Mashed Potato and Bacon Pizza

published Dec 2, 2022
Kitchn Love Letters
Mashed Potato and Bacon Pizza Recipe

Inspired by the best pizza I've ever had, this easy homemade pizza is topped with creamy mashed potatoes, loads of cheese, and salty bacon.

Serves4 to 6

Makes 2 (10-inch) pizzas

Prep45 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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mashed potato scallion pizza on a surface
Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne; Prop Styling; Anne Eastman

When my husband and I were in college in Boston, we made all-too-frequent stops at the Otto Pizza on campus. The New England pizza chain was nestled right in the middle of Boston University amongst a line of beautiful brownstones, dining halls, food spots (Dunkin’ included, of course), and classroom buildings. We’d walk over after a long day of class and order a 12-inch Mashed Potato, Bacon, and Scallion pizza to share. It’s Otto’s most popular pie.

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne; Prop Styling; Anne Eastman

We didn’t just go for the pizza. It was an escape from the stress of studying for multiple tests, juggling a handful of papers and projects, and, not to mention, the many, many social functions during our years there. The atmosphere there was casual, yet clean and refined — an open kitchen concept with a flaming brick oven surrounded by a polished wooden bar and tables, vintage pendant lights hanging from the ceiling. It had the looks of a modern pizza restaurant with all the charm of a rustic pizza parlor. Best of all: It wasn’t just another crowded dining hall.

In my ode to my favorite Otto’s pie, I sprinkle on loads of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, slather homemade mashed potatoes all the way to the crust, and top with handfuls of salty, fatty bacon and fresh green onions to round it all out. The key here is the blend of potatoes in the mashed potato recipe. The russet potatoes have more starch and less moisture, making for fluffier mashed potatoes. The addition of red potatoes, which have less starch and more moisture, help the mashed potatoes retain their shape more in the oven. Fully composed, it’s a mash-up that basically tastes like a loaded baked potato on a pizza. It’s something that shouldn’t work, but it just does.

Mashed Potato and Bacon Pizza Recipe

Inspired by the best pizza I've ever had, this easy homemade pizza is topped with creamy mashed potatoes, loads of cheese, and salty bacon.

Prep time 45 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Makes 2 (10-inch) pizzas

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the pizza:

  • 1 pound

    store-bought or homemade pizza dough

  • 8 slices

    regular or thick-cut bacon

  • 6

    medium scallions

  • 1 to 2 sprigs

    fresh rosemary

  • 6 ounces

    low-moisture mozzarella cheese (about 1 1/2 cups shredded)

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup store-bought grated)

  • 2 teaspoons

    olive oil, divided

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 8 ounces

    russet potato (1 small)

  • 8 ounces

    red potato (1 large)

  • 1 large clove

    garlic

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons

    cream cheese (1 ounce)

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons

    heavy cream

For the crema:

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 1/4 cup

    heavy cream

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Divide 1 pound pizza dough into two pieces. If the dough is cold, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature at least 2 hours before proceeding. The dough is ready when it does not bounce back when stretched. Meanwhile, make the mashed potatoes and crema.

Make the mashed potatoes:

  1. Peel and cut 8 ounces russet potatoes and 8 ounces red potatoes into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces. Place in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes by about 1 inch. Finely grate 1 large garlic clove into the water. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt.

  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a lively simmer and cook until fork tender, 6 to 10 minutes. (This is a good time to make the crema and heat the oven.)

  3. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add 2 tablespoons cream cheese, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Mash with a potato masher until mostly smooth with still some lumps. While stirring constantly, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons heavy cream and mix until combined.

  4. Alternatively, for fluffier potatoes, mix the potatoes, cream cheese, butter, and black pepper together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in the pot with an electric hand mixer on the lowest speed until combined and mostly smooth, no more than 1 minute. With the mixer still on the lowest speed, slowly add the cream and beat until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

Make the crema:

  1. Juice 1/2 medium lemon into a small bowl until you have 1 tablespoon. Add 1/4 cup heavy cream, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, and whisk until smooth.

Make the pizzas:

  1. If you have a pizza stone or baking steel, place it on a rack in the middle of the oven. Otherwise, place a rimmed baking sheet upside-down on the rack. Heat the oven to 550°F (or maximum oven temperature) for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Halve 8 bacon slices lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a large frying pan and cook over medium heat until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Line 1/4 of a second rimmed baking sheet with a paper towel, then transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon onto the paper towel.

  3. Prepare the following, placing each ingredient in a separate pile on the baking sheet with the bacon as you complete it: Thinly slice 6 medium scallions on a slight diagonal (about 1/4 cup). Pick the leaves from 1 to 2 fresh rosemary sprigs and finely chop until you have 1 teaspoon. Grate 6 ounces mozzarella cheese on the large holes of the box grater (about 1 1/2 cups). Grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese on the smallest holes of a box grater (about 1/4 cup), or measure out 1/4 cup store-bought grated.

  4. Bake 1 pizza at a time: If baking on a pizza stone or baking steel, assemble on a well-floured peel or cutting board. Otherwise, assemble on a sheet of parchment paper.

  5. Gently roll or stretch 1 ball of the dough into a 10-inch round and place it on the peel or parchment. Brush the dough with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan (2 tablespoons). Using a small spoon, dollop half of the mashed potatoes (scant 1 cup) onto the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella (3/4 cup), then half of the scallions (2 tablespoons), bacon (1/3 cup), and rosemary (1/2 teaspoon). Using a small spoon, drizzle with half of the crema (2 1/2 tablespoons).

  6. For a pizza stone or baking steel, slide the pizza directly onto it. For the baking sheet, slide the pizza, still on the parchment, onto the baking sheet. Bake until the cheese is melted, the crust is golden brown, and the top and edges are charred in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, assemble the second pizza.

  7. Transfer the first pizza onto a cutting board and bake the second pizza. Let the pizzas cool for at least 2 minutes before slicing and serving.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions:You can substitute fresh thyme for the rosemary. 1/3 cup store-bought crema can be used in place of the homemade crema.

Make ahead: You can make the mashed potatoes up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate in an airtight container; use cold. The crema can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Let come to room temperature and whisk or stir again before using.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.