Last night, after I successfully swiped the very last Butternut Squash Pizza Crust from my local Trader Joe's frozen aisle (a new offering!), the cashier checking me out asked, "Oooh what's this? Is butternut squash the next cauliflower?"
Well-versed in the store's cult-favorite frozen items, I did some amateur trend forecasting: "We'll only know for sure once they come out with Butternut Squash Gnocchi, right?"
I then proceeded to go home to crank up my oven to 45o degrees in attempts to see if the team behind all of TJ's sneaky, plant-based swaps is really on to something with this new item (it's $4.99, if you're wondering).
As soon as I unwrapped the crust from its plastic confines, an unwelcome waft of compost-like fumes flooded my kitchen. My first thoughts: It's very stinky and very yellow. Look how yellow!
I put the pan in the oven and waited 12 minutes, as instructed. Despite cooking it at a very high temperature (the way you do with many veggie-based crusts), this version was still soggy in the middle when I went to flip it and failed miserably. With the help of both a very large spatula and a pair of tongs, I severed the crust in two and then quickly patched it back together. The crust molded right back to normal as if it were made out of Play-Doh.
Another 12 minutes later, I removed the crust from the oven and spooned on a thin layer of Trader Joe's marinara sauce topped with their shredded mozzarella cheese. I threw it in the oven to broil and removed once the cheese was bubbling.
My Review of Trader Joe's Butternut Squash Pizza Crust
If you are the type of person who has convinced themself that spaghetti squash tastes just like spaghetti, then you will have no problem ascribing to the belief that this butternut squash pizza crust tastes just like pizza.
Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. The best part of this pizza was the melty cheese part. (Although, to be fair, that is almost always the best part of every pizza). Made with butternut squash, corn flour, water, cornstarch, potato starch, olive oil, and salt, this crust is closer to the consistency of fried polenta.
Despite cooking this version on my oven's highest temperature, as directed, the end result was disappointingly soggy. My pizza slice fell apart when I picked it up, even though I only used a thin layer of sauce in a concerted effort to avoid that very situation. Warning: A droopy piece of deconstructed fake pizza is almost as sad as a dropped ice cream cone.
Texture aside, the crust was also alarmingly sweet. And way too butternut squash-y (read: not pizza crust). The cheese and sauce helped, but they could only help so much.
Although I am a casual hater, I am sure that this crust will be a raging success among those who can stomach alternative crusts and pretend that they can't tell the difference.
Have you had this yet? What'd you think?