Recipe Redux: Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, Kale and Pesto Pizza


What a most lovely mouthful – to say and eat! This month’s Recipe Redux challenge is all about pizza, one of America’s favorite foods. We love pizza night at our house and make it quite often. I love to do a pizza bar and set out a variety of toppings so that everyone can make their own mini pizza to their liking. And pizza can be for breakfast too, like my Breakfast Pizza with Cauliflower Crust.


But for this challenge, I wanted to raise the bar with ingredients and flavors. I adore pesto and pesto on pizza doesn’t get any better. And when I want to switch it up, my Thai Basil Peanut Pesto is a nice change. But sometimes, I just want a traditional basil pesto. While I wish I had made extra pesto this past summer from my pesto crop, I did not. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to find good pesto at the store. From there, I just started thinking of flavor profiles and I dreamed up this combination. The sweet roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions pair nicely with nutty Parmesan cheese and the crunch of kale, which is nicely toasted on top of the pizza. And it really works. Even my husband, who is neither a fan of butternut squash or kale liked it. This is adult pizza at its best though I’ll try to tempt my children’s taste buds with it tomorrow!


Of course the crust is just as important as the ingredients. This is a low sodium version I’ve been modifying and using for years. It has a lot of flavor to make up for the lack of salt so that you won’t even notice it!

Italian Herb Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
With a bread machine, this pizza crust comes together quickly and is ready by the time all of the other ingredients are ready to go. Makes 2 medium size pizza crusts.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
  • 2½ teaspoons bread machine yeast
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of the apple cider vinegar to the milk. Allow to sit and thicken for a few minutes and make "buttermilk." Heat to 90 to 100 degrees.
  2. Add "buttermilk" to the bread machine pan and then the rest of the ingredients. Choose the pizza dough cycle (or regular dough if your machine doesn't have a pizza setting).
  3. When dough is finished, remove from machine and divide in half. Either freeze or use immediately for pizza.



Ready to go into the oven!

Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, Kale and Pesto Pizza
This pizza comes together quickly. To make it even faster, caramelize onions and roast the squash for another meal a day or two before and use the leftovers for this pizza.
  • 2 cups kale leaves, washed and torn into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced and caramelized
  • 1½ cups butternut squash, diced and roasted
  • 1 Italian herb whole wheat pizza dough ball, rolled out to desired thickness
  • ⅓ cup pesto
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, place in preheated oven for several minutes to heat.
  2. Put kale leaves in a bowl and toss well with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Set aside while preparing the other ingredients.
  3. On the heated pizza stone or on a cookie sheet, place the rolled out dough. Spread pesto over dough. Add the caramelized onion, butternut squash and kale. Top with the shaved Parmesan.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is melted.