This Easy White Spinach Pizza is made with creamy ricotta, spinach, Italian herbs, and a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses! It captures the classic Florentine flavor in pizza form.
You often hear of Florentine dishes in context with Italian foods.
There is Chicken Florentine and Eggs Florentine to name the most popular Florentine dishes prepared with spinach.
What does Florentine mean? It refers to a recipe that is prepared in the style of the Italian region of Florence. But another definition of Florentine means to be prepared with spinach. And that is what I think of when I think of Florentine style dishes.
So a Florentine Pizza, simply would mean a pizza with spinach.
But the pizza I created is so much more than just pizza with a bit of spinach tossed in the mix.
This Spinach Pizza has a tender crust, topped with garlic infused olive oil, a mix of creamy ricotta, spinach, and herbs. And then finished with sharp Parmesan cheese and mozzarella. It remains me a lot of a white pizza--but balanced out with spinach.
Tips for Preparing Spinach Pizza
This recipe is super easy to make and is of course adaptable to using what you have on hand or what your family likes. I do have a few tips that will help you make the best Florentine Pizza.
- While I like to start with my homemade pizza dough, you can certainly use your favorite store bought pizza dough to speed up the process.
- The biggest tip is to be sure to remove all excess liquid from your spinach before adding to your pizza toppings. You can saute spinach at home, or you can use defrosted frozen spinach. A tip for squeezing the frozen spinach dry, is to place the thawed spinach in a clean old kitchen towel and squeeze over sink. Then just wash the towel--this works MUCH better than using a paper towel.
- Feel free to cut out the red pepper flakes for less heat in this pizza or add more if your family likes spice.
- If you happen to not like garlic, just omit it from this pizza.
- Whole milk or reduced fat ricotta can be used for the base of this white pizza.
- If you don't have ricotta, you can drain cottage cheese over a fine mesh strainer overnight and use that in place of ricotta. I recommend, pulsing the strained cottage cheese in a food processor briefly before mixing together the pizza topping. This will give the cottage cheese a better texture for the pizza.
More Easy Italian Favorites
These Italian recipes are a bit Americanized, just as this recipe for Florentine Pizza is, but they are absolutely delicious.
- ¾ cups warm water
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon honey
- 1 ¾ cups whole white wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Pizza:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup frozen spinach defrosted, and drained well
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspooon red pepper flakes optional
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
For Pizza Dough
- Combine the water and yeast and let sit for about 5 minutes in a large mixing bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook attached.)
- Mix in the honey and oil. Add the flour and salt slowly and mix in as you go. With dough hook or large spatula mix together dough until well combined.
- Once mixed, knead for 5 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface or with your dough hook on low-medium speed.
- Place dough in oiled bowl and cover and leave in warm spot for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Shape the dough onto a lightly oiled 12-inch pizza pan.
- Mix together olive oil, salt, and garlic and spread evenly on dough.
- Mix together ricotta, oregano, spinach, parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Spread evenly over pizza dough. Top with mozzarella.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, until cheese is melted and browned.
- You can use any pizza dough you would like for this White Spinach Pizza.
- If you don't have ricotta, you can drain cottage cheese over a strainer overnight and use that instead (if you want the same texture as ricotta, just pulse in food processor for a few seconds.)
- Feel free to use fresh spinach for this Spinach Pizza recipe. It is best to cook the spinach first and then drain, so the spinach will not release water while the pizza is baking to keep the pizza from getting soggy. You would need about 1 pound of fresh spinach to equal ½ cup wilted spinach. And you will still need to drain off the excess liquid well from the sauteed spinach.