I don’t know about you, but after I eat pizza, I don’t always feel very virtuous. The mounds of cheese, the carb-a-licious crust, and the sometimes indulgent toppings (looking at you, pepperoni and sausage!) lead me to crave a big salad for my next meal.
This pizza, however, is so packed with veggies that it could be enjoyed in lieu of a salad. It’s gluten-free, full of southwestern flavor, and packed full of fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids. The latter two benefits are courtesy of the Bob’s Red Mill ground flaxseed meal, which I really enjoy experimenting with in baking. Flaxseed meal can be a substitute for eggs in a lot of baked goods (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons of water = 1 large egg) and it adds an incredible nuttiness to the finished product. It can also be used in lieu of flour in some recipes, which is what I did here!
The health benefits to flaxseed meal are astounding, too. Among its perks are that it controls cholesterol, is high in soluble and insoluble fiber, contains lignans (which contain antioxidants), and it’s full of heart healthy omega-3s.
Now back to the pizza! Since we’re not using flour for this pizza crust, we need something to hold it all together. The flaxseed meal, which soaks up the liquid from the eggs, and the mozzarella combine to create a crust that stays together beautifully. You can not only pick up this crust with your hands but fold it if you’re into eating pizza New York style!
I took a deep dive into my produce drawer to get topping inspiration for this pizza, choosing finely chopped red bell pepper, thinly sliced mushrooms, tiny broccoli florets, and an ear of corn. They all lay on top of a layer of buttery, slightly spicy pepper jack cheese. If you wanted a little more spice, I’d add chopped jalapeños or a dusting of red pepper flakes on top.
The veggies are delicious on their own, but I was after a bit of charred corn flavor to top the pizza. A surefire way to get it is by putting a shucked ear of corn directly on top of the burner on a gas stove, set to medium-low. The corn will sputter and pop, eventually charring the kernels nicely. Just turn it every few minutes with a pair of tongs to get it nicely brown all over. You could also grill it, or carefully roast it under the broiler. Making this in the winter? A handful of frozen corn works great too!
The best part of this virtuous pizza crust is that you can top to your heart’s delight. Smoked mozzarella and prosciutto with a topping of fresh basil would taste amazing. Thinly sliced asparagus and oil-packed sun dried tomatoes with ricotta sounds delightful. Or adding pulled pork to the veggie toppings listed here could only take it one direction: over the top. But get creative! That’s the best part about making your own pizza—you get to be the chef and there’s no extra charge for splitting the toppings for picky family members!
Veggie Pizza with a Spinach & Flaxseed Pizza Crust
For the crust:
- 6 cups Baby Spinach (packed)
- 4 large Eggs
- 1⅓ cups Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- ½ teaspoon Salt
For the toppings:
- 1 (28oz) can Diced Tomatoes
- 1 ear of Corn, shucked
- 1 Red Pepper, diced finely
- 4 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced very thinly
- 1 small head Broccoli, cut into ½-inch florets
- 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
- To garnish: fresh Basil, Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Place spinach in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add eggs, Bob’s Red Mill ground flaxseed meal, mozzarella, and salt. Pulse until all ingredients are just combined. Allow to sit for 15 minutes to allow the flax to absorb the liquid from the eggs.
2. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Pour the flax mixture onto the parchment, spreading to the edges. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just set and glossy on top.
3. While the crust is cooking, pour the tomatoes into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until nearly all of the liquid has cooked out, about 20-30 minutes. Place the ear of corn over the burner of a gas stove. Cook, turning occasionally, until the corn is cooked through and charred in spots. Alternatively, you could microwave the corn until tender. Stand the ear of corn on one end and slide a sharp knife along the cob to remove the kernels.
4. Top the par-cooked crust with the tomatoes, then the cheese, then the corn, red pepper, mushrooms, and broccoli. Bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the veggies are beginning to brown. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Cut the basil into a chiffonade and use it to top the cooked pizza. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Hello, I’m Billy Parisi, but to some I’m known as “Chef Billy Parisi.” I do a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but for the most part I’m a Food & Content Creator, Sometimes TV Host, Digital and Social Strategist, Influencer, Picture Taker, Coffee Drinker, Daddy, Husband, College Sports Enthusiast, Fashionisto, Film & Music Lover!
I’ve been in the kitchen since I started washing dishes in a restaurant at the age of 13, and during that time I knew immediately that I wanted to be a chef. I graduated from Arizona’s Scottsdale Culinary Institute and the University of Missouri, and have logged several years as line cook, sous chef, and executive in some of the Midwest’s finest restaurants. I currently live in the city of Chicago with my wife Lindsay and daughter Olivia and cook up new inventions, mash-ups, fusions and twists on old classics. I’m incredibly spontaneous and outgoing, and run 2 small businesses BPMVC, and my latest venture 5 Loaves 2 Fish!