fennel sausage pizza

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Fennel sausage pizza starts with a crispy artisan pizza dough and it’s layered with garlic oil, caramelized fennel and spicy crumbled Italian sausage.

  • Author: Indi Hampton
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2 12-inch pizzas
  • Category: Pizza
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


garlic oil

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

caramelized fennel and sausage topping

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar, divided

  • kosher salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 small fennel bulbs

  • 4 oz hot Italian sausage

fennel sausage pizza

  • 1 recipe artisan pizza dough (about two 15 oz dough balls)
  • 8 oz shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese (whole milk, if possible)


garlic oil

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the oil and garlic over medium heat. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the garlic clove and discard. Use oil right away, or refrigerate until ready.

caramelized fennel and sausage topping

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the tops and bottoms from the fennel bulbs, then remove tough or bruised outer layers. Cut the fennel bulbs in half vertically. Place the cut side down and slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slabs. If the bulb is small, simply set the bulb down on its base and slice vertically into slabs.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt and pepper and stir to mix. Arrange half of the fennel slabs in an even layer in the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until edges are golden and slices are transparent, about 10 minutes. Flip and cook another 5- 10 minutes, until  soft and caramelized. Carefully transfer to a plate and repeat the caramelizing process with remaining butter, olive oil, sugar and fennel.

  3. Wipe out pan, then heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until shimmering. Add sausage and cook, breaking up, until browned, cooked through and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

fennel sausage pizza

  1. Place pizza steel or stone, if using, in the oven and preheat to 500°F. Let stone heat up for a full 45 minutes. Generously flour a pizza peel and set aside. Alternatively, lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
  2. On a floured surface, flatten the middle of the dough ball into a large disk, leaving a thick 1-inch lip. Pick up the disk, and holding the thick edge, use gravity to shape the dough into a 12-inch circle. Lay on prepared pizza peel and adjust shape into a circle. Jiggle the peel to make sure the dough isn’t sticking (add more flour if it is). Alternatively, transfer dough to prepared sheet pan. Brush pizza dough surface with garlic oil, then sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Top with half the sausage and half of the caramelized fennel.

  3. Slide pizza onto steel and bake for 8- 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is browned. Bake for 15- 20 minutes if using a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pizza dough and toppings. Let pizza cool slightly, then cut and enjoy. Serve with extra garlic oil, for drizzling.