This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine.
Pumpkin pizza with Italian chicken sausage, caramelized onions and goat cheese is a fantastic way to shake up your holiday meals! This was a huge hit with my whole family.
Pumpkin pizza with sausage proves that pumpkin deserves to be the star ingredient in more than just pie or soup! My two teenaged boys would be the first ones to tell you that they fell head-over-heels for this pizza. We’re always looking for dishes to serve during the holiday season that don’t require hours of prep time. Save the extra chopping and cooking for feast days! This pizza fits the bill.
The pumpkin sauce, spiced with maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg, adds a wonderful holiday flavor to this pizza. Pile on browned Italian chicken sausage, caramelized onions (they make everything better!) with fresh sage, tangy goat cheese and toasty pecans.
My local Safeway had everything I needed for this meal, from the Signature SELECT™ pumpkin puree to the Open Nature® raw pecans and O Organics® products, such as ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and pumpkin puree. And before Thanksgiving is here, I’ll definitely be heading back for some of the seasonal treats (I’m looking at you, pumpkin praline cheesecake) to share with my family. So many options for holiday baking and special meals!
What you need to make this pumpkin pizza:
- Pumpkin puree: Canned pumpkin puree is a must for holiday cooking and baking! Safeway has two options available – the O Organics or Signature Select pumpkin purees. Look for them in the baking aisle. Be sure to buy pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie mix, which includes sweetener and spices.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon and nutmeg add just the right amount of holiday flavor to the pumpkin mixture.
- Pizza dough: One pound of pizza dough will make one crust. Either use homemade whole wheat pizza dough or store-bought refrigerated pizza dough.
- Sausage: I used chicken Italian sausage, but pork sausage can be substituted. Be sure to start with raw sausages.
- Onion: Caramelized onions are a fantastic way to add flavor to any dish. Season them with a splash of balsamic vinegar, fresh sage, salt and pepper.
- Goat cheese: Soft goat cheese (chevre) adds a wonderful tangy flavor. Buy either goat cheese logs or a container of crumbled goat cheese, both of which are available in the deli section at Safeway.
- Pecans: Start with raw pecans and toast them over medium heat in a dry skillet.
How to make pumpkin pizza:
Step #1: The pumpkin mixture
Start by seasoning the pumpkin puree. I like to make it a little thinner, which makes it a more spreadable consistency. Use either water or vegetable broth to thin it out.
Next, season the puree with balsamic vinegar, a touch of maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Be sure to taste it and adjust the seasonings to suit your palate. Easy as can be!
Step #2: Sausage and onions
If you’ve never cooked with raw sausages, I promise it’s super simple! Heat your pan, then squeeze the sausages to release the meat from the casings. Using your hands is the easiest way to do this. Discard the casings.
Use a wooden spoon or wooden spatula to break up the sausage as it cooks. How do you know when it’s done? There shouldn’t be any pink visible when you break up a chunk – it should all be browned.
Caramelized onions never fail to disappoint. They add layers of flavor with just a few common ingredients. As I explain in my post on How to Caramelize Onions, I don’t add sugar because I find that the natural sugars in the onions are sweet enough and caramelize easily.
Step #3: The dough
The key to rolling out pizza dough is to bring it to room temperature first. Cold pizza dough has an annoying habit of springing back into a ball when you try to roll it out.
Dust both the surface and the rolling pin with flour to avoid any sticking. Use the rolling pin and a little elbow grease to roll out the dough, working your way around the dough, pressing from the center to the edges, so that it forms into a circle.
Step #4: The cooking surface
Years ago, I bought a pizza stone and a pizza peel for making homemade pizza. I’ll never go back to baking sheets! You just can’t beat the cooked crust produced by a hot pizza stone. And a layer of cornmeal dusted on the pizza peel makes the transfer of the uncooked pizza to the stone very easy.
That being said, you can definitely use a baking sheet if you don’t have a pizza stone. Be sure to oil it first so that the dough doesn’t stick.
Step #5: Topping & cooking
Transfer the rolled dough to the pizza peel or baking sheet. Then get going with layering on the toppings. Pumpkin mixture, cooked sausage, caramelized onions and goat cheese. Don’t add the toasted pecans until after the pizza is cooked. You don’t want them to burn in the oven.
Slide the pizza onto the heated pizza stone. Cook it until the crust is light golden brown. I usually give it a tap with my fingernail (careful, it will be hot!) to ensure it’s firm. Slice and serve!
What to serve with pumpkin sausage pizza:
There are so many options to round out this holiday-inspired meal.
I shopped at Safeway, but you can also find Open Nature and O Organics products at the Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market, Tom Thumb and Vons.
Safeway also offers Grocery Delivery and Drive Up & Go™ for convenient ways to shop! It makes grocery shopping stress-free and so easy.
Pumpkin Pizza with Sausage & Caramelized Onions
The pumpkin mixture:
- 2 raw Italian chicken sausages (about 6 oz. total)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre) crumbled
- 1/4 cup chopped raw pecans toasted in a dry skillet
- 1 pound refrigerated pizza dough (preferably whole wheat) brought to room temperature
- Flour for dusting
- Cornmeal for dusting pizza peel
The pumpkin mixture:
- In a bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- Squeeze the sausages out of the casings into the skillet. Discard the casings. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage as it cooks. Once cooked through, transfer the sausage to a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb the oil.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Return the skillet to the heat and add the olive oil.
- Add the sliced onion, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden brown. During the cooking, add water as necessary, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, to prevent the onions from burning and drying out. Be sure that all of the water is absorbed before removing from the heat.
- Stir in the sage and balsamic vinegar. Remove from the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Place a pizza stone in the oven to heat for 10 minutes. If using a baking sheet, grease with avocado or canola oil.
- Dust the countertop or large cutting board with flour. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll the pizza dough into a large circle (about 12 inches).
- If using a pizza stone to cook the pizza, transfer the dough to a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal. If using a baking sheet, place the dough on the oiled baking sheet.
- Spread the pumpkin mixture on the crust, almost to the edge.
- Top with the cooked sausage, caramelized onions and crumbled goat cheese.
- Transfer the pizza from the pizza peel to the heated pizza stone (or place the baking sheet in the oven).
- Cook until the crust is light golden brown and firm when tapped, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the toasted pecans over the other toppings. Cut the pizza into 6 slices. Serve.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.