Kabocha Squash Pizza with Sage Pesto

Change up your standard pizza night with this recipe full of fall flavors.

Kabocha Squash Pizza with Sage Pesto
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins

This fall, we're highlighting some of the fantastic ways to use lesser-known squash varieties. This recipe for Kabocha Squash Pizza with Sage Pestohighlights Kabocha squash—if you're a fan of acorn squash, give this variety a try. When cooked, the golden flesh has an earthy flavor and a texture that's starchy and a bit dry.

This is a unique fall pizza with lots of different flavors working in harmony. It all starts with fresh pizza dough, creating a crust with a crisp surface and a chewy, airy interior. The sage pesto provides a strong, herbaceous base for the pizza, carrying all of the toppings without overpowering the other flavors. Squash, red onions, and prosciutto top this stunning green pizza, which is baked, then completed with crumbled goat cheese for extra creaminess.

Allowing the dough to rest at room temperature before shaping lets the dough relax and helps to prevent the dough from shrinking back in on itself when rolling. This pizza is fun to make as a family activity. Pro Tip: The sage pesto could also be used as a pasta sauce.


  • 1 pound fresh pizza dough

  • All-purpose flour, for work surface and dusting

  • 2 ounces sliced prosciutto

  • ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 1 small kabocha squash, peeled and seeds removed, squash cut into ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped lightly salted shelled pistachios, toasted

  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated with a Microplane grater (about ⅔ cup)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish

  • 1 cup fresh sage leaves

  • ½ cup sliced red onion (from 1 medium onion)

  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

  • Black pepper


  1. Place pizza dough on a lightly floured work surface. Let rest at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, until dough reaches room temperature, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add prosciutto slices to skillet. Cook until crispy, about 5 minutes per side, working in batches if necessary. Transfer prosciutto to a plate lined with paper towels; set aside. Reduce heat to low, and add 2 tablespoons of the oil to skillet. Place squash in skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mostly tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer squash to a plate lined with paper towels; set aside.

  3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Process pistachios, cheese, lemon juice, salt, and remaining ¾ cup oil in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Add parsley and sage, and process until smooth and well combined, about 1 minute. Set pesto mixture aside.

  4. Gently roll dough into a 14-inch circle on lightly floured work surface. Transfer dough to a 15-inch nonstick pizza pan lightly dusted with flour, and pierce holes in center of dough with a fork, leaving a ½-inch border unpierced. Bake dough in preheated oven until set, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove pan from oven, and spread pesto evenly over dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange squash and red onion on top of pesto. Return pizza pan to oven; continue baking at 400°F until toppings are tender and slightly caramelized and crust is crisp and golden brown on edges and underneath, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle goat cheese over pizza; cut into 8 slices. Break prosciutto into bite-size pieces; sprinkle over pizza. Garnish with parsley leaves, and sprinkle with black pepper; serve immediately.

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