15 Easy Fall Pizzas

By Marla Walters on 4 September 2014 0 comments

Do you eat a lot of pizza? I know we do. So does the rest of America (roughly 93% of Americans eat pizza at least once per month).

But I confess: I prefer more interesting, healthy pizza, rather than the greasy, fast-food-type. Also, being naturally frugal, my preference is to make my own. This is where using fall produce comes into play — it is always to your budget's benefit to use fruits and vegetables that are in season. (See also: This Is How You Make Restaurant Quality Pizza at Home)

However, dinner recipes have to be easy. These are.

Crusts and Sauces

First, though, let's talk easy crusts. I like Pillsbury's Artisan Whole Grain, Flatout Bread, or the whole-wheat Boboli brands of crusts. No mixing, kneading, or mess! Also easy, and kid-friendly, are whole-wheat English muffin halves. If you must make your own pizza crust, try this fairly uncomplicated recipe. Many of the recipes I have featured below give instructions for crusts. Feel free to ignore them, and use a premade crust, to save time.

Secondly, sauce. Since we are going with an "easy" theme here, let's not make sauce from scratch. Pasta sauces make great pizza sauces. Try Alfredo, Vodka, or Marinara. A tub of pesto also works wonders. You will notice that some of the pizzas I have tried out below do not even have sauce.

Ready to make some easy, inexpensive, fall-themed pizzas?

1. Carb Heaven

If you are avoiding carbs, apologies, because this Potato Pizza has them.

I thought the whole idea was nuts until I saw one being made on TV, and then I had to try it. As mentioned above, I made an easy version, with a flatbread crust. This is a vegetarian pizza, but there is nothing to stop you from adding bacon. Nobody in my household has ever complained about the addition of bacon. I also threw on some gorgonzola. Because I don't own a mandolin for slicing, I used my ninja super-sharp knife and cut the potatoes very carefully and thinly. Yukon gold potatoes are very flavorful, and I recommend using those. This pizza is very good with (also easy) packaged kale salad.

2. Turnabout Is Fair Play

Since I was mean to the "no carbs" folks above, let's go carb-free with another fall vegetable, cauliflower. If you are new to the cauliflower crust thing, well, it looks like a pizza crust, but tastes like cauliflower. That's not a problem to those of us who love cauliflower. This funny video has excellent instructions, including the part about how to get the moisture out of the "dough." Throw on some of that sauce from a jar, some salami and cheese, and bake. It's awesome and guilt-free pizza, in about an hour.

3. Traditional Fall Salad

Do you like that salad with arugula, bleu cheese, pears, and walnuts? Me, too. Turns out, I like it equally well when it is made into a pizza. I substituted pecans because they were handy. The Pillsbury Artisan crust worked very well with this recipe, adding a nutty dimension. I think this is really nice with a bowl of butternut squash soup (the kind from a box, since we are keeping this easy).

4. Squash

If I were a contestant on "Family Feud," and the category were "Fall Vegetables," squash would be my first choice. So, if we want to make an easy fall pizza, why not Butternut Squash, Spinach and Goat Cheese? The whole-wheat Boboli crust was good and sturdy, supporting these delicious toppings.

5. Pot Roast

Well, not exactly, but roasted pork on a pizza is pretty amazing. Pair it with other fall-type stuff like maple syrup and garlic, and you'll see what I mean. Garlic is another fall harvest item and although it takes a little while to prepare it, it's worth the time. Your neighbors will probably show up once you start roasting garlic. I used purchased kalua pork as I did not have leftover pork kicking around. The nuttiness of the Pillsbury crust was good, here. I served it with some fresh, sliced pears.

6. Fennel? Really?

Yes. Fennel pizza is delicious, especially when paired with caramelized onions. This makes a great appetizer, too, if you want to cut it into small squares. Fennel has a bit of a licorice-y taste, so this is one for the adventurous eaters. With use of a purchased crust, you can cut down the prep time on this to about a half hour. The flatbread crust was a good bet, here. If you want some meat on it, try slicing some Italian sausage and adding that (that's what I did).

7. Almost Like Dessert

Cranberries, a fall fruit, are paired with brie and pecans in this pizza recipe. There are variations online that add chicken; some have mozzarella. I like this on a crispy flatbread. Cream cheese is a cheaper substitution, if brie does not fit into the grocery budget. A good variation on this is to add thin slices of apples in addition to (or in place of) the cranberries.

8. Pass the Dip

You know that person who stands at the buffet table and eats all of the hot artichoke dip? Yeah, me, too, and I'm sorry. I get close to that dip and I sort of just lose all inhibitions.

Putting the "dip" on a pizza crust is just a wonderful idea, don't you think? Any of the recommended pre-prepared crusts "work" with this pizza, because this one is really about the topping. In fact, cardboard would be fine. That was a joke, okay? The recipe's author uses canned artichoke hearts, but I found a good deal on fresh. Because they tend to be expensive, try cooking and using the leaves one night, and saving the hearts for this pizza, the next.

9. Roast 'Em

Talk about a seasonable, healthy pizza! Eggplant is great on pizza, especially when roasted like this. I used artichokes out of a jar (in an olive oil-seasoned brine), and they added extra flavor. The Pillsbury whole-wheat crust works well with this, as did marinara sauce from a jar. If you thought you needed to salt and drain your eggplant before using it, no, don't bother. Just roast it; it comes out beautifully.

10. Love Your Sprouts

Being an acquired taste, this brussels sprouts pizza may not be one for the kids — but it is definitely a winner! Look for sprouts that are bright green and have tightly-closed heads. Also, the smaller, the better. The Pillsbury crust held up well. I served it with a spinach-egg salad dressed with balsamic vinegar.

11. Mexican Flavors

Tomatillos are technically a fruit, but they are a fall fruit, so they fit into this fall pizza category. Have you tried tomatillos? They look like green tomatoes with husks, and have a very bright, lemony flavor. They pair very well with cilantro in this tomatillo pizza. I opted for queso fresco, a white Mexican cheese, over the cheddar. The Boboli crust was good with this.

12. Use Up That Zucchini

I know, I know… you are sick of zucchini, and why did you plant so much of it? So you could eat this Zucchini-Goat Cheese Pizza, that's why. This is perfect on a Boboli crust, along with another fall vegetable, the red pepper. The zucchini looks better and bakes faster in the strips, but you can just cut it into thin slices, too.

13. Ever-Popular Kale

Kale is sweeter in the fall, because it likes cooler weather. That makes it extra-delicious on pizza, especially when paired with… bacon. (I use Applegate Naturals, which is uncured.) Onions are also being harvested in the fall, so you may start to see some bargains. I liked this on the Pillsbury crust, along with some corn chowder.

14. Fresh Herb

Having overplanted basil and parsley in my garden, I went hunting for a pizza recipe to use some up. Whew! The Pioneer Woman came to the rescue with this Fresh Herb pizza. I used a Boboli crust, which was sturdy enough for all that fresh mozzarella. This was very fast and easy to put together. I added some cooked chicken breast to the toppings, too.

15. Rapini, Raab, Rabe, Whatever

Often called Broccoli Rabe, too… the leaves of this fall vegetable are nutty and bitter, and great when paired with caramelized onions. Who knew it would be so yummy on pizza? The flatbread is great for this pizza, and a cup of tomato soup makes a perfect accompaniment.

Convinced? You can serve your family easy, healthy pizza in about an hour using these ideas. Let us know how it comes out!

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