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Spring-Inspired Pizza Topping Combos

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Spring-Inspired Pizza Topping Combos

Spring is just around the corner, and you know what that means. Soon we’ll see budding flowers, newborn wildlife, fresh, green lawns and — best of all — warmer weather. But even though the days will be longer, and we can soon shed our winter coats, it doesn’t mean we have to give up on enjoying our favorite warm meal.

Pizza is perfect for every season, and its popularity is impossible to deny. Did you know that one in eight Americans consumes pizza on any given day? As a country, we eat about 3 billion pizzas annually, costing us an average of $32 billion. That’s a lot of dough!

When it comes to toppings, Americans tend to prefer pepperoni, consuming nearly 251,770,000 pounds of the small, spicy slices every year. Sausage, mushroom and plain cheese pizza follow closely behind. But next time you have a craving for a steamy slice, think about stepping outside the standby flavor options by trying some spring pizza toppings.

This spring, enjoy your pizzas even more thoroughly by treating your taste buds to the specialties of the season. With so many farm-fresh vegetables, unique cheeses and perennial meat pairings, these spring pizza ideas are sure to please your palate and refresh your love for pizza.

Here are a few of the best pizzas for spring.

Goat Cheese and Asparagus Pizza

For an adventurous flavor journey with a fresh, tangy twist, try this uncomplicated spring pizza recipe. Asparagus is in peak season in springtime, making it one of the best pizza toppings for spring.

  • Ingredients: ½ lb. asparagus, 8 oz. goat cheese, ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 recipe pizza dough with 4 pizza rounds included
  • How to make: Using a griddle, preheat to 300 degrees and cook the pizza rounds for half a minute on each side, then set aside. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Next, place washed asparagus on a greased baking sheet and roast in the oven for about nine minutes, until each stalk is charred. Let cool, then cut stalks into three pieces each. Mix the goat cheese and olive oil in a bowl and spread evenly onto each pizza, leaving a crust of about three-quarters of an inch. Scatter with asparagus, then cook the pizzas on the griddle for three to four minutes. Enjoy!

pepperoni

Chicken and Leek Pizza

Simple and savory, this creamy creation makes a comforting choice for celebrating the early spring.

  • Ingredients: 3 large white and green leeks, sliced and separated into rings, 2 cups shredded roasted rotisserie chicken, 1 tbsp. butter, 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, ½ lb. shredded fontina cheese, 1/3 cup chopped pitted olives, 1 lb. room-temperature pizza dough
  • How to make: First, preheat your oven to 500 degrees and prepare a large, greased baking sheet. In a large skillet, melt your butter, then cook your leeks over medium heat for five minutes until bright green and softened. Place in a bowl with the chicken, ¼ lb. fontina, olives, salt and pepper and stir.

Roll the dough out to a 14-inch round on a floured surface, then transfer to the baking sheet. Leaving a one-inch border around the edge of the dough, spread the leek-and-chicken mixture on top of the dough, brush the edges with olive oil and sprinkle on the rest of the fontina and seasonings. Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 15 to 16 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Serve for a homey taste of spring.

Spinach, Artichoke and Feta Pizza

Infuse your pizza crust with fresh, healthy flavor when you choose this classic combination as your topping.

  • Ingredients: 1 lb. thawed, quartered pizza dough, 2 sliced red onions, 2 9-oz. packages thawed artichoke hearts, 2 10-oz. packages thawed chopped spinach, 3 tbsp. olive oil, ¼ tsp. rosemary, ¼ cup grated parmesan, ½ cup shredded fontina, salt and pepper
  • How to make: Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and dust a baking sheet with some whole-wheat flour. Shape your quartered pizza dough pieces into disks, set them on the baking sheet with a dusting of flour, cover with cling wrap and let them rise for roughly 25 minutes. In a skillet, cook onions, artichoke hearts, rosemary, salt and pepper in two tablespoons of olive oil until thoroughly heated and browned. Set aside in a bowl and add remaining tablespoon of oil to skillet with spinach. Cook for two minutes until soft.

Roll each dough disk into a nine-inch flat round, then spread spinach, onions and artichoke on top, finishing off with a sprinkling of fontina and Parmesan cheese. Slide onto a pizza peel and bake on a pizza stone for about six minutes in your preheated oven. Serve for a gooey, savory treat with a healthy dose of nutrients.

If making your own pizza is too much of a hassle for your busy schedule, try Giordano’s delicious thin-crust version for a fantastic mouthful of flavor!

spinach artichoke

Arugula and Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza

Looking for a fresh taste of Italy with spring-inspired ingredients? This vegetarian pizza recipe won’t disappoint.

  • Ingredients: 1 lb. room temperature pizza dough, 32 halved sun-dried tomatoes, 2 cups baby arugula, 1 lb. thin-sliced or shredded mozzarella, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 1/3 cup olive oil, salt and pepper
  • How to make: Place a pizza stone in the bottom of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Form your pizza dough into a disk, cover with cling wrap and set aside for 20 minutes. In a small saucepan, cover the sun-dried tomatoes with water and simmer, covered, for about five minutes, or until soft. Drain, chop and set aside. Purée your olive oil and garlic in a miniature food processor.

Roll out your dough into a large round with a thickness of 1/8 inch, then place on a floured pizza peel and brush generously with your garlic purée. Scatter with mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes, add an extra drizzle of garlic purée, season with pepper and salt and place in the oven on your pizza stone. After four minutes, your pizza should be crisp, and your cheese should begin to bubble. Remove from the oven and top with fresh baby arugula. Buon appetito!

Ramp It up White Pizza

Love the full flavor of garlic and onion? This pizza recipe features Chicago’s namesake vegetable, the chicagoua, or “ramp.” Try it to top your spring pie with strong flavor.

  • Ingredients: 1 lb. room temperature pizza dough, 10 ramps, 1 cup grated mozzarella, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
  • How to make: Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and set a pizza stone on the bottom shelf for half an hour. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over medium heat, then blanch your ramps for one minute. Drain, dry and slice into one-inch pieces.

Roll your dough out into a 12-in. round on a floured surface, then transfer to a pizza peel. Brush your dough with olive oil, sprinkle with mozzarella and top with the ramps. Top with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese, then place on the pizza stone and bake for eight minutes. Serve for a mild, seasonal meal.

ramp it up

Bacon, Kale and Swiss Chard Pizza

Searching for a spring pizza recipe with a bit of a bite? Complete with seasonal vegetables and a crisp touch of bacon, this pizza is perfect for adventurous taste-testers.

  • Ingredients: 1 lb. room temperature pizza dough, ½ lb. bacon slices, ½ lb. Swiss chard with stems and ribs removed, ½ lb. shredded provolone, 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
  • How to make: Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and grease a large baking sheet to begin. Over high heat, cook bacon slices in a skillet until well-browned. Drain, cool and break into small pieces, then set aside. Take 1 tablespoon of bacon fat and toss with Swiss chard in a large bowl, then add the cheese, bacon and seasonings. Mix well.

Roll out your dough into a 14-inch round on a floured surface, then transfer to the baking sheet and top with Swiss chard topping, leaving a one-inch rim around the edge. Brush the crust with olive oil, top with remaining cheese and bake for 10 minutes until golden. Savor this delicious blend of vegetables and protein.

Fontina, Scallion and Asparagus Pizza

Featuring two fresh spring vegetables, this pizza is simple and satisfying.

  • Ingredients: 1 12-oz. pizza dough ball, 3 scallions, 6 asparagus spears, 3 oz. fontina cheese, 1 tbsp. pecorino cheese, 2 tsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. oregano leaves, salt and pepper
  • How to make: Mix asparagus, scallions and 1 teaspoon of olive oil on a plate, seasoning with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables over medium-high heat for about two minutes until tender and charred, then cut into one-inch pieces.

Roll out your pizza dough into an oval of about 1/8-inch thickness, then brush both sides with a teaspoon of olive oil and grill over medium heat for two minutes per side. Top with scallions, asparagus and fontina and pecorino cheeses. Put pizza back on the grill, cover and cook for one minute. Sprinkle salt, pepper and oregano on finished pie and enjoy!

Farm-Fresh Pizza

Ready for a fresh taste of the farm? This spicy, healthy breakfast pizza offers a unique take on seasonal ingredients.

  • Ingredients: 1 lb. room-temperature pizza dough, 4-6 eggs, 8 oz. mozzarella, 8 oz. fontina, ¼ cup Parmesan, 2 green onions, ½ cup cilantro, 3 canned chipotle chilies, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, ¼ cup toasted, slivered almonds, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp. salt
  • How to make: Combine onions, cilantro, two tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice in a blender and mix until chunky like pesto. Place in a bowl and refrigerate. Meanwhile, add sun-dried tomatoes, chipotle chilies, garlic, salt and toasted almonds to the blender. Begin to mix, then carefully add in 1/3 cup olive oil and blend until smooth.

Roll out your dough into a large, flattened sheet pizza and place on a baking sheet, then spread the tomato-chipotle romesco on top, scatter with fontina and mozzarella and crack your eggs over everything. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes.

While your pizza is in the oven, shave your asparagus with a vegetable peeler and place the thin shavings in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the lemon juice and Parmesan and blend, then toss with asparagus. When you remove your pizza from the oven, top with the asparagus and cilantro sauce, then scatter with Parmesan. You’ve never tried pizza this packed with flavor!

Prosciutto Pea Pizza

Prosciutto Pea Pizza

You might not think you can top pizza with peas, but they make for a sweet, texture-filled taste paired with tangy prosciutto in this unique recipe.

  • Ingredients: 1 lb. room temperature pizza dough, ¾ cup feta cheese, 1 cup ricotta cheese, 3 oz. smoked prosciutto, ½ cup fresh peas, ½ cup sliced red onions, 4 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. white vinegar, 5 basil leaves, salt and pepper
  • How to make: Place a pizza stone at the bottom of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees to begin. In a small pot, bring water to a boil, dropping in peas for 90 seconds and draining. Combine your cooked peas and red onion in a medium bowl and toss with vinegar and two tablespoons of olive oil, then season with pepper and salt. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough into a 12-inch round and transfer to a pizza peel. Form a ridge around the rim with your fingers to stop cheese from spilling over, then brush the dough with the rest of the olive oil. Mix your cheeses in a small bowl, then spread over the dough, topping with scattered prosciutto. Bake for 15 minutes until golden, then top the finished pizza with the pea salad mixture, some fresh feta and basil. There’s no better way to enjoy spring’s sweet flavor.

Dandelion, Fig and Gorgonzola Pesto Pizza

If you’re up for something especially unusual and extremely tasty, try this uniquely flavorful, fun spring pizza, complete with surprising toppings.

  • Ingredients: 1 lb. room-temperature pizza dough, 2 cups dandelion greens, ½ cup toasted pine nuts, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, ½ cup basil, 2 garlic cloves, 1/3 cup olive oil, 8-12 quartered fresh figs, 6 oz. crumbled gorgonzola, 6 oz. fontina, 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp. honey, 6 oz. sliced prosciutto, edible dandelion flowers.
  • How to make: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, then begin by making your pesto. Combine pine nuts, basil, garlic and dandelion greens in a food processor and blend until chopped finely, then add Parmesan and pulse again. Add in olive oil until the mixture reaches the consistency you’d like, then season with salt and refrigerate. Meanwhile, combine your figs, honey and balsamic vinegar in a bowl.

Lightly flour your working surface, then roll out your dough into a disk and place onto an oiled baking sheet. Spread with your homemade pesto, sprinkle with fontina and gorgonzola, lay out prosciutto slices and top with figs and balsamic honey drizzle. Bake for 15-20 minutes, remove from oven and top with basil, greens and edible flowers. Your pizza has never been this pretty or aromatic!

Select Your Best Spring Pizza at Giordano’s

Spring pizza toppings are so good, but if you’d rather take a break from cooking and have your pizza handmade for you, try Giordano’s! With home-crafted pizzas handed down from our Italian roots, we’ll deliver “Chicago’s Best Pizza” straight to your doorstep. Pick your favorite toppings and order today.