September 24, 2013

Butternut Squash Pizza

With fall here, the leaves should be turning into shades of blazing orange and red very soon.  It's interesting how we have a desire to eat food in seasonal colors during the respective season.  Now that summer is over--and along with it the bright, cheerful produce, it is time for fall colored food during autumn.  Pumpkin flavored everything has returned.  Truth be told, I'm really not much of a pumpkin fan anymore, but I am a fan of butternut squash.

Last year, I tried a butternut squash pizza at True Food Kitchen.  I was so impressed with the butternut squash and arugula combination that I had to recreate it!   There are a lot of different flavors happening with this pizza: you have the buttery, nutty squash, the salty, sharp, and creamy tastes from the three cheeses, the caramelized onions, and the tangy arugula.  Together, this makes for a great autumn pizza pie!

Butternut Squash Pizza
Yields 1 12-14" pizza

For the butternut squash purée:
1 butternut squash, cubed with seeds discarded
1 cup water
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the pizza:
Pizza dough
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
1/4 cup fontina cheese, shredded
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/8 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, shredded
1/3 cup baby arugula
Seasonings (garlic salt, oregano), as desired
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the butternut squash purée:
In a large saucepan, add the water and butternut squash, cover, and bring to a boil.  Alternatively, if you have a steamer insert, you can use that.  Lower the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.  (Use a fork to test the tenderness.)  Remove the squash from the heat and drain the water.

Allow the squash to cool for about three minutes, and then add to a food processor.  Process until smooth and creamy.  Set aside about 1 cup of the purée for the pizza, and package the remainder in zippered snack-sized freezer bags and refrigerate (for up to two weeks) or freeze (for up to six months).

For the pizza:
Place a baking stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 450ºF for at least an hour.

While the oven preheats, caramelize the onions.  In a medium sized skillet, heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.  When the oil begins to sizzle, add the onions with a pinch of salt.  Stir the onions so that they are completely coated in the oil.  Continue stirring until the onions become darker in color, about 15 minutes; when the onions are done, they will be a golden caramel color.  Set aside to cool.

Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with flour or semolina flour,  and roll out the pizza dough to a 12-14" circle.  Brush extra virgin olive oil over the surface.  Spread the purée over the surface of the crust, leaving a 1/4 inch border uncovered.  Sprinkle any desired seasonings and salt and pepper over the butternut squash purée.  Add the caramelized onions.  Finally, spread an even layer of cheese over the pizza.

Carefully slide the pizza onto the baking stone and bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese melts.  Remove the finished pizza from the oven, garnish with arugula, and allow to cool for 3 minutes before slicing.

Source: Inspired by True Food Kitchen; Butternut Squash purée adapted from Peter Reinart's American Pie


  1. I haven't made it over to True Food yet, but my daughter and I have plans to sometime soon. With this recipe I am now more than anxious to go. Until then I am so glad that I have this recipe. Looks wonderful.

  2. Your Butternut Squash Pizza is gorgeous and definitely packed with Fall flavors. YUM!

  3. Mmm, great choice of veges for pizza :D


  4. I always use Butternut 'squash' to make my Pumpkin Pies- however I always thought this vegetable was called 'Butternut Pumpkin.' He he, and I always thought I was making a true-blue 'pumpkin pie'! Your pizza looks perfect for the Autumn weather coming on.

  5. I love this idea! I always end up making (or ordering) the same old thing. I'm going to try this pizza!

  6. Great idea! I love the use of butternut squash for the sauce. I will definitely be trying this out.


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