Thin-crust garlic and arugula pizza with balsamic reduction. This Tuscan-style flatbread pizza with fresh rosemary and smoked cheese with a drizzle of balsamic reduction takes you right to Italy. Into the oven in only 15 minutes makes it a perfect vegetarian weeknight meal.

Thin-crust arugula pizza with garlic and balsamic reduction

Creating This Garlic and Arugula Pizza Recipe

Last week, we met my in-laws for pizza and a nice mid-week visit. We had a great time catching up on the latest in their (almost) retired life and they got to give their granddaughters a nice hug. By the time we left, I was worried I might fall asleep on the drive home. I was stuffed.

Part of this has to do with the fact that I ate three pieces of pizza, and I should have stopped at two. And part of it was that the pizza had been so bready. Is that a word? The crust was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but there was just a lot of it. It was nothing like the thin flatbreads I remembered enjoying twenty years ago when I was in Tuscany. Have I mentioned how much I want to go back to Italy? Oh wait, yes I have.

Even though I had had my fill of pizza, I was inspired to make a Tuscan-style thin crust pizza for dinner a few nights later. My plan was to make a very simple pizza with a scattering of fresh arugula on top, which was one of my very favorite types of flatbread to order when I was in Italy. Without much thought for the other ingredients, I stopped at the market. Garlic, rosemary, whole-wheat dough and arugula. And then when it came to the cheese I saw a ball of smoked fresh mozzarella and I knew that I had to use it.

This simple combination of flavors came together so well, but the best part was the balsamic reduction drizzle. I just love the surprising sweet and sour bite it adds here and there. And the crispy thin crust made me so happy, and not too full! I just rolled it nice and thin. I used store-bought dough, but my home-made multi-grain pizza dough would be great with this combination of ingredients too. I baked the pizza on the bottom rack so that the bottom of the crust would get nice and crispy.

If you’re gluten-free, you should definitely check out this yeast free Gluten Free Pizza Crust from Gluten Free on a Shoestring.

Thin-crust arugula pizza with garlic and balsamic reduction

How to Make Garlic and Arugula Pizza

This thin-crust garlic and arugula pizza couldn’t be any easier to make! Here’s how I made this homemade pizza recipe:

1. Make the balsamic reduction — Not sure how to make balsamic reduction? No worries, it’s super simple. All you have to do is bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Then reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer and reduce until the vinegar is thick and syrupy. You can work on prepping the other parts of this easy pizza recipe in the meantime!

2. Prep the pizza dough — While the balsamic vinegar reduces, brush 2 teaspoons oil over a large rimmed baking sheet and then sprinkle with cornmeal. Roll the pizza dough out on a lightly floured surface to the size of the pan and lay dough over the cornmeal.

3. Add the pizza toppings — Mash the garlic and salt into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife and then combine with a little olive oil in a bowl. Brush the garlic oil over the pizza and then sprinkle with rosemary and top with cheese.

4. Bake the pizza — Transfer the homemade pizza to the bottom rack of the oven. Once the pizza is done baking, scatter the arugula on top and drizzle the balsamic reduction over it.

If you have any questions about making this homemade garlic and arugula pizza, just leave me a comment down below!

homemade balsamic reduction.

Questions:

Do you live near your relatives and meet them mid-week?

Do you prefer thin crust pizza?

Have you had arugula or balsamic reduction on pizza before?

More Homemade Pizza Recipes:

Potato Rosemary White Pizza

20-Minute Zucchini Ribbon Pita Pizzas

Pizza with Roasted Grapes and Rosemary

5-Ingredient Grilled Pesto Pizza

Homemade Multigrain Pizza Dough

Print
Balsamic reduction drizzled over white flatbread pizza

garlic and arugula pizza with balsamic reduction

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Thin-crust garlic and arugula pizza with balsamic reduction. This Tuscan-style flatbread pizza with fresh rosemary and smoked cheese with a drizzle of balsamic reduction takes you right to Italy. Into the oven in only 15 minutes makes it a perfect vegetarian weeknight meal.


Scale

Ingredients

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 16 to 20 ounce ball pizza dough, preferably whole-grain or multi-grain
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 6 ounces shredded smoked cheese (see note*)
  • 1 ½ cup fresh baby arugula

Instructions

  1. Arrange oven rack in the bottom most position of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer and reduce until the vinegar is thick and syrupy, about 13 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, brush 2 teaspoons oil over a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Roll pizza dough out on a lightly floured surface to the size of the pan and lay dough over the cornmeal.
  4. Mash garlic and salt into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife on the cutting board. Scrape the garlic paste into a small dish and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Brush the garlic oil over the pizza. Sprinkle with rosemary. Top with cheese.
  5. Transfer the pizza to the bottom rack of the oven and bake until the bottom is crisp and brown and the cheese on top is melted and bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes. Scatter the arugula on top and drizzle the balsamic reduction over it. Cut into 10 pieces and serve immediately.


Notes

Ingredient note: Use any type of smoked cheese that you like. Harder and longer-aged cheeses like smoked cheddar, gruyere and gouda are generally saltier and higher in fat so you will only need 6 ounces for this recipe. If you would like to use a ball of fresh smoked mozzarella, use 8 ounces and add a generous pinch of extra kosher salt. If you are not sure, compare nutritional labels, if it has 100 to 110 calories per ounce, use 6-ounces. If it has 70-80 calories per 1-ounce serving, use 8 ounces.

Keywords: arugula pizza, homemade pizza, vegetarian pizza

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