Deep Dish Spinach Stuffed Pizza (with whole wheat flour)

Before I share my awesome recipe for this amazing healthy pizza (unlike what you hear all the time, yes, pizza can be healthy!) I have to share a funny quote I came across recently, with all of you:

“When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.'”
— Yogi Berra

Now, let us get to the healthy pizza shall we?

Deep Dish Spinach Stuffed Pizza is one of my family’s favorite ways to eat our spinach the fun way! This stuffed pizza is filled with iron-rich spinach, mushrooms, onions and cheese with your favorite pizza flavorings.  Sandwiched between two whole wheat thin crusts and baked to perfection, it is a filling, tasty and exciting way to enjoy pizza!

Who does not love pizzas?  You will find one being made in our house at least once every two weeks, be it vegetarian pizza with yeast or pizza without yeast, or even the pizza calzone! Everyone has heard of thin crust pizzas, thick crust pizzas, cheese burst pizzas, hand tossed pizzas etc.  But have you heard about stuffed pizzas, that too spinach stuffed?

Trying to bring variation to regular pizza nights in our house a few years ago, I came across Chicago style spinach stuffed deep dish pizza online and presto… deep dish spinach stuffed pizza it was for us.  What better way to make my kids eat spinach than in a pizza!  They loved it and it was a regular at our dining table from then on.

The difference in this stuffed pizza is it has a spinach and mushroom filling encrusted in between two layers of whole wheat pizza crust in a deep pan at least 2 inches deep; baked to a golden brown color and pizza sauce is then smothered on top with additional cheese. The whole process of making the dough, pizza sauce and filling and then baking takes a longer time than regular pizzas but good things come to those who wait!

The best part is you can make the pizza sauce and fillings (spinach, mushroom and grated cheese) the previous day. Even pizza dough can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Before rolling the dough, rest at room temperature for about 30 to 40 minutes. For a healthier kick, I have substituted more than half of the flour in the pizza dough with whole wheat flour.

Although it may sound too long a process to make, I assure you, the end result is so scrumptious, you will love to make it often.  The whole process took me less than 2 hours from start to finish (including proofing time for the dough).

This cheesy stuffed pizza filled with a healthy dose of spinach and mushrooms in a flaky whole wheat crust is sure to please your family. So the next time you or your kids are craving for a pizza, avoid take out and do try my version of Chicago style deep dish spinach stuffed pizza; a fun way to make your family eat their spinach!

Lets get to the recipe:

Deep Dish Spinach Stuffed Pizza Recipe
Serves 4
Cheesy spinach and mushroom stuffed double layered whole wheat pizza with sauce on the top!!
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625 calories
86 g
40 g
21 g
25 g
8 g
505 g
754 g
12 g
0 g
11 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
505g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 625
Calories from Fat 183
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
32%
Saturated Fat 8g
40%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 40mg
13%
Sodium 754mg
31%
Total Carbohydrates 86g
29%
Dietary Fiber 7g
29%
Sugars 12g
Protein 25g
Vitamin A
82%
Vitamin C
76%
Calcium
34%
Iron
21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the pizza dough
  1. 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  2. 1 teaspoon sugar
  3. 1 cup warm water
  4. ½ teaspoon salt
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1 to 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  7. 1 to 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour/maida
  8. Semolina or cornmeal and oil to coat the pan
  9. Extra flour for dusting
For the pizza sauce
  1. 4 to 5 tomatoes
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 2 to 3 green chillies/jalapenos
  4. 1 to 2 cloves of garlic
  5. 1 cup tomato puree
  6. ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  7. 1 teaspoon sugar
  8. Salt to taste
For the spinach stuffing
  1. 3 cups of chopped fresh spinach
  2. 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  3. ¼ cup finely chopped onions
  4. 1 clove of garlic, grated
  5. ½ teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
  6. 1 to 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1 teaspoon olive oil
Other ingredients
  1. ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese for the final topping
  2. Grated Parmesan cheese
Method
For the pizza crust
  1. Mix sugar, yeast and warm water (water should be hot to the touch that you can place your fingers in it and not get scalded).
  2. Leave aside for about 10 minutes until it turns frothy.
  3. Stir in 1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour, oil and salt until smooth. Stir in remaining flour as needed to form a soft, smooth and pliable dough.
  4. Knead dough for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Grease a large bowl; place the dough in the bowl and turn to grease it fully. Cover and keep aside to proof and rise for about 1 to 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
For the pizza sauce
  1. While the dough is rising, we can make the pizza sauce.
  2. In a blender jar, add chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and garlic and blend to a fine paste.
  3. Pour into a deep saucepan along with tomato puree, sugar, salt to taste and seasonings. Mix well.
  4. Bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until very thick. Keep aside.
For the spinach filling
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan; add chopped onions and grated garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onions turn soft.
  2. Add sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Sauté for about 2 minutes till the mushrooms start to wilt.
  3. Stir in finely chopped spinach along with more salt to taste and crushed chili flakes; cook on high for about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium high and cook until spinach is cooked and most of the moisture is gone. Set aside to cool.
  4. Once the mixture is cool, stir in ¾ to 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  5. Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or 230 degrees Centigrade.
  6. Grease a 9 inch round baking pan (which is at least 2 inches deep) with oil and sprinkle the bottom of the pan with semolina or cornmeal (this makes for a crispy crust).
  7. Punch down dough; divide into 2 portions.
  8. Roll one portion to about a 11 inches circle.
  9. Place the rolled dough over the oiled pan and gently fit the dough into the pan and up the sides.
  10. Prick the dough with a fork (to prevent puffing up during baking).
  11. Sprinkle ½ cup of grated mozzarella cheese evenly over the crust (to prevent the filling from making the crust soggy).
  12. Layer the spinach filling over the cheese evenly to spread until the edges of the crust.
  13. Roll remaining dough to a 10 inch circle and place over the spinach filling.
  14. Pinch the edges of the top and bottom crust to seal the filling inside.
  15. Remove excess dough. Prick the top rolled pizza dough with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking.
  16. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
  17. Remove from oven and spread a layer of pizza sauce over the crust. Sprinkle with more mozzarella cheese and return to the hot oven.
  18. Bake for about 10 more minutes until the cheese has melted and starts to turn brown.
  19. Take the baked stuffed spinach pizza out of the oven and place on counter for about 5 minutes before cutting.
  20. Enjoy deep dish spinach stuffed pizza with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese (optional) and a glass of juice.
Notes
  1. Try to roll the crust as thin as possible.
  2. Spice up the filling any way you want with your favorite spices but make sure the mixture is totally devoid of moisture before filling to avoid soggy crust.
  3. Adjust the amount of cheese according to your preference.
beta
calories
625
fat
21g
protein
25g
carbs
86g
more
Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/

How to make Deep Dish Spinach Stuffed Pizza with step-by-step Method:

For the pizza crust:

  • Mix sugar, yeast and warm water (water should be hot to the touch that you can place your fingers in it and still not get scalded).

  • Leave aside for about 10 minutes until it turns frothy. If it does not, discard and try again. (Either the yeast is old or water temperature is not right).

  • Stir in 1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour, oil and salt until smooth.  Stir in remaining flour as needed to form a soft, smooth and pliable dough.
  • Knead dough for about 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Grease a large bowl; place the dough in the bowl and turn to grease it fully. Cover and keep aside to proof and rise for about 1 to 1 ½ hours until doubled in size.

For the pizza sauce:

  • While the dough is rising, we can make the pizza sauce.
  • In a blender jar, add chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and garlic and blend to a fine paste.
  • Pour into a deep saucepan along with tomato puree, sugar,  salt to taste and seasonings.

  •  Mix well.

  • Bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until very thick. Keep aside.

For the spinach filling:

  • Heat oil in a saucepan; add chopped onions, crushed chili pepper and grated garlic; sauté for a couple of minutes until the onions turn soft.

  • Add sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt.  Sauté for about 2 minutes till the mushrooms start to wilt.

  • Stir in finely chopped spinach along with more salt to taste and crushed chili flakes; cook on high for about 2 minutes.

  • Lower the heat to medium high and cook until spinach is cooked and most of the moisture is gone.  Set aside to cool.

  • Once the mixture is cool, stir in ¾ to 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or 230 degrees Centigrade.
  • Grease a 9 inch round baking pan (which is at least 2 inches deep) with oil and sprinkle the bottom of the pan with semolina or cornmeal (this makes for a crispy crust).

  • Punch down dough; divide into 2 portions.
  • Roll one portion to about a 11 inches circle.
  • Place the rolled dough over the oiled pan and gently fit the dough into the pan and up the sides.
  • Prick the dough with a fork (to prevent puffing up during baking).

  • Sprinkle ½ cup of grated mozzarella cheese evenly over the crust (to prevent the filling from making the crust soggy).

  • Layer the spinach filling over the cheese evenly to spread until the edges of the crust.

  • Roll remaining dough to a 10 inch circle and place over the spinach filling.
  • Pinch the edges of the top and bottom crust to seal the filling inside.
  • Remove excess dough. Prick the top rolled pizza dough with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven.
  • Spread a layer of pizza sauce over the crust. Sprinkle with more mozzarella cheese and return to the hot oven.

  • Bake for about 10 more minutes until the cheese has melted and starts to turn brown.
  • Take the baked stuffed spinach pizza out of the oven and place on counter for about 5 minutes before cutting.

  • Enjoy healthy, filling and scrumptious deep dish spinach stuffed pizza with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese (optional) and a glass of juice.

  • Enjoy!!!

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19 comments

    • curryandvanilla says:

      Thanks so much Sasmita 🙂 Please do try this version of stuffed pizza; you and your family will love it as does ours 🙂

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