Plain broccoli pizza is great and all, but when you add lemon-garlic white sauce, three different cheeses, and sweet-hot peppadew peppers, it blows all the other veggie pies out of the water.
Broccoli Pizza, Step by Step
Don’t be deterred by the extra step of blanching the broccoli. It doesn’t take long (pro tip: fill your pot with hot tap water to speed up the boiling process), and you can prep other ingredients while you wait.
- Blanch the broccoli.
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, add the broccoli florets, and let them cook for 2 to 3 minutes. This will soften them just to al dente and turn them bright green. Then, to lock in that color, plunge them right into a bowl of ice water. After a few minutes, drain the broccoli and pat it dry with paper towels.
- While the broccoli cooks, mix the sauce.
Measure the cream, ricotta, lemon zest, garlic, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk everything together, taste, and add more salt if you want.
- Dice the mozzarella and slice the peppadew peppers.
You might have time for some of this prep while the broccoli is still cooking. There’s no need for perfection when cutting the mozzarella; I cut mine into ½-inch dice, but you can make yours larger or smaller, depending on your level of patience. Same idea with the peppers: Just slice them as thinly as you can so there are enough rings to spread evenly across the pizza.
- Stretch/roll and top the pizza dough.
Check out my video tutorial if you need help stretching your dough. Once it’s ready, brush the edges with a little olive oil, prick it all over with a fork to prevent obnoxious bubbles from forming in the middle of your pizza as it bakes, and layer the sauce and other toppings according to the recipe below.
- Bake the pizza and enjoy!
Slip that beautiful broccoli pizza into the oven and bake it until the bottom is evenly browned (I use a long offset spatula to check) and the cheese is browned in spots. Then, take it out of the oven and finish with some lemon zest, salt, and optional red pepper flakes. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
You can find mild peppadew peppers online or in major grocery stores, but if you need absolutely zero spice, use roasted red peppers instead.
I would stick with the mozzarella, but you can swap out the cheddar for gruyere, parmesan, or pecorino.
If heat is your love language, opt for hot peppadew peppers or fresh red chiles, and/or sprinkle on big pinches of dried red chile flakes after the pizza comes out of the oven. Also, drizzle your slice with hot honey for an extra treat.
Looking for more veggie pies? Check out TNP’s vegetarian pizza recipe archives.
3-Cheese Broccoli Pizza
The creamy, lemony white sauce on this pizza is the perfect complement to al dente broccoli florets, sliced spicy-sweet peppers, and, of course, crunchy crust. If you want to amp up the heat, add extra dried red chile flakes, swap in a hotter preserved pepper, and/or drizzle the finished pizza with your favorite hot sauce.
Makes: 1 (12- to 14-inch) pizza
- 2 to 2½ cups bite-size broccoli florets (from 2 small to medium heads)
For the sauce
- ¼ cup whole-milk ricotta
- ¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 small (or ½ large) garlic clove, pressed, grated, or minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Zest of 1 lemon, divided
For the pizza
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup jarred hot or spicy-sweet peppadew or cherry peppers, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
- ¼ cup finely shredded aged/farmhouse cheddar cheese
- Kosher salt
- Dried red chile flakes (optional)
- Hot honey (optional)
Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone in the top third or place the steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes. Then, if you’re using a baking stone or steel, switch the oven to Broil on high.
To blanch the broccoli
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water and place it near the stove. Carefully add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then immediately drain and transfer them to the ice water. This will lock in their bright green color.
Wait a few minutes, then drain the broccoli and pat it dry with paper towels.
To make the sauce
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, cream, garlic, salt, and half of the lemon zest. Taste and add a little more salt if desired.
To assemble and bake the pizza
Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to a baking sheet / pizza pan or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
Prick the dough all over with a fork and brush the edges with a little oil. Spread the sauce across the dough, leaving a ½-inch border all around, then top with the peppers and broccoli. Finally, add the diced mozzarella and cheddar.
Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots—8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 5 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
Take the pizza out of the oven and top with the rest of the lemon zest, a sprinkle of salt, and a pinch or two of dried red chile flakes (if using). Let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes, then cut it into slices.
Serve the broccoli pizza with extra dried red chile flakes and hot honey, if desired.