Pizza recipes have been popular around our house lately, especially this Artichoke Spinach Pizza with White Beans.
One thing that I love about pizza for dinner, is you don’t have to have a set recipe. It’s fun to think outside the box. Look at what you have in the fridge and how you can put that together into a new recipe.
Getting Creative with Pizza Recipes
- Add herbs or cheeses, such as Parmesan to your pizza crust dough
- Experiment with different flours
- Use items like Whole Wheat Naan, Crackerbread, Bagels or English Muffins instead of traditional pizza crust
Who said the sauce has to be Italian tomato sauce? Or that you even have to have a sauce on your pizza. We love the creamy white bean sauce featured in this recipe, but there are lots of fun ideas for sauce:
- Pesto (and it can be any kind of pesto – basil, or not)
- Alfredo sauce
- Hummus, such as Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- refried beans or pureed black beans
- Garlic and oil
We usually just take a peek in our fridge and pantry to see what potential ingredients we have and what items might taste well together.
The Flavor Bible is also a great resource for flavor matching if you have a hard time doing this intuitively, or just want extra inspiration.
Some of our favorite combos:
- Italian Sausage + Roasted Pepper + Olives
- Spinach + Artichoke + White Bean
- Medley of roasted vegetables + Garlic
- Black Bean Spread + Mexican Veggies + Cilantro
Spinach and Artichokes are an obviously match in this pizza. I had leeks in the fridge and I like their milder flavor compared to onions, so I threw some of those on for good measure.
I knew I wanted a white sauce, and rather than preparing a fatty alfredo (we’re trying to be a little healthier after all those Christmas sweets), I experimented with a white bean based sauce. Since there were extra beans from making the sauce, I sprinkled them on top of the pizza for added fiber and protein.
All in all, this recipe was a success! And I made it start to finish (pizza dough was already prepared) in less than 30 minutes.
What are your favorite ways to get creative with your pizza recipes?
Artichoke Spinach Pizza with White Beans
Yield: serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
For the Pizza:
1 recipe for your favorite pizza crust
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
2 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 recipe creamy white bean sauce, recipe follows
1/3 cup white beans
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 - 14.5 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts
salt and pepper, to taste
sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
For the Creamy White Bean Sauce:
1/3 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup white beans, such as cannellini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 - 2 drops, pure rosemary oil or 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic
pinch salt and pepper, or to taste
1 - 2 tablespoons milk, to reach desired consistency
Prepare pizza crust according to your favorite recipe's instructions. I like Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Crust.
Preheat your oven to 550 degrees F (or 500 if your oven doesn't go up to 550). Place a pizza stone on the upper middle rack.
For the Sauce
Prepare the creamy white bean sauce by adding all of the ingredients into a small food processor, I like my Cuisinart 4-Cup Chopper for jobs like this, and puree until smooth. Be sure to scrape the sides as needed. Set aside.
In a cast iron or saute skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the cleaned (see: How to Clean Leeks) and chopped leeks and saute until tender. About 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped spinach and saute until wilted, about 3 minutes.
To Assemble the Pizza
Lay out a sheet of parchment paper. Roll the pizza crust out on top of the parchment. Spread your desired amount of creamy white bean sauce on top of the pizza dough (reserve any extra for another use).
Top with the leek and spinach mixture. Sprinkle with the dried Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons parmesan, 1/3 cup white beans, and quartered artichoke hearts. Top with several slices of fresh mozzarella cheese.
Transfer the pizza with parchment paper to the pizza stone and bake for 5 - 10 minutes, or until the crust is as crispy as you'd like and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.