We all love the efficiency and ease of the one-pot wonder: a meal that’s made in one vessel – thrown together and baked or cooked – ready for the after-skiing (or in my case, snowboarding) meal.
A steaming hot pot of spicy chili was always on the menu, waiting for my family when we got home from the mountain – the best thing to fill my hungry tummy after a long day of racing. Thawing out to a great comfort meal is an important part of life here in the Northeast, and we Vermonters certainly participate in plenty of bone-chilling cold-weather winter activities.
Everything has been turned into pizza toppings these days: tacos, BBQ, breakfast, even dessert! Heck, why not have something where the sauce and toppings are all in one?
What if your favorite one-POT meal could be reused on a pizza? Wouldn’t that be a brilliant use of leftovers?
I challenged myself to make a one-PAN pizza wonder out of chili using the concept of its best table mate/friend: cornbread. Instead of a crisp, chewy pizza crust, how about a thin, crisp corn flatbread crust that pushes your average pizza WAY south of the border?
In a large bowl, combine:
2 1/2 cups gluten-free multi-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
In the bowl of your electric mixer, stir together 2 1/2 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast. Notice the pretty yin and yang of oil and water? Who knew food could be Zen, too?
Add the dry ingredients all at once. Beat at high speed for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is lightened and aerated.
It’ll resemble a very thick cake batter.
Allow the dough to rise, covered, in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours. It will become puffy and expand some, but won’t double in volume.
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
A good way to tell things are working the way they should is to break into the dough, after the rise, with a spatula or large spoon. Note the texture of the batter: these air pockets are a sure sign that the fermentation was successful.
Spread the dough onto a liberally-oiled 14″ pizza pan or one 14″ pan and one baking sheet; I used an offset spatula, which is most efficient when it’s oiled. Allow it to rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.
If you have two pans, you can make both at the same time; if not, the dough can wait its turn for the oven.
While you’re waiting, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Bake the pizza shells for 15 minutes, or until the crusts are set and just starting to take on some color around the edges.
It was upon spooning about 2 cups chili over one crust that I realized the importance of using a thickener.
Both the meat and vegetarian chili I used in the photo above could have used a little thickening beforehand, as you can see by the drippy, weeping edges of crust.
After topping each with the chili and about 1- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, bake the pizza for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. And don’t think you need to follow my cheese rules! By all means, please use your favorite blend.
Though temptation will taunt you, allow the pie to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.
Thankfully, the baking process helped to thicken the chili a little, and none of the mess interfered with the flavors of the pizza.
Since the recipe yields two 14″ crusts, I had a chance to redeem myself and thicken my chili with a little potato starch for the next one, as you can see below.
I baked both crusts, without topping, and froze one of them to use later, which worked quite well. When you top and finish baking the frozen shell, you’ll need to add about 5 minutes to the baking time.
Here it is, picture perfect and ready to party with some fresh herbs, green onion, a splash of lime, sour cream, and salsa. Now, you’ll have leftover AND Tex-Mex night at your house all covered in ONE easy dish. It’s time to enjoy a zesty pizza fusion fiesta!
Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Gluten-Free Cornmeal-Crusted Pizza with Chili.
Print just the recipe.