Lemon and Broccoli White Pizza is an easy vegetarian pizza to make for a quick meatless weeknight dinner. A lighter, creative, sauceless vegetable pizza with a garlic and cheese base, bright lemon flavor and a hint of heat with red pepper flakes.
Tips and Tricks
Can you put broccoli on pizza? Broccoli goes great on pizza because it adds a lot of great texture. When you add broccoli on pizza and bake it, the florets get nice and crispy. Plus you’re eating vegetables!
Do you have to cook the broccoli before adding it to the pizza? No, you do not need to cook the broccoli before it’s added to the pizza. Also long as you cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces, they will cook with the rest of the pizza.
How do you store leftovers? Store leftover pizza in an airtight container or wrapped in tin foil in the fridge for up to three days. It is best to store the pizza in a single layer after it’s cooled to room temperature.
What do you serve with this vegetarian pizza? I serve this pizza as a meal for either lunch or dinner and usually don’t eat it with a side. However, if you’re looking to add a side, any type of bright side salad or roasted vegetable will go great to up the veggie intake.
What’s the best way to reheat this pizza? I prefer cold pizza personally but if you want to reheat it there are a couple of options. A microwave is the fastest but it’ll result in a soggier crust. You can reheat on a baking sheet in an oven set to 350 F for 10 minutes or until warmed through. My favorite way to reheat pizza is in the air fryer at 360 F for three to four minutes.
How do you stretch out pizza dough? Start with the pizza dough as close to room temperature as you can. It is hard to stretch cold pizza dough straight from the fridge. Start with the pizza dough in a ball on a floured surface like a cutting board or your counter. Work the dough with your hands (if the dough is sticking to your hands, lightly flour them) in a circle, rotating it and lightly stretching it out. A trick I use is to pick the dough up and let gravity stretch it, continuing to rotate it so it stretches evenly. If you’re really stuck, you can use a rolling pin to roll it out but you may lose some of the bubbles in the dough. When I’m struggling with the dough, I walk away for five minutes to let the gluten rest. Once I come back, I continue to work the dough and it typically is easier to work with. I wouldn’t say there is a wrong way to stretch pizza dough, just keep practicing.
How do you make lemon and broccoli white pizza? Start by preheating your oven to 425 F. Stretch out the pizza dough to fit your pizza stone or sheet tray. Chop broccoli head into bite sized pieces and season to taste with two tablespoons of olive oil and salt, set aside. On the pizza crust, combine in a thin layer one tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic paste. Spread the sauce over the crust to the edges. Evenly sprinkle cheddar and fontina cheese and then top with seasoned broccoli. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted, broccoli is crispy and the crust is browned. Remove from the oven and top pizza with freshly shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Allow to cool for five minutes and then squeeze half a lemon over the pizza and enjoy.
What are some cheese substitutions you can use? If you don’t have a sharp cheddar, you can use a mild cheddar, aged gouda or just double up on the fontina. A substitution for fontina is a young gouda, low moisture mozzarella, mild cheddar or monterey jack cheese. A good melting cheese will work here! Finally, as a substitute for Parmigiano-Reggiano is any hard salty cheese like pecorino romano, grana padano or domestic parmesan.
Do you need to use lemon? I am not a huge fan of lemons and I think lemon juice is an important part of this recipe. Lemon juice is acidic and it brightens up the olive oil and cheese base. A light drizzle of lemon juice over the pizza brightens up the pizza and I’d recommend it. If you’re not sure, simply try a bite of pizza without it and then drizzle a little on a piece and see if you like the difference. Play around with how much lemon you like according to your taste!
Can you use pre-shredded cheese? I recommend shredding your own cheese because frankly it tastes a lot better, melts better and browns a lot better. I always have fontina, sharp cheddar and parmigiano reggiano in the house because they are versatile.
Do you make your own garlic paste? What can you use instead? I don’t make my own garlic paste, I buy the Gourmet Garden tubes and keep them in the fridge. If you have fresh garlic you can microplane six to eight cloves and use that. Or you can use a garlic press to get the right texture. Another option is mincing your own fresh garlic finely. I’m just lazy and prefer the tube in the fridge.
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Lemon and Broccoli White Pizza
- 8 oz store bought pizza dough room temperature
- 1 small head of broccoli
- Kosher salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 ½ tablespoon garlic paste or 6-8 cloves finely minced
- ½ cup freshly shredded fontina
- ½ cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar
- 2-3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Juice from ½ fresh lemon
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Stretch out the dough to fit a 13 inch pizza stone or to fit whatever surface you are using.
- Chop the broccoli head up into bite sized pieces. Toss the broccoli in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set broccoli aside.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic paste together and spread evenly over the entire surface of the pizza.
- Top the dough evenly with the fontina and sharp cheddar cheese.
- Evenly distribute the broccoli over the cheeses and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted, broccoli is crispy and the crust is browned.
- Remove from the oven and top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano, red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then squeeze half a lemon over the pizza. The pizza shouldn’t be overwhelmingly lemony, unless you’re into that.
- Cut into 6 to 8 pieces and enjoy.
- If you’re having a hard time stretching your dough, walk away for 5 minutes to let the dough rest and then try again.
- Experiment with how much lemon juice you like! Try a piece of pizza without it and slowly add some to see the difference it can make in the flavors.
- Add crushed red pepper flakes according to your own taste. I like a little heat with this pizza.
- The cheese measurements are just guidance, you do not need to strictly measure it.
Originally published February 4, 2019. Re-posted with new tips and tricks on July 15, 2020.