Antara Sinha

Our biggest takeaway might surprise you.

Arielle Weg
October 09, 2018

It’s no secret we love Trader Joe’s products over here—especially when it comes to uber trendy, Instagrammable dishes. We’ve dug into trays of Trader Joe’s butternut fries and dove headfirst into spoonfuls of Trader Joe’s gluten-free cauliflower gnocchi. So when we started seeing Trader Joe’s new butternut squash pizza crust popping all over the Internet, we had to get our hands on a package. Though most of the reviews weren’t super positive, we were hopeful we could make this culty item worthy of purchasing.

The crust is made from butternut squash, corn flour, water, cornstarch, potato starch, olive oil, and salt—all of which seemed simple enough. And even though the box suggested six servings per pie, we rolled our eyes and agreed it was much better suited as a personal pizza. So we’ll take the entire 360 calorie pie base and pile it high with every autumn topping we can think of. Speaking of which—that’s exactly what we did. We snagged a butternut squash pizza crust, some fresh butternut squash, Trader Joe’s Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce, and some cheese (of course) to make the ultimate squash pizza pie. We’re truly creative and inspired folks over here.

Arielle Weg

The first step was baking the pie at 450° for 10 minutes, flipping it (which was tricky, but not impossible), and baking for another 10 minutes. Then, I broiled the crust for five minutes to make it extra crispy (as per box directions). Next came the squash party. Using a food processor, I grated chunks of fresh butternut squash to replicate shredded cheese and reserved a few chunks for larger toppings. Once the crusts cooled a little, I spooned the creamy autumn sauce over the crust, topped it with shredded butternut squash, hit it with some shredded Parmesan and Colby Jack, and then finished it with some more shredded butternut and a few chunky pieces. At that point I let it hit the broiler for another five minutes until melty and aromatic.

Antara Sinha

The finished product was kind of what you would expect—a not super tasty pizza crust vaguely tasting like butternut squash. The edges charred a little bit, especially because the crust itself was not of a consistent thickness so thinner edges crisped while thicker edges remained a little doughy. The bottom of the crust held up well under all the toppings, but we unanimously agreed this was not something we’d run out to buy right away. It might be good as a squash-flavored chip or as a flatbread base for some autumn veggies and spread. But as a gluten-free pizza? We’d rather choose a premade option that uses a blend of gluten-free flours and is way tastier and pizza crust-like.

Our biggest takeaway was how delicious the seasonal sauce was. Trader Joe’s released the Autumnal Harvest Pasta Sauce recently, and its pleasantly straightforward ingredient list consists of tomato puree, pumpkin puree, butternut squash puree, heavy cream, carrot puree, butter, sugar, salt, onion, garlic, citric acid, parsley, black pepper, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and sage. Honestly, it’s a delightful blend of fall veggies that I found myself eating by the spoonful while I waited for the pizzas to bake. So, I might not grab a bunch of these butternut pizza boxes, but I’ll for sure be spooning this sauce over everything else I make this season.

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