Homemade Imo’s Pizza

by Erin

Are you prepared to meet the thinnest crust ever?! If you are not a thin crust person, this pizza is not for you. Go on and just close the browser right now, I won’t be offended but I will scoff at you because I think this pizza could convert you. So on second thought please stay!

By a show of hands, how many of you have ever had Imo’s pizza? Okay, how many more of you have at least heard of Imo’s pizza? Anyone who did not raise their hand will not understand the craze that this pizza creates, but should still dive in and create this pizza at home. Especially if you don’t have the time to drive to St. Louis. Because today I give to you, homemade Imo’s Pizza.

So what makes this pizza so special, other than it’s geographical exclusivity? Well for starters it has a supremely thin crust, that is crispy yet a little floppy all at the same time. This crust is covered by a moderately thin layer of freshly made pizza sauce, then topped off by Imo’s very own brand of shredded cheese known as Provel – a mixture of white cheddar, Swiss and provolone, with a hint of hickory smoke flavor.

One benefit to living 4.5 hours from St. Louis, is that the grocery stores here happen to carry this fantastical cheese blend. But luckily for everyone else it is easy to fix up a homemade version of it. Granted it won’t be processed all together, but the flavors are all there and that’s what counts. So no matter where you are in the world, you too can experience Imo’s pizza!

For me, the cheese is the selling point. It gets so bubbly and the white cheddar brings such great flavor to otherwise traditional pizza toppings. And it just so happens to be one of my favorite kinds of cheese, and am amazed that I have not topped off any of my pizzas with it before (prepare yourself for more of it to come). Of course, don’t forget to slice it up into Imo-style small square slices, and prepare to fight over your favorite pieces. Are you a middle-crust or an edge-crust person?

One year ago: Avocado Fries


Makes 2-12″ pizzas



2 cups Imo’s Provel cheese


1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Swiss cheese, shredded

1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded

1 tsp liquid hickory liquid smoke


16 oz. whole tomatoes (diced into fine pieces)

6 oz. tomato paste

1-1/2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp crushed dried basil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dried thyme


2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp dark corn syrup

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp water


2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried thyme

Favorite pizza toppings


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with pizza stone* located on the bottom third of the oven.
  2. For the sauce: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. For the cheese: If you can’t find Provel in your local market, it can be easily created. Toss cheeses in a large bowl with the liquid smoke until cheeses and smoke flavoring are completely incorporated.
  4. For the crust: In a large bowl, sift together the flour salt and baking powder. Add the olive oil, dark corn syrup and water and mix until thoroughly combined. The dough will be stiff. Divide the dough in half, shape into two round balls and roll out thin into two 12″ crusts. Move the crusts to a pizza peel lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.
  5. Top both crusts with half of the pizza sauce (save the rest for another time), and then divide the cheese between the two. Add your favorite toppings, and sprinkle the seasonings on top.
  6. Transfer one pizza onto the preheated pizza stone* and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the underside of the crust is golden brown, and the cheese is golden. You want the crust to be crispy but not too overdone or else it will start to become chewy. Repeat with the second pizza. Allow to settle before slicing into squares, as traditionally done at Imo’s Pizza.

*If you do not own a pizza stone, cook pizza on a thin baking sheet placed on the bottom rack of the oven.

Source: Adapted slightly from Food.com

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Jeff December 1, 2023 - 8:00 pm

It is good , but it doesn’t taste like Imo’s. The cheese isn’t the same.

Erin December 4, 2023 - 7:09 am

It’s hard to replicate the cheese exactly. When I lived in Memphis I actually found Imo’s brand shredded cheese, but I cannot find it now in Ohio. If you have found a better combination to mimic please let me know!

Donna August 4, 2019 - 4:32 pm

I also grew up in St Louis and moved to Florida. When we go back to visit Imos is our first stop. It is the best!

spiffycookie August 4, 2019 - 7:50 pm

It’s been so long since I’ve had it or made this. I need to now!

Cindy December 24, 2013 - 9:44 am

Thanks for sharing Erin! Being born and raised in STL now living in Houston TX this has become our Christmas Eve meal. I forgot to have my Mother in-law send us the cheese this year so am going to have to try your blend. Fingers crossed its just as good! Now… Do you have a recipe for Imos salad dressing? Ha!

spiffycookie December 24, 2013 - 11:46 am

Haha glad to help out! I’ve never had their salad dressing actually.

Ryan January 26, 2023 - 12:44 pm

Try this:
1 cup
add 1-cup
Wine Vinegar
1 cup Provel Cheese (shredded)
½ teaspoon Granulated Garlic
½ teaspoon Seasoning Salt
½ teaspoon Sugar

1. Take pour the oil, wine vinegar, garlic in a bottle.
2. Mix in the cheese and shake and poof – its fairly close!

Erin January 27, 2023 - 11:37 am


Margo April 5, 2013 - 7:44 pm

I moved here to Central Florida from Saint Louis going on 3 yrs come Aug.
I miss Imo’s Pizza so much! So does my 12 yr old son!
Our fave is their bacon pizza!
I am definitely going to try this recipe!
Can order from Imo’s online but very expensive shipping!
Thank You So Much For Posting This!!!!

Tracy January 25, 2013 - 9:18 am

can i do this without the corn syrup? Or, is there a substitute for the corn syrup?

spiffycookie January 25, 2013 - 9:48 am

You can try honey, maybe.

Kenndis September 13, 2012 - 8:43 pm

What store do you find the Imo’s cheese? I’m from St. Louis and I really want the mix.

spiffycookie September 14, 2012 - 9:26 am

I found it at Schnucks, which unfortunately went out of business here in Memphis.

Tracy May 13, 2012 - 2:07 pm

I’ve never had Imo’s pizza but it looks so good! I love thin crust and big, floppy pieces so I know I would love this!

Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake May 11, 2012 - 10:23 am

I am a huge fan of thin crust! Looks delicious!

Liz May 10, 2012 - 7:50 am

Yes, the cheese (and I like a LOT) makes all the difference! This looks like an amazing pizza…mmmmm.

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. May 9, 2012 - 11:27 pm

I actually prefer thin crust pizza. So this looks pretty fantastic to me! :)

natalie@thesweetslife May 9, 2012 - 8:54 pm

living in STL i can definitely appreciate this–although i must say we don’t really get Imo’s often! i love the thin crust but Ryan doesn’t like the provel!

spiffycookie May 9, 2012 - 9:01 pm

How can anyone not like a blend of white cheddar, swiss and provolone cheese?

Tracey May 9, 2012 - 7:38 pm

I’ve never heard of Imo’s and I’m not a thin crust girl, but your pizza really does look fantastic! We eat so much homemade pizza, it’s really kind of insane. I can’t get enough :)

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers May 9, 2012 - 5:25 pm

Erin your pizza looks fantastic! I’m going to bookmark it and make the dough sometime over the weekend! I have lots of veggies to use, so this will be perfect for my veggie pizza!

Emily @ She Makes and Bakes May 9, 2012 - 11:54 am

I’ve never heard of Imo’s pizza or putting white cheddar and swiss on a pizza, but I’m intrigued. You make it sound like it’s the best thing ever. I’ll have to try this…it certainly looks good!

Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray May 9, 2012 - 10:29 am

I’m totally intrigued. a) I love thin crust, b) I have never ever heard of Imo’s, but I will try to downplay my New York pizza snobbery (haha), and c) NO YEAST hurray. This clearly means I have no fearful excuse not to make homemade pizza dough.

spiffycookie May 9, 2012 - 10:31 am

I’m from (upstate) NY and I love this pizza. If that helps convince you more.

Joan Hayes@chocolate and more May 9, 2012 - 8:42 am

Erin, I’ve been looking for a good pizza dough recipe and this one doesn’t have a rising time? Priceless! can’t wait to give it a try.

spiffycookie May 9, 2012 - 8:44 am

Yes, no rise time (because there is no yeast) means it stays super thin. If you want a relatively quick pizza dough try my regular go-to https://www.thespiffycookie.com/2011/01/12/pizza-dough/


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