Roasted Butternut Squash, Bacon and Goat Cheese Pizza: The Official Pizza of Fall (if that was a Thing)
Autumn is in full form. We’ve gone from light jackets to coats with mittens. The Halloween costumes are ready to roll. The kids have been delighted watching the leaves change colors and even more excited crunching them once they drop. They even sat patiently as I picked leaves out of their hair and their shoes and every other crevice following the an impromptu leaf fight with the neighborhood kids.
“Happy Fall!” – Lillian
And then there’s the food. I love Fall food. Things that are warm and comforting. Packed with autumn veggies or studded with apples. I do make one exception, however: I’m not down with the pumpkin-spice phenomenon. Every year I wander the supermarkets in confused wonder as pumpkin-spice hysteria reaches full tilt. Does the world really need Pumpkin-Spice Cheerios, Pumpkin-Spice Pop Tarts or Pumpkin-Spice Tortilla Chips??
Don’t get me wrong…I like pumpkins. They’re fun to carve. The seeds are a delicious snack and I’ve never turned down a slice of pumpkin pie. But as far as winter squash varieties go, pumpkin ain’t got nothin on a good butternut squash. The butternut squash is the real autumnal superstar in my opinion. Simmer it in soup, roast it with brussels sprouts, spiralize it if thats your jam. Me, I’m going to put it right here on this amazing pizza: Roasted Butternut Squash, Bacon and Goat Cheese Pizza that is.
If Autumn had an official pizza, this would be it. Smoky, earthy, slightly sweet perfection piled on homemade crust made with my husband’s awesome pizza dough recipe. The secret is the fresh herbs — do not skimp on the fresh sage and thyme at the end. They are the key to pulling all those flavors together in perfect, autumnal harmony. Of course, the bacon certainly doesn’t hurt either. Some would argue that gorgonzola would make a better cheese but I find that the goat cheese adds a fresh, almost lemony tartness that balances out the sweet roasted squash perfectly.
This one is currently in heavy rotation during our Friday family pizza/movie nights. I suspect it will make a few more appearances as we work our way through the Disney Pixar Halloween and holiday specials on Netflix.
What is your favorite fall pizza topping? What about pumpkin-spice? Are you into it or over it?
Roasted Butternut Squash, Bacon and Goat Cheese Pizza
Makes 1 large pizza
1/2 of a small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 ball fresh pizza dough (I recommend Jon’s recipe)
2 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp and diced
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into chunks
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 teaspoon each fresh sage and fresh thyme, minced
salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 435 F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss butternut squash and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread squash in an even layer on baking sheet and roast in preheated oven until squash is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove squash from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees f.
- Roll out pizza dough and place on a pizza peel or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Combine remaining olive oil and crushed garlic in a small bowl. Brush oil lightly over pizza dough, all the way to the edges. Top pizza dough with an even layer of butternut squash, bacon, fresh mozzarella and goat cheese.
- Transfer pizza to preheated oven and bake until cheese is melted and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Top with fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper before serving.