This hearty Butternut Squash pizza is a meal in a slice. Enjoy it in the fall when winter squash is in season, or make it with roasted sweet potato all year long.
Sometimes my best pizzas come from forced improvisation, when I forget to buy ingredients and have to make do with whatever's in the fridge. This week, I happened to have a butternut squash, half a block of Pepper Jack cheese, a few handfuls of spinach, eggs, and an almost-empty pint of heavy cream. Turns out that combo is a comfort food lover's dream.
Cubed and roasted butternut squash and cream add just the right amount of lusciousness in lieu of sauce; raw spinach brings sweetness, earthiness, and texture; Pepper Jack gives it a subtle kick; and the eggs, cracked on top before baking, are satisfying both to the eye and to the taste buds. Since our household is divided on the issue of eggs, I opted for just two; if you go with three or four, I suggest assembling and baking the pizza on a baking sheet instead of a baking stone or steel, as it takes quite a bit of finesse to transfer the pizza from peel to stone without the raw eggs jiggling all over the place (possibly into the bottom of your oven).
Craving butternut squash pizza? Here are a few more you'll enjoy:
Spinach and Butternut Squash Pizza with Pepper Jack Cheese and Eggs
- Cutting board and knife
- large rimmed baking sheet
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Large bowl
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
- 1 (1- to 1½-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- 2 cups baby spinach (loosely packed)
- ¾ cup grated pepper Jack cheese
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 to 4 large eggs (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. If using a stone/steel, put it on a rack in the center or bottom third of the oven before you start preheating.
- Place the cubed butternut squash on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast the squash for 25 minutes or until it’s tender and just beginning to caramelize. Remove the squash from the oven and set it aside to cool.
- Increase the oven temperature to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as hot as your oven can get (if using a baking stone or steel).
- In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and the roasted squash.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Transfer the spinach-squash mixture to the dough, then top with the cheese and drizzle on the cream.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake just until the crust turns golden and the cheese melts, about 5 minutes on a baking sheet or about 3 minutes on the baking stone/steel. While the pizza bakes, crack the eggs (if using) into separate small ramekins or bowls.
- Carefully pull out the oven rack. Slide the eggs (if using) onto the pizza, trying your best to place one in each quadrant of the pizza. Bake the pizza for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still jiggly.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.