years ago, two of my friends cooked a butternut squash pizza recipe out of a cookbook called the cook’s encyclopedia of vegetarian cooking and i was smitten. with the pizza and with the cookbook that contained this delicious recipe. i set about trying to buy a copy of the cookbook myself and was dismayed to find that it was out of print. luckily my aunt and her husband are book-finding super sleuths and soon i had my very own copy of the book. every recipe that i’ve tried in the cookbook since has been quite tasty.
but let’s focus on this butternut squash pizza, shall we? i have to say, i did make one major change to the recipe. as pizza recipes often do, this one called for a tomato sauce base. and i made it that way the first time. but i found the tomato sauce/butternut squash/goat cheese/sage thing wasn’t really working for me. so the next time i made the recipe, i tried half with tomato sauce and half with olive oil instead. aaaaand that was the last time i ever put any tomato sauce on this pizza. using just the olive oil let the subtle flavor of the butternut squash really come through and it also played much better with the goat cheese and the sage.
the flavors work so well together, in fact, that i don’t think you should limit them to just pizza. the roasted butternut squash, sage, goat cheese dream team would also be delicious on pasta or gnocchi (i would leave out the mozzarella). or even on their own as a side dish!
now, at the risk of exposing that i am not a thanksgiving traditionalist, i will just say that my family has enjoyed this pizza as part of our thanksgiving menu several times now. the squash can be roasted in advance, the cheeses can be crumbled, grated, and at the ready, you’re going to be buying a bunch of sage anyway… just think about it. if you crank the oven temperature all the way up, the pizza only needs to bake for 11 minutes so you could put it in the oven after the turkey comes out to rest. i’m just trying to maximize the number of times you get to eat this butternut squash pizza during squash season. but even if you don’t have this butternut squash pizza on your thanksgiving table, i hope it won’t be too long before you try it.
butternut squash, sage, and goat cheese pizza
- 1 pizza dough, room temperature
- 1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ~3/4″ cubes
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ~20 sage leaves, large leaves torn into 2 – 3 pieces
- 4 oz. (113 g. / 1 cup) mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. (113 g. / 1 cup) goat cheese, crumbled
- if you’ll be using a pizza stone, put it in the oven now. preheat the oven to 400° F.
- put the cubed butternut squash, sliced shallots, and about half of the sage on a rimmed baking sheet. toss with 1 – 2 tablespoons of oil, making sure all of the pieces get evenly coated. spread the ingredients out in a single layer on the baking sheet. roast for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring once, until the squash is tender, but not falling apart.
- while the squash is roasting, roll out the dough on a piece of lightly floured parchment paper. slide the parchment paper and dough onto a baking sheet (upside down if it has a rim).
- once the squash is done roasting, turn the oven up as high as it goes (usually 500° F or 550° F).
- when the oven is hot, carefully slide the parchment paper and dough from the baking sheet to the pizza stone or, if you don’t have a stone, just put the baking sheet in the oven with the parchment paper and dough on it. bake the dough for 4 minutes, until it looks dry on the outside but is still white (has not started to brown yet). when you open the oven door to take it out, it may be super puffy, don’t worry, it will begin to deflate immediately, especially as you add toppings.
- transfer the dough and parchment paper back onto the baking sheet from the stone or take the baking sheet out of the oven if you were baking on it.
- spread 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the crust, just enough to give it a light, even coat. i use the back of a soup spoon to spread the oil around. top with squash, shallots, roasted and fresh sage, goat cheese, and mozzarella (i like to put the mozzarella on last to hold everything in place with its melty goodness).
- if you’re baking the pizza on a stone, gently pull on a section of the crust to make sure the dough isn’t stuck to the parchment paper before you open the oven. slide the pizza off the parchment paper and baking sheet onto the stone. if you’re baking on the baking sheet, gently pull the parchment paper out and put the pizza back in the oven. either way, bake the topped pizza for 7 - 8 minutes. at the end of this time, the cheese should be bubbling and just turning golden brown and the crust should be completely cooked.
- slide the cooked pizza off the stone onto the baking sheet one more time or remove the baking sheet from the oven. slide the pizza onto a cutting board and let it rest for about 1 minute before slicing.
i hate grapefruit. so why do i own grapefruit spoons? because they are PERFECT for seeding squashes.
pro tip: you want all of your ingredients ready to go before you put the pizza in the oven so that you can put the pizza together quickly between the two rounds of baking.
adapted from the cook’s encyclopedia of vegetarian cooking's butternut squash and sage pizza.
nutrition facts are per slice, assuming 8 slices per pizza
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