Temperatures may have hovered around 90 degrees outside today, but here in my kitchen, fall finally arrived in the form of this chili pizza. For inspiration and basic ratios, I started with The Kitchn's Pumpkin Chili recipe. It's one of my all-time favorites—spicy with undertones of sweet and umami flavors—and it's not too heavy to make in warmer months. Instead of stewing the vegetables, I roasted them with spices and a little oil. Then I cooked down a jar of diced tomatoes with chiles and mixed in the roasted vegetables, some black beans and corn, Worcestershire sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Cheddar was an obvious choice for finishing the chili topping, and scallions and sour cream made logical (and delicious) add-ons at the table.
Butternut Squash Chili Pizza (inspired by The Kitchn's Pumpkin Chili)
Makes one 12-inch pizza
- 1 small (3/4-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch dice (2 cups diced squash)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the dough
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chiles
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh or frozen (and thawed) corn kernels
- 1/4 cup drained and rinsed canned black beans
- 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball Basic Pizza Dough (or pre-made dough)
- 1 cup freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
- Sour cream, for serving (optional)
Place your pizza stone (if using) on an oven rack about 8 inches from the broiler. If you plan to cook your pizza on a baking sheet, place a rack in the middle of the oven (you do not need to preheat the baking sheet). Preheat the oven to 425°F.
To prep the toppings: In a baking dish, toss together the squash, onion, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, chili powder, cinnamon, and cumin. Season with some salt and pepper and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the squash is very tender.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the diced tomatoes and chiles to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and remove the pan from the heat. When the vegetables are done roasting, add them to the sauce along with the corn, beans, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well, give it a taste, and add more salt, pepper, and balsamic as needed.
Increase the oven temperature to 500°F.
To stretch/roll out the dough: Dust the ball of dough with flour and place it on a well-floured work surface. Using your hands or a rolling pin, gently stretch or roll the dough into a 12-inch disk.
If you’re using a pizza stone: Dust a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet generously with flour or cornmeal. Place the dough disk on the prepared peel.
If you're using a baking sheet: Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the dough disk on the prepared baking sheet.
To top the pizza: Spread the chili mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around, and scatter the cheese on top. Brush the edges of the dough with a little olive oil.
To bake the pizza: If you're using a pizza stone, 10 minutes before you are ready to cook the pizza, increase the oven heat to broil. Slide the pizza from the peel (or inverted baking sheet) to the hot stone using quick shimmying movements. Broil the pizza for 6 to 8 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese begins to brown. Using the peel or inverted baking sheet, transfer the cooked pizza to a cutting board. If you are making more than one pizza, allow the pizza stone to reheat under the broiler for 5 minutes before you cook the next one.
If you're using a baking sheet, do not increase the oven to broil. Place the baking sheet on the rack in the middle of the oven and bake at 500°F for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese begins to brown.
Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with the scallions. Slice and serve with a small bowl of sour cream, if using.