Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #239: Butternut Squash & Kale Pizza

by Alaine Keogh, Dietetic Intern [University of Minnesota Medical Center – Fairview]

Photo credit: Neil Conway/Flickr

Butternut squash is a classic winter ingredient that works in a variety of dishes: stew, chili, lasagna, or as a side dish. Another fun way to incorporate the gourd into your meals is to use it in pizza! This recipe uses butternut squash as the sauce base, so you’ll get a taste of it in each bite.

This pizza incorporates lots of vegetables to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. To make it even more nutritious, try using all whole-wheat flour instead of white. Pair the pizza with a side salad or top it with chicken and you’ll have yourself a wholesome and nutritious meal.

Butternut Squash & Kale Pizza

Adapted from “The Live-In Kitchen” Blog

(Serves: 5)


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp. dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (plus more for squash)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fontina cheese
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/8 cup cornmeal for dusting
  • 1 cup fresh kale
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, pour in warm water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let rest until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt to the yeast mixture. With the motor running on low, add flour a little at a time until the dough comes together. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl and be slightly sticky to the touch, but not stick to your fingers. Allow the mixer to knead it for about 5 minutes, or remove from the bowl and knead by hand on a lightly floured surface.
  3. Form the dough into a tight ball and transfer to a large, lightly oiled bowl, turning it over to completely coat the dough in oil. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.
  4. While the dough rests, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place squash on a baking sheet large enough to arrange it in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Bake the squash, stirring once or twice, until soft and beginning to caramelize, about 30 minutes.
  5. Add the shallots to the pan, stir to coat in the existing oil, and return the pan to the oven until the vegetables have softened, about 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the squash and shallots to the bowl of a food processor. Add ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and process until smooth.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 450º. Sprinkle a medium sized baking sheet with cornmeal. Punch down the dough and cut it in half. Wrap one half in plastic and freeze for another day or set it aside for a different use of your choice. Take the other half and roll or stretch it into a thin rectangle and press it down onto the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Top the dough with the squash puree, then sprinkle with fontina, kale leaves, chopped peppers and onions, and the remaining Parmesan.
  9. Bake the pizza for 15 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving: 493 calories, 14 g total fat (5 g saturated fat), 24 mg cholesterol, 74 g carbohydrate, 21 g sugar, 10 g fiber, and 498 mg sodium.

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