipe is sure to become a new favorite in your household.

Hot Truck P M P - Poor Man's Pizza

Hot Truck P M P - Poor Man's Pizza Recipe

This is posted in tribute to Bob Petrillose, its creator who passed away last month. I had the honor of eating way too many of these pizza subs during my college days. Rumor has it that a student who worked in the truck sold the idea to Stouffer's and was the origin of the French Bread Pizza. Learn more about Bob here: and here
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 616.4 kcal


  • 1 (12 inch) French bread, loaf
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups canned mushroom slices
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut the French bread loaf in half crosswise and then slice them completely open, horizontally. Place the four pieces of bread on a baking sheet.
  • Using a ladle or spoon, spread the pizza sauce on all pieces of bread, being sure to cover out to the edges (to prevent burning) and sprinkle with oregano.
  • Spread mushrooms across each bottom half of the bread. (This is officially for the "PMP Mush" version - use pepperoni for "PMP Pep").
  • Generously cover the mushrooms with mozzarella.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the French bread is golden brown. Lay the top halves of the French bread on the bottom halves to make sandwiches. I also tried it in the panini maker which was faster and tasted the same, but the cheese didn't melt quite like the original. Enjoy!

Your Own Notes


Serving: 424gCalories: 616.4kcalCarbohydrates: 71.3gProtein: 33.3gFat: 22.6gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 67.6mgSodium: 1779mgFiber: 7.1gSugar: 11.8g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, European, Inexpensive, Lunch, Oven, Vegetable
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