Co-op Blog

10 Spring Pizza Recipes & How To Make It Healthy-ish

With spring in the air and the sunshine starting to make a more regular appearance, you’re probably working on incorporating more fresh, local veggies into your diet. And with new fruits and vegetables coming into season every week, you’re probably looking for some seasonal recipes to try out in your kitchen.

But when you think of fresh fruits and vegetables, pizza probably isn’t the first dish that comes to mind. With that said, there are lots of different ways to incorporate vegetables into pizza without compromising taste. In fact, you’ll be surprised at just how delicious veggie-full pizza truly is.

You can make your own dough or pick-up a few of our handmade pizza dough balls to give yourself a head start. Make sure to stop by the produce department next time you’re at the Co-op, and check out these spring pizza recipes for a tasty weeknight dinner.

Spring Greens Pizza

spring greens pizza

Grab a bag of fresh garden greens from one of our local vendors for this spring pizza.

Chicken adds some protein to this otherwise veggie-forward pizza.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, bocconcini size
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 prepared pizza crust
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins or thighs
  • 3 cups spring mix lettuce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to 1/4 cup, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and reserve. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, basil, oregano and garlic in a small bowl. Let sit 10 minutes.
  3. Brush pizza crust with half the olive oil mixture and bake according to package instructions. Slice the fresh mozzarella into thin slices and add to the remaining olive oil mixture. Toss to coat.
  4. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown 2 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve.
  5. Return the pan to the heat and deglaze with 1 tablespoon water and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Add the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  6. Slice the cooked chicken crosswise into 1-inch pieces and add to the tomato mixture. Simmer until sauce has thickened, about 7 minutes.
  7. Remove the pizza crust from the oven. Spread the sauce evenly over the crust and top with marinated mozzarella slices.
  8. Cut the pizza into four slices and top each with a handful of spring mix. Drizzle each slice with a tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar reduction and serve.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

Herby Pizza with Carrot Top Pesto

herby pizza with carrot top pesto

If you usually toss those carrot tops in the compost, consider reserving them for this pizza that features all that delicious herby goodness that spring has to offer.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

Toppings and Assembly

  • 1/3 cup coarsely grated Parmesan
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup tender carrot tops, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 medium carrots, finely sliced on a mandoline, divided
  • 1/2 serrano chile, very thinly sliced, divided
  • Pea shoots and/or blue basil (for serving)

Directions

  1. Mix sugar, yeast, and ¾ cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl if doing by hand) fitted with the dough hook. Stir in flour and 1½ Tbsp. oil.
  2. Mix on low speed, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until dough comes together in a smooth mass and no longer sticks to the sides of bowl, 5–6 minutes. Cover dough and let rest 30 minutes at room temperature. Add salt and continue to knead until fully incorporated into dough.
  3. Turn out dough onto a work surface. Cut dough in half, then shape each half into a ball. Place each ball in separate medium bowls. Drizzle with just enough oil to coat. Cover bowls with plastic wrap. Chill at least 24 hours and up to 2 days.
  4. Let dough come to room temperature until nearly doubled in size and slowly springs back when poked, 2–2½ hours. Dough is now ready for shaping.
  5. Place a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 475° (if you have a pizza stone, use it!). Pulse cheese, garlic, lime juice, 1 cup basil, 1 cup carrot tops, ⅓ cup oil, and ¼ cup mint in a food processor until smooth; season with salt. (You can also make the carrot top pesto by chopping everything by hand.)
  6. Stretch dough, 1 ball at a time, on a lightly oiled large rimmed baking sheet until 12–14″ in diameter. Spread with half of the pesto, then top with half of carrots and chiles. Drizzle with more oil; season with salt.
  7. Bake on top rack until crust is golden brown and crisp, 10–12 minutes. Let pizza cool 1 minute, then top with carrot tops, basil, mint, pea shoots and/or blue basil. Serve immediately.

Recipe and photo adapted from Bon Appetit

Sun-Dried Tomato and Arugula Pizza

sun dried tomato and arugula pizza

This pizza features just a few simple recipes and is a light option for a casual vegetarian spring dinner.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Toppings

  • 32 sun-dried tomato halves (not oil-packed)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups packed baby arugula

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour, sugar and yeast at medium speed. At low speed, stir in half of the warm water, the olive oil and the salt, then add the remaining water and mix until a ball forms. Mix the dough for 2 minutes at low speed, 2 minutes at medium speed and 2 final minutes at low speed. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Put a pizza stone in the bottom of the oven and preheat the stone in the oven to 500° for about 45 minutes.
  3. Punch down the dough and scrape it onto a floured work surface. Form the dough into a ball. Cut the ball into 8 equal-size pieces. Knead each piece into a ball and then flatten into disks. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 20 minutes.
  4. Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a small saucepan and cover with water. Cover and simmer over low heat until very soft, about 5 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop the tomatoes. In a mini food processor, puree the chopped garlic with the olive oil.
  5. Generously flour a pizza peel. Using a rolling pin, roll out a disk of dough to an 8-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. (Alternatively, pull and stretch the disk into an 8-inch round.)
  6. Transfer the round to the peel and brush with the garlic puree. Scatter with one-eighth of the sun-dried tomatoes and arrange one-eighth of the sliced cheese on top.
  7. Drizzle with a little of the garlic puree and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Bake on the hot stone for about 4 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the cheese is bubbling. Top with some baby arugula and serve. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.

Recipe and photo adapted from Food & Wine

Super Green Pea and Asparagus Burrata Pizza

super green pizza

Featuring asparagus, peas, and watercress, this may be the healthiest pizza on this list.

Who says you can’t get your daily serving of veggies via pizza?

Ingredients

Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice + zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper

Super Green Pizza

  • 1/2 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 small bunch asparagus, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup fresh sugar snap peas or frozen peas
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 handful of sprouts or watercress
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • crushed red pepper flakes, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Combine all lemon pepper vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet with olive oil.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, push/roll the dough out until it is pretty thin (about a 10-12 inch circle). Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Spread the dough with a couple spoonfuls of vinaigrette and top with the feta, asparagus and peas. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden and the veggies lightly charred. Remove from the oven and top with burrata and prosciutto. Let the pizza sit 5 minutes and allow the burrata to melt. Top with watercress, chives and crushed red pepper. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette.

Recipe and photo adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Cacio e Pepe Pizza with Roasted Radishes

radish pizza

Cacio e Pepe is most commonly known as a simple pasta dish that features just cheese and freshly ground pepper.

The same idea is applied to this pizza, but with the crunchy addition of roasted radishes.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (around 105F)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 3/4 cups (or so) all-purpose flour
  • 2 bunches of radishes
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups grated Grana Padano
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast and allow to stand until the yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olive oil and salt and enough flour to make a sticky dough (a bit over 3 cups). Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. (This can also be done in a stand mixer with the dough hook, but I find it really satisfying to knead pizza dough by hand.)
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and put it into an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator overnight. (You can also just let it rise at room temp. for 2 hours, but the flavor is infinitely improved by a slow rise in the fridge)
  3. Preheat your oven to 425F. Remove the tops and tips and slice the radishes into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Toss them with a bit of olive oil and salt in a baking pan. Put them into the oven and roast until they’re soft and starting to get a little golden in spots, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Put a pizza stone in the oven and turn the heat up to 475F and allow to preheat for at least 30 minutes, while you shred the cheese and get the pizzas ready. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, just turn the heat up and bake the pizzas on baking sheets.)
  5. Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll one dough half out into a circle that’s only about 1/8 inch thick. You can do this with your hands if you’re skilled like that, but I used a rolling pin.
  6. Transfer to a pizza peel (or baking sheet) that is generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Brush all over with olive oil. Top with half of each type of cheese and radish slices to your liking. Sprinkle half the pepper over the top.
  7. Transfer into the oven onto the baking stone. Bake until the crust is golden and lightly blistered and the cheese is completely melted about 9-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and put on a cutting board.
  8. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining toppings.
  9. Slice and serve warm with a big old arugula salad.

Recipe and photo adapted from Food52

Sausage and Charred Broccolini Pizza

sausage broccolini pizza

Now you might be skeptical about broccoli on pizza, but hear us out on this one.

Fresh, local broccolini and some spicy cured sausage from the Co-op contrast each other perfectly for a sweet and spicy flavor that’s pretty spectacular.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. broccolini spears (about 6 medium)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for the peel
  • 2 8-oz. balls pizza dough (homemade or store-bought) at room temperature
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, torn into 1/2 -inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 5 oz. spicy or sweet Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup crumbled or cubed (1/4 inch) ricotta salata
  • 2 small mild hot chiles, such as Fresno, very thinly sliced
  • Flaky sea salt

Directions

  1. Put a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven, heat the oven to 550°F, and let the stone heat for at least a half-hour.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal fire or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. In a medium bowl, toss the broccolini with 2 tsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  3. Grill, turning occasionally, until beginning to char, about 4 minutes. Let cool briefly and cut into 1/2-inch pieces; you will need about 1/2 cup.
  4. Lightly flour a pizza peel. Stretch one dough ball into a 10- to 11-inch round and transfer it to the peel.
  5. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over the dough round. Drizzle with half of the heavy cream and top with half of the broccolini, sausage, ricotta salata, and chiles.
  6. Slide the dough onto the hot stone and bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is nicely browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, drizzle with 2 tsp. of the remaining oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat to make the second pizza.

Recipe and photo adapted from Fine Cooking

Roasted Chicken and Leek Pizza

roasted chicken and leek pizza

While you might be familiar with using leeks in a variety of soups and stews, what about using them as a pizza topping?

Of course, if you want to make leeks the star of the show, you can omit the chicken all together.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 large leeks, white and tender green portions only, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick and separated into rings
  • 2 cups shredded skinless roasted chicken (from 2 legs)
  • 1/2 pound Fontina cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup spicy oil-cured olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500°. Preheat a pizza stone or generously oil a large baking sheet. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the leeks and cook over moderate heat until just softened but still bright green, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Stir in the chicken, half of the Fontina and the olives and season with salt and pepper.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll or stretch the dough to a rough 14-inch round. Transfer the dough to a floured pizza peel or rimless cookie sheet, or to the oiled baking sheet. Spread the chicken and leek mixture on the pizza, leaving a 1-inch border of dough.
  3. Brush the border with the olive oil. Sprinkle the remaining Fontina over the top and season with pepper.
  4. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone, if using, and bake for about 10 minutes on the stone or 16 minutes on the baking sheet, until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling. Transfer the pizza to a rack and let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe and photo adapted from Food & Wine

Grilled Naan with Burrata and Roasted Potato and Lemon

naan potato lemon pizza

Here’s a unique twist on traditional pizza, featuring a naan crust and non-traditional pizza toppings like potato and lemon.

If you want to save a little time, you can roast the potatoes and lemon up to 3 days ahead of time.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pieces prepared naan bread
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
  • 8 ounces burrata or fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Toss potatoes, lemons, oregano, and ½ cup oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast, tossing halfway through, until potatoes are golden brown, tender, and crisp in spots, and lemons are golden brown, 30–35 minutes.
  2. Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on 1 side of grill; for a gas grill, leave 1 or 2 burners off). Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium-high. Brush naan with ¼ cup oil total. Working in batches if needed, grill over direct heat until underside is lightly charred, about 1 minute. Turn and grill until second side has a few light grill marks, about 30 seconds. Transfer charred side up to a baking sheet and let cool slightly.
  3. Arrange roasted potatoes and lemons over charred side of naan. Top with rosemary leaves, then dot with burrata and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place naan over indirect heat, cover grill, and grill until cheese is warmed through and crust is crisp, 5–7 minutes. If using a grill pan, transfer naan to a 450° oven and bake 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a surface and drizzle with more oil.

Recipe and photo adapted from Bon Appetit

Blueberry & Beet Pizza

blueberry beet pizza

Here’s a pizza recipe that’s definitely untraditional. Not only is it vegan, but it features a simple crust with homemade cashew cheese and beet pesto.

Blueberries add a sweet, tart flavor that’s a departure from standard toppings like pepperoni and olives.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, softened overnight with water
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 small beets, steamed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cashew milk

Directions

  1. To prepare the pizza dough, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and water. Knead until smooth. Cover and let it rise overnight.
  2. To make the Beet Pesto, combine the beets, garlic clove, lemon juice, and cashew milk together in a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  4. For the mozzarella cheese, combine the cashews, water, salt, and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour into a small pot and heat over medium heat. Add in cornstarch. Continue to stir until it thickens and looks “cheezy.” Set aside.
  6. Roll the pizza dough on a flat surface. Add some flour if too sticky and difficult to roll. Roll into a rectangular shape about 1⁄4 inch thick.
  7. Brush lightly with some olive oil.
  8. Top with about 1/4 cup Beet Pesto (can add more if desired). Top with vegan Mozzarella Cheese and blueberries. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

Recipe and photo adapted from Thrive Mag

Asparagus Spring Pizza

asparagus pizza

Next time you’re at the Co-op make sure to grab a healthy serving of asparagus for this delightful spring pizza.

The ingredients are simple and the pizza comes together quickly, especially when you pick up pizza dough from our deli to-go case.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup snipped fresh chives (from 1 bunch), divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound whole-wheat pizza dough
  • 1 cup shredded fontina or mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Position rack in the lower third of oven, place a pizza stone or large pizza pan on the rack and preheat oven to 450 degrees F for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons oil and garlic in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Trim asparagus spears to about 6 inches long; slice any thicker stalks in half lengthwise. Toss in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 cup chives, salt, and pepper.
  4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about a 14-inch circle.
  5. Carefully remove the pizza stone or pan from the oven and set on a heatproof surface, such as your stovetop.
  6. Place the dough on the stone or pan and brush with the reserved garlic-oil mixture. Arrange the asparagus in a circular pattern on the dough with the tips facing out. Top with cheese and the remaining chives.
  7. Carefully return the stone or pan to the oven and bake the pizza on the lower rack until crispy and golden and the cheese is melted about 15 minutes.

Recipe and photo adapted from EatingWell

How To Make Pizza Healthier

While pizza will never really be considered healthy, there are a few substitutions and changes you can make to reduce the calories, carbs, and fat that’s common in traditional pizzas.

Start With Cauliflower Crust

An easy way to make your pizza healthier is by substituting traditional flour crust for a cauliflower-based option. While you could certainly puree your own cauliflower crust, we offer some high-quality options here at the Co-op.

Cut Down The Cheese

Takeout pizza often comes topped with an exorbenent amount of cheese. But traditional Italian pizza comes with just the right amount, allowing the other ingredients to become the forefront of the dish. Consider taking a note from the original pizza professionals and cutting down the amount of cheese you add on top.

Thin slices of mozzarella scattered around your pizza as opposed to a heaping pile of grated cheese cuts down on the overall calories of the pizza, and makes the dish more palatable for those with dairy sensitivity.

Load On The Veggies

Of course, adding a whole bunch of veggies to anything will make it at least a little healthier. So as opposed to piling on processed meats and cheeses, opt for fruits and veggies like peppers, asparagus, leafy greens, broccoli, and tomatoes.

By: Leigha

LeighaLeigha is the Marketing Assistant at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op.