This butternut squash, spinach and feta pizza will be a major hit at your next fall pizza party!
butternut squash, spinach and feta pizza

My dad’s bus driver came to his wake.

Amidst coworkers, family, friends, people we hadn’t seen or heard from in years. There was the MTA bus driver who facilitated his commute from Queens to Manhattan every day.

I will never know how he found out and I will almost certainly never see him again. But the fact that he was so moved to go out of his way to stop by and pay his condolences will forever be a testament to me of the kind of guy my father really was.

He touched the lives of everyone he encountered. With every passing interaction he changed you a little. Made you feel comfortable. Made you smile. Made your day a little bit better.

He was one of the great ones. Of that I am certain.


He has been gone for exactly a year now. And I miss him more than I ever thought it was possible to miss someone. With every ounce of my being.

And Dad. If somewhere, somehow, out there in the atmosphere you can read this or hear me. Just know that I love you.

My dad loved to make pizza. Almost every Friday night, he would pick up some rounds of dough from the local pizza place, thaw some sauce that he had frozen down in bulk from the freezer, throw that dough up in the air to let gravity and centripetal force do it’s work in rolling it out, and get to it.

He would have rolled his eyes at this pizza, with the abundance of vegetables on it. But if I had asked, he would made it. And he would have tried.

And though he never would have admitted it (at least not to my face). I think he would have liked it. We sure did.


Three years ago…Homemade Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Stew

Four years ago…Grilled Fig and Brie Sandwiches

Butternut Squash, Spinach and Feta Pizza
This butternut squash, spinach and feta pizza will be a major hit at your next fall pizza party!
Yield: 4-6 servings
For the pizza dough
  • 1 tbsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • pinch of sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
For the toppings
  • 1½ lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 oz mozzarella, sliced
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup feta, crumbled
For the dough
  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast with ¼ cup lukewarm water (as warm as you can get it from the tap while still being able to stick your finger in it for a few seconds) and a pinch of sugar. Stir so that yeast dissolves. It should start to get foamy within about five minutes. If it doesn’t, then your yeast is probably dead and the dough won’t rise. Start again with new yeast. If it does, then push forward!
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, remaining water, salt, olive oil, and now-foamy yeast. Mix with the dough hook attachment until just combine, then turn up speed to 4 or 5 and “knead” for five minutes or until dough is elastic.
  3. Fold dough into a ball and place in a large, greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Punch down dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out onto a pizza pan dusted with flour or cornmeal.
For the pizza
  1. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400. Spread the butternut squash cubes out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Sprinkle salt over squash cubes. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  2. Increase oven temperature to 500.
  3. When the dough is ready, spread it out onto a pizza pan. Cover with the tomato sauce, leaving a 1-inch edge for the crust. Top with the mozzarella slices. Scatter the butternut squash over the top of the mozzarella. Top with the baby spinach and the crumbled feta.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until bottom of crust starts to brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
An Eats Well With Others Original
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1-2 slices
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82 Responses to Butternut Squash, Spinach and Feta Pizza

  1. Danielle says:

    Brave lady! I bet many people would describe you as you describe your Dad. It isn’t just the recipes that keep us all coming back for more.

    BTW, I threatened to put butternut squash on last night’s pizza. I didn’t, but only because sometimes cutting open a butternut feels like a committee of time/energy I’m not ready to face. Silly.

  2. You are such a special, kind person, Joanne – I’m sure you are so much like your dad, touching the lives of everyone you meet. Thinking of you today…

    This pizza is seriously perfection to me. LOVE the ingredients.

  3. Love you lady! I will be thinking about you all day today. Sending you the biggest hug!

  4. gloria says:

    this pizza sounds delicious Joanne!

  5. Margarita says:

    Beautiful post… Beautiful pizza.

    I remember the time when you posted about your dad dying and you were gone for a few weeks… My heart ached for you Joanne and it is again today. I hope you find comfort in the good memories that your dad left and continue to live by his example. Take care…

  6. gloria says:

    ….and Im sending a big hug and love today Joanne!

  7. Margarita says:

    P.S. You might already be planning to, but give your Mom a big hug or tell her how much you love her today. That might ease her pain a little.

  8. Barbara says:

    Now that’s a pizza I could go for! Great color, good healthy dish.
    I miss my dad too…and it’s been 12 years. You never get over it, but it’s always there in the background.

  9. Megan says:

    What a sweet tribute to your dad. I’m sure you’ll never stop missing him, but it must help to have such great memories. This pizza does sound amazing and I bet he would have loved it too.

  10. I’m sure your dad is smiling down on you today. He sounds like the kind of guy that would have said how clever you were to make such a colorful and delicious pizza even if it wasn’t one of his traditional ones. 🙂

  11. A wholesome pizza! You have combined all the healthy and delicious ingredients in this one pizza. I love it.

  12. Thanks for this post, Joanne. You and yours are in my thoughts. I’m sure your dad’s kindness and love will continue to manifest through you, throughout.

  13. Erica says:

    I can’t imagine how much you must miss your dad, he sounds very special! This pizza looks fabulous…if only my husband would eat feta…

  14. That is one gorgeous slice of paradise :-), I hope all is well. Have a great day, Joanne.

  15. The kind of people that care to come to your funeral (especially when they don’t know anyone and really have no social conventions to uphold) says a lot about a person. I bet your dad was a great guy, and I’m really sorry for your loss. This pizza sounds like a great comfort food and I think I’m just in love with the idea of butternut squash making its way into my mouth anyway possible.

  16. This was such a beautiful and moving post, Joanne! The warmth, love and loss brought tears to my eyes. Sending you a hug today 🙂

  17. Samantha says:

    This post moved me to tears, Joanne. I know the pain of losing my dad as well. Keep being strong!

  18. Beth says:

    What a beautiful homage to your dad, Joanne. The first anniversary is a really tough one, and you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers today.

  19. sandra says:

    It is so wonderful to hear about how close you were (and are) with your dad. I wish I had a similar relationship to look back on with my own.

    Ahh, pizza. My nemesis. I may just need to get a stand mixer if I can afford its price and the space it will take in my kitchen.

  20. Tiffany says:

    Your dad’s pizza was amazing and unforgettable, just like him!

    Sending all my love to you and your family today.

  21. Pam says:

    Since I have read your blog for awhile now, I remember all of your stories about your dad and they always put a smile on my face. Sending love your way today.

    The pizza looks pretty AND tasty. Love the colors, flavors, and textures!

  22. Dads are so very special. I know he is smiling from above and rooting for you each and every day. Save him a slice today and remember that he is always there with you. Much love to you today.

  23. I think it’s brave to make an unconventional pizza for an Italian father even if he has passed on! It looks delicious, and this is a lovely post for a difficult anniversary.

  24. Great deal! Love all the creamy components here! I can always trust you to fuse familiar + healthy + delicious!

  25. Amy says:

    *sob* cant imagine… hugs, Joanne <3

  26. I can tell your dad was a great man, just by “seeing” how smart, funny and dedicated you are!

  27. Even though your Dad isn’t here anymore, it’s posts like these that make his memory live on. He sounds pretty spectacular – an MTA bus driver went to his wake? Amazing. I can, with certain, tell you that no public transportation operator is coming to my funereal, and just reading this makes me think…”why not”? It’s so nice that you had someone like him in your life – it’s why your my favorite! Sending all my love to you today, friend!! You know I’d be all over this pizza! xo

  28. I’m sure your father would be so proud of you if he saw what an inspiring person you’ve become. I’m sending a big big hug to you today. Stay strong, Joanne!
    And this pizza looks amazing, I’m loving the feta + spinach combo! x

  29. Joanne, we can tell your Dad was a special person because you are a reflection of him. You’re a special person and we send you our sincere love and hugs to you and your family. The pizza looks healthy and one we would love to try ! Wonderful tribute to your Dad!

  30. I’m sorry for your loss, Joanne. What a difficult thing that must have been to go through. I’m sure he’s looking down on you every day and smiling at the smart, accomplished woman you’ve become!

  31. so beautifully written Joanna.. I’m sure your dad can hear you, see you, and I’m sure he’s proud. It’s nice when dads cook, my dad is pretty great, but doesn’t cook… it’s a nice thing to remember, and maybe he passed that onto you. 🙂

  32. Sending all my positive thoughts your way, Joanne. What a lovely post..I’m sure your dad would be proud.

  33. ashlee says:

    I think about your Dad often, and wonder how you’ve been coping with such a tragic loss. I hope you find comfort in your memories. I find that when I bake, it gives me some quality time to think about the memories of my Grandpa, I love it. This pizza looks delicious, I’m sure he would have loved it if nothing else, because you made it!

  34. sippitysup says:

    It’s tough losing a parent. My mom passed 10 years ago and I still struggle with some of the feelings you describe. GREG

  35. Tahnycooks says:

    I love it when a post makes me emotional. There is something special about daughters and their Daddy’s. I love your post today. This pizza looks fantastic, I love that you love butternut squash! I do too!

  36. Eileen says:

    Oh man. I hope you’re doing ok! I think making your own pizza is definitely a great way to celebrate your dad. Love the squash and feta with dark greens–such a super-fall combination!

  37. @700words says:

    Hi joanne,

    What a beautiful post and a beautiful looking pizza. Your Dad sounds like an amazing man, and that bus driver sounds pretty special too. Hope you are well at what must be a very tough time xxx

  38. Your dad sounds lke he was an awesome guy…but of course -you had to have gotten your awesome from somewhere ;).. And this pizza looks like Autumn perfection.

  39. ramblingtart says:

    Sending you a big hug today, dear Joanne. XOXO Your Dad sounds like such an incredible man – especially because he made YOU feel so loved and cherished. XO Your pizza looks wonderful.

  40. Johanna says:

    This is a beautiful post. I know this must be a hard day for you, and I admire how brave and honest you have been in the wake of his death. Like your Dad, this pizza looks like a good one.

  41. Hotly Spiced says:

    Has it been a year already. That has gone by so quickly. Your father truly sounds like one of the world’s best. How lovely of that bus driver to attend the funeral. Your father must have made quite an impression on him. I love how your father would make pizzas every Friday night and by the sounds of it, they weren’t vegetarian! xx

  42. That is pretty amazing that your Dad’s bus driver came to his wake – a testament to how much he touched people’s lives. Sending you a huge hug Joanne. xoxo

  43. What a moving post Joanne. Made me teary eyed… and such a lovely way to remember your Dad. Big HUGS to you my friend! xo
    P.S. Love this gorgeous pizza!

  44. All your anecdotes, not to mention how much you love him, definitely show how great a person your dad was! Thinking of you on what must be a very difficult day.

  45. such a moving post Joanne – and a beautiful pizza!

  46. CCU says:

    This post made me sniffle my friend, absolutely beautiful!
    and thank you for sharing such a colourful and delicious recipe 🙂


  47. OMG seriously Joanne? This is pure perfection. I have a GF quinoa crust recipe and you just decided the toppings for me!!! This weekend this is happening!

  48. Reeni says:

    Such a sweet tribute to your Dad! Sending a big hug your way! He sounds a lot like my Dad in some ways – he would never admit he liked this either but I bet he would. . . If not I’d eat his share. Loving all your butternut recipes!

  49. This pizza…? I need it! Neeeeed, I say!

  50. daphne says:

    I love pumpkin and feta together so this appeals to me. I am sure your dad would have loved it too Joanne!

  51. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    This is a gorgeous slice of pizza, so unique 🙂 I love it!

  52. Deborah says:

    I’m sure he is smiling down on you. And what great memories he left behind.

    This pizza looks amazing. I know I’d love a slice!

  53. Christine says:

    I think the same way of my dad and mom. And will always be blown away at the number of people who showed up at my parents’ funerals. It gets easier with time but the pain never goes away. It lessens but it’s always there, sorry to say. Sending you a giant hug!

  54. It is amazing how quickly one year has gone by! I think the pizza is amazing 🙂

  55. cquek says:

    Oh yes – these do look “outrageously good”!

  56. Katerina says:

    Joanne the people we love stay in our hearts for ever! Your dad may not be physically with you, but his thoughts, his actions, his feelings, his way of life and his code of ethics will always be inside you. Because he raised you and passed to you a part of himself and because biologically half of your genetic code is his! So a part of him will always be with you. I am a notorious pizza lover. This one is absolutely perfect!

  57. Joanne, my heart goes out to you and your family as I sit here with misty eyes. This pizza is a great way to remember him and mark the ocassion. May your dad’s memory be eternal. xoxo

  58. Emma says:

    This post made me a little teary. Your Dad was obviously a very special man to many. Like someone else commented it sounds as if you’re very similar, bringing a little brightness to the days of all your readers with your humorous writing, as well as brilliant recipes.I lost my Dad a few years ago, far too young, and think of him often.
    Butternut on pizza is amazing. I’ve done a vegan white pizza with squash and caramelized onons and it was so so tasty 🙂

  59. My dad just left this morning after being here for my defense, and reading this post made me tear up.

  60. What a lovely pizza dough recipe – we had bread flour at home in Oregon, and that would be something we can use. In our pizza dough recipe, we use local beers (haha). I like the idea of using butternut squash on pizza, and it’s perfect for a wintery fall season. I saw a lot of butternut squashes here in Buenos Aires, especially on vegetarian menus (raviolis, soup, or even fritters).

  61. Sending you a warm hug from Boston!
    PS – love all the flavors in this pizza.

  62. Joanne, just reading your post makes me want to give you a tight hug. Your dad must be so proud of you whereever he is and this pizza looks great.

  63. Shawnda says:

    And just think of the countless others your dad must have touched in his everyday routine. What a blessing to have been part of the group that knew him. Hugs to you!

  64. Hugs to you, Joanne, as you remember your wonderful dad. This pizza would have made him proud. It looks delicious!

  65. I’m so sorry you lost your dad. Even though it has been a year, I bet it is still very difficult to deal with. I’m sure he is watching over you and guiding you!

  66. What a lovely man your dad must have been to have had such an impact on so many.

  67. Shannon says:

    such a lovely post joanne <3

  68. This post made me sad and inspired at the same time – what a tough anniversary but a lovely post to remember an amazing man. If he liked pizza, then I’m sure he’d have loved this one too.

  69. awesome tribute to a clearly awesome man!

  70. Joanne, it’s so hard when someone you love so much passes. Your dad sounds like he was a great man!
    This sounds like a yummy pizza.

  71. Great pizza alternative, really love that spinach! YUM YUM!

  72. Kathryn says:

    Such a lovely tribute, sending you lots of love xo

  73. Norma - Platanos, Mangoes and Me! says:

    Delightful…a must try!

  74. Ashley says:

    This looks like an amazing combination! Beautiful post – sounds like your dad was a wonderful person. (((hugs)))

  75. Abby says:

    What a beautiful memory of your dad. This pizza looks crazy good!! Like I wish I was having cold pizza for breakfast right now!

  76. Johanna GGG says:

    The pizza looks beautiful and delicious – and I like to think your dad somewhere is happy to know you still think of him when you have pizza and I also think he would wish he could just make you one more pizza . Lovely post.

  77. Courtney says:

    Your dad sounds awesome and probably touched countless other people. Still thinking of you, friend.

  78. Aya says:

    My dad also likes pizza but he was never one to make one, and he’d probably opt to put meat on it as well. This to me sounds delish!

    Keep up the good work!


  79. […] Source: Adapted slightly from Joanne Eats Well With Others. […]

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