Have you ever been sitting around thinking, “I feel like eating a TON of vegetables right now…” – ? Well, that’s kind of where my inspiration for this pesto pizza came from!
Growing up my favorite kind of pizza was always the “garbage pizzas” or, the kind of pizza that has every single vegetable on it that the restaurant had. I was inspired to try creating a pizza recipe that was loaded with vegetables, but also healthy and whole-foods-plant-based. What I came up with, was this Garden Veggie Pesto Pizza
Healthy Oil Free Pizza Dough
My biggest challenge was finding a way to create a whole wheat pizza dough that was sugar free and oil free. Most dough recipes I see online have those two ingredients, but I wanted to try eliminating them. I remember seeing on a few blogs that applesauce could replace oil in baking recipes, and I decided to give it a try. The result – delicious, healthy, oil free whole-wheat pizza dough. I realize that my photos make this pizza appear as a thin-crust style pizza, but the final crust still had a nice thickness to it that was soft, slightly crispy, but not too cruncy or brittle. Just how I like my pizzas!
Butternut Squash Pizza Sauce
I love putting pesto on pizza, but I wanted to take this recipe a step further and try something new. I decided to make the base out of roasted butternut squash, and spread it on my crust instead of traditional pizza sauce. The result was amazing! The roasted butternut squash adds a slight sweetness to the pizza, and had amazing flavor that was really unique for a pizza.
After making the dough, my kale pesto, and the butternut squash pizza sauce, I just needed to decide what veggies to put on top. In the end I used:
- Red Onion
- Extra vegan Parmesan cheese on top
I was SO thrilled with the outcome! All of the unique flavors of the vegetables came out. That, combined with the slightly sweet butternut squash sauce, and the zesty kale pesto on top, it was a delicious pizza invention. Even my boyfriend thought so! ; )
Garden Veggie Pesto Pizza
The one down-side to this recipe, was that it did take awhile to roast the butternut squash. That aside though, I think the next time I make this I could definitely cut down on the time. After all, the pizza itself only bakes for about 22 minutes. Anyway, here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it!
- 2⅔ cup of whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant milk)
- 4 tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce
- 1 butternut squash
- ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of low sodium vegetable broth or water
- 3-4 tablespoons of kale pesto (http://spartanlifeblog.com/recipes/healthy-kale-pesto/)
- ½ cup of broccoli florets
- 4-5 stems of asparagus
- 2-4 cups of kale
- 1-2 cups of arugula
- A handful of red onion slices
- 4-5 whole artichoke pieces chopped
- Vegan Parmesan cheese (http://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-vegan-parmesan-cheese/)
- Preheat your oven to 400 F degrees.
- Remove the skin and chop your squash into cubes.
- Lay evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.
- After baking, blend the squash in a blender or food processor with the rest of the pizza sauce ingredients.*
- When your blender is free, make the kale pesto. (http://spartanlifeblog.com/recipes/healthy-kale-pesto/)
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add the almond milk and applesauce and mix until a dough starts to form.
- Knead everything together with your hands for a few minutes, then form it into a ball (If the dough seems a bit dry, add 2 teaspoons of water one at a time until the dough comes together).
- Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, roll the dough out on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper for one large pizza, or you can divide it in half to make two small pizzas.
- Poke the dough with a fork and then bake for 8 minutes (your oven should still be at 400 F).
- Once 8 minutes is up, remove from the oven and add your toppings.
- First spread the butternut squash sauce evenly on top.
- Next add a few large dollops of kale pesto and spread evenly.
- Then add all of your veggies.
- Optionally, add a sprinkling of vegan Parmesan cheese on top.
- Put the pizza(s) back in the oven and bake for 22 minutes.