This Butternut Squash and Beet Pizza with Ricotta has homemade whole wheat crust, pureed butternut squash sauce, roasted beets, and fresh ricotta. And it all comes together in an hour!
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HAPPY FRIDAY veggie enthusiasts!
Man, it’s been a week. In case you live under a rock and didn’t hear (or are visiting this site from another country), most of the U.S. was slammed with a polar vortex and dangerously cold temperatures this week. Per usual, Minneapolis experienced some of the worst temperatures (i.e. -50 wind chills).
Today, it’s FINALLY warming up. But of course, the internet in our entire apartment building is out due to the cold. Oh well, we’ll survive. Plus, it’s giving me an excuse to work from my favorite coffee shop instead of my home desk. Which also means I finally got some fresh air as I ventured over here.
Believe it or not, this pizza recipe was also inspired by the cold weather. Since we couldn’t do much else but hunker down and eat delicious food (not complaining), I did a lot of experimenting in the kitchen. On a cold, cozy night, is there anything better than pizza?! I think not.
But this isn’t your traditional pizza. Oh no, it’s a veggie-fied pizza. For the crust, I made a quick whole wheat dough that literally takes five minutes to make. The sauce is a blend of roasted butternut squash, garlic, and olive oil. And the toppings? Roasted beets, ricotta cheese, and fresh basil of course!
How to Make Butternut Squash and Beet Pizza with Ricotta
First, you want to line two baking sheets with parchment, chop the butternut squash (it should be peeled and de-seeded) and beets, transfer each veggie to its own baking sheet, toss them in olive oil, and roast them in the oven. You can also add a few peeled and crushed garlic cloves to the sheet with the squash.
While the veggies are roasting, make the whole wheat pizza dough. If you haven’t made homemade pizza crust before, don’t be scared to try. It sounds intimidating, but making pizza completely from scratch is actually something you can do easily and often. AND you can even do it on a weeknight!
That’s right folks, this Butternut Squash and Beet Pizza can be a Tuesday night meal. But since you may not have experience making homemade dough, I’ll give you a few pro tips.
How to Make Quick Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
To make whole wheat dough, you only need five ingredients: active yeast, warm water, olive oil, whole wheat flour, and sea salt. The yeast is the most important part and is necessary for the dough to rise. I recommend using Red Star Active Dry Yeast. Once you open it, keep the yeast in your fridge to preserve freshness for up to three months.
As for the warm water, you want it to be somewhere between lukewarm and very warm. Honestly, I just used water straight from my sink and turned the faucet to where I know it yields warm but not hot water (about ¾ of the way towards very hot water).
Once you have your ingredients ready, mix the yeast with the warm water and olive oil, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then add the flour and salt and mix until it all comes together into a ball. If it’s too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour. If it’s too dry, add a tablespoon of water. Easy, right?
Divide the dough ball into two balls, and let them rest on a floured surface under a clean, dry dish towel for 15 minutes. When it’s time to make the pizza, roll one of the dough balls out into a 10-inch circle and wrap the other in plastic to keep in the fridge for later use.
Once the veggies are done roasting, which typically happens while the dough is resting, blend the roasted butternut squash and garlic with a little olive to make the sauce. Spead it over the dough, add the beets, some dollops of ricotta, and torn fresh basil. Pop in the oven and voila!
Butternut Squash and Beet Pizza with Ricotta
- 2 cups butternut squash - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - peeled
- 3 tablespoon olive oil - divided
- 2 beets - scrubbed and diced
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- Fresh basil - torn, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Crush the garlic cloves with the back of a chef's knife. Toss the garlic and butternut squash in a tablespoon of the olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Transfer to one of the baking sheets. Do the same thing with the beets. Put both of the baking sheets in the oven and roast for approximately 20 minutes or until the squash and beets are fork tender.
- While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the dough. Whisk the warm water, yeast, and olive oil in a large bowl, and let it sit for 5 minutes. This allows the yeast to puff up a little bit. Add the flour and sea salt and mix until everything comes together.
- If the dough seems too dry, add a tablespoon of water. If it is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour. Form the dough into a ball then divide into two smaller balls. Let them sit, covered with a clean dish towel, on the counter for 15 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are finished roasting, transfer the roasted squash and garlic to a blender. Add the last tablespoon of olive and blend until smooth. You may need to add a small amount of water to promote blending.
- Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. On a floured surface, roll out one of the dough balls to a 10 to 12-inch circle. Cover the other ball of dough with plastic wrap and store in the fridge or freezer for later use.
- Transfer the crust to a baking sheet or pizza stone coated with olive oil or nonstick spray. Brush with olive oil and then spread the butternut squash sauce on top. Top with the roasted beets, clumps of ricotta cheese, and freshly torn basil to taste. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Enjoy warm!
Want to make this for dinner? Pin it now to make later!
Enjoy pizza night!