Butternut Squash Pizza makes the perfect entertaining appetizer during fall and winter months. See how easy it is to make this healthy recipe!
Comfort foods will always be a weakness for many which is why our team at Balanced Babe is crazy about consistently creating comfort food recipe swaps. Healthy eating just isn’t fun if you can’t enjoy flavor and texture, right? Now there are a few ways you can create this pizza recipe: you can make your own cauliflower crust to really get low on the carbs, or you can make your own gluten free dough. OR if you don’t have any gluten sensitivities, you can create a nutrient dense whole wheat crust. So many options.
This particular recipe is dairy free, gluten free, and topped with mineral rich veggies. Instead of tomato sauce, we created a cheesy butternut squash sauce. Next goal is to figure out how to turn the sauce into a soup because it’s that damn good.
So let’s break down the nutrition of this recipe, shall we?
Butternut Squash Pizza vs. Regular Meat & Cheese Pizza:
- Low in fat – Typically a regular slice of pizza can have somewhere around 13 grams of fat. P-e-r s-l-i-c-e!! Usually that fat comes from cheese and meat, so this butternut squash pizza recipe nixes all of that. Because it’s dairy free and meat free, and because butternut squash is very low in fat, you can enjoy more than one slice without feeling regret.
- Energy boosting vs. energy depleting – After an indulgent evening of your favorite local pizza, your blood sugar will rise and then fall, causing you to experience cravings (for more pizza?! Yikes!). This is what happens when you consume empty carbs that are high on the glycemic index. Interestingly enough though, because on meat and cheese pizzas, the digestion and break down of all the ingredients takes longer. Meaning you won’t feel the effects until a few hours post pizza binge. With this recipe, the crust provides energy by it being either complex carb or veggie based, so you won’t experience a crash.
- Low in sodium – The average slice of pepperoni pizza has around 710 mg of sodium, and let’s be real – no one eats just one slice of pizza in a sitting. As many of us know, sodium causes bloating, puffy under eyes, and just feeling downright puffed up. By focusing on creating pizza recipes that are low in sodium, and even low in the “bad” types of carbs, you’ll notice that you’ll even be able to beat the post-pizza bloat.
- Good carbs vs. bad carbs – Speaking of carbs, most popular pizza brands and restaurants make their pies with regular white flour, which essentially has no nutritional benefits. AKA, empty carbs. When creating your own homemade pizzas: opt for whole wheat crust, cauliflower crust, or even gluten free crust if you think you may have a sensitivity.
By sidestepping these potential downsides of diving face first into a regular slice of cheese supreme, this butternut squash pizza recipe boasts nutritional benefits in each bite! Butternut squash contains fiber (which helps keep you full), potassium (which can actually help you de-bloat), b vitamins for energy, beta carotene for health skin, and antioxidants for inflammatory protection.
You can of course be creative with your toppings, but for this specific recipe we topped ours with broccoli raab, red peppers, red onion and basil. With these added ingredients you’ll get another dose of beta carotene, iron, magnesium, and more b vitamins for energy.
Guilt Free Butternut Squash Pizza
For the butternut squash sauce –
- 2 cups of butternut squash cubes (I get mine from Trader Joes)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
For the rest of the pizza –
- Whole wheat or gluten free pizza crust (you can find brands that are gluten free like this, or whole wheat like this)
- 1 cup of broccoli raab chopped
- 1/2 red onion sliced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 4-5 basil leaves
- Cook the cubed butternut squash according to package directions (if you are using raw cubed butternut squash, you can steam it in a pot of boiling water until the squash becomes tender).
- Transfer the butternut squash into a food processor, add the 3 cloves of garlic, olive oil, and nutritional yeast, and blend until smooth. You can taste test the sauce and add any seasonings for preference (salt & pepper, or more nutritional yeast).
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and heat a skillet on medium heat. Add oil, cook the broccoli raab for 3-4 minutes and set aside. (this helps prep the broccoli raab to cook thoroughly once in the oven).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll out the dough in a circle. You may have to sprinkle almond flour (or any type of flour you have in your kitchen), on top of the dough so that it doesn’t stick to the roller or your hands.
- Top your pizza with the butternut squash sauce, spread it around evenly, and add your toppings. Then transfer the pizza on the sheet to the oven an bake for between 15-18 minutes. Check the pizza after 15 minutes to make sure you don’t burn the crust.
- Serve and enjoy!
Notes: You can also top your pizza with Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan cheese. You will also have leftover butternut squash sauce which you can use in additional recipes like mac n cheese or to top on a big bowl of veggies.