I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe today. What started out as a craving for one of my old favorite dishes in New York, turned into a yummy new dinner idea that I’ll be coming back to again and again — Mediterranean-inspired Lamb Sausage Pizza.
When I was living in the city, one of my favorite places to go was a little bistro on St. Mark’s called the Crooked Tree. The small, dark restaurant sat maybe 10 people (and that was a crowd), along with a few more outside under some quaint string lights. The menu offered an array of sweet an savory crepes, along with house made sangria concoctions. Needless to say, it was the perfect spot for dates, and so many wine nights with girlfriends. I was heartbroken when I found out the restaurant closed for good earlier this year.
Lately, I’d been craving one of my favorite things off that menu — their Merguez Crepe. It was filled with Merguez sausage, which is made with lamb and a slew of pepper and spices, along with goat cheese and red onions. It was so damn delicious and my mouth is watering just thinking about it again.
Anyways, I wanted to find a way to recreate those flavors at home, and thus this Mediterranean-inspired Pizza came to life.
This pizza just hits the spot. It’s loaded up with fresh ingredients that blend so beautifully together. Lamb sausage, roasted red peppers, red onion, fresh goat cheese and cilantro. I mean come one, what a combo of flavors right there. And bringing it all together, a bold, bright tomato sauce simmered with six different warm and earthy spices, to hit on some of the same notes you’d get when eating actual Merguez sausage.
I wanted to keep this recipe simple. Since the spicy tomato sauce is homemade, I decided to grab a store-bought pie crust, as a compromise. It saves time, and still tastes delicious. This also means that you can customize with a gluten-free crust, or whatever kind you prefer (including your own recipe!)
Easy as pie…
No fancy pizza dough to make here. All you need to make this flavorful pizza is 20 minutes to prep the sauce and the toppings.
The first step is to preheat your oven to 400F. Whether you’re using a pizza stone or a lined baking sheet, put the dish in the oven to preheat along with the oven. It will make for a much better crust that’s crispy on the bottom.
Then, start with the sauce. In a skillet, start sautéing some onions and garlic in olive oil. When they’re nice and fragrant, add in a handful of chopped olives and stir those around. Next, add a can of crushed tomatoes and a blend of spices. Those include Turmeric, Paprika, Cumin, Coriander, Dried Thyme & Cayenne Pepper, which you can adjust to make the sauce more or less spicy according to your taste. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper to your taste as well.
Let that sauce simmer away for 20 minutes while all those spices blend together. Meanwhile, get some lamb sausage going in a separate skillet. I usually buy my lamb sausage in uncooked links and break open 1 or 2 of them to crumble right in the pan. If ground lamb sausage is available at your grocery store, that works as well. Once the lamb is browned (which should only take about 5-7 minutes), remove it from the pan on to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Next, prep your dough. If you’re using a pre-baked crust, then you don’t have to do anything to prep. Maybe just brush the crust with a little olive oil.
I like to use the uncooked pizza dough, because I like the way it rises in the oven, and the final texture of the crust.
If you’re going my way, start by dusting a work surface with some flour. Then use a rolling pin and your hands to flatted out the dough and work it into the size and shape you want. I also usually end up going straight pizzeria style, and tossing the dough around with my hands a few times to stretch it out. Live your best life!
Grab your preheated pizza dish and lay out the crust. Then it’s time to start piling on toppings!
First, ladle a generous portion of the spicy tomato sauce around the dough, leaving about a 1-inch rim on the outer edge. Then, sprinkle mozzarella cheese all over everything. Next, pile on lamb sausage, some chopped up roasted red pepper, and a few thin slices of red onion.
Pop the pizza in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the crust is risen and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Once the pizza comes out of the oven, finish it off with a generous sprinkling of fresh goat cheese, and some fresh chopped cilantro.
Let me know if you give this Mediterranean-inspired Lamb Pizza a try! I love to hear from you in the comments, or tag me on instagram @eat.think.live and let me see your creation! Plus, you can check out the rest of my recipes HERE.
Mediterranean Pizza with Lamb Sausage & Spicy Tomato Sauce
Spicy Tomato Sauce*
- 2 Tsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 Yellow or White Onion Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 28oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 Tsp Turmeric
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Coriander
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 1/2-1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives Roughly chopped
- Salt & Pepper To taste
- 1 Uncooked store-bought pizza dough
- 1-2 Cups Spicy Tomato Sauce
- 1 Cup Ground Lamb Sausage (or 2 links uncooked sausage)
- 1/3 Cup Roasted Red Peppers Chopped
- 1/4 Red Onion Thinly sliced
- 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/3 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
- 1 Tbsp Cilantro Chopped or torn
- Preheat oven to 400F. Put your pizza stone in the oven if using.
- In a saucepan, warm olive oil and cook onions and garlic over medium high heat until soft and fragrant (about 3-4 min).
- Add the crushed tomatoes, all the spices and the olives. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Simmer sauce for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add lamb sauce, break up with a wooden spoon, and brown for about 5-7 minutes until browned. (It’s okay if it doesn’t seem totally done, it will cook more in the oven). Remove sausage to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
- Dust countertop with flour and roll out pizza dough to desired shape. (I usually end up using my hands to toss the dough to help thin it out). Lay pizza out on a greased baking sheet or preheated pizza stone.
- Spread 1-2 cups of tomato sauce around on the dough, leaving about an inch rim. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese, then top with lamb sausage, roasted red pepper and red onion.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and crust has risen.
- Remove from oven and top with goat cheese and cilantro.