This heart healthy pizza is packed with nutrients and whole-food ingredients, including whole wheat pizza crust, homemade (no-cook) tomato sauce, mushrooms, spinach, and Swiss cheese.
I've had to learn a lot about the heart in my 38 years of life. When I was in elementary school, my dad had open-heart surgery to repair a faulty valve, and then he had three heart-related strokes when I was in my teens through early twenties. In my mid-thirties, when I was 20 weeks pregnant, John and I learned that our baby, Jack, had a congenital heart defect, and since 2017 he's undergone two open-heart surgeries to patch holes and repair misshapen valves. Then, in January of this year, my father-in-law had a massive heart attack, leaving him with a long, slow recovery period and a very strict diet devoid of the sugary, salty, fatty foods he loves. All that being said, I'm embarrassed that this is the first heart healthy pizza recipe I've posted on Thursday Night Pizza . . . but at least I'm slipping it in on the penultimate day of Heart Month. 🤷
So what makes this a heart healthy pizza?
One of the most important things that make this pizza good for your heart is the 100% whole wheat pizza dough. However, if you are not on a doctor-prescribed, low-refined-carb eating plan, you can use regular or half-whole-wheat pizza dough instead. As for the other ingredients:
- Swiss cheese is low in sodium and fat.
- Mushrooms contain potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure, and antioxidants, which help boost the immune system.
- Spinach is a superfood that may prevent or reduce oxidative stress and help moderate blood pressure.
- Tomatoes (in the super-simple marinara sauce) are rich in nutrients, including lycopene, an antioxidant tied to heart health.
We could all benefit from eating more ingredients that benefit heart health. Why not start with pizza?
Heart Healthy Pizza with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Swiss
- Cutting board and knife
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil or nonstick cooking spray
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 3 cups baby spinach tightly packed
- 1 ball 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough or pizza dough of choice
- 2/3 cup marinara sauce (made with reduced amounts of salt and olive oil, if necessary)
- 2 to 4 ounces Swiss cheese grated
- Preheat the oven to 550°F or as high as it will go (if using a stone/steel, put it on a rack in the center or bottom third of the oven before you start preheating).
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, cook until it is aromatic, about 1 minute, then add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes, then add the spinach and cook, stirring, just until the spinach is wilted. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Spread the marinara sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Top with the spinach-and-mushroom mixture and finish with the shredded Swiss cheese. If you like (or if your diet allows), brush the edges of the dough with olive oil.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the cheese has browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Take the pizza out of the oven. Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
*Disclaimer: None of the advice given in this post is to be considered as medical advice. Please do not make any changes to your lifestyle or diet without discussing it with your doctor.