REDUCETARIAN - Eat Less Meat

Butternut Squash Pizza

Butternut Squash Pizza

By Jenny Warshafsky

If you’re looking for a hearty dish that will impress even those who are pessimistic about plant-based foods, try this butternut squash pizza. Trust me when I say that no one will miss the dairy! If you know you’ll be short on time, make the sauce and toppings the day before, and the day-of steps will only take about 20 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • 1 prepared pizza dough (click here for instructions on tossing)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • ¼ tsp dry thyme or ½ tsp fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional; can substitute vegan Worcestershire sauce or 1 tsp anchovy paste)
  • 1 small butternut squash, cubed (about 1 lb)
  • 1½ C water
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 T nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • ¼-½ lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced (can substitute porcini, hen of the wood, or oyster)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp truffle oil or truffle powder, or other amount to taste (optional)
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spread butternut squash out on a large baking pan and drizzle with 1 T of olive oil.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
  • While the butternut squash cooks, heat up a medium pan over medium high heat and add 1 T olive oil.
  • Add sliced onions with and cook about 2 minutes or until translucent. Add a pinch of salt and continue cooking until onions about 10 minutes or until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally. Significant browning is ok (and preferable to some), but if onions stick too much or start to burn, add a bit more oil and reduce heat slightly. Remove onions to a small bowl and reserve for later.
  • Without cleaning the pan, turn heat up to medium high. Add the last 1 T of olive oil and the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and cook 5-8 minutes or browned. Once cooked, turn off heat.
  • Once butternut squash is cooked, remove from oven and turn oven to 500 degrees.
  • Blend squash in a food processor or blender. Alternatively, use potato masher to do the job with mixed results. Stir in thyme, garlic powder, minced garlic, nutritional yeast if using, and salt and pepper to taste (I recommend at least 3 heavy pinches of salt). 
  • Toss pizza dough if not already tossed. Par bake on oiled cookie sheet or on a pizza stone for 3-5 minutes until dough is no longer soft and begins to color. (Large bubbles might form in your dough while par baking. Don’t worry; they will go down.)
  • Remove pizza dough from oven.
  • Spread butternut squash mixture evenly over the dough and top with onions and mushrooms.
  • Bake another 3-5 minutes until crust is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and top with truffle oil or powder, if using. Garnish with parsley. Serve hot.