Zucchini flower pizza is a super fresh taste of summer. Tender crisp slices of zucchini and the texture of the blossoms create a unique combination unlike any other. Read on for this easy and luxurious recipe and other blossoms you can use if you don't have zucchini flowers.
This post was originally published in August of 2018. It has been updated with extra information and FAQ's but the original recipe remains because it's a time tested favorite!
Flower pizza is a warm weather recipe that uses zucchini flowers and other summer squash blossoms while they are in season. I love the barely cooked, tender-crisp texture of both the flowers and thin slices of zucchini and think this recipe highlights them both well.
This recipe inspired my Ooni Pizza Dough recipe. It pairs well with my Garden Salad With Orange Vinaigrette in the spring to early summer and Apple Walnut Salad or Rocket and Pear Salad in the late summer to fall. If you've got lots of zucchini, try some of my other favorite ways to use this summer squash like Zucchini Muffins, raw Zucchini Salad or Zucchini Fritters.
- Zucchini flowers aka squash blossoms - The blossoms that are the beginning of a zucchini (aka courgette) or other squash. They are mild tasting and tender with just enough texture to make them highly sought after in the summer.
- Cheese - I've used cheddar which I think plays really well with mild tasting courgette but traditional mozzarella tastes delicious too.
- Seasoned tomato sauce - You can make your own pizza sauce from a jar of plain tomato sauce as I've done here or you can use your favorite premade pizza sauce.
See recipe card for quantities.
Preheat your oven to the warm setting (150-200'F).
Into a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, add yeast and sugar. Then add warm water. (This should be quite warm but not hot so you don't kill the yeast) Stir and let sit for 10 minutes to get foamy (activate) while you assemble other ingredients.
In large measuring cup add flour and salt and stir to combine well and then pour into wet ingredients.
Stir together or turn mixer with paddle attachment on low until it comes into a ball. Continue to knead in mixer or by hand for about 5 minutes.
Lightly oil bowl with the olive oil and drizzle remaining oil on top. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap (leave air escape hole) or a clean tea towel. Turn off your oven and pop the dough inside to rise.
Once it's doubled in size (approx 1 hour) take it out, preheat oven to 500' F and form it into 1 large or 2 small pizzas on a cookie sheet or pizza pan lined with parchment or dusted with flour or cornmeal.
Gently roll and press your pizza dough into the size you like.
Stir minced garlic into tomato sauce and season to taste with salt. Add pepper or other dried herbs like oregano or basil to your taste and spread sauce evenly over pizza.
Leave ½" edges bare so the cheese can stick to the crust.
Arrange slices of zucchini and half of the torn zucchini flowers over the pizza dough. Top evenly with cheese and place pizza in the oven for 12-15 min.
Gently tear flowers into 4-6 long pieces, discarding the center stamen or pistil.
Use some zucchini flowers under the cheese and top with more after cooking.
Once it's bubbly and lightly browned, it's done. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining zucchini flowers, letting them cook slighty in the residual heat. Sprinkle basil leaves over if using and then slide the finished pizza onto a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Hint: I like to line my baking pan with parchment for perfect non-stick pizza every time!
- Vegan - instead of dairy cheese, use your favorite non-dairy grated cheese such as Daiya brand.
- Summer squash - Any summer squash works well in place of zucchini. Try thinly sliced patty pans, yellow straightneck or tromboncino.
- Edible Flower Pizza - If you can't find zucchini flowers, there are many other edible flowers that will be delicious. Hollyhock, gladiola, sunflower and tulip petals are firmer for baking on the pizza. Nasturtium, calendula, chive and pea flowers are delicious sprinkled over immediately after baking for a fragrant and flavorful touch.
- Pizza Napoli- add 6-10 whole or chopped anchovies for an extra burst of salty flavor and use mozzarella to top it.
- Pizza Bianco - Swap out the tomato sauce for a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt. Skip the cheese or use mozzarella.
- Pizza con funghi e zucchine - Thinly slice 4 white mushrooms and add them on top of the cheese before baking, following the rest of the recipe as written.
Storage and Reheating
Store any cooled, leftover pizza in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
There are many ways to reheat pizza (oven, microwave etc.) but my favorite is in a nonstick pan with a lid set over medium low heat. This keeps the moisture in, making the cheese get melty again but keeps the crust crisp on the bottom. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
You can safely freeze leftover pizza up to 3 months but it will not be as good as fresh.
Make Ahead Instructions
The pizza dough can be made up to 3 days ahead, as can the tomato sauce. Simply store both, covered, in the fridge and bring back to room temperature for 1-2 hours before using.
This pizza dough actually tastes better with a longer slower proofing period. You can also make it 6-8 hours before using and let it rise at room temperature instead of the oven. Punch it down every few hours so it doesn't overflow your bowl and keep it loosely covered so the dough doesn't dry out, use when you are ready. (If leaving longer than 8 hours, store in fridge until needed.)
Zucchini flowers are in season from late spring until early fall. If growing them yourself, you can extend the season by planting new plants every few weeks or by planting different varieties of summer squash. Additionally, they will produce longer if you keep picking the blossoms and any zucchini that are growing.
If you want to grow zucchini's as well as the flowers, it is best to pick the male flowers and leave the female flowers to fruit.
Expert Pizza Tip
A very hot preheated oven will give you the best results. This will work even better in a stone pizza oven like the Ooni or a pizza stone preheated in your oven.
Cheers to summer pizza nights!
Zucchini Flower Pizza
- 2 teaspoon Traditional Yeast
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- 1 ½ c Warm Water
- 3 c Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil To coat bowl and drizzle over
- 1 c Zucchini, sliced in thin rounds one small or medium zucchini
- ¼ c Tomato Sauce, seasoned with salt if needed or pizza sauce
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- Salt, dried basil or oregano to taste optional
- 2 c Shredded cheddar cheese or mozzarella
- 6 Zucchini Blossoms, torn into large pieces
- Fresh basil leaves optional
- Turn your oven on the warm setting and let preheat. Into a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, add yeast and sugar. Then add warm water. (This should be quite warm but not hot so you don't kill the yeast) Stir and let sit for 10 minutes to get foamy (activate) while you assemble other ingredients.
- In large measuring cup add flour and salt and stir to combine well and then pour into wet ingredients.
- Stir together or turn mixer with paddle attachment on low until it comes into a ball. Continue to knead in mixer or by hand for about 5 minutes. Lightly oil bowl with the olive oil and drizzle remaining oil on top. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap (leave air escape hole) or a clean tea towel. Turn off your oven and pop the dough inside to rise. Once it's doubled in size (approx 1 hour) take it out, preheat oven to 500' F and form it into 1 large or 2 small pizzas on a cookie sheet or pizza pan lined with parchement or dusted with flour or cornmeal.
Topping and Baking
- Once your pizza dough is pressed out into the size you like, stir minced garlic into tomato sauce and season to taste with salt, pepper or other dried herbs like oregano or basil.Spread sauce evenly over pizza, leaving ½" around the edges bare. Next evenly place slices of zucchini and half the torn flowers, then top evenly with cheese.Put your pizza in the oven and bake 12-15 min. Once it's bubbly and lightly browned, it's done. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining zucchini flowers letting them cook slighty in the residual heat. Then sprinkle basil leaves over if using.Take it out and slide it onto cooling racks for 5-10 minutes before slicing.