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Pizza Night! Fennel, Onion, and Italian Sausage with Mixed Greens Salad

Active Time: 45-50 minutes / Cook Time: 50 minutes / Total Time: 60 minutes, plus 1 hour of refrigeration time for pizza crust

Makes 4 servings

Pizza Night! Onion%2c Fennel & Italian Sausage.JPG


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus a hefty pinch, divided
  • 1 ½ tablespoons refined coconut oil or ghee, melted, divided, plus more for the pan
  • 1 medium bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced (about 6- 8 oz.)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half-moons (about 6-8 oz.)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
  • ½ lb. bulk Italian sausage, sweet or hot (remove sausage from casings if you can’t find bulk)
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted*
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar, plus a drizzle for the pizza, if desired
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving


  1. Brush a pizza pan or cookie sheet with a thin layer of coconut oil. Add water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, add polenta in a steady stream. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, reduce heat to low, switch to a wooden spoon and stir until polenta is thick, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Stir 1 tablespoon oil in to the polenta and very quickly transfer it to the prepared pan. Spread the polenta on the pan so that it is about ½ inch thick and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat the oven to 450°F, prep your other ingredients now, and then go put your feet up for a little while 
  3. Heat ½ tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the fennel and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to brown. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water, cover, and cook until the vegetables start to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Stir often.
  4. Scoot the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the sausage, breaking it up with the spoon. Cook until sausage is fully browned and crumbled, 6-8 minutes.
  5. Stir in red pepper flakes and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  6. In a large bowl, toss the greens, goat cheese, and pine nuts. In a pint jar with an airtight lid, combine vinegar, mustard, pinch each of salt and pepper, and olive oil and shake until emulsified. Set aside.
  7. Remove polenta pizza crust from the refrigerator and place in hot oven. Bake 25 minutes.
  8. Remove crust from oven and evenly spread sausage mixture over top, leaving a ½” border around the edge. Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes, or until the edges of the polenta crust are beginning to brown and crisp.
  9. Drizzle the pizza with olive oil and vinegar, if desired.
  10. Cut the pizza into 10 pieces. Serve 3 per person tonight with ¼ of the salad and dressing per person.
  11. Package 2 pieces of pizza and ¼ of the salad and dressing per person into airtight containers for tomorrow’s lunch. (Keep the dressing separate, so the lettuce doesn’t get soggy.) Refrigerate.

*To toast nuts, add to a small dry skillet and heat over medium-low. Stir frequently until you can smell their nutty aroma and they are golden brown. It will vary with the type of nuts, but should take between 3-5 minutes.