This easy Fall Harvest Pizza with Apples, Candied Bacon, Broccolini, + Kale is absolutely the most perfect family-friendly recipe for the Fall season! It comes topped with a spicy chipotle olive oil base and mild cheddar cheese, apple slices, sautéed broccolini, kale, and candied turkey bacon. So much savoriness and sweetness in one pizza pie. The best weeknight meal option for everyone. Making pizza at home is a great way to bond with loved ones bringing everyone together to enjoy the doughy, crispy goodness that is pizza.
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This time of year just evokes such nostalgia for me. When I was younger, I always loved it, and clearly, I still do. I would constantly come home from school to the aromas of my Mom cooking fresh pies, soups, and stews! I have recreated so many of those comforting warming dishes like my Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe or my Apple Hand Pies recipe! But I'll hold off on sharing so I can share this crazy delicious pizza recipe with you.
While pizzas might not be the common theme for the Fall season, I wanted to create my own Fall-inspired version of this round goodness. Pizza is so adaptable that I've made it a personal mission not to limit my pizza-making to the warmer months. This is why I can't wait to break out my handmade Harvest Pizza and celebrate all that's great about Autumn. All the comforting flavors of Fall are here.
If you know me, you know I’m a pizza fiend. When it comes to pizza, I'm such a huge fan. Honestly, is there a better handheld food that exists? Ummm, I think not. Haha.
This Fall Harvest Pizza with Apples, Candied Bacon, Broccolini, + Kale is EVERYTHING! I mean absolutely EVERYTHING!!
PIZZA PIZZA PIZZA!
If you've been an avid reader of Orchids + Sweet Tea, then you're probably already swooning over our previous pizzas. Honestly, I try to put a lot of love into my homemade pizzas and definitely try not to skimp on flavor.
Lover of Pizza? These Are My Top Faves!
The Best Homemade Vodka Pizza - It starts with a fluffy, crispy homemade crust, topped with roasted bell peppers, melted cheesy mozzarella, and the star of the show...Vodka sauce.
The Best Thanksgiving Pizza - This year, why not make a savory pizza for a delicious holiday twist? Topped with garlic parmesan sauce, melty mozzarella, smoky bacon, and colorful veggies.
Pumpkin BBQ Chicken Pizza with Butternut Squash - This is absolutely the most perfect family-friendly recipe for the Fall season! It comes topped with an easy pumpkin-infused pizza sauce, BBQ shredded chicken, mozzarella, chopped kale, and perfectly roasted butternut squash.
Buffalo Cauliflower Kale Grilled Pizza - Topped with buffalo sauce, mozzarella cheese, kale, and buffalo cauliflower bites and comes based with a crispy, fluffy gluten-free GRILLED crust. Bursting with savoriness and flavor.
Texas BBQ Sriracha Meatball Pizza - This is the best meatless pizza you’ll ever taste! It comes based in a spicy-sweet marriage of BBQ + Sriracha sauces, maple syrup and loaded with mozzarella cheese for a beautiful gooeyness in every bite.
THE PERFECT EASY PIZZA CRUST EVERY TIME!
When it comes to making the perfect pizza crust, it only really takes a FEW HACKS/TRICKS for this to happen. However, it is imperative that you follow these exact steps every time, so that the perfect crust is achieved!
Make sure that your oven is preheated and is HOT!! This ensures that everything bakes evenly and cooks pretty fast to avoid anything that could possibly cause your pizza to be soggy or undercooked (like the dough!).
Never EVER use cold dough! Using cold dough changes the hydration and makes it more aggressive to stretch and work out. This isn’t good for your crust at all.
Always, Always use a Pizza Sheet Pan. For a crispy pizza, I suggest using a pizza pan with holes to allow the crust to bake through nicely. I used the AirBake Pizza Pan, which can be found at Target!
DO NOT over roll dough! When following the step of rolling out the dough slightly to flatten it, never roll out the dough too much! Be sure to follow the steps of stretching it out with your hands the rest of the way.
Never add TOO MUCH sauce! This step is super imperative (trust me, I learned the hard way!) and it’s such truth. Never add all the sauce entirely to avoid a soggy middle or crust.
Precook any toppings that might require a longer cook time! This is especially true for certain veggies (and of course meats) that require a longer cook time that the allotted short amount of minutes that an actual pizza takes to cook. That way you aren’t trying to overcook your pizza because the toppings aren’t fully cooked.
What You’ll Love Most About This Pizza?
It comes loaded with sweet + savory flavors.
No rising time required for crust.
Hearty + comforting.
Super easy to make and the perfect fun, family dinner-making activity.
Perfect hints of Fall spices.
PERFECTION in EVERY. SINGLE. BITE.
Should I Let the Dough Rise?
When it comes to the crust, rising the dough isn't at all required for this pizza. However, if you choose to rise the crust dough, then you'll have a much fluffier, larger crust which isn't a bad thing at all. If you want to keep your dough fairly thin and a bit more on the crunchier side, then rolling out and topping your dough once it's formed is your best bet.
How Do You Make Candied Turkey Bacon?
Place the bacon on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush the tops of the bacon with maple syrup and sprinkle on some brown sugar. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes or so, flipping the bacon and brushing the opposite side with maple syrup and sprinkling the brown sugar as well. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until it is completely caramelized and crispy.
What You’ll Need For This Easy Pizza?
Fresh and seasonal food has the best flavor. Which is why this autumn-themed pizza is extra delicious this time of year!
Pizza Crust – I enjoy making my easy pizza crust from scratch. However, you can always use a store-bought pizza crust as well.
Mild Cheddar Cheese – Adds such bold, rich cheesy flavor. While Mozzarella cheese is the standard, I've found that mild cheddar creates a smokiness that works amazingly with the other ingredients.
Herbs + Seasonings – A great addition of flavor. Adds such savoriness nice + a beautiful kick of spice
Olive Oil – Used as a part of the base, which creates a light taste overall
Kale – A great addition of greens
Candied Bacon – Whether you choose to use turkey or pork bacon, they both will add a beautiful kick of savoriness
Sautéed Broccolini – Although regular broccoli can be used, I enjoy the mild, earthy taste of broccolini
Apples — The absolute star of this dish; I tend to mix Gala Apples with Granny Apples for a nice ying-yang of flavor
Honey — Used as a sweetener for both the crust and pizza base sauce
Can I Make This Fall Harvest Pizza Gluten-Free?
Simply put? Yes absolutely! I have the best gluten-free pizza dough recipe for all my gluten-sensitive friends! I wanted to be able to make all of my favorite pizza recipes to feed all diets and allergies without sacrificing flavor or texture in the crust.
That's why I developed my own easy gluten-free pizza crust recipe. It checks all of the right boxes:
Puffy and fluffy in the right places, but thin-crust
You can check out my easy and tasty Gluten-free Pizza Crust Recipe HERE!
Common Q + A’s About Pizza.
CAN I MAKE THIS AHEAD OF TIME?
Absolutely! You can always prep the ingredients separately and store them: cook the bacon and chop before storing, prep the veggies and store in an airtight container in the fridge, peel + slice your apples and added lemon juice (to prevent browning) along with spices for the perfect marination. You can also make your pizza dough and let it rise overnight.
WHAT OTHER TOPPINGS CAN I ADD?
Honestly, anything! The awesome thing about pizza is that you can add whatever topping you’d like. You can substitute the ingredients with pork bacon, caramelized onions, pears, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach---you name it.
HOW MANY CAN THIS PIZZA SERVE?
Typically, this pizza can serve 6-8 slices depending on how wide the slices are. For a bigger pizza size, I recommend allowing the dough to rise for an hour or so, which will allow you for a better stretch thus creating a bigger pizza.
HOW TO PREVENT THE BOTTOM OF PIZZA FROM GETTING SOGGY.
Thankfully, I've had great success with my airbake dish when making my homemade pizzas. Due to the perforated bottom, it allows for the pizza crust to fully cook through and be entirely crisp throughout once placed directly on the oven rack. To prevent a mess, I simply add a large piece of foil at the bottom rack so that any drippage is caught on there.
SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR COOKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THIS PIZZA!
This easy Fall Harvest Pizza with Apples, Candied Bacon, Broccolini, + Kale is absolutely the most perfect family-friendly recipe for the Fall season! It comes topped with a spicy chipotle olive oil base and mild cheddar cheese, apple slices, sautéed broccolini, kale, and candied turkey bacon. So much savoriness and sweetness in one pizza pie.
2cupsthickly cut Mild cheddar cheese(I use Organic Valley)
¼cupExtra virgin olive oil + 1 Tbsp
sea salt + black pepper, for taste
FOR THE CRUST:
In the bowl of an electric mixer (with a dough hook attachment), mix together the warm water, honey, olive oil, yeast, garlic powder, dried parsley, dried thyme, and sea salt (you might need to use a whisk to ensure that everything combines together well). Let is sit for at least 5 minutes, until yeast begins to activate and foam.
Slowly add the flour (on low speed!), until fully incorporated and a soft dough is formed. **NOTE: if dough is too sticky, add ½ cup of additional flour at a time)**.
Now, increase the speed to medium-high and knead the dough for about 5 minutes in the mixer.
Once done, add the dough onto a floured surface and slightly roll out the dough until it’s flat enough to form a flat circle the rest of the way with your hands, about 11 inches in diameter. Lightly grease your pizza pan with extra virgin olive oil and place dough on one end of pan, evenly pressing it and flattening it out to fit the entire pan. Gently use your finger to stretch dough until pan is fully covered and gently pinch the edges of the dough together to form the crust.
TOPPINGS + ASSEMBLY:
Preheat your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit and place top rack into the middle of oven. **NOTE: be sure to use a great pizza pan to ensure that your crust is crispy and not soggy.**
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, chili powder, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, sea salt + black until well combined.
Brush a generous amount of the olive oil mixture over the top of the crust until evenly coated. **NOTE: Leave 1 tablespoon of sauce left for the edges of crust later**
Sprinkle on the cheese followed by: broccolini, kale, candied bacon, and sliced apples.
Lightly brush the tops of the crust with the olive oil mixture to ensure that it becomes a nice golden brown.
Gently transfer the pizza pie to the hot oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or so, until the cheese has melted (and becomes bubbly) and the crust is crispy and golden brown.
Once done, allow pizza to rest/cool for a few minutes (about 5 minutes!) so that the cheese sets before cutting into generous slices, using a pizza cutter.
Tips & Tricks
PIZZA CRUST: For a crispy pizza (especially on the bottom), I suggest using a pizza pan with holes to allow the crust to bake through nicely. I used the AirBake Pizza Pan, which can be found at Target!
CANDIED BACON: Place the bacon on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush the tops of the bacon with maple syrup and sprinkle on some brown sugar. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes or so, flipping the bacon and brushing the opposite side with maple syrup and sprinkling the brown sugar as well. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until it is completely caramelized and crispy.
STORAGE: Leftover pizza is best kept tightly wrapped in foil paper, refrigerated for 3-4 days for optimal freshness.
SAUTEED BROCCOLINI: In a medium skillet on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Once heated, add rinsed broccolini (shortened stems and all) and let cook on one side. Gently squeeze half a lemon and season with salt + black pepper, to taste. Gently toss on opposite side and continue tossing until fully wilted and darkened in color (dark green). Once cooked through, remove from heat.