Herb Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza
I found butternut squash at the grocery store for the first time since I moved to Puerto Vallarta so I stocked up! I’ve always loved butternut squash and the fall flavors remind me of Canada. I also really love pizza, so I thought why not combine the two in a fun, tasty way?
I like to make my own pizza dough but you can use store bought. Depending on the size of the butternut squash you may have leftovers – perfect as a side dish for another meal.
For the pizza dough:
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) dry active yeast
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
- 381-419 grams (3 - 3½ cups) 00 flour
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil, plus additional for oiling bowl
- Handful of semolina flour (optional)
For the pizza topping:
- 60 ml (4 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large-ish butternut squash, seeded, skin removed¹, and sliced into ¼ inch slices
- 23 ml (1½ tablespoons) finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 11 ml (3/4 tablespoon) dried thyme
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground sage
- 2.5-5 ml (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) garlic salt
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) red pepper flakes (optional)
- 158 ml (2/3 cup) basil pesto
- 6 - 8 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
- 454 grams (1 pound) fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into .6 cm (¼ inch) slices
- 473 ml (2 cups) shredded cheese (fontina, or Monterrey Jack or your favorite choice)
- 237 ml (1 cup) grated parmesan or asiago cheese
- 22-30 ml (1½ - 2 tablespoons) honey
- 237 ml (1 cup) basil leaves
- For the pizza dough: In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and 308 ml (1⅓ cups) warm water. Stir and let rest in a warm spot for until the mixture gets bubbly/frothy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, and oil. When the yeast mixture is ready, pour it into the flour mixture and mix together with your hands until a shaggy dough forms.
2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured counter or board and work with your heel of your palm. You want to dough to be smooth. If the dough feels too wet, add a little flour, if it’s too dry, wet your hands slightly. Take your time, don’t rush the process. It will take about 10 minutes.
3. Once dough is smooth, form into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Turn dough in bowl to coat all over with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let it rest for about 90 minutes in a warm spot until it doubles in size.
5. Once dough has doubled in size, remove covering and punch the air out of the dough and knead a little to remove remaining air. Form pizza by stretching into desired shape². Position the oven rack in the upper third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 220° C ( 425° F). Place the stretched pizza dough on a lightly oiled large sheet pan (50 cm x 33 cm/20″ x 13″). You can dust the pan with semolina flour on top of the oil as well for extra crunch. Finish spreading dough into shape by gently pressing and spreading until it covers most of the sheet pan. Cover and let sit while you prep the pizza ingredients.
6. For the pizza topping: In a large bowl, toss together the olive oil, butternut squash, rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic salt³ and crushed red pepper flakes. Spread out on another large baking sheet (lined with foil for easy cleanup). Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the squash is just tender, then remove from oven. Increase the heat to 260°C (500°F) .
7. To assemble the pizza, spread the pesto over the pizza dough. Next, layer on the butternut squash (overlapping a little is good) and bacon. Then top with the mozzarella slices, followed by the other cheeses.
8. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes, rotate the pizza, and bake another 5 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted and is bubbly. Remove from oven, drizzle with the honey and top with roughly torn basil leaves. Enjoy!
¹For easy squash peeling, poke the squash all over with a fork (to let the steam escape) and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove it and let it cool for a minute, then peel.
²Pizza dough should not be too thin so it can hold up the weight of the squash and cheeses. Medium thickness works best.
³Garlic salt quantity may depend on how salty the cheese used is.