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Balsamic-Infused Fennel and Red Onion Pizzas

Photo: FotoCuisinette/iStock/ThinkStock

This sweet and savory pizza highlights caramelized balsamic fennel.

Learn more about fennel's distinctive flavor

Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup hot water (125°F)
  • 1 package (¼ ounces) highly active dry yeast
  • 2 cups 100-percent white whole-wheat flour
  • Cooking spray

Tomato Basil Sauce

  • ½ cup water
  • 3 medium red tomatoes (15 ounces), quartered
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Fennel-Onion Mixture

  • 1 medium fennel bulb (6 ounces), cut into strips
  • ½ cup red onion (2 ounces), chopped
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • ½ cup water

Pizza Toppings

  • 1 precooked chicken sausage (3 ounces), diced
  • 4 ounces part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • 4 small yellow tomatoes (5 ounces), sliced
  • 2 ounces Parmesan-Romano-Asiago cheese blend
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped


  1. To make dough, pour water in a bowl. Slowly mix in dry yeast until it’s dissolved. Add flour in ½-cup increments until all is combined. Gently knead dough 5 to 10 times.
  2. Mist the inside of a separate bowl with cooking spray and place the dough ball inside. Securely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 4 to 10 hours.
  3. To make the sauce, add water, tomatoes, garlic, basil and red pepper flakes to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat for 15 minutes until basil is slightly wilted and water begins to lightly boil.
  4. Remove from heat and place in a food processor. Pulse 3 to 6 times, for desired consistency. This recipe yields 2 cups; use 1½ cups for pizza and reserve the rest for future use.
  5. To prepare the fennel-onion mixture, place ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and water in sauté pan and set to medium heat. Add sliced fennel and red onion, and simmer for 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. If fennel and onions begin sticking to the pan, add an additional tablespoon of water and reduce heat.
  6. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  7. Divide dough into two equal portions. Roll each one out on a lightly floured surface until dough is ¼-inch thick and 10 inches in diameter. Lightly spray two aerated 10-inch pizza pans with cooking spray and place dough on pans.
  8. Spread 1½ cups of tomato-basil sauce evenly between the two crusts. Spread chicken sausage pieces over sauce, and lightly sprinkle mozzarella on top. Spread fennel and onion mixture over mozzarella, and then add sliced yellow tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese blend evenly on top of both pizzas.
  9. Bake pizzas for 12 minutes, or until crust is browned on the edges. Remove pizzas from the oven and sprinkle with chopped basil and Italian parsley. Lightly drizzle 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over the top and place back in the oven for additional 2 minutes.
  10. Remove, let cool slightly and cut each pizza into 8 slices. Serves 8.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 2 slices

Calories: 241; Total fat: 6g; Saturated fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 24mg; Sodium: 269mg; Carbohydrates: 32g; Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 4g; Protein: 13g; Potassium: N/A; Phosphorus: N/A

Note: Nutrition information for potassium and phosphorus in white whole-wheat flour, Italian cheese blend and chicken sausage not available.

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD, CLT, is a Stone Soup blogger and author of ShawSimpleSwaps.com.

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