Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pizza 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Mar 13, 2013

If you're not a pizza purist, a store-bought pre-baked crust not only saves time but also is sturdy enough to hold a mountain of produce, making for a hearty vegetarian dinner such as this cool-weather combination of squash, blue cheese, walnuts and caramelized onions. The finishing touch: a drizzle of pumpkinseed oil from Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods, available at Dean & Deluca in Georgetown and online at www.wholeheartedfoods.com.

If you don't have time to truly caramelize the onions, a shortcut: Cook them over medium heat until they get as tender as possible without burning, then drizzle with a little honey. They won't shrink as much as when they truly caramelize, so you might not need all of them for this recipe.

Make Ahead: The onions take about an hour to caramelize. They can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. The squash can be roasted up to 1 week in advance; refrigerate until ready to use.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 2 large yellow onions (1 3/4 pounds total), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small butternut squash (1 pound), stemmed, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pre-baked whole wheat pizza crust, such as Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value or Boboli
  • 2 ounces Gorgonzola dolce or other blue cheese, cut or pinched into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted walnut pieces, broken into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed baby arugula leaves
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkinseed oil (see headnote; may substitute walnut oil or olive oil)


Set a baking stone, if using, on a rack in the oven; preheat to 450 degrees. (Alternatively, the pizza can be placed directly on the oven rack.) Have a large rimmed baking sheet at hand.

Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, tossing with tongs or a spatula, until they wilt and start to brown. Sprinkle with half of the salt, toss and reduce the heat to very low. Cook, stirring very occasionally, until the onions are deeply golden brown, very soft and sweet, up to an hour or more. (If they start to dry out during the cooking, stir in a few tablespoons of water at a time to keep them moist.) Let cool.

Meanwhile, scoop out and discard the seeds from the squash, then cut each squash half into 1/4-inch slices. Transfer to the baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the remaining salt and toss to coat. Roast the squash slices until fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool. If you are making the pizza right away, reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

To assemble the pizza, spread the caramelized onions evenly over the crust. Arrange the butternut squash slices on top. Dot with the blue cheese and walnuts.

Slide the pizza onto the baking stone (or place on the oven rack). Bake until the pizza's edges are browned, the bottom is crisp and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

Immediately scatter the arugula leaves on top, then drizzle the pizza with the pumpkinseed oil. Cut the pizza into 8 slices; serve warm.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Joe Yonan, author of "Eat Your Vegetables" (Ten Speed Press, August 2013).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.