This pecan and grape pizza is an out-of-the-box fast and easy dinner recipe, featuring pecans, mozzarella cheese, pickled onions and fresh thyme.
This post was created in partnership with the American Pecan Council. All opinions are our own.
Alex and my creative backgrounds couldn’t be more different. I grew up a strictly trained classical musician, where doing things the right way was emphasized at all costs. As a child you’d find me at the piano bench, playing a passage over and over and over until it was absolutely perfect. Alex, on the other hand, came into the world daring to be different. His childhood was spent chasing fireflies, creating the weirdest art he could, and developing his own photos in a makeshift dark room in his basement. Keep reading for how this relates to this pecan and grape pizza recipe!
Creativity in the kitchen
As you’d expect, using these opposite paradigms in the kitchen was a stumbling block at first. I wanted to follow the recipe to a T, and Alex wanted to do something crazy like add sardines and fresh rosemary when it didn’t seem to make any sense. However over time, our approaches have grown to complement each other. Alex stretches my creativity to think outside the box, and I help to meld some of his crazier ideas into something palatable.
Speaking of creative ideas, how about nuts on a pizza? In all of our recipes, we strive to be creative yet accessible, using everyday ingredients in interesting ways without requiring too many gourmet or special ingredients. This recipe is a perfect example of our approach: grapes, pecans, and red onions are straightforward ingredients, but using them on a pizza is a bit out of the ordinary.
How to make pecan and grape pizza
This recipe came about from a challenge to use pecans in an innovative way, outside of the typical pecan pie. We’ve long loved the lightly sweet taste of pecans, sprinkling them on salads or using them in granola. However, what we hear from most readers is that they’re looking for simple vegetarian recipes or healthy dinner ideas. To use pecans as the featured ingredient in a vegetarian meal, we came up with the idea of using them as a pizza topping! We’ve used nuts on pizza in the past; though it’s a bit outside the box, it adds a satisfying crunch and texture that can’t be beat.
Pecan nutrition facts
In working on this recipe, we learned a few things about pecans*:
- Research indicates that eating a serving of pecans each day may help reduce your risk of heart disease.**
- Pecans contain a valuable package of protein, healthy fats and fiber, which can help you stay fuller longer, making it easier to manage your weight.
- Pecans are packed with flavonoids, the same beneficial plant compounds found in superfruits.
- Pecans are the only tree nut that’s indigenous to America.
Also, almost all of the pecans you’ll find in the US are grown in North America, including thousands of family-owned farms in over a dozen Southern states. Eating pecans means you’re supporting thousands of American family farmers who’ve been supplying most of the world’s pecans for generations.
Pecan and grape pizza…on naan bread
Back to the pecan and grape pizza recipe: here we’ve created something that hits both simple vegetarian recipes and healthy dinner ideas. Naan pizzas are one of our favorite ways to make a vegetarian meal in a hurry. The steps are almost too simple: while you preheat the oven, you prepare the topping ingredients. Then, you pre-bake the naan crust for a few minutes, add the toppings, and return the pizzas to the oven for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.
This concept can be used for any topping combination, so feel free to get creative! Pecans can be used in all sorts of ways outside of the toppings shown here. You could make our pizza dough recipe and make it into a large pizza as part of a lineup of pizzas for a Pizza Friday gathering. The naan pizza is highly versatile, making it a stress-free concept for busy weeknights. If you don’t have time to make the quick pickled onion, you can use fresh red onion (we like to rinse it under cool water beforehand to remove the bite!). Add a handful of pecans for a healthy flair, and you’re in business.
*Information about pecans provided by the American Pecan Council. Head over to their site for more pecan recipes and nutrition info!
**American Pecans American Pecans are certified as a heart-healthy food by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Certification Program. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Looking for healthy dinner ideas?
Outside of this pecan and grape pizza, here are a few of our healthy dinner ideas:
- Eggs with Chive Blossoms
- Orecchiette with Roasted Asparagus and Feta
- BBQ Bean Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
- Best Margherita Pizza
- Veggie Burger with Tart Cherry Salsa
- Quick Garlic Shrimp and Couscous
- Raw Falafel Buddha Bowls
- Mediterranean Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
This recipe is…
This pecan and grape pizza is vegetarian. For vegan or plant-based, use vegan cheese. For gluten-free, use gluten-free naan.Print
This pecan and grape pizza is an out-of-the-box fast and easy dinner recipe, featuring pecans, mozzarella cheese, red onions and fresh thyme.
- If using, at least 1 hour before serving, make the pickled onions. (Alternatively, use fresh red onion; see below.)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Roughly break apart the pecans with your hands. Place them in a small skillet, then heat over low heat for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove from the heat.
- Slice the grapes in half.
- If using red onion, thinly slice the red onion. If desired, rinse the slices under cold water and then drain (this helps to remove some of the bite).
- Place naan directly on the oven grate and pre-bake 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the naan from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Top each naan with about 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, a thin layer of Pecorino cheese, toasted pecans, grapes, and pickled onions. Garnish with thyme leaves (pull off leaves and tender stems over the pizza) and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes until the cheese melts.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Grape Pizza, Naan Pizza, Pecan Pizza, Naan Bread Pizza, Pita Pizza, Pizza Recipes
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.