Butternut Squash Pizza

When Nick and I first started dating he lived in a suburb just outside of the city. There weren’t a lot of vegan options nearby, so we’d normally cook food at his apartment. When we did go out we would go to a local brewery called Mindful Brewing. They also didn’t have a lot of vegan options, but they used to have this one butternut squash pizza that was phenomenal. It had chickpeas, red onions, and a balsamic reduction. We’ve attempted to recreate this pizza several times over the past three years. It may not be exactly the same, but it’s really good.

I’m not sure exactly what they put in the butternut squash puree to flavor it, but we kept ours pretty simple. We’ve tried cooking the sauce down before applying it to the pizza as well as applying it uncooked. I would definitely recommend taking a few minutes to cook it down with some maple syrup and spices. It adds a lot of flavor. The water content is a bit too high if you don’t cook it down, and it makes the crust a little too soft for my taste. It’s been a while since I’ve had the pizza at Mindful, but I’m pretty sure it had cilantro on top. We used parsley instead, because we simply don’t like cilantro. I can tolerate it as a garnish, but generally prefer to sub something else in. Feel free to use either ingredient if you are a cilantro lover.

This pizza calls for a hearty, thick crust. I don’t recommend buying a pre-baked pizza shell from the super market. If you don’t want to make your own pizza dough you can buy balls of pizza dough at some supermarkets. We recommend the dough from Trader Joe’s. You can also find dough at a number of regional supermarkets. If you do want to make your own we have a great recipe that we’ve been using for a few years.


Butternut Squash Pizza

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Squash Puree Ingredients

  • one butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Balsamic Reduction

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Topping Ingredients

  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 16oz can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Squash Puree Directions

  1. Peel and break down squash. Remove the seeds and strings, and chop into small, equal pieces. If you purchased prepared squash you can skip this step.
  2. Boil squash in a large stock pot full of water for thirty minutes, or until fork tender.
  3. Drain, rinse with cold water, and place into an ice bath to halt the cooking process. Drain again, and put the squash into a food processor.
  4. Blend squash until it is a smooth puree. One large squash will make enough puree for about four pizzas. Add about a cup and a half to a sauce pot, and store the rest in the fridge or freezer to use in other dishes.
  5. Add maple syrup, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to the squash puree in the sauce pot. Cook down for about ten to fifteen minutes.
  6. Add sauce to the top of the pizza crust once the crust has been pre-baked.

Balsamic Reduction Directions

  1. In a small sauce pot combine balsamic vinegar with maple syrup.
  2. Cook on medium heat for about fifteen minutes, or the liquid has reduced to half of its original quantity. Whisk frequently to prevent burning.
  3. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool while you assemble the rest of the pizza.

Topping Directions

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas, and place them in a bowl.
  2. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Top pizza with desired amount of chickpeas.
  4. Slice onion into thin slices, and top the pizza with them.
  5. Chop parsley, but wait to add it to the pizza until the end.
  6. Bake pizza for about 25 minutes. When the pizza looks to be about done top it with the parsley, and drizzle some of the balsamic reduction on top. Bake for an additional 2 minutes.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

Fresh pizza dough is an important component of making a good pizza. We never use those pre-baked crusts in a bag at the super market. Usually when making pizza we used Trader Joe’s fresh pizza dough, but it has become increasingly more uncomfortable to make additional trips to the supermarket due to the covid-19 pandemic. We’ve been making our own dough far more often, and working on perfecting a quick and easy recipe. Not only is this as good as the store bought dough, but it saves a ton of money in the long term to make your own dough.

undefinedSome pizza dough recipes can be very time consuming, and end with so-so results after all that time and effort. We’ve created a quick and easy recipe that won’t take you any longer than running out to the supermarket to buy dough.


Quick and Easy Pizza Dough


This recipe makes one large pizza crust. To make two large pizza crusts double all ingredients with the exception of the yeast and sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp vegan sugar
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Directions

  1. To make your own dough you’ll want to start by measuring out one cup of warm water. The water should be between 105-110 degrees fahrenheit. If it’s too cool the yeast won’t bloom, and if it’s too warm it will kill the yeast. If you don’t trust yourself to measure the temperature feel free to use a thermometer.
  2. Add the water to a large mixing bowl, and then combine 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp active yeast by gently stirring.
  3. Cover the mixing bowl with a hand towel to retain heat, and allow the yeast to bloom for about five minutes.
  4. Once the yeast has become frothy, gently stir in the 1 ½ tbsp olive oil.
  5. Add in the salt, and slowly add flour a little bit at a time, gently folding it into the wet ingredients. If the dough is still too wet add more flour. The dough should be slightly sticky, but easy to form into a ball.
  6. Knead the dough on a floured surface, grease the mixing bowl with oil or cooking spray, and then return the dough to the bowl.
  7. Cover the bowl with the towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm area for at least a half hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  8. After this step you can either use the dough immediately, or save it for later. Place the dough ball in a greased container and freeze, or refrigerate, depending on when you plan to use it. If you’ve chosen to use the dough immediately remove dough once it has doubled, and transfer back to a floured surface
  9. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  10. Knead the dough, and roll it out with a floured rolling pin. Grease a pizza tray, and stretch the dough onto it.
  11. Gently poke the dough with a fork, being sure not to poke the whole way through.
  12. Place the dough in the oven to pre-bake for five minutes, and then remove.
  13. Add desired toppings and bake for an additional 20 minutes.