Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Smoked sausage pizza with arugula and caramelized onion and goat cheese sauce

This smoked sausage pizza is topped with fresh arugula and a creamy caramelized onion-goat cheese sauce.

smoked sausage pizza with arugula and caramelized onion-goat cheese sauce

I've got good news and bad news. Well, not bad -- more like disappointing. Let's start with that.

I entered this smoked sausage pizza in a contest recently. I didn't win. Now, I believe it was due in part to some seemingly suspicious last-minute rule-changing, but we won't go there. Because ninjas are gracious non-winners.

Now for the good news: Not winning the contest means I'm free to share all the how-to details of this pizza recipe with you!

So I may not have won but you certainly did.

Every Friday night is pizza night at Casa de Ninj. I know this is not very original but I can say that we have observed this tradition every Friday that we have been home for over 12 years.

Part of the fun of pizza night for me is that I don't plan it in advance, as I do with all our other weeknight meals. I simply make up the topping combination each week, based on what I have on hand. It's an end-of-the-week creative challenge I give to myself. One of my favorite tricks is taking some leftovers from the week and turning them into a pizza. Yep, almost anything you ate earlier in the week can be turned into a pizza (including salad!).

If you're skeptical about my leftovers, don't worry -- they aren't included in this smoked sausage pizza with caramelized onion sauce (although there is practically a salad sitting on top, with all the arugula that I add).

For pizza night, I often make my own crust but I have no problem using pre-made pizza shells. I always have a few in the freezer and, if I'm tired and just want to make a pizza quickly, I love that they defrost so quickly.

The caramelized onion sauce recipe for this pizza is one that I actually use on steaks, hot off the grill, in the summertime, sometimes with chevre and sometimes with blue cheese. It's super easy to whip up the sauce while the steaks are cooking and it tastes divine. And it seemed to practically scream out to be the sauce base for a pizza, so I gave it a try. It's now one of our favorites!

This pizza also makes a great appetizer, if you use personal-sized pizza shells and cut it into thin slivers.

Do you make your own pizza? What's your favorite combination? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Smoked Sausage Pizza with Arugula and Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Sauce

Pre-cooked pizza shell (ex: Boboli)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large sweet onions (about 4 cups), halved and sliced thinly
3 teaspoons brown sugar
2-3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Smoked sausage (sliced or crumbled)
Shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (or according to the shell's package instructions).

Heat the olive oil in large skillet (medium heat). Add the onion, brown sugar and 1/4 cup water, tossing to coat. Cover the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are brown and caramelized-looking (about 15 minutes). Remove from the heat and add in the salt and goat's cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.

Spread the onion-cheese sauce on the pizza shell. Arrange the sausage over the sauce and then add a few big handfuls of arugula. Top with a heavy sprinkling of mozzarella cheese and bake for about 10 minutes (or according to the shell's package instructions).
-- print recipe --


  1. This pizza looks fantastic! Love the combination of ingredients. Thanks for dropping by SBD. I'm glad you did because now I know about the Ninj! :-) I'll definitely be back!

    1. Welcome Bill! I love your blog, too, because I spent nearly 20 years in the South before moving back to Vermont a few years ago!

  2. Mmm this pizza sounds so good, especially that caramelized onion goat cheese sauce! Love that you do Friday homemade pizza nights... we need to make that a tradition in our house too, I think.

    My good friend actually just built a wood-fired oven in his backyard so he's been experimenting a lot with pizzas (and I've been happily eating his experiments). Standard margherita pie is always amazing, as is buffalo chicken pizza!

    1. Buffalo chicken is a favorite at Casa de Ninj as well. And I would LOVE to have a wood-fired oven -- I've got to add that to my to-do list! :-)