Deep Dish Pizza with Impossible™ Italian Sausage (Made with Impossible™ Burger)
For our latest Impossible™ Burger feat, we created an Italian sausage just so that we could make pizza with it. Impossible™ Burger is made from plants, but it cooks and smells just like meat. We mixed it up with no less than nine spices — from aromatic fennel seeds to feisty crushed red pepper — and fried it in sausage-like chunks. It browned up beautifully.
We combined it with sautèed cremini mushrooms and a zesty pizza sauce to create a classic deep dish pizza filling. Layered in the pizza crust with oodles of melty mozzarella, it was magnificent. And though we’re not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, we’re very pleased to say that the Impossible™ Italian sausage was so very meaty, our taste testers had no idea it was plant-based.
For them, this was just a perfect deep dish pizza — unbelievably crispy and buttery on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, with just the right ratio of crust to thick, flavorsome sauce and cheese. We love that the crust absorbs a tiny bit of the sauce, which is scrumptious, but isn’t bogged down or soggy with it.
In the test kitchen, people lost their minds over this pizza. Some said it was the best they’d ever eaten; others called it a peak food experience. Their gushy hyperbole was completely outdone by a fellow who gleefully proclaimed, “If I were a food, I would be this pizza.”
Tip: We’re not kidding about the Impossible™ Italian sausage. It’s really good. Keep the recipe in your back pocket; the sausage will be great in everything from pasta sauce to breakfast hash.
For the Impossible™ Italian sausage:
12 oz Impossible™ Burger
½ tsp fennel seeds, toasted
¼ tsp rosemary, toasted
¼ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp red wine
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
For the pizza:
4 oz quartered cremini mushrooms
8 oz Impossible™ Italian sausage (see above)
14 oz pizza sauce, divided
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz Gelson’s shredded mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 425º.
To make the Impossible™ Italian sausage: place the Impossible™ Burger in a medium bowl.
Using a mortar and pestle, combine the toasted fennel, toasted rosemary, basil, and oregano, grinding them into a fine powder, and add them to the Impossible™ Burger.
Add the onion powder, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper, red wine, and red wine vinegar and mix with your hands until fully incorporated.
In a nonstick sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Pinch off heaping tablespoon pieces of the Italian sausage mixture and carefully put them in the hot pan. Allow the Italian sausage chunks to caramelize, and then flip and caramelize the other side. Transfer the Italian sausage chunks to a plate lined with paper towels and allow the excess oil to drain. Reserve the pan and its oils.
To make the pizza: Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, allowing the water to cook out of the mushrooms.
Add the Italian sausage chunks and about 10 ounces of the pizza sauce, stir to combine, and set aside to cool while you prepare the crust.
To assemble the pizza: Grease a 14-inch, cast-iron pan with room temperature butter, covering the entire cooking surface.
Gently stretch the pizza dough over the bottom of the pan working outward and about 1 ½ inches up the sides to create a bowl shape with the dough.
Puncture the surface of the dough with a fork to prevent any air pockets from forming during the cooking process.
Sprinkle about half of the cheese over the dough, and then spoon about half of the remaining pizza sauce over it.
Add the sausage mixture and top with the remaining cheese.
Spoon the remaining pizza sauce over the top of the pizza.
Bake the pizza until the crust is golden brown and the cheese and sauce are bubbling, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Slice the pizza and serve it with a spatula.