This healthy pizza recipe is my go-to for March Madness celebrations. It is also great for any occasion year round. March Madness is almost over, but the best of it is left with the final games on the near horizon. I wanted to save this recipe for the Final Four playoffs, so as you gear up get burgers, fries, guacamole, chips, and wings off your mind. Eat this healthy pizza recipe instead! Here is the JWM recommendation for a yummy but healthy pizza recipe.
In 2007 Bon Appétit published a cover of Giada De Laurentins‘ pizza. Giada is one of my favorite celebrity chefs because I love Italian food, she makes cooking a non-intimidating experience, she is light-hearted, and has a super cute sparkling smile.
When I am in the mood for pizza, I turn back to my copy of that 2007 Bon Appétit for Giada‘s baseline pizza dough recipe. For the rest of March Madness, try homemaking your pizza with my healthy take on Giada’s brilliant foundation. Not only will your pizza be fresh, organic and overall better for you than a delivery pizza, but it will also be an activity that will be super fun for you and your loved ones.
Giada’s Pizza Dough Recipe
¾ cup warm water (between 105-115 degrees)
1 envelope dry yeast
2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ tablespoon olive oil
*Please note that the below instructions are slightly different from Giada’s.
Stir yeast into warm water. Let stand until dissolved, about 5 minutes. Brush a bowl lightly with olive oil. In another bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Add yeast and 3 tablespoons of oil. Using processor or just stirring and/or kneading with hands, continue to blend all of the ingredients until a sticky ball forms, about 1 minute. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it adding flour when necessary until the dough is smooth. Place the dough into the lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough around in this bowl until it is evenly coated and forms a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit for about an hour to rise in a warm place. After the dough has expanded to twice its original size, punch it down. Cut it into 2-4 pieces, depending on how many pizzas you want to make.
In Bon Appétit, Giada offered a few different topping options such as Goat Cheese and Ricotta, Three-Cheese Pizza with Pancetta and Mushrooms, and Chocolate Pizza. Though I am sure these delicious, I decided to be creative, healthy and vegetarian with pizza topping choices.
The JWM Take – Healthy Pizza Recipe
I use Giada’s pizza dough recipe as a start. Sometimes I stick to her dough as is in Appétit, but usually use whole-wheat flour instead of white flour. Like Giada, I like to play around with the shape and size of a pizza. I prefer small oval pizzas as shown in Bon Appétit as well as rectangles and squares. I make my crusts thin to skinny as does Giada, depending on what pizza toppings I am using. More pizza toppings need a slightly thicker crust.
For March Madness I made slice-sized ovals. You can eat the healthy pizzas as a personal pizza, or you can cut them into strips or mini squares for a tasting of different kinds.
Here are a few of my favorite homemade healthy pizza recipes:
1 of Giada’s dough recipes can serve two to four people.
Healthy Pizza Recipe - Zucchini, Fresh Mozzarella, and Parmesan Cheese
What You Need
1 Medium to large zucchini (s) cut into thin round discs
How to Make
Heat olive oil in a pan. Sauté the zucchini until it is golden. Place the golden zucchini aside.
Slice your fresh mozzarella into rounds.
Roll out your dough into a thin oval (1/16 of an inch) slightly larger than the size of your hand. Place your cheese around the oval so that is lightly covered with spaces in between each piece of cheese (they expand when they melt). Carefully place your zucchini discs on the cheese in a pattern that looks artful. Sprinkle your Parmesan on top. Cook the pizza for 12 minutes. When done, dapple a few sea salt crystals on top of the pizza.
Healthy Pizza Recipe – Mushroom, Machengo, and Caramelized Onion
What You Need
Mushrooms (of your choice)
Sweet White Onions
How To Make
Roll out your dough thin but thick enough to carry the weight of the toppings (1/8 inch). Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil until lightly crisped. Place aside. Sauté the onions in olive oil until they become golden and crisp. Roll out your dough. Layer the mushrooms on top of the dough followed by the onions. Spread the Manchego. Place in the oven and cook for 12 minutes. Sprinkle sea salt crystals on top.
Healthy Pizza Recipe – Pizza Margarita
What You Need
Thick Tomato Sauce (I use Rao’s Marinara but make sure to drain it)
Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
How to Make
Roll out your dough. Take two soup spoonfuls of tomato sauce and with the back of your spoon spread the sauce around the pizza leaving room at the edge of the dough for a crust. Place mozzarella rounds on top of the sauce. Add basil if you choose to.
Place in the oven and cook for 12 minutes.
I always serve a salad on the side with this healthy pizza recipe.