The Best Part of Thanksgiving: The Pizza.

Yes, pizza. Thanksgiving Pizza. Life is all about balance.

Earlier this week I was at my chiropractor, and overheard a conversation between my doctor and another patient:

“What are you making for Thanksgiving?”
“Honestly? Probably a pizza."
“A Thanksgiving pizza?!"

.. and they both laughed. Meanwhile, I’m sitting there dreaming up what exactly a Thanksgiving pizza could be, and every option got me more excited than the last. I decided that it had to be done. While this could have gone one of a million ways, and I did come up with roughly one million varieties, this is what I finally decided upon:

  • The dough would be the stuffing: homemade pizza dough speckled with fresh sage and thyme, drizzled with vegetable broth.
  • The sauce would be a creamy butternut squash puree, sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup for that sweetened casserole flavor.
  • The toppings would be the main and a side: pan-fried Field Roast Celebration Roast and crispy Brussels sprouts were the winners.
  • The cheese? This is the best part: perfectly whipped mashed potatoes (there is a restaurant in Connecticut, Bar Pizza, that does Mashed Potato Pizza.. and it’s incredible).
  • Oh, and what would Thanksgiving be without cranberry sauce? I made a sweet and savory Cranberry BBQ Sauce: absolutely serving as the cherry, or the cranberry, on top.

Now that I have your full attention, there are two ways that you can recreate this perfection for yourself: (1) Make the dough, and get nuts with your Thanksgiving leftovers, or (2) Follow the steps below:

Thanksgiving Pizza

Serves 2-4 // Vegan

Ingredients:

(Dough)

  • 2 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 Cup + 3 Tablespoons Warm Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Sage
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea or Pink Salt
  • Drizzle Olive Oil + Drizzle Organic Vegetable Broth

(Butternut Squash Puree)

  • 1 Small Butternut Squash
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup

(Whipped Mashed Potatoes)

  • 2 Small Potatoes, Russets or Yukon Golds work best
  • 1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Milk, I used Almond Milk, warmed
  • 1 Tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread (optional, but delicious)
  • Sea or Pink Salt and Pepper, to taste

(Cranberry BBQ Sauce)

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Cranberries
  • 1 Cup Organic Vegetable Broth
  • Dash Cayenne Pepper
  • Chili Powder, Sea or Pink Salt, and Pepper, to taste

(Toppings)

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Field Roast Celebration Roast, chopped
  • 1 Cup Brussels Sprouts, chopped

Method:
Read through the recipe to get an idea of things that will take longer than others: like the dough needing to rise and the squash needing to roast. Start with those, and continue on with the others as they progress. Everything will make just enough for this one pizza, aside from the BBQ sauce: that yields 3/4 cup of sauce.

Start with the dough:


1. Whisk the water and yeast together in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, add herbs, and mix to combine, either with an electric mixer or by hand. Mix until the dough forms into a sticky ball and begins to pull away from the edges of the bowl.
4. Coat the dough with a drizzle of olive oil and vegetable broth, and set aside to rise: cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 1.5 hours.
5. After 1.5 hours, squeeze the dough to release any gas, and set aside to rise for another 1.5-2 hours.

Continue on with the squash:


1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Cut squash in half vertically, remove seeds, and place (flesh side up) on a baking sheet.
3. Drizzle one of the tablespoons of olive oil over the flesh, and place in the oven to roast for 1 hour. One roasted, remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
4. Once cooled, scoop out the flesh with an ice-cream scooper. 
5. Add squash, garlic, maple syrup, and one tablespoon of olive oil to a high-speed blender or food processor and puree. This should be a thick puree, but not soupy. Set aside.

Next, start your potatoes:
1. Fill a saucepan with water, enough to cover potatoes by one inch, and bring to a boil.
2. Add potatoes. Cook until tender, 25-30 minutes.
3. Remove from water, and add potatoes to medium-sized bowl.
4. Add butter, if you'd like, and begin to mash. You can use a handheld masher or an electric mixer.
5. Add non-dairy milk in small batches, and continue to mash. Continue to add milk to create desired consistency, we added just about 1/2 cup.
6. Season with sea or pink salt and pepper, if desired.

To make the Cranberry BBQ Sauce:


1. Heat oil in a skillet or sauce pan over medium heat.
2. Add onions and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, until slightly translucent (7-10 minutes).
3. Stir in tomato paste, mustard, and spices, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
4. Add apple cider vinegar, cranberries, and molasses and bring to a simmer. Cook until cranberries begin to pop, roughly 4 minutes.
5. Stir in broth, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until thickened (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat.
6. Once slightly cooled, transfer to high-speed blender and blend. If the sauce is too thick, simply add a little extra vegetable broth. Taste, season with more spices if needed, and set aside to cool.

And, finally, for the toppings:

1. Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat.
2. Add chopped Celebration Roast, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add Brussels sprouts and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3-5 minutes. Edges should be starting to brown, but not quite crisp.
4. Remove from heat and set aside.

To Assemble:

1. Preheat your oven to it's hottest setting.
2. Liberally dust a surface with flour, and place the ball of dough on your surface.
3. Knead and roll (remember to flour your roller) your dough into desired shape, and transfer to a baking sheet.
4. Ladle the butternut squash puree evenly onto your dough. It is taking the place of tomato sauce, so ladle it on as you would with tomato sauce.
5. Add your toppings; don't be stingy!
6. Place dollops of mashed potatoes around your pizza. These are taking the place of mozzarella cheese, try to mimic how cheese would look on a pie.
7. Drizzle Cranberry BBQ Sauce onto pie.
8. Top with extra herbs and cracked black pepper.
9. Place into oven to cook. Remember that your oven is very hot, so it will only take 12-18 minutes to cook. Rotate the pizza halfway through cooking time for even baking.
10. Remove from heat once edges brown, and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
11. Slice pizza and serve with extra Cranberry BBQ Sauce.

Holidays don't always need to be "traditional," sometimes it's fun to shake things up a bit! We absolutely loved this pizza, and be warned: it is filling! Enjoy!