Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, and BBQ Chicken Pizza
In making efforts to curb the holiday food-fest, we’ve seriously upped our veggie intake. Cut carrots and snap peas are a constant in our fridge, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts and spinach going into just about anything and everything. But a few weeks back we were craving pizza…not typically a vegetable-packed meal. What resulted was probably one of the best pizza’s I’ve ever made…even climbed the charts on my over-all favorite pizza list.
I Instagrammed a quick pic, resulting in several requests for the recipe so I figured it was worth sharing! Good thing I took some notes for a repeat performance—nothing more frustrating than making a great meal and completely forgetting how you did it.
The Notes app on my iPhone has helped me keep track of ingredients and process…a life-changer when experimenting in the kitchen.
So dough. My favorite pizza dough recipe never fails, I make it a few hours or up to a day ahead. After it’s all kneaded, the dough goes in a covered and oiled bowl…a big glass bowl. I preheat my oven to 200, turn it off, and put in the dough—this cuts rising time in half. The recipe makes two crusts so I use half and divide the rest into quarters to make Ethan mini pizzas or breadsticks. It will keep in the fridge for a week or so.
Or I just let Ethan play with the leftovers. He was very excited to toss some dough, just like the cool dudes at Dewey’s Pizza. He loved watching them work when we went there for dinner a few weeks ago. Great place to take kids.
A quick steam made the broccoli and sprouts bright green and slightly tender. Mine were going straight on the pizza, but for pre-prep I would have thrown them in an ice water bath to stop the cooking—otherwise they’d turn to mush in the oven.
I don’t like super saucey pizza, but BBQ sauce is different…make sure to put enough on there. We use Pappy’s Sweet Baby Jane BBQ Sauce because it’s incredible…the sweet sauce mixed with spicy red onions and smokey chicken is, as Ethan would say, “A flavor explosion!”
My mushrooms, red pepper, red onion, and chicken were hidden under the cheese and veg, but I always reserve a little of each ingredient for the top—it adds color and let’s everyone know exactly what’s in store. A dusting of cheese, then a heap of green veggies.
I always pat down the toppings a little then give the pizza a jiggle, just to be sure everything stays put and no sticking has developed, adding more cornmeal if needed. I’ve experienced the defeat of crashing and burning when getting pizzas into the oven…so depressing. Usually the fault of under-cornmealing or chickening out and going to slow with the transfer. Fast is the key, snap it right onto the hot stone.
Incredible Crust Tip: About 13-15 minutes into cooking, brush a little olive oil and garlic salt onto the crust.
Our pizza’s usually look done around the 20 minute mark, I lift the crust to check the color—golden brown means done—and the veg gets just a little singed, still al dente.
Our first try I got nervous when we noticed the pizza was a bit “juicy” in the middle right out of the oven…this is due to the sheer volume of fresh veg piled on top. After letting it rest for a few minutes, everything was perfect. Whew.
This pizza is seriously delish and has at least one whole serving of vegetables per piece. Good, power vegetables. And going light on the cheese helps, really it’s only needed to help stick everything together. The chicken adds flavor but could easily be eliminated.
Everyone in our house LOVES this pizza, including Ethan (usually) who rarely eats green, so it’s on the menu every couple weeks.
Here’s the recipe:
Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, and BBQ Chicken Pizza
- your favorite pizza dough
- 6-8 sliced fresh brussels sprouts
- 1 cup small broccoli florets
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 large red pepper, thinly sliced
- 4-5 sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 small chicken breast, grilled and sliced (optional)
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely (optional)
- 1/2 cup good sweet BBQ sauce
- cornmeal (for dusting pizza peel or sheet pan)
- a few tablespoons of olive oil
- garlic salt
Preheat oven to 450, placing a pizza stone on the bottom rack. Let stone heat for up to an hour before baking pizza.
Put the brussels sprouts and broccoli in a bowl with a little spritz of water and microwave for about two minutes, or until everything is bright green and slightly tender, not soft. Plunge them in an ice water bath to stop the cooking, this way they don’t turn to mush in the oven. Once chilled, drain well.
Sprinkle a generous layer of cornmeal on a pizza peel (or the back of a sheet pan), then stretch out the dough and place on peel, shake a few times to be sure nothing is sticking.
Sprinkle olive oil on dough, then add the BBQ sauce, spreading evenly. Sprinkle on minced garlic. Add red peppers, mushrooms, red onions, and sliced chicken, reserving a bit of each for the top (if you want). Add the cheese, then pile on the green veggies. Finish with the reserved toppings.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, then brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkle on garlic salt. Continue baking for another five to ten minutes or until the crust’s bottom is a nice golden brown. Remove with peel (or use a spatula to slide the pizza on to a sheet pan).
The pizza may be a little juicy in the middle, so let it “rest” for a few minutes before slicing. Leftovers are great cold.
What’s your favorite non-traditional pizza topping? Any tip for using it?