Confession: One of my very favorite too-lazy-to-cook dinners is Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Pizza. It’s my favorite frozen pizza. I think in part because it doesn’t have cheese. Now, I love cheesy pizza, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes I just feel like cheese doesn’t freeze well, or that frozen pizzas with lots of cheese can turn out a bit too soggy. So although I am not vegan by any stretch of the imagination, I honestly prefer this non-dairy pizza when I’m in the mood for frozen pizza.
My favorite part of this pizza is this kind of sweet onion type spread that replaces the usual tomato sauce. I don’t know Amy’s exact recipe, but I’ve been experimenting with recreating this onion spread at home.
I’ve tried a few versions, and I’m finally happy enough with it that I’m ready to share it with you all. And you’re in luck because this version is no where near as overpowering in the smell department as a few of my first attempts. Ha! When experimenting with recipes heavy in the onion and garlic department, my kitchen can get pretty smelly fast — occupational hazard I suppose.
This recipe creates 4 small pizzas that you can freeze and eat later. Again, I was looking to create a homemade version of a store-bought favorite with this. If frozen pizza isn’t your thing, I still recommend trying the onion spread as a sauce alternative on a pizza someday. It’s just so tasty. But otherwise feel free to change it up however you like. Maybe you already have a favorite dough recipe or you prefer different vegetables for the topping? This is very customizable, so you do you. 🙂
For the dough:
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (two packets)
2 1/4 cups warm water
big pinch of sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
For the onion spread:
1/2 yellow onion
3 heads of garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
For the toppings:
1 red or orange bell pepper
8 oz. mushrooms (one small container)
8 oz. artichoke hearts
vegan Parmesan (optional, but so good!)
First make the dough. Combine the water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt. Pour the yeast water and olive oil in with the flour and stir until a dough ball begins to form. Knead for 3-4 minutes. Then place back in the lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for one hour.
Punch the dough down and divide into four. Knead each into a dough ball. Cover and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Roll out each dough ball and bake at 375°F for 5 to 6 minutes. The dough will not be fully cooked but will hold its shape. You don’t want to fully bake the dough yet as that will come later after freezing.
While the dough is rising is a great time to make your onion spread. Remove the papery skin from the onion and cut in half. Then cut one half into two pieces. Lightly drizzle in olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Cut off the tops of each head of garlic so the tops of the cloves are exposed. Lightly drizzle the tops of the now exposed cloves in olive oil and wrap each in aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 45 minutes.
Allow to cool enough to handle. Add the onion to a food processor. Remove the now soft garlic cloves from the papery outer skin and add this to the processor as well. Then add one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Process until smooth. Taste and add a little salt and pepper.
You’ll also want to partially cook your veggies for the topping as well. I sautéed mine in a lightly oiled saucepan just until soft. If you’re using mushrooms, be sure to pat dry before adding to the top of your pizzas as mushrooms will release moisture when cooked and you don’t necessarily want excess moisture on top of your frozen pizza.
Once the crusts are partially baked, the onion spread is made, and the topping vegetables are partially cooked, it’s time to assemble your pizzas. Then tightly wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.
When you are ready to cook one, remove it from the freezer an hour or so before you plan to bake it, or you can move it to the refrigerator in the morning if you plan to bake it that night. Bake at 400°F for 18-22 minutes. Top with some vegan Parmesan if you are so inclined. You can buy this or make your own (I’ve been experimenting with different versions, but one that’s great is Dana’s recipe). Happy frozen pizza dinners! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.