Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza - & a homemade whole wheat crust recipe

March 20, 2011
Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza is one unique and fabulously tasty pizza flavor combination!  It's our family's favorite pizza, especially with a homemade whole wheat crust.

Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza Image

We love, love, love homemade pizza.  Not only can you make it healthier than what you buy at the pizza shops, you can put together some way crazy-delicious flavor combinations that you just can't buy.

Now, don't get me wrong - I love pizza from pizza shops ... swear I could eat it every day and never get tired of it.  Unfortunately, I don't think my pants would be very happy with me if I did that. 
If you're looking for a truly unique and super flavorful homemade pizza combination, give this Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza a try. 
So I've played around at home and come up with several homemade pizzas we really enjoy, and with a whole wheat crust to boot.  Here's the first of our favorites - Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza.

Sometimes I make my own crust, but most of the time - I'll admit - I buy pre-made dough balls at the grocery store.  My favorites - 1.  Trader Joe's for $0.99 (can you believe that price??), and 2.  Harris Teeter for $1.99.  

When I go to Trader Joe's, I bring a cooler and buy like 10 or 15 dough balls at a time.  Then I stick them in the freezer and pull them out as I need them.  Check your local grocery stores to see what's available.  If you'd like to make your own homemade whole wheat pizza crust, I've included my recipe at the end of this post.

Packaged Whole Wheat Pizza Crust Dough Ball Image

The beauty of the toppings for this Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion pizza is you can prepare them in advance and just stick them in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the pizza.  A lot of times, I get the toppings ready the day before.

First, fry up your sausage.  I use a pound of bulk sausage, and fry it into crumbles.

Then caramelize the onions with balsamic vinegar.

To do that, slice the onions in rings and put them in a fry pan with a little butter (or olive oil).  After they've softened a bit, add in a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar:

How to Make Balsamic Caramelized Onions Image

Continue to cook the onions until all the liquid has been absorbed.  At that point, the onions will be beautifully caramelized and be loaded with fabulous flavor from the balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic Caramelized Onions in Saute Pan Image

When you're ready to assemble the pizza, roll out the dough and put it on a pizza stone or baking sheet.

Spread on the sauce ~ I use just a very simple sauce of crushed tomatoes.  Straight out of the can ... yup, just a thin layer of canned crushed tomatoes.

We've experimented, and have found simple crushed tomatoes to be our favorite pizza sauce.  It gives nice simple flavor, without overpowering the pizza's toppings.

Spreading Sauce on Pizza Crust Image

Then add your toppings.  I like to sprinkle on just a tiny bit of cheese first, then the sausage, and then the onions.  Then I top with a good thick layer of cheese - use however much you like.

How to Make Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza Image

Finally, bake that pizza up and enjoy!

Baked Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza Image

With this Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza, I think leftovers are just as yummy (if not even yummier) the next day!  And cold pizza for breakfast? ... the best.

So if you're looking for a truly unique and super flavorful homemade pizza combination, give this Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza a try.  It's our favorite, and may just become your favorite, too.

Slice of Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza Image
Thank you for stopping by The Kitchen is My Playground. We'd love to have you back soon!

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Yield: 8 slices
Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza

Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza

Sausage & Balsamic-Caramelized Onion Pizza is one unique and fabulously tasty pizza flavor combination! It's our family's favorite, especially with a homemade whole wheat crust.
Prep time: 25 MCook time: 40 MTotal time: 65 M


  • Store-bought pizza dough ball OR homemade pizza dough (see ingredients below for homemade whole wheat crust)
For Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (enough for 2 pizza crusts):
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 3/4 c. + 1-2 T. additional warm water
Pizza Toppings (for 1 pizza):
  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 1 large yellow or Vidalia onion
  • 3 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 (14 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • Shredded mozzarella


Prepare the Pizza Dough (if making your own):
  1. Combine yeast and 1 cup warm water to activate yeast - water should be just barely warm to the touch. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and knead together, adding the 1-2 T. additional warm water in the amount needed to form a dough that holds together. 
  3. Let dough rise in a greased and covered bowl for about 45-60 minutes. 
  4. Divide dough into two halves and roll out for two pizza crusts. 
  5. After topping as desired, bake at 425 degrees for about 15-25 minutes.
Prepare the Pizza:
  1. Slice onion in rings, saute in butter over medium-low heat until tender. Add balsamic vinegar and continue cooking until liquid is gone, caramelizing the onions. 
  2. In a separate pan, brown sausage and drain. 
  3. Roll pizza dough out to desired size; place on preheated pizza stone or baking sheet. 
  4. Spread crushed tomatoes over crust for sauce (you may not use all of the can). Top with sausage and onions, then sprinkle with desired amount of mozzarella cheese. 
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for about 15-25 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and just beginning to brown.
Created using The Recipes Generator

You might also like these other tasty pizza creations:


  1. Hi Tracey
    I am going to try this one because we like pizza and usually by the sams digorno but as you said we are limited with the toppings
    The whole wheat crust has me excited Can you add garlic too it after it thaws
    Stop on over to my MIL again my St Pats tablescape is up now
    See you soon

  2. I just discovered your blog today and have been perusing all your different posts. I've already bookmarked a ton of them! I've been dying to ask some questions and so I'll start with this one. First question, on the sausage, do you use breakfast-type sausage or a different type? Second question, I have instant yeast, can that be used in place of the active dry yeast? Thanks so much.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit to my little site! On the sausage, I just use the breakfast-type sausage that comes in the 1 lb. bulk roll ... ya know, that you 'squeeze' out of the plastic wrapping and fry up. For the yeast, yes, I believe you can use instant yeast instead of the active dry yeast. I'm not an expert on using instant yeast, but my understanding is that the rise times may just be different. Just check your dough at different time intervals to see if it's ready. Also, it's on my 'list' to put a 'contact me' page on here ... I just haven't made it that far yet. Feel free to e-mail questions at Looking forward to you visiting again!

    2. Or, ask your questions in the post comments like you did with this one, and I'll reply back. Thanks so much!

  3. Oh my! This recipe is a definite keeper! My family likes to make our own pizza too, and I never knew about the pre-made dough. Trader Joe's is supposed to be coming to my town, so I WILL be buying that dough!!
    Love caramelized onions, so my mouth is watering..... Excited to follow!

  4. I'm going to make your pizza tonight, and my mouth is already watering! I also have shared it on Friday Finds today. Thanks!

  5. I use to love eating pizza. Sadly I found out that I can't eat gluten. I agree that you can make and eat way healthier pizza at home. I love that unlike pizza from restaurants you can put any sauces or spices on your pizza. I don't know anyone that didn't like pizza.

  6. What a gorgeous (and delicious) looking pizza! I seriously need to make this!

  7. Aren't those Trader Joes pizza dough packs so nice?? This recipe looks super tasty. Thanks for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!

  8. Yum, Yum, Yum. This look amazing!! I'm going to have to try that premade dough!! Luckily we have a Trader Joes nearby!

  9. Many a time I have attempted to make my own homemade crust with disastrous results. If you ever saw the episode of "I Love Lucy" where she made bread in her oven, popping the door off when the yeast ran amok, then you have a pretty good idea as to what my pizza looked like. Yours looks so delicious and I am thrilled to learn that Trader Joe's actually sells pizza dough! I am trying this for sure, I found you on Food Friday & Everything Else, and am so glad that I did!

  10. This sounds to die for!!! Pinned! :)

  11. This is my kinda pizza! Thanks for linking up with What's Cookin' Wednesday!

  12. All these pizzas look so good! Sausage and caramelized onions sound perfect!

  13. Hi Tracey;
    On the tomato sauce. Normally I but Roma Tomatoes, let them ripe, peel them and add seasoning for my pizza. I have notice that when I use Fresh Tomatoes, my pizza ends ups with a lot of liquid after baked. Have you ever used fresh tomatoes when making your pizza?


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