Make Pumpkin Pizza with easy pumpkin pizza sauce, caramelized onions, and spinach. Or, use our ultimate toppings list to create or your own masterpiece. It's an easy way to give a seasonal twist to pizza night.
Creamy pumpkin pizza sauce stands in for marinara to give pizza subtle fall flair. The same sauce can be used for your favorite pasta dishes too!
The pizza sauce and the caramelized onions can both be made in advance. If they are, and you use flatbread as the base, then this dinner is ready in about 10 minutes!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here's what you need to make it:
- Flatbread or Pizza Dough - We used flatbread because it bakes quickly and reduces the calorie count too. Most any base will work including spaghetti squash pizza crust.
- Caramelized Onions - The process to make these is discussed below.
- Spinach - Chopped kale and arugula are alternatives.
- Mozzarella Cheese - Havarti, fontina, Gruyère would be nice too.
- Pumpkin Pizza Sauce - The ingredients to make it are shown below. You can often find jars of this type of sauce in the grocery store in the cooler months.
For the sauce you will need the items pictured. Half and half or whole milk may be used instead of heavy cream if desired.
Pizza Sauce Directions
This versatile pumpkin sauce works well in this recipe because it's smooth, just like traditional sauce. The consistency is a little thicker than a red sauce. If you want to thin it out, simply add a teaspoon of water. Taste test before adding more.
Here are the steps to make it:
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized sauce pan. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute to soften.
- Add pumpkin puree, heavy cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the pan
- Whisk until smooth. Bring sauce to the point where it's just about to boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 2 cups of sauce. Each serving is ⅓ of a cup.
Note: This recipe makes more sauce than you will need to make 4 servings.
Storage: Store pumpkin pizza sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight to the refrigerator.
Reheat: Sauce may be used hot or cold. Warm over medium-low heat on the stovetop, stirring to recombine ingredients.
How to Caramelize Onions
Caramelized onions pair perfectly with pumpkin in this recipe. The extra effort is totally worth it too!
If you made a big batch of Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions, then just defrost a portion for use in this recipe!
Otherwise, follow these steps to make them on the stovetop.
- Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add thinly sliced onions (about ⅛ inch in thickness) to the pan and coat with butter/oil mixture.
- Cook onions for 20-30 minutes over medium heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits every 3-5 minutes. The onions need undisturbed time so they can brown. But, they can't sit for too long because they will burn. If the pan becomes too dry, then add a teaspoon of water. Picture #3 is at 5 minutes.
- When the onions are browned to your liking, remove from the pan. You can also deglaze the pan with a little balsamic vinegar or wine to add even more flavor.
Note: The best pan to use for this process is a cast iron skillet. But, onions can be caramelized in a non-stick skillet and that's what I used in the pictures.
Flatbread Pizza Assembly
Here's how to put it together.
But first, pre-cook the flatbread (or pizza dough.) We use Flatout Thin Pizza Crusts. The directions all for the crusts to bake at 375 °F for about 2 minutes!
- Spread pumpkin pizza sauce over the flatbread.
- Top with caramelized onions.
- Chop spinach into thin slices and sprinkle over the top.
- Easy way to julienne spinach: Stack 5-6 spinach leaves on top of each other, roll them long ways and then cut them into thin slivers with a knife or kitchen shears.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top and bake for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Suggested quantities are listed in the recipe card. Of course, adjust everything to according to your preferences!
Toppings for Pumpkin Pizza
Other toppings or variations to try:
- Flavor with sage instead of spinach - I so wanted to love crispy, fried sage and I did give it a try. I wasn't a big fan. But if you think you are and want to try this popular pairing, check out this video on how to fry sage leaves by Martha Stewart.
- Apple slices or cubes
- Crumbled Bacon
- Mushrooms (you can cook these along with the onions!)
- Sausage, ham, prosciutto
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Toasted pine nuts
Did I miss a great topping? Add it in the comments!
More Pumpkin Recipes
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Pumpkin Pizza with Caramelized Onions
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 onion sliced about ⅛ inch (about 2 cups)
Pumpkin Pizza Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 cup heavy cream half and half or whole milk may be used
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese grated
- 4 slices flatbread may use pizza dough instead
- 1 ⅓ cups Pumpkin Pizza Sauce
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves stacked, rolled and cut into slivers
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- ½ cup caramelized onion see directions above
- Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add thinly sliced onions to the pan and coat with butter/oil mixture.
- Cook onions for 20-30 minutes over medium heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits every 3-5 minutes. The onions need undisturbed time so they can brown. But, they can't sit for too long because they will burn. If the pan becomes too dry, then add a teaspoon of water.
- When the onions are browned to your liking, remove from the pan. You can also deglaze the pan with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar or wine to add even more flavor if desired.
Pumpkin Pizza Sauce
- Melt olive oil over medium-heat in a sauce pan. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute to soften.
- Add pumpkin puree, heavy cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the pan and whisk until smooth.
- Bring sauce to the point where it's just about to boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
Pumpkin Flatbread Pizza Assembly
- Preheat oven to 375 °F or according to directions for flatbread.
- Pre-bake flatbread according to instructions. (I pre-baked mine for 2 minutes at 375 °F.)
- Spread about ⅓ cup of Pumpkin Pizza Sauce over each slice of flatbread.
- Layer ¼ of the onions, spinach and mozzarella cheese over the sauce on each slice of flatbread.
- Return flatbread to the oven and cook for 4-5 minutes more or until cheese has melted.
- This recipe can be made with traditional pizza dough.
- Use one cup of Slow Cooker Caramelized Onion instead of making them scratch on serving day!
- Yield: 2 cups of sauce. Each serving is ⅓ of a cup.
- Note: This recipe makes more sauce than you will need to make 4 servings.
- Storage: Store sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight to the refrigerator.
- Reheat: Sauce may be used hot or cold. Warm over medium-low heat on the stovetop, stirring to recombine ingredients.
The recipe was originally published on 9/29/14 and has been updated to improve the reader experience.