Though this root vegetable pizza may look plain, one bite will prove quite the opposite. The "sauce" is made by pureeing sweet potatoes and parsnips with mustard, honey, milk, salt, and pepper, and then stirring in some finely chopped sage. It's a little sweet and a little savory, and a good farmhouse Cheddar drives it home with just the right amount of saltiness and tang.
Think of this pizza like a handheld version of your favorite blended root vegetable soup. It's super simple, which means the ingredients really matter. Here are some tips for choosing the best, most flavorful components:
- Root vegetables. I use one large parsnip and one medium sweet potato, but any combination of root veggies will work fine. Just make sure one of the veggies you pick is sweet, like butternut squash or carrot, since this will give the sauce the best flavor.
- Fresh herbs. Sage is my favorite here. However, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon are all great, too.
- Cheese. Farmhouse cheddar, the crumbly, super-sharp-tasting kind, goes beautifully with the sweet potato and parsnip puree. To me, it's the perfect concert of flavors. If you want to switch things up a bit, though, feel free to try any kind of Cheddar, gouda, gruyere, or any semi-soft or hard cheese. Bonus points if you pick something up from your local cheese counter (ask the cheesemonger for something that goes well with fall veggies).
Root Vegetable Pizza FAQs
Of course not. It's your pizza, after all. Feel free to swap out the sweet potato for about 2 cups of cubed butternut squash, pumpkin, or carrots. And swap out the parsnips for about 2 cups of cubed celeriac or turnips.
If you're not in the mood for Cheddar, try gruyere, gouda, or any other hard or semi-hard cheese. Feeling adventurous? Head to your nearest cheese shop and ask for something that goes well with fall root vegetables.
Use it as a dip for chips or raw veggies, spread it in wraps or on sandwiches, like you'd use hummus, or stir it into cooked pasta.
Sure! Chopped bacon or crumbled sausage would both be awesome additions. Cook them first, then scatter them on before you add the cheese.
Looking for more fall pizza recipes? Check out the Thursday Night Pizza seasonal pizza archives.
Root Vegetable Pizza with Sweet Potato and Parsnip Puree and Cheddar Cheese
- Cutting board and knife
- Large pot
- Food processor, immersion blender, or potato masher
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
- 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1½ teaspoons (½ tablespoon) Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage or parsley
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- 4 ounces farmhouse Cheddar cheese (or regular sharp Cheddar), grated (1 heaping cup)
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes. Then, if you’re using a baking stone or steel, switch the oven to Broil on high.
To make the sauce
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the parsnip and sweet potato to the pot, bring the water back to a boil, and boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
- Remove the pot from the heat, drain the vegetables and transfer them to a food processor. Process until smooth, then add in the milk, mustard, honey, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Process until the mixture is uniform in color, and add more milk if it seems too thick to spread on the pizza dough. Stir in the sage and season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed. (Alternatively, you could just return the cooked vegetables to the pot, mash them together with a potato masher, then stir in the other ingredients.)
To make the pizza
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to a baking sheet / pizza pan or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Spread the sauce on the dough, leaving a ½-inch border all around. Scatter the cheese evenly over top.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden around the edges and evenly browned on the bottom—8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Remove the pizza from the oven. Let rest for a few minutes, then slice and serve.