I’m not the only person who is (butter) nuts for butternut squash. As my primary recovery activity between training sessions is perusing the internet for new recipe ideas, I’ve noticed that all my favorite food bloggers have prominently featured butternut squash. The newest discovery is Smitten Kitchen’s butternut squash pancakes with browned butter and crispy sage. Can you even imagine?!
I know I recently posted a blog all about what to do with roasted butternut squash…but I have a fourth (and most important) addition: Pizza. While I have recently re-discovered a love for pizza “classics”-pepperoni, sausage, basil, mushrooms-I couldn’t help but try and figure out how to add butternut squash to a pizza.
Traditional? No. Delicious? Yes. Swapping the red sauce for a butternut squash pureed with maple syrup, brown butter and garlic made for the most wonderful and fall-feeling pizza I’ve ever had. Pizza traditionalists be warned- this won’t satisfy your greasy and cheesy cravings. Instead you’ll find a nutritious, colorful, and satiating pizza delight. This is a pizza that won’t leave you feeling like a lump on a log. This pizza leaves you ready to go play in the leaves that inspired it 🙂
It would also make an awesome Halloween dish, just sayin’.
Butternut Squash Pizza
Serves 2-3 (but probably 2)
1 Pizza Dough (your favorite variety, or if you’re feeling lazy a premade whole wheat crust from your local grocer will do perfectly)
1 butternut squash, chopped and roasted (see previous post on roasting butternut squash)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt to taste
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 Apple, sliced thinly
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
Honey, for drizzling
- Make sure your dough is room temperature- if you got it from the store this means removing from the fridge about one hour before you make your pizza!
- If you don’t have any leftover roasted squash, roast your squash as detailed in the previous post. You will need about 4 cups of roasted and chopped squash for this recipe- you might have some leftover (which is NEVER a bad thing).
- If you have roasted squash, you still need to preheat your oven to 425. Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and olive oil and roast for 20 or so minutes. Cook all the way through- your cooking time will depend on how thick your thighs are, so I suggest using a meat thermometer for assistance. Once cooked, remove from oven, let cool slightly, and shred.
- Brown your butter. In a non-stick saute pan, cook butter until brown and nutty smelling over medium heat. This will take 3-5 minutes- make sure the heat is low enough that the butter doesn’t burn! Once browned, add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Immediately remove from heat, pouring butter into a small mixing bowl.
- Make your squash puree. Add 3-4 cups of roasted squash to the butter bowl, add maple syrup and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. You could also use a food processor here, or even just a hand masher (note- with a hand masher you won’t get the same smooth consistency!). Add salt and/or pepper to taste.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stretch out your pizza dough, and lay onto parchment lined baking sheet. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread butternut squash mixture onto pizza. Next add your shredded chicken, followed by the parmesan. Finish with the apple slices.
- Place in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. The crust should be nicely browned and the cheese thoroughly melted. In the final minute of baking, top with handful of arugula. **You don’t want to add the arugula before this time, because it will completely wilt and become rather unsightly**
- Remove from oven, top with pumpkin seeds, drizzle with honey, and enjoy!