The apple and chicken sausage pizza is full of great fall flavors — and has a fun macaroni and cheese surprise waiting in the stuffed crust!
If this pizza could talk, this is what it would say:
“Heeey there, I’m a classy pizza — I’ve got sausage, but it’s chicken and apple sausage. Oh yeah. And onions — but not regular onions, these are sweet red onions. And oh yeah, apples…’cause you gotta put fruit on pizza to throw people for a loop. And only the sharpest, most flavorful cheddars will work for me.
Oh wait — you made it to the crust and discovered my little secret? Okay yeah, so I’m a little trashed up. But you’ll love the macaroni and cheese hidden inside my stuffed crust.”
Yep – I trashed it up a little and it was a gooood decision. This “trashed up” pizza is in honor of Jessica Merchant — the hilarious, innovative, and seriously sweet blogger behind How Sweet It Is. Jessica not only just released her first cookbook but she’s also going to have a baby! Today we’re celebrating Jess and her little one with a “trashed up” baby shower — full of over-the-top, Jessica-style foods. Jessica has a gift for turning the ordinary into something slightly outside of the box. Her recipes, although they clearly could only come from her mind, are made approachable for the everyday home cook. Even the “trashed up” recipes.
Jessica, although she has served as an inspiration to countless new bloggers (including myself!), is one of the most down-to-earth, kind people I’ve come across while blogging. She’s totally famous (you are!) and yet always makes time to respond to emails and acknowledge retweets, etc.
She’s more than deserving of this shower and I hope she enjoys every second of reading through all these posts (and there’s a lot of them!)
Congrats Jessica (and Eddie!). Can’t wait to “meet” your little one.
Circling back around to the pizza — when I heard trashed-up, it didn’t take long for my mind to go to macaroni and cheese stuffed crust pizza. I couldn’t wait to try stuffing one of my favorite foods into the crust of pizza. But then I got a little stuck when it came to toppings. Of course, you could top this pizza just like any other pizza. It would be great with marinara, mozzarella, and pepperoni. I even called my mom. She always has the best recipe ideas. So does Ben, surprisingly enough. The guy that would rather I NOT put macaroni and cheese in his pizza crust. Or mess with his chocolate chip cookies in any way, shape, or form. The guy who would happily eat tuna noodle casserole daily. But I’m getting distracted from my point here. Deciding on toppings for this pizza was hard!
And truth be told, the apples sort of come around by accident. I was going to do roasted broccoli with the chicken sausage but then homecoming week happened. As I write this, we’re in the middle of Ben’s first homecoming as a high school principal. So as you can imagine, we are busy with all sorts of events. Well, mostly him but that means less help with the kids which means….moldy broccoli because I didn’t get around to it.
SO — apples. And oh my goodness, am I glad the broccoli got moldy. And you KNOW I love roasted broccoli. But the apples were so good on this and made it the perfect taste of fall. I served it with roasted delicata squash and I felt like I died and went to fall heaven.
If the macaroni and cheese is too much for you or you’re watching that good ol’ waistline, these toppings would be great on a plain whole wheat crust. Or if the apple/cheddar/sausage thing isn’t for you, go ahead and dress this pizza up anyway you’d like. I have a hunch roasted broccoli would be good on it. As long as there isn’t mold involved.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the pan
- 2 fully cooked chicken sausages, thinly sliced (6 ounces) – see notes
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 1 batch pizza dough
- 1 1/2 cups prepared macaroni and cheese
- 1/2 to 1 small apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup grated good quality sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 450*F. Rub a large sheet pan with a light coating of olive oil (about a teaspoon).
- In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and sausage with olive oil about 4-5 minutes or until onions soften and sausage starts to brown.
- Meanwhile, roll out crust to a size slightly larger than your sheet pan. Place onto sheet pan with dough overhanging edges slightly.
- With a small spoon, spoon macaroni and cheese onto edges of the crust, about an inch in. Go all the way around — a small amount is sufficient. Then, fold the crust over the macaroni and cheese to form a stuffed crust.
- Layer on the sausage and onions, followed by the sliced apples and the grated cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
- Let cool 1-2 minutes before cutting and serving.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.