30 November 2010

Kitchen adventures: Butternut squash pizza fail

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

Right now Trader Joes and I are SO IN A FIGHT. I’m about to go stage 5 psycho on its a**.

Whenever I make homemade pizza, I use the Trader Joes premade dough because it’s makes me feel gourmet. I don’t want to make my own dough and I feel it tastes lighter and better than premade crusts. I’ve had some good experiences with it and bad, but overall, I’ve been happy.

Until now.

This weekend I made Rebecca C’s butternut squash pizza with Trader Joes whole wheat dough. I prepared, dressed and cooked it just like I do every other time except something went completely awry.

So let’s bask in my kitchen failure:

Toppings (look at how good that cheese looks)

Yep, the dough was STUCK to the pan. I had to CUT the pizza off the tin

Fortunately, the top layer was saved but my ego was bruised. I was really looking forward to making this and although it’s still tasty, I was really upset about the crust. The FAIL was totally on that crust, not on RC’s delish recipe.

Here it is:


  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into half-inch cubes
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 leaves of swiss chard, center ribs removed
  • 2 Tablespoons cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesean cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon aged balsalmic vinegar (optional)


Prehead oven to 450 degrees F. Combine butternut squash, onion, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and salt & pepper to taste in a bowl and toss until the oil is evenly distributed. Spread squash and onions on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20- 25 minutes, until the squash is tender and golden and onions are soft (stir occassionally for even browning). Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Raise oven temperature to 500 degrees F and insert pizza stone into the oven if using one.

Meanwhile if using fresh pizza dough, roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thick round on parchment paper. Brush pizza dough with remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to evenly coat crust. Sprinkle squash and onions, chard, cheeses and nutmeg evenly over the crust. Transfer pizza (still on parchment paper, if using fresh dough) to the oven and bake for 8 – 10 minutes until crust is crisp and the cheeses are golden and bubbly.

While the pizza cooks, heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a small pan over medium heat until very hot. Add sage leaves and fry for about 30 seconds, until leaves are beginning to crisp. Be careful not to burn them. Remove leaves from oil and drain on paper towels until pizza is ready to serve.

Verdict: Despite the crust issue, this was VERY tasty. I did not include the swiss chard or sage due to not having the ingredients, but the whole wheat crust and butternut squash did compliment each other very nicely. The little bit of crust left to accompany the toppings was really good and I would definitely make this again.

So now my question is, how do I get this crust OFF of the pan? Are you a butternut squash fan?


  1. Not a fan of some of the ingredients so will stay away from this one.

  2. ugh how frustrating!!! this pizza sounds delicious though!

  3. mandy says:

    I’ve never but butternut squash on pizza. I tend to but premade pizza shells from Amish country when I go visit or from the bakery of my local grocery store.

  4. nic says:

    Stupid pan. I say throw the damn thing out. You need a pizza stone! They’re badass.

  5. Kate says:

    Bummer about the crust, but I’m glad it still tasted good! I love, love, love butternut squash, especially blended up in soups or roasted. Nomz.

  6. Nora says:

    Lots of soaking the pan I guess? What a bummer. I have to say I’ve never bought pre-made dough. I usually cheat and just buy pizza crust from Boboli or whatever. However, maybe I’ll have to try it sometime… =)

  7. Lisa says:

    I tried the trader joes dough twice and was dissapointed in it. It;s hard to work with and doesnt rise well also hence the sticking to the pan. Now I only by my dough from Whole Foods its easy to work with and the whole wheat is delicious and is only $2.49.

  8. Maris says:

    You could do a number of things:
    -Use parchment paper on the pan
    -Bake on a pizza stone (if you make pizza often it’s a good investment and some are only $20 or so)
    -Dust the bottom of the pan with crust or cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking

  9. foodmomiac says:

    We always use to use (and love) the TJ’s pizza crust, but seriously, the last 2-3 times we used it, the exact same thing happened!!! My friend Yaelle just uses the crust in a big pyrex pan instead and makes more of a rectangle deep-dish thing. I guess that would eliminate the problem.

  10. RIP whole wheat crust, you looked delicious. I love butternut squash, but haven’t put it on pizza yet.