Is there any food more universally satisfying than pizza? Please enlighten me if there is. Pizza is life! Literally! My favourite pizza is Little Cesars because I just love the idea of a hot and ready pizza for only $5. A close second is Pizza Hut that could almost tie with Papa John’s just because they offer alfredo sauce on pizzas. As much as I (and everyone) love pizza, let’s not kid ourselves – your standard pizza is a little basic. Yeah, I said it. Run of the mill tomato sauce, triggers my reflux, and toppings like bacon while delicious are hardly earth-shattering at this point. Let’s give your pizza a little seasonal remix.
To make this pizza a little less basic, I made a creamy delicious sauce by roasting and pureeing an acorn squash then slathering it on the pizza crust before finishing it off with the toppings. I was supposed to use pumpkin originally, but couldn’t find it on the shelf. Then thinking I had butternut squash on hand, I was sorely disappointed when I remembered I used all in my Autumn soup. The only thing I had on hand was acorn squash and I was hell bent on making this pizza because my best friends Krista and Telia were on their way for our mask-making-party.
I topped the pizza with chopped spinach, Italian shredded cheese, goat cheese and of course balsamic vinaigrette to finish off that classic flavor combination I was looking for. I totally forgot the vinaigrette before baking, but when it was time to eat, it still tasted amazing. To keep things simple, I rolled with store-bought pizza dough. You can customize the crust based off of your dietary preferences by using whole wheat or gluten free dough, or even making your own crust from scratch. Whatever floats your boat.
Acorn Squash Pizza with Spinach and Feta Cheese
1 Ball of Store-Bought Pizza Dough (use gluten-free if needed)*
1 Cup of Spinach, Chopped
4 oz feta Cheese, Crumbled
1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Avocado or Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
Roasted Acorn Squash Sauce - Recipe Follows
Roasted Acorn Squash Sauce:
2 Cups of Cubed Acorn Squash
2 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled
1½ Tablespoons Avocado or Olive Oil
¼ Teaspoon Dried Thyme
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Preheat oven to 400F.
To make the sauce, place cubed butternut squash and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Toss to coat and bake for ~30 minutes or until tender. When done, allow to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 425.
When the butternut squash and garlic cool slightly, transfer to a food processor or high-speed blender along with ½ tablespoon of oil and process until smooth. Set aside.
In a small bowl, toss the kale pieces and last teaspoon of oil until coated.
Begin assembling pizza by placing parchment paper on a baking sheet (I used a round baking pan, because my pizza pan was too big for the toaster oven). Roll out the dough in an even layer to fit the pan.
Spread the acorn squash sauce on the pizza dough in a smooth, even layer. You'll only need about half of the sauce - you can save the rest for later. Top with spinach pieces, then sprinkle with Italian and cheese, followed by red pepper flakes.
Bake at 425F for 12-15 minutes, or until dough is golden brown (check your dough packaging as baking temperature and times will vary).
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Slice and serve.
*You may need to let your dough rest before baking. Baking temperature and time may vary depending on your pizza dough.
This pizza recipe would be perfect for a Friday night, date night or potluck. Who doesn’t enjoy a wholesome, veggie-packed pizza (other than Krista)? If you make this, share your photo on social media using the hashtag #LifeByOlivia. I love seeing your creations.