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DIY Fall-Flavored Pizzas


Everybody loves pizza, especially during cooler weather months—when the thought of a hot, gooey pie seems so right. But why just get the same old pizza you’d order from the pizza place or get out of your freezer? Get both creative in the kitchen and celebrate the season by making your own homemade fall pizza!

Making a mix-and-match autumn-flavored pizza is easy and fun. The first thing you’ll want to do is purchase some pizza dough at the store. While you’re there, take your time to consider what fall flavors you think would be delicious together. (See below for more details.) When you get them home, start mixing and matching different flavor combinations—you might be surprised where your creativity takes you! And remember: don’t be afraid to experiment. With the abundance of fall flavors, this season is a cornucopia of pizza possibilities!


BASE OPTIONS
The first (or base) layer atop the crust is multifaceted, as it can add flavor to the dough or lay a flavor foundation for the rest of the pizza. (Think of red sauce on a traditional pizza.) Since you’re creating a unique fall pizza, your base options are many, but be intentional with your choice, making sure that you’ll love how it tastes when it’s mixed with the other ingredients. (For example, a garlic-flavored base wouldn’t work well with a pumpkin topping.)

Fun fall flavors to check out: balsamic vinegar, barbecue sauce, butternut squash puree, honey, olive oil, olive oil and garlic blend, and sweet potato puree.


CHEESES
For many, cheese is the chewy key component of the pizza, since it tastes great and adds the proper texture component. And while some cheeses like mozzarella are standard on pizza, you very well might want to choose your cheese based on whether it will go well with the autumn flavor theme you’re creating. (Goat cheese and pecans taste great together, for example.)

Cheeses to chew over: Brie, Colby-Monterey jack, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, and white cheddar.


FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND NUTS
Here’s where you can really pack on both fall flavors and health benefits. You may have tried veggies like spinach and onions on pizza before, but remember to include only those that fit well with your other fall flavors. Plus, topping your pizza with fruit like apples and nuts like pecans is a natural way to satisfy your sweet tooth with nature’s candy while creating delicious fall flavors in every bite.

Fruit, veggie, and nut toppings to try: apples, baby spinach, caramelized onions, carrots, cranberries, kale, pears, pecans, pine nuts, pomegranate, pumpkin, red potatoes, sage leaves, and sweet potatoes.


MEAT TOPPINGS
If you opt for a meat topping, choose one that either evokes fall barbecue memories or serves as a salty companion to a sweet fall harvest flavor like squash or apple. And, of course, no meat says fall like turkey, which is plentiful in November—so adding it as a topping with, say, barbecue sauce and Parmesan cheese would be another way of creatively mixing and matching to make a fantastic fall pizza.

Meat options to consider: bacon, prosciutto, pulled pork, short ribs, and turkey.


RECIPES: COMBINING THE FALL FLAVORS

Not sure what combinations would work best? Then try your hand at one of these fall harvest pizzas. You’re sure to enjoy the taste as much as the season!

shortribShort Rib, Brie, and Ricotta Pizza

If you’re a fan of ribs, then you’ll love this pizza! It features a mix of seasoned, seared short rib meat and four different cheeses for a taste that’s bursting with meat-and-cheese flavor. Get the recipe.


carmalizedCaramelized Onion, Apple, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Pizza

You’ve got the ultimate in sweet and salty toppings with this pie, which boasts a mix of apples, onions, and bacon in every sensational slice. Get the recipe.


fallharvestFall Harvest Butternut and Apple Pizza

This vegetarian variety of pizza includes real apples, butternut squash puree, and onions—making it a cornucopia of fall flavors! Get the recipe.


For more delicious seasonal recipes, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/holidays.