This morel pizza starts with my favorite artisan pizza dough and a creamy morel thyme sauce, and it’s finished with fontina, parmesan and crispy fried shallots.
The thin, crackly crust soaks up the woodsy morel flavor and balances the salty fontina. It’s a chewy, creamy, decadent wild mushroom pizza you’ll remember forever. And it’s a solid way to use your stash of prized morels.
The brainchild for this morel pizza was born through experiments with my treasured morel cream sauce. It’s my favorite way to cook morels– they soak up the flavor of butter, shallots and white wine, and become earthy sponges of rich cream. I typically use the sauce for a juicy seared steak, but you could also use it for chicken, pasta, or even firm fish like seabass. Today, though, we’re using it on pizza for the best kind of decadence.
how do I make this morel pizza?
- make the artisan pizza dough
- fry the shallots
- make the morel cream sauce, then separate the thick cream from the morels
- shape the dough into a 12″ pizza, spread with thick morel cream, top with morels, fontina, parmesan and fried shallots
- bake at 500°F for 8- 10 minutes
dried morels vs fresh morels: which should I use?
Whenever possible, I prefer dried morel mushrooms for the following reasons:
- they’re easy to find
- they’re cheaper
- they keep indefinitely in your pantry
- the rehydration liquid is a bonus by-product that adds extra flavor
That being said, if you have access to fresh morels you should use them. To use fresh morels in this pizza recipe, you can skip the rehydrating step. Use chicken stock or water in its place and continue the recipe as written.
how to prep dried morels:
- Pour just enough boiling water over dried morels to submerge them
- Soak until soft, about 20 minutes
- Use a slotted spoon to remove morels from soaking water
- Cut large morels in half lengthwise
- Strain soaking water through a coffee filter to remove dirt
- Use morels and soaking water as directed
morel pizza wine pairings:
Morels are intensely flavored wild mushrooms. They’re earthy, woodsy, meaty and delicate.
The best wine pairings will highlight these qualities without overpowering the unique flavors of the mushroom. High acid is important to balance the richness of the cream and cheese, aged aromas will complement the savory flavors of the morels, and delicate tannins will add interest without crushing the velvety texture of the pizza.
- Bottle aged, cool climate Chardonnay (from Burgundy, Sonoma Coast, Willamette Valley, for example) :vibrant acid, rounded texture and complex flavors (dried apple, mushroom, vanilla, toast)
- Bottle aged, cool climate Pinot Noir (from Burgundy, Sonoma Coast, Willamette Valley, for example): bright acid, smooth delicate tannins, and earthy flavors (forest floor, tobacco, savory, dried red fruit)
- Aged Champagne: fresh acidity, delicate bubbles, complex flavors (honey, roasted nuts, mushroom, brioche)
morel pizza with fontina and crispy shallots
This morel pizza starts with a crackly artisan pizza dough and a creamy morel sauce, then it’s finished with fontina, parmesan and crispy fried shallots.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 12-inch pizzas 1x
- Category: Pizza
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
- vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
- kosher salt
morel cream sauce
- 3 oz dried morels
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 recipe artisan pizza dough (2 dough balls)
- morel cream sauce (all of recipe above)
- 8 oz coarsely grated fontina
- 2 oz coarsely grated parmesan
- fried shallots (all of recipe above)
- Place shallots in a small saucepan and cover with vegetable oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep the rings separate, until golden brown, 15- 20 minutes. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a steady but gentle simmer.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer fried shallots to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with kosher salt and let cool.
morel cream sauce
- Place dried morels in a heat proof bowl and cover with as little boiling water as needed to submerge mushrooms (about 2- 2 1/2 cups). Let soak until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain morels, reserving soaking liquid, and cut large ones in half lengthwise. Filter soaking liquid through a coffee filter to remove dirt and set aside.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, then add garlic and cook until fragrant and beginning to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Add morels, season with salt and black pepper, and saute until liquid begins to cook off. Add wine and increase heat to a simmer. Cook until nearly all of the liquid is gone, about 10 minutes.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of soaking liquid (discard remainder), heavy cream and thyme and season with salt and black pepper. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often, until sauce is very thick and only about 1 cup of cream remains. Use a slotted spoon to separate morels from cream sauce and set both aside separately.
- 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.
- 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 carefully 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. Spread pizza dough with enough reserved cream sauce to cover the surface, leaving a 1-inch perimeter empty. Scatter half the morels over top, then sprinkle with half the fontina, parmesan and fried shallots.
- 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 before eating. Don’t burn your mouth on the creamy, molten morels!
- Watch shallots closely towards the end, they darken quickly. Shallots can be made up to 4 days ahead. Store in a cool, dry place.
- Morel cream sauce can be made 1 day ahead
- Pizza dough can be made up to 2 days ahead (see pizza dough recipe for timing options)
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: 1/8 of a 12″ pizza
- Calories: 340
- Sugar: 1.6g
- Sodium: 335mg
- Fat: 21g
- Saturated Fat: 12g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7.7g
- Trans Fat: 0.5g
- Carbohydrates: 27g
- Fiber: 1.2g
- Protein: 9g
- Cholesterol: 59mg
Keywords: morel pizza