What is it about pizza that kids just love? I can’t get my kids to eat a tomato to save their life, and pasta with tomato sauce is really unheard of – but for some reason when you spread sauce all over some bread and top it with cheese, it is a kid’s dream. I decided to do a little experiment. How about make a healthy pizza (well, healthy is a relative word here…) and see if the kids still love it – using ingredients that they would never eat alone even if I paid them. So, I saw a recipe in Cooking Light for Fennel, Sausage and Sweet Onion Pizza, and I thought I could do one better – saute the spinach I have in the refrigerator with that, and top it with cheese. I used sun-dried tomato, basil, chicken sausage and the topping tasted fabulous – I knew it was going to be good with that melted gouda on top. When it came out of the oven, my older daughter mentioned how good it smelled (1 point for the pizza) – she tried the pizza, and really liked it (10 points!)! My younger daughter, not so much. She didn’t fall for it at all – that spinach was not fooling her, nor were the onions or fennel. Oh well, at least one of them liked it. My husband and I, we thought it was an amazing combination – it was a complete winner in our book, and I will definitely be making it again – maybe in another year when my younger daughter has forgotten and I can try the experiment one more time.
- 3 ounces chicken sausage, chopped (I used one link of sun-dried tomato basil chicken sausage from Whole Foods)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups vertically sliced Walla Walla Sweet or other sweet onion
- 1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb)
- 5 oz fresh baby spinach (or frozen if fresh is not available)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 package of pizza dough (found at Trader Joe’s) or 1 pre-made pizza crust
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gouda cheese
Preheat oven to 450°.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.
Add oil to pan. Add onion, fennel, and salt; cover and cook 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and sauté until wilted.
Place pizza crust on a baking sheet or pizza stone. I like to put my pizza stone in the oven while it is pre-heating – it gives it just a little bit more of a crispy bottom. Top evenly with onion mixture, top with sausage then sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 12-15 minutes or until cheese melts and the crust is nicely browned. Cut pizza into 8 wedges.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Fennel Spinach Sausage Onion Pizza