Mini Caprese Deep Dish Pizzas
The perfect appetizer: combining two favourites into one! Caprese salad meets pizza in these delicious deep dish pizzas made easy in a humble standard muffin pan. All in the name of portion control during this holiday period.
The easiest part about this recipe is not having to worry about making your own dough and having mini pizzas ready to eat in less time than ordering. The best part is the deep dish part: meaning generous amounts of filling in (not to be confused with ‘on’) pizza dough, almost like a pizza pie. Only, in miniature versions, one or two is enough in between conversations of “where did this year go?” and “my new years resolutions is to stay away from carbs and train my ass off…literally.”
These could very well be passed off as a Margherita flavoured pizza, BUT, drizzled with a balsamic glaze (homemade or store bought), the Caprese flavours aren’t lacking at all.
The best deep dish pizza in Chicago is famous for its thick, high golden crust and cheesy fillings/toppings. To keep the Chicago style deep dish pizza momentum going, these mini pizzas begin at the layering process with fresh Mozzarella slices on the base instead of pizza sauce, so the dough doesn’t become soggy while cooking and ensures a good amount of melted cheese in every single mouthful.
And in the name of Caprese…sliced cherry or grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella slices and fresh shredded basil build this pizza into a healthier pizza, without overloading on a crap load of calories, saving some stomach room for Crispy Beer Roast Turkey and Sweet Potatoes smothered in garlic butter. What? I won’t judge if you don’t.
Now….I was going to assemble these with small round tortillas or wonton cups (which you can do to cut calories even further), however, my children are now on school holidays and frowned beyond frowning when I mentioned it. “Um, mother, that’s not pizza. You can’t call it pizza if there’s no dough.” Fair enough.
Going the easy route, I grabbed a packet of dough from the supermarket and made the real deal.
Basically, follow the package instructions. My dough needed to rest for an hour on a lightly floured bench before working with it. Then I cut it into 12 pieces and rolled each piece out before pressing them into the muffin pan.
Do you know the muffin man? The muffin man? The muffin man! Ohhhh, way too much Shrek has been happening in my house already.
Then it’s a matter of layer and bake to crisp, golden melted carb passion.
Like I said before ↑ SO. MUCH. CHEESE.
Drizzle with Balsamic glaze and watch every single expression from your family and friends.
- 500g | 17oz package store-bought pizza dough (or 12 wonton cups)
- ¼ cup plain | all purpose flour, for rolling
- Cooking oil spray
- ¼ cup garlic flavoured pizza sauce
- 250g | 8oz fresh mozzarella
- 12 grape or cherry tomatoes, finely sliced
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
- ⅓ cup finely shredded fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup balsamic glaze
- Preheat oven to 220°C | 425°F. Remove pizza dough onto a lightly floured work surface and allow it to come to room temperature (about 1 hour or follow package instructions). Slice dough into 12 equal pieces. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll out each dough into 13-cm or 5-inch rounds. Lightly spray a 12-capacity muffin pan with oil. Gently press each dough piece into each muffin cup to fit into the base and sides.
- Assemble your pizzas: Place 2 slices of mozzarella cheese onto each dough first to prevent the dough from getting soggy. Layer with 1 teaspoon pizza sauce; 2-3 tomato slices; a pinch of shredded basil; one more slice of mozzarella; and top with extra shredded basil. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded mozzarella onto the tops; drizzle with a little balsamic glaze and bake until dough is golden brown and crisp (about 12-15 minutes). Allow to cool slightly before removing from muffin pan.
- To serve, drizzle with extra balsamic glaze.
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