What better way to switch up your classic cheese pizza than by using seasonal produce like butternut squash? This butternut squash pizza is incredibly yummy, topped with crispy kale and shallots that make it absolutely irresistible!
Butternut Squash Pizza
Everyone knows about pasta with butternut squash sauce, but few have seen it used on pizza. Sure, there are plenty of pizzas topped with roasted cubes of butternut squash, but what about a pizza made with butternut squash sauce?
When you cook butternut squash in the Instant Pot, the squash itself not only softens up, but the peel becomes incredibly tender. It’s very easy to shave off the skin after you’ve cooked the squash in the pot.
Once I cooked the squash, I puréed it and created a quick sauce for this pizza. A little parmesan and garlic were all the puréed squash needed to become scrumptious.
Like always, I whipped up my quick pizza crust recipe. The crust is not only delicious, but it crisps up beautifully in the oven too.
A thin layer of the butternut squash sauce is spread out over the pizza dough before it’s topped with gruyere cheese and pieces of curly kale. The butternut squash pizza is baked for about 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp.
Once the pizza comes out of the oven, it’s topped with crispy shallots. To make the crispy shallots, I simply chopped up a couple of shallots into fine slices and fried them in oil.
Once they’re added to this butternut squash pizza, the pizza is ready to be devoured. And boy, will it be devoured!
The sauce is slightly sweet because of the squash, which is a wonderful contrast to the salty gruyere cheese. The crispy kale and crispy shallots add great texture and flavor on top too.
This is one fall pizza you’ll be looking forward to enjoying every year!
For the pizza crust
- 1.25 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting your work surface
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil, plus more for bowl and pan
- 2.25 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
For the topping
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 curly kale leaf, stem removed, torn into pieces
- 2 small shallots, finely sliced
- vegetable or grapeseed oil for frying the shallots
To make the pizza crust
- To a large bowl, add the honey, olive oil, and yeast. Pour in 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of warm water (105-110°F), then give the mixture a gentle stir to combine. Let it rest for 5 minutes, until frothy and bubbly.
- Add the all-purpose flour and salt to the wet ingredients. Stir everything together with a wooden spoon until combined and a dough comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about a minute, until you create a smooth ball out of your dough. Grease the bowl you previously made dough in with some olive oil, then place the dough ball in it. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Turn on your oven's warm setting for 30 seconds, then turn it off. Place the bowl in the oven for the dough to rise - 30 minutes.
To make the topping
- Add the butternut squash to the Instant Pot with 1.5 cups of water and manual cook for 13 minutes. Alternatively, you can roast the squash in a 350°F oven for 1.5 hours. You'll want to cut the squash in half lengthwise, then place the cut sides down in a 9x13 baking dish. Pour water into dish around squash halves.
- After the squash has finished cooking in the Instant Pot, cut the squash in half lengthwise, then use a knife to shave off the skin. Cut out the seeds. If you roasted your squash in the oven, then simply shave off the skin with your knife and cut out the seeds too.
- Cut up the squash into small chunks and put into the bowl of a food processor. Add about 1/4 cup of water and purée until smooth. Stream in more water if your squash is being really stubborn and not puréeing as well.
- Add half a cup of the purée to a saucepan; store the rest of the squash in a food container to freeze for later use. To the saucepan, add parmesan and minced garlic. Stir together to combine. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for just another 30 seconds or so, until the sauce begins to bubble. Taste test for more salt, if needed.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F. Drizzle olive oil over a dark baking sheet. Stretch the pizza dough out into a circular shape onto your baking sheet.
- Spread the butternut squash sauce all over the pizza dough, leaving a 1" space bare along the rim. Top with the grated gruyere cheese. Add the kale leaves.
- Bake the pizza in the oven for 3 minutes at 500°F, then reduce the heat to 400°F and bake for another 12 to 13 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp.
- For the crispy shallots, simply fill your saucepan with an inch of oil. Warm until hot and beginning to bubble. Fry the shallot pieces in the oil until browned. Use a fork to transfer the shallots to a plate lined with a paper towel. Once the pizza is ready, top the pizza with the crispy shallots.