Carnival Squash Pizza

January 24, 2023

Savory and fragrant, this pizza has layers of basil leaves, mozzarella, carnival squash, and caramelized onions. While carnival squash was in season for us, this pizza would also be delicious with delicata squash or butternut squash!



1 Local Roots carnival squash
1 large onion
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp oregano
1 bunch basil leaves
8 oz fresh mozzarella
2-3 tbsp olive oil, divided
Local Roots pizza dough



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Wash the carnival squash, then slice into rounds. Use a spoon to remove the seeds from each round, then place on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, until fork tender. Set aside to cool.
  3. While the squash is baking, caramelize the onions. Slice onions into half moons, then add to a small saucepan over low-medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cover the saucepan and allow the onions to sweat and the natural sugars to caramelize. Stir every five or so minutes to prevent the onions from sticking to the bottom. When the onions have taken on a deep brown color and smell sweet, remove from the heat.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tbsp tomato paste, ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp oregano, and ½ tbsp of olive oil. This will be the sauce for the pizza base. You can also use your favorite pizza sauce, but we like this easy concoction because it uses pantry ingredients and is on the drier side so it won’t make the pizza dough soggy.
  5. Slice the mozzarella into thin rounds. Wash the basil leaves. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Use your knuckles (avoid using your fingertips because they make it easier to create holes) to carefully stretch out the pizza dough into your desired shape and thickness. Spread the tomato sauce onto the base, leaving a bare edge all around for the crust.
  7. Next, layer the basil leaves on top of the pizza sauce. We choose to layer the basil underneath the other toppings so that it doesn’t burn and lose its fragrance. On top of the basil leaves, layer the slices of mozzarella.
  8. Use your hands to break the cooled carnival squash into bite-sized chunks and scatter them across the pizza. Sprinkle the entire pizza with flaky salt and place in the oven.
  9. Bake the pizza for 25-35 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is cooked through. Remove the pizza from the oven, then dollop with the caramelized onions and, if desired, freshly cracked black pepper. Slice and serve!


This recipe was created by Local Roots contributor Irena Huang / @irena__huang

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