Rosemary Red Onion Pizza

For this rosemary onion pizza, dough is smeared with ricotta cheese and topped with caramelized onions, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and rosemary and baked until bubbly and golden brown. An inspired riff on white pizza that’s ideal as a starter or simply as dinner.

A rosemary red onion pizza with ricotta cheese, garlic cloves, and Parmesan cheese on parchment paper

I agreed to co-write “Everybody Loves Pizza” simply because I was asked to. I had no idea how much I’d grow to love and understand the business and product. After interviewing hundreds of pizza makers for the book, I know that delivery or take-out just can’t compare to doing it myself. Cooking something for yourself is key to understanding what the product is supposed to be like. Knowing what went into it adds to the range of your understanding. This Saturday night, put away the number to your favorite pizza joint. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get doughy, ’cause you’re gonna give this pizza thing a try.–Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby

WHat's the secret to good pizza dough?

Pizza is only as good as its dough, you know. Take a mediocre slab of crust and pile it with all the tastiest toppings you can find—you’ll still have a mediocre pizza, at best. Making pizza dough by hand is a rewarding experience but it takes a little forethought. You’ll need a decent flour for starters. Something with a high protein content, such as bread flour, will help to make it chewier and give it a better hole structure. Weighing out ingredients will also help you to get the proportions right, giving you a better chance of success.

Rosemary Onion Pizza

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 8 | Makes 1 large pizza
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Everybody Loves Pizza cookbook

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  • For the pizza dough
  • For the topping and shaping


Make the pizza dough

Pour 1/4 cup of the water into the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and stir in the honey. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let the mixture stand until the yeast softens, about 5 minutes.

Stir the mixture to make sure the yeast is dissolved. Mix in the remaining 3/4 cup water and the oil. Using a dough hook, start mixing the dough on low.

Add the salt, rosemary, and 1 cup flour and mix until it’s completely incorporated.

Then add the next cup of flour and repeat, continuing cup by cup. As the flour is incorporated, a dough ball will start to form and come away from the bowl. As you gradually add the last of the flour, turn up the speed and mix for 1 minute.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead until smooth.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with a cloth; allow it to rise and double in bulk, 45 to 60 minutes.

Make the topping

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and toss in the onions. Cook until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and allow to cool.

Assemble and bake the pizza

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Sprinkle a little coarse cornmeal on a baking sheet.

Punch down the dough and place the dough on the cornmeal. Using your fingertips, gently make indentations in the dough and spread it to the pan size, approximately 10 by 15 inches.

Spread the ricotta on the dough to within a half inch of the edge.

Distribute the cooked onions evenly over the dough and then top with the chopped rosemary, garlic cloves if using, and Parmesan and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. If desired, sprinkle with additional freshly ground pepper.

Bake the pizza for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp.

Serve the pizza immediately or let it cool on a wire rack and then serve at room temperature, sliced into narrow wedges or strips as a starter or wider slices as something more substantial. Originally published Jul 18, 2005.

Print RecipeBuy the Everybody Loves Pizza cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This rosemary red onion pizza is a gorgeous mingling of flavors. The sweet, charred onions along with the woodsy hint of rosemary are an elegant balance to the creamy ricotta and salty Parmesan cheeses. If you add the garlic, you'll be rewarded with even more depth of pungent, sweet flavor. The toppings make the pizza.

The pizza crust texture was tender with a tight crumb and subtle crunch when baked. The rosemary and honey added a sweet herbaceousness to the quick dough but the dough didn't have time to develop any character. Perhaps aging it overnight, or even a few days in the refrigerator, before baking would develop the signature yeasty tang I'm wanting in a pizza crust.

The amount of ricotta was spot on.

This rosemary red onion pizza was a refreshingly different type of pizza, plus it looked and smelled delicious at nearly every stage of the process. The rosemary dough was a perfect base for the sweetness of the cooked red onion. I used the optional ricotta and really loved the creaminess that it added. I also do not consider the unpeeled garlic cloves optional. I only regret that I didn't add more. After cooking the pizza, just squeeze the roasted garlic out of its peel and onto the pizza and you will not be disappointed.

I used the full 3 cups of flour, but I think that I could have used slightly less. It was still good, but the crust was a little more bread-y than I think that it could have been if I would have used less. I found that 45 minutes was perfect for the rise time.



  1. This recipe was incredible! Ended up grilling the pizza and adding chicken and artichoke hearts. One question though — what’s up with the unpeeled garlic? Do you eat that? Maybe I’m too uncultured!

    1. So glad you love this as much as we do, Andrea! Thanks for taking the time to let us know. As for the unpeeled garlic, leaving the papery husks on during baking ensures that the outer layer of the garlic clove itself doesn’t turn tough in the hot oven. We prefer to squeeze the garlic from the husks and onto the pizza and then just demurely toss the husk to the side of our plate as we devour the pizza.

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