Google+  with milk and sugar blog: Caramelized Onion & Fennel Pizza {w/ recipes}

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Caramelized Onion & Fennel Pizza {w/ recipes}

I was rather surprised to realize this is my first post on pizza. The reason being that Steven and I make pizza at least 2-3 times a month. It is one of our staple, go-to recipes.

We have a few different types we usually alternate between:

chicken pesto goat cheese with roasted garlic
barbecue chicken with tomatoes and cilantro
thin crust with salami (like we had in Venice)
cilantro chicken meatball with buffalo mozzarella and fresh tomatoes

You see, we take our pizza very seriously.

Last week I decided to venture outside my pizza comfort zone and make a new combination. The fennel in my fridge was calling my name and I decided it belonged on a pizza. I searched the internet for recipe ideas and found a bunch with fennel and caramelized onions. I decided to give it a whirl.

This was a big step for me since I'm not an onion person. I hated them as a kid, and have grown to tolerate them as an adult. It's not the flavor, it's a consistency thing. So I'll cook with them, and eat them if I'm at someone's house, but I don't particularly care for them.

Until I had this pizza. My eyes were opened to the glorious-ness of caramelized onions.  Sweet and juicy onion with the subtle anise flavor of the fennel, I could have eaten them on their own. But atop a pizza crust sprinkled with mozzarella and goat cheese, topped with savory sausage. Mmmm, I was in pizza heaven.

I added some arugula for freshness (plus, this was how my pizza was served in Rome!).

Caramelized Onion & Fennel Pizza w/ Chicken Sausage 

pizza dough
1 sweet onion (thinly sliced)
1 fresh fennel bulb (core removed and thinly sliced)
1 large chicken sausage link
shredded mozzarella
crumbled goat cheese
olive oil
butter (optional)
arugula (optional)

1. To caramelize onions and fennel, heat olive oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat. I like to use a little butter as well, so I add about a tablespoon to the pan and swirl to combine with the olive oil. Add desired amount of onion and fennel to the pan. I used about half each and reserved the other half for another use. Cook onions and fennel over medium until caramelized (about 10-15 minutes). Remove from pan.

2. In the same skillet, brown sausage on all sides. The first time I made this I used a gruyere & garlic sausage and the second time I had artichoke and garlic sausage - both were great! Remove sausage and cut into bite sized pieces.

3. Shape pizza dough and place on baking sheet or pizza pan.
I'll admit, I cheat when it comes to pizza dough. I usually buy the dough from Trader Joe's. Or sometimes I pick up some frozen dough at a local grocer from a nearby Italian restaurant. But if you have your own pizza dough recipe, by all means use it here. 
4. Brush dough with olive oil and lightly layer with mozzarella and goat cheese. A little goes a long way with this pizza. There's so much going on you don't need a ton of cheese. Add sausage along with onion and fennel mixture. Bake according to dough instructions, or until cheese is melted and dough looks done.

5. Remove from oven and {optional} top with a handful of fresh arugula. Enjoy!!

w/ arugula



  1. That dough looks heavenly!

    I too have a thing against onions - I don't like the crunch of them and how they usually overpower the dish. It drives my husband insane that I leave them out of everything I cook :)

  2. This looks delicious! I need to venture out and try more pizza besides pepperoni. What dough did you use for this pizza? Looks really yummy!

    1. Thanks Chelsea! I used the plain dough from Trader Joe's... so good!

  3. i don't think i have ever had fennel but now this recipe is making me want to try it and i think carmelizing it is a great added touch!

  4. This reminds me of a pizza I had in Pebble Beach, but it had gorgonzola cheese and figs on it! Yours looks sooo yummy!

    1. ummm.... yum!! I love figs. I've been meaning to try them on a pizza after all the recipes I've seen on Pinterest.

  5. This looks soooo good! Oh man...I'm starving right now! :)

  6. Oh wow, this looks amazing! Thank you for sharing this...I'm definitely going to try this out!

  7. Oh I want this! Can you please send some to my way... I am so going to be rummaging about in my fridge to see if I can recreate this with some whole wheat bread and artichoke

    Nike O.

  8. This looks so good!
    Come say hi!

  9. yummmm! I am going to save these! so glad I stumbled upon your blog! excited to follow :)


  10. Oooo! I literally said that out loud because I am an AVID pizza eater but I really have strayed far from the classic pizza. This sounds so delicious, especially with the caramelized onions!! I'll have to try out this recipe! =)


  11. I see Ina Garten use fennel all the time on her cooking shows, and I've always been curious about it. This sounds like a delicious pizza. I think the biggest thing holding me back from making pizza at home is getting a good crust. I'm still not sure where to find a good dough... wish we had a Trader Joe's close by!

  12. That pizza looks amazing! I've started to cook pizzas more often. They are so easy and I love all the different topping combinations!
    Jeans and a Teacup

  13. It's a Friday Flash Blog! Please share your favorite posting of the week and see what others are talking about at

  14. mmm onions, i looove onions, i'm glad you made the leap and tried them! and that pizza looks so so good. come over and make me one? :D

  15. Kristin....YUMMMMM! This looks sooooo good!!!

  16. holy goodness this sounds delicious! xoxo

  17. Using fennel as one of the toppings for a pizza is such a healthy choice. Fennel is a pleasant-smelling herb that is very healthy. It is widely use in culinary as a flavoring agent. I think I will like this pizza even better with arugula on top.


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