Roasted Red Pepper and Arugula Whole-Wheat Pizza
We’re a family of pizza lovers! Pizza, kale, quinoa and steel-cut oats are ranked pretty high in our house. Friday nights are pizza night in our house! We get our aprons on, open a bottle of wine (the wine is just for me) and roll out the dough. It’s a very therapeutic thing to do after a long week, and fun way to work together and catch up on life. I love this pizza because it’s meatless, simple to make, and pretty healthy to boot! It’s your basic run of the mill cheese pizza, except that you are replacing the traditional tomato sauce with a roasted red pepper puree, and then topping it all on a thin and crispy whole-wheat pizza crust. Genius and yummy! Red peppers are ultra good for you, and this pizza is an easy and delicious way to get them into your diet.
My kids loved this pizza, seriously, I’m not lying. They thought the red pepper sauce tasted as good as any tomato sauce, and they didn’t complain about it being on a whole-wheat crust. I honestly don’t think they even noticed that it was on a whole-wheat crust until I mentioned it, so maybe you don’t have to mention it to your kids if you think they might turn up their noses. Sometimes you have to be sneaky as a parent!
Roasted red pepper and arugula whole-wheat pizza:
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Note: The roasted red pepper sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated till needed.
- 3 red bell peppers, roasted and peeled – see my instructions below on how to roast a red pepper
- 1 pound whole-wheat pizza dough – you can use regular pizza dough here as well if you don’t like whole-wheat crusts. I typically use Trader Joe’s or Whole Food’s whole wheat crust.
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced – you can also buy the shredded mozzarella and make it easy on yourself.
- extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and pepper
- cornmeal for baking sheets
- arugula to top the pizza
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Wash the red peppers and then cut them in half lengthwise.
Cut off the stem with a paring knife and scoop out all the seeds and membranes. I used a melon baller to scoop out the seeds and membranes.
Place the peppers cut side down on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil.
Roast the peppers in the pre-heated 450 degree oven for about 25 minutes; until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, rotating the sheet if necessary for them to cook evenly.
Below is what mine looked like after roasting for 25 minutes.
Let the peppers cool for a minute or two, and then remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a bowl, cover the bowl with foil or a plate, and let cool for about 30 minutes.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard them, dropping the peppers back into the bowl.
Put the peeled peppers into a blender.
In a blender, puree peppers until smooth. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce into a bowl if you’re not using it right away, and refrigerate until needed.
If you’re using the puree right away, then just keep it in the blender for easy pouring.
Now, lets move onto the pizza. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Slice up your cheese, toss some arugula with a splash of olive oil and set aside.
On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a rectangle shape. You can also roll the dough out into 2 circles, one large circle or 4 small circles. It’s really up to you.
We chose to make one large rectangular pizza.
Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal and shape to fit the pizza dough onto the pan.The corn meal helps to keep the pizza dough from sticking to the pan and also helps to make the pizza crust a bit more crunchy and taste like its from an actual pizzeria.
Brush the edges of the dough with some olive oil. This helps to crisp up the crust.
Top the dough with the red pepper puree (as you would a tomato sauce) making sure to leave a 1-inch border on the sides. Top the pizza with the mozzarella cheese and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10 minutes.
Top the pizza with the arugula.
Slice it up and serve with your favorite salad or vegetable. We love pairing this pizza with my lacinato kale salad.