It might be because I grew up in the midwest, but I have a love of ranch. Give me options to dunk fries in and I’ll almost always choose ranch. So it’s no surprised that I would come up with a ranch spinach pizza recipe. Typically these types of pizzas contain chicken but with the flavors from the ranch and overloading it with spinach, it doesn’t need the meat. I’ll usually make a large batch of the ranch to use throughout the week (and store it in my favorite jars), which makes this pizza even easier!Print
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
- ¾ cup warm water
- 2½ teaspoon yeast
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoons salt
- 1½– 2 cups whole wheat flour (bread or pastry works well)
Homemade Ranch (see note)
- 3/4 cup whole milk greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons fresh minced chives
- 11/2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh minced dill
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2–4 tablespoons buttermilk*
- 1 small red onion
- 3–4 handfuls baby spinach
- 2–3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, and honey- stir with a wooden spoon until yeast is dissolved. Let sit until yeast begins to activate, 5-10 minutes. Once yeast is ready, add in oil, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Turn your mixer on low with the dough hook on and let mix, scrapping down the sides as needed. From here on out, add 2-4 tablespoons of flour at a time, letting the dough mix for a bit until adding more flour. When the dough starts to come together, continue to let the mixer run for 1-2 minutes and adding more flour until your dough has pulled away from the sides of the mixer. Remove from the mixer and place in a warm spot. Brush with oil and let rise for 1 hour.
- In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients for the ranch dressing except for the buttermilk. Taste and adjust the ranch flavors if need be. Stir in buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to thin out the ranch if desired.
- Once your dough has double in size, preheat your oven to 500˚. Return to your dough and punch it down. Let rise for 20 more minutes.
- Roll the dough out onto a surface covered in cornmeal (I used a large wood cutting board put some of you may have a pizza peel.) Roll it out to the size of your pizza stone.
- Spread enough ranch over pizza to cover (you may not use all). Cut onion into thin slices and layer over ranch, followed by the spinach. Top pizza with enough cheese to cover most of the spinach.
- Slide pizza onto stone and let bake until crust and mozzarella is golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before slicing.
*I often cheat with buttermilk because I rarely have it in my house. I’ll combine 1/4 cup milk with a couple dashes of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for a minute before using. Also- I will usually double the ranch recipe and use to dip the pizza in (the ranch flavor isn’t heavy on the baked pizza. And if you have leftover ranch- use for salads!
This spinach pizza is fairly forgiving in terms of the ingredients you use or the base of ranch (because I know not everyone is as into ranch as I am. A few other options:
Greens: Kale and chard make excellent substitutes for the spinach. The kale, if left without cheese on top, will crisp up into something akin to kale chips.
Base: If you’re not looking to use the ranch, sauté garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil, just enough to warm the garlic. Use this garlic oil in place of the ranch (and/or add a few of the herbs).
Cheese: The mozzarella is fairly plain in terms of flavor- try adding smoked mozzarella, gouda, or a few sprinkles of goat cheese.
During the cooler months, when spinach is at it’s peak, I keep a lot of it on hand. Spinach is great raw or cooks up quick (like in this spinach pizza). You can’t really go wrong with spinach but a few of my favorite spinach recipes are: