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As far as pizza goes, my favorite is a margherita pizza. Hands down. The very simple tomato, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil pizza that is made with a simple sauce is the stuff that dreams are made of. That said, I also love combining unique ingredient flavors to create what my husband calls "frou-frou" pizzas. This Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Pizza is definitely a "frou-frou" pizza! The idea came originally from our oldest daughter and it's hard to have Pizza Night with the family without including this one on the menu!
The star of this pizza is the caramelized onions.
I mean, seriously. Does it get any better than caramelized onions?! Think French onion soup, on hamburgers, in quiche ... Yep, and on pizza.
There's a misconception that high heat is needed to make caramelized onions. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you try to caramelize onions on high heat, you'll just get charred onions because the onion's natural sugar comes out and turns brown very quickly in the skillet. There's nothing wrong with charred onions, to be sure, but when you think that you are going to put those onions on a pizza that will be further cooked ... and charred ... then you have to consider that a bit of restraint in the caramelizing process will serve you well.
Instead of high heat, put the skillet over medium heat and put a bit of butter in it along with some oil. The oil helps to keep the butter from burning. Then pile the onion slices in.
If you have your grandmother's cast iron skillet, caramelizing onions is one of the best ways to keep her memory (and skillet!) alive and well.tammycirceocheznous
If you keep the heat even around medium (maybe between medium and medium high ... you'll have to gauge your own stove!), then you'll get these creamy, golden, caramelized onions that are so perfect. Be sure to season well with salt and pepper and stir occasionally.
We've got the onions caramelized. Now let's talk crust.
I'm not providing a crust recipe in this post. I know those of you who want all the stuff in one post won't be happy. However, I know that my audience runs the gamut from gluten-free to yeast doughs to sourdough. They run from thick crust to Neapolitan style. Some of you prefer buying premade dough or prebaked crusts.
All of the above is fine! You do you!
In my kitchen, I make a Neapolitan style sourdough crust. The thinner, the better! Because that often translates to crispier and that's my jam. Just follow the instructions for your favorite crust and you'll have success.
NOW ... can we just build that Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Pizza already!
You betcha! I roll out the dough on parchment paper using my hands and moving it in a circular motion. I leave a little bit of a lip on the edges because I love the way it crisps up. In my opinion, that crust dipped in olive oil and vinegar is the best way to end a pizza slice!
After I shape the dough, I put a drizzle of olive oil and rub it around. Then I spread the caramelized onions on top.
The photo below shows Brie instead of goat cheese because that's what I had once when I was making this pizza and it just shows that you can use what you have on hand. Try Gorgonzola!!
Anyway, the next step is to drizzle honey. Yep, honey. Doesn't take a lot ... maybe a teaspoon or two. The first dollop will probably fall pretty heavy into a clump, but the rest will drizzle delicately around the pizza. The person who gets the "clump" on their piece will be supremely surprised and happy.
Top it with fresh thyme leaves and freshly grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano.
How long does it take to bake a pizza?
Cooking times are going to vary based on several factors.
- Most of you will be baking in a home oven and you'll want the highest temperature you can set it at. Most ovens will only go as high as 500 and that's the minimum for pizza. I mean, absolute minimum!
- If you have a pizza oven, you are golden! In that case, it will only take 2 minutes tops!
- Another factor to consider is how thick your crust is and also how many toppings you've put on the pizza. The thicker the crust and the more toppings means longer cook times.
Here's how I make pizza in my home kitchen
As much as I would love an outdoor wood-fired oven (or even one in my kitchen!), I don't have one. I just have my oven that only reaches 550F on broil. When you consider that pizzerias have ovens that reach 900F, I can only achieve half that temperature in my home oven. However, that doesn't mean that we can't enjoy delicious pizza at home!
I heat my fabulous (KitchenAid) oven to 500F for 45 minutes to an hour before I plan to bake the pizzas. I want to be sure it's good and solidly hot before I open it to put in a pizza. I also keep a clay stone in the bottom of my oven so that the heat stays more evenly distributed. And I have a separate clay stone on the rack where I bake the pizza. I slide the pizza right on to this one to bake. Both clay stones heat up in the oven while I prepare the pizzas to bake.
I bake mine at 500 for 10 minutes, then hit the Broil function for another 2-4 minutes until the crust is golden and the toppings and cheese are begging for mercy.
Finish the Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Pizza
To finish this beauty, drizzle it with syrupy balsamic vinegar, then top it with shreds of prosciutto. Oh baby.
Other recipes you might like:
Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Pizza
- 2 medium onions about 2½-3 cups, sliced thinly
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pizza dough See notes.
- olive oil to drizzle on the dough
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- 1-2 teaspoons honey to drizzle
- balsamic vinegar to drizzle
- 2-3 slices prosciutto torn in small pieces
- About 45 minutes to an hour before you want to bake your pizza, heat your oven to 500°F. If you have pizza stones, put them in the oven to preheat as well. I use one on the bottom rack to maintain a more steady heat, and I put one in the middle to bake the pizza on. If you don't have pizza stones, use the heaviest pan you have. A cast iron griddle would work. Just be sure to form your pizza dough to fit!
- Preheat a skillet over medium heat, then add the butter and olive oil. Allow the butter to melt, then add the sliced onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and soft. Season generously with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
- Pat out your pizza dough into about a 10-inch round. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on it and rub it around. Layer the caramelized onions in an even layer. Sprinkle the fresh thyme leaves around, then crumble the goat cheese onto the pizza.
- Drizzle the honey all around the pizza in thin streams.
- Using a pizza peel or a baking sheet turned upside down, transfer the pizza to the pizza stone in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes. You want the crust to be nice and brown so if it isn't, I usually hit the broil function for 2-4 more minutes.