Welcome the weekend with the works pizza with whole grain spelt crust. This delicious pizza with sweet peppers, onions, mushrooms, mozzarella, and chicken sausage can easily be customized to make it your own. The homemade pizza crust is made with 100% whole grains and instant yeast. No more waiting for hours for that perfect pizza pie when you use this recipe!
I’ve developed a dinner recipe this week that will be a winner with the entire family. This “the works” pizza with a whole grain crust could not be easier to make.
Honestly, I’ve always considered myself to be more of a cook than a baker. If I can succeed with this one, I promise that you can too.
This recipe uses whole grain spelt flour, an ancient grain that is related to the modern varieties of wheat. Like modern whole wheat, whole grain spelt is rich in fiber and naturally contains some non-heme iron.
I think that spelt tastes better than modern whole wheat, and that is my main reason for using it here. You can use regular whole wheat in this recipe instead if you’d like. Regular whole wheat flour tends to be easier to find and typically costs less as well.
Since spelt is a variety of wheat, it does contain gluten. Thus, this recipe is not appropriate for those with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or others who are on gluten-free diets. Here are some other names under which gluten may be hiding (from celiac.org):
There is the tiniest bit of sugar in this recipe, but that is to feed the yeast, not you. Don’t forget that you need an active yeast when baking bread, so nutritional yeast is not going to cut it.
Flour, cheese, and the impact on health
I actively limited foods made with flour during my weight loss. If you are like me and find foods with flour very easy to overeat, you don’t have to eat them. I was able to reincorporate some of these foods after my maintenance weight had stabilized.
Most flours (including spelt) have around 110 calories per ¼ cup. That adds up very quickly when you are eating bread or pizza. It can be challenging to maintain a calorie deficit for weight loss when including lots of foods made with flour.
For some, restricting foods made with flour may lead to feelings of deprivation and extreme overeating. In that case, the strategy that I used may not be what’s best for you. If you have a weight loss goal, it is important to be honest with yourself about how these food choices may impact you.
If you are on a dairy-free diet, I recommend skipping the non-dairy alternative cheese products altogether. Most of the dairy cheese alternatives that I have seen are ultra-processed foods that are loaded with added oils. Some of these products contain even more saturated fat than light cheeses.
Here is the ingredient list for a popular non-dairy mozzarella: Water, Coconut Oil (24%), Modified Starch, Starch, Sea Salt, Mozzarella flavor, Olive Extract, Color: B-Carotene, Vitamin B12.
Per serving, this product contains no protein, no calcium, and has 6.6 grams of saturated fat, since it contains so much coconut oil. Also, these products cannot be counted on for other nutrients that you can find in dairy products, such as riboflavin, iodine, and vitamin K2.
Instead of using fake “cheese,” how about just loading up your pizza with more tasty meat and veggie toppings instead? Delicious and nutritious!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
The Works Pizza with Whole Grain Spelt Crust
For the spelt crust:
To top the pizzas:
- 1 T avocado oil
- 2 Italian chicken sausages, chopped (I used Trader Joe's brand)
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- ½ onion, sliced
- 4.4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 7.3 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1½ c tomato sauce (use one without added oil)
- 4 fresh basil leaves, julienned
- cooking spray of choice
To make the crust:
- Stir the warm water, sugar, 2 t of oil, and yeast together in a small glass bowl. Let it sit for approximately 5 minutes until it gets bubbly.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F.
- Mist two baking sheets lightly with cooking spray.
- Mix the flour, Parmesan, oregano, basil, and salt together until well-combined.
- Add the yeast mixture and stir to form the dough. You can add a little more water if needed to fully incorporate all of the flour. Aim for a dough ball that is neither sticky nor crumbly.
- Let the ball of dough rest while you prepare the toppings.
To assemble the pizzas:
- On the stove top, cook the sausage, peppers, onions, and mushrooms in 1 T avocado oil until the veggies are softened and the sausage pieces are browned.
- Divide your ball of dough into two pieces. Roll each piece into a large, thin rectangle and place on a baking sheet. Do not worry about achieving a perfect rectangular shape, the imperfections add to its rustic charm.
- Top each crust with ¾ c of sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese.
- Distribute the cooked toppings evenly between the two crusts.
- Bake at 500°F for 10 minutes. The pizzas are done when the cheese has melted and the edges of the crust are slightly puffed and golden.
- Garnish your pizza masterpieces with the fresh basil. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting each pie into 6 pieces.
- Serve with lightly dressed salads of mixed greens. Buon appetito!
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Even though calorie-wise this dish fits level 2, I am pushing it up to level 3 since it is made with flour. The easiest way to lighten this dish is to enjoy two slices of pizza instead of three, and to add more greens to your side salad. As long as you don’t add more dressing, this move increases the volume of the meal and decreases the calories. Feel free to play with the toppings on this pizza to include your favorites. Some other great options are roasted red peppers, olives, wilted spinach, and lean ground beef. Those with limited lactose tolerance may be able to tolerate the small amount of parm in the crust here.
What toppings are on your “the works” pizza? Have you tried making a whole grain spelt crust before? Don’t forget to leave a rating if you try this recipe out. Thank you!