Winter Pizza or Pasta

Source: Foodwise Kids Program

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

This is a kid-friendly recipe that the whole family can prepare together! Created for CUESA’s Foodwise Kids program, it’s particularly well-suited for kids ages 6 to 12.

Pizza and pasta are two simple and nearly interchangeable dishes. We use the same ingredients for either a pizza or pasta. Another Foodwise Kids recipe, Winter Pesto, is a great addition.

There are many useful cooking skills practiced in the process: knife skills, using a peeler, working with dough, and boiling pasta. Much of this recipe centers on the stove, which will be good practice for older kids. Younger chefs may grate cheese and rip herbs, and they can enjoy assembling toppings on pizza.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 to 20 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4


2 cups (1 medium) winter squash
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for roasting
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 cups winter greens, washed and chopped
1 cup stock or water
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (for pizza only)
1 tablespoon herbs, chopped
4 tablespoons winter pesto (optional)
2 10-inch pizza crusts or dough, or 1 pound dried pasta of your choice
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste


Cutting board
Large grater
Small grater (optional)
Measuring cups and spoons
Medium saucepan
Wooden spoon or spatula
Baking sheet
Pot for cooking pasta


1.    Wash your hands with soap and water. Thoroughly rinse all vegetables.

2.    Preheat oven to 375 ºF.

3.    Ask an adult to peel and cube the squash into ½ inch pieces. Winter squash is typically hard and difficult for young chefs. Place pieces of squash on a baking sheet and coat pieces with a light drizzle of oil. Roast squash in the oven until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

4.    Prepare the other vegetables while the squash roasts. With the supervision of an adult, chop the onion. You can use a knife or a small grater for the garlic. Winter greens may be chopped or torn apart by your hands.

5.    Ask an adult for help with the stove. Heat the saucepan on medium-high heat for 1 minute and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and half the garlic and sauté until brown, stirring occasionally with a spoon or spatula. Add the stock a couple tablespoons at a time, allowing for the liquid to cook before adding more. Continue to cook to reduce the liquid until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.

6.    In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil for 1 minute and add the rest of the garlic and chopped winter greens. Sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Turn off stove and set aside the greens.

7.    Ingredients may be refrigerated for assembly at a later time.


1.    Wash your hands with soap and water.

2.    Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

3.    Shred the mozzarella if purchased in large blocks. Use the largest holes of your grater. Practice slowly and be careful as your fingers get closer to the grater. Ask an adult for help if you are not able to hold the cheese.

4.    Rip or chop the herbs. Use the soft, leafy parts, not the stems.

5.    Lay the pizza crusts onto a baking sheet. Spread the pesto, cooked onions, baked squash, cooked greens, and shredded cheese evenly across both shells. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.

6.    Garnish with Parmesan cheese and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.


1.    Wash your hands with soap and water.

2.    With an adult’s help, bring a pot of water to a boil and season with 2 tablespoons salt. Add the pasta and cook using the packaged instructions.

3.    Rip or chop the herbs. Use the soft, leafy parts, not the stems.

4.    Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water and set aside. Ask an adult’s help for straining the pasta, because the pot is heavy and hot! Return the pasta to the pot.

5.    On low heat, add the pasta water, onions, Parmesan cheese, and pesto to the pasta and stir.

6.    Add the squash and cooked greens and gently fold together.

7.    Garnish with Parmesan cheese and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste

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