Recipe: Butternut Squash Pizza

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I love unexpected food combinations. Whether it is maple-bacon donuts or blueberry-lemon scones, I like experimenting with flavors that do not traditionally go together. Like butternut squash, spinach, and bacon! I never thought that these foods would go together, but when I got them on a pizza, I knew that they were officially my favorite combination. The squash is sweet, the spinach is slightly bitter, and the bacon is smoky. Together, they create a pizza that is creamy, melty, and crunchy–basically, it’s pizza perfection. What makes this pizza so simple to pull together is that you can make all the components ahead of time and then assemble at the last minute.

The pizza dough I used was my go-to pizza dough that I normally use–flour + yeast + salt + olive oil + warm water. It comes together easily in the stand mixer and is ready to use in about 2 hours!

The butternut squash puree is just as easy! I roasted one pound of butternut squash cubes (tossed in some olive oil, salt, pepper) in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes until tender. I tossed the squash into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pureed the squash until smooth, adding in low sodium chicken broth (about one cup) to aid in the pureeing process.

Note: this makes a lot of puree–I used about a cup for the pizza itself and saved the rest for snacking later!

Finally, fry up some diced up bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, drain off the grease, and then cook the spinach in the delicious bacon-y skillet until wilted.

Now we assemble.

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees and spread the dough out into a thin rectangle on a greased baking sheet.

Lightly spread the dough with butternut squash puree, leaving a one-inch border on the edge (because everyone loves the crust!). Sprinkle over some grated mozzarella and then place on some pieces of fresh mozzarella. YUM!

Then liberally spread the wilted spinach and bacon bits over the whole pizza.

All that’s left is to pop the pie into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the bottom is golden and crisp and the cheese is melty! Then dig in!

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Check out more of Catherine’s delicious recipes by visiting Simply A (RD) Foodie and come back here every Wednesday for new recipes!

Recipe: Butternut Squash Pizza

Total Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients

    For the dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast, equivalent to one package
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Warm water, between 110-115 degrees
  • Vegetable oil
  • For the butternut squash puree:
  • 1 pound butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2-1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • For the pizza:
  • Pizza dough--homemade or store-bought
  • Butternut Squash puree
  • 3 strips bacon, diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices

Instructions

    For the butternut squash puree:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Add squash to the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the squash and then pop the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  3. Add the roasted squash to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the squash is broken down. With the food processor running, add in small portions of broth until the texture is completely smooth. Set the puree aside. Portion about a cup for the pizza and save the rest for later!
  4. To assemble the pizza:
  5. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  6. In a small skillet set over medium heat, add in the bacon. Cook until just crisp and then remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain the bacon grease from the pan.
  7. Return the skillet to medium heat and add in the spinach. Cook the spinach until just wilted. Remove the spinach and set aside.
  8. Spread the pizza dough onto the baking sheet. Spoon on some of the butternut squash puree and spread evenly over the crust, leaving a one-inch border. Sprinkle over the grated mozzarella cheese and layer on the fresh mozzarella slices. Then evenly spread the wilted spinach and bacon bits over the cheese.
  9. Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes until the bottom is golden and crisp and the cheese is melty.
  10. Cut into squares and dig in!

Nutritional Information:

(1 slice): Calories: 290 | Fat: 12gm | Saturated fat: 6gm | Carbohydrates: 30gm | Sodium: 598mg | Fiber: 2gm | Protein: 14.5gm | Cholesterol: 31mg

http://im-perfectmagazine.com/recipe-butternut-squash-pizza/
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Catherine is a registered dietitian, whose love of all things food and cooking started during her study abroad in Italy. She believes that all foods fit into a healthy diet (even chocolate cake), food tastes better when you cook it yourself, and that a well-stocked pantry is a lifesaver. Check her out at Simply a (RD) Foodie.

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