Popover Pizza with Baby Bellas

… Plus Caramelized Onions and Sweet Peppers

This post is linked to Friday Foodie Fix–Balsamic Vinegar. (See other roundup links within the post.)

First things first … Mr. GFE says that it’s really not accurate to call this a pizza. I will continue to call it popover pizza, but I’ll add the disclaimer that some folks call it a pizza “casserole” and others call it “upside down pizza.” I’ve been making this recipe for years, so I think his comments “stemmed” from this particular version of this pizza—a vegetarian one—not the popover pizza in general. And, the fact that I added caramelized onions might have put it over the top for hubby. (It’s definitely not a manly, man recipe like Carol is seeking in this month’s Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free theme. ) Another factor might have been that the cheese does not stand out in this recipe. It plays an important role in holding the ingredients together, but you don’t get that super ooey, gooey texture that’s sometimes present in pizza dishes. The vegetables and sauce are definitely front and center, supported by the very nice popover crust.

About the popover factor … loyal readers already know that I am a self-confessed popover lover. :-) Early on in gfe’s history, I shared my recipe for popovers as my favorite gluten-free “bread.” Then, I posted the recipe for the fabulous volcano pancake, which is the equivalent of a popover in pancake form. Now, I’m sharing popover pizza. (Look at the photo below of it right out of the oven to see the popover effect! Ignore the slight “leakage” of the sauce.) This is a recipe that’s all over the web. I just adapted it to be gluten free. Usually I make it with ground venison as the “topping.” But, this time I wanted to use mushrooms for Diane’s Friday Foodie Fix at the The Whole Gang. I could have just added mushrooms to the meat sauce mixture I generally use. However, because I was going for a real veggie taste, I skipped the meat and along with the mushrooms added caramelized Vidalia onions and yellow and red sweet peppers. The results are a sweeter version punctuated with the meat-like flavor of the baby bellas.

It’s important to note that the dough of this popover pizza will taste significantly better and allow for an easier, “prettier” flip if it is allowed to cool/set up for several minutes. A 10 – 15 minute wait works well. However, at our house, we can’t always wait that long. Sometimes we don’t get to appreciate that fact until we cut our second piece of popover pizza!

I gave this version the ultimate test by eating a piece cold for breakfast. It passed with flying colors! I will make my traditional version for Mr. GFE soon and share with you all. Plus, I’ll be sharing my flourless pizza recipe soon (you won’t believe that this pizza contains no flour). For now, I hope you’ll enjoy this popover pizza with baby bellas, caramelized onions, and sweet peppers. As always, feel free to modify the ingredients to what you have on hand and to your liking … that’s really what being gfe and being happy in the kitchen are all about!







Popover Pizza with Bellas, Onions, and Peppers
(Click here for a print version of this recipe.)

6 ounces of Baby Bella (portabello) mushrooms—cleaned, sliced and cooked
2 Vidalia onions—thinly sliced and slightly caramelized
sweet pepper slices—sauteed a few minutes
small amount of oil (for sauteeing and caramelizing onions)
pinch of granulated sugar (for caramelizing onions)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (for caramelizing onions; use slightly more if needed)
1 jar spaghetti/pasta sauce (I used a 24-ounce jar of Bertolli organic this time—olive oil, basil, and garlic—but I’ve tried many different mainstream gf sauces, all with great success)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup gluten-free flour mix*
½ tsp xanthan gum (omit if using a gf flour mix that contains xanthan gum)
¼ tsp salt
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Grease 13 x 9 Pyrex baking dish. Saute mushrooms in a small amount of vegetable oil until they release their liquid. Drain and place in single layer in  baking dish. Saute peppers in remaining liquid for about two minutes; add a little vegetable oil if needed. Remove peppers with spatula or slotted spoon and add in a layer to baking dish over mushrooms. Slightly caramelize onions by sauteeing on medium heat until translucent, then adding a pinch of sugar and one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and cook until browned and fragrant (a few more minutes). Remove onions with spatula or slotted spoon (so all liquid is left in pan) and layer onions on top of peppers and mushrooms. Heat sauce in skillet bringing to a simmer, then pour over veggies. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Beat eggs, milk, and oil until foamy. Add flour mix and salt, and beat until smooth. Pour batter over sauce/veggie mixture, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is puffed and golden brown. Cool a few minutes and then cut into squares, flipping as you place on plate.

*A very economical option is the gluten-free flour mix that I use most of the time. It consists of three parts Asian white rice flour (much more finely ground than typical white rice flour) and two parts cornstarch. I make 5 lbs of this mix at a time. I use three 1-lb bags of Asian white rice flour and two 1-lb boxes of Argo cornstarch. Mix well, but gently in a very large bowl and then transfer to airtight storage containers (like Tupperware). I can’t guarantee that this recipe will work with all gf flour mixes.

Shirley’s Notes: I cooked all the veggies beforehand to ensure that I wouldn’t have too much liquid in the recipe. I added the leftover liquid from my skillet to my freezer container for future use in Everything Soup. I had a little too much liquid initially as you can see from the next to the last photo, but once the pizza cooled, the little bit of extra liquid was absorbed and it was not a big deal. However, I had cooked the peppers with the sauce and I think they provided the liquid, so I modified the instructions to show sauteeing the peppers separately to prevent any extra liquid.

Not just gf, but gfe!

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31 Responses to “Popover Pizza with Baby Bellas”

  1. Diane-thewholegang on June 6th, 2009 1:34 pm

    So I’m going to have to agree with Mr GFE but since I don’t know what to call it I guess popover pizza works. You come up with meals I would never think of. Must be that camper girl in you. I like that his dish has no meat in it. I’m cutting way back so I’m looking for more options. If I ever get going on that flour mixture. Looking forward to the pizza with no flour. Thanks for sharing this on Friday Foodie Fix. Your link doesn’t work but I think I can fix it.

    • Shirley on June 6th, 2009 3:12 pm

      Hi, Diane–Rats on the link not working … thanks so much for fixing it! I guess I was headed out the door too quickly to try to catch the thrift shop (for finds for son’s appt) and the farmer’s market before they closed.

      I know you don’t eat rice and severely limit your amounts of rice flour. I’d like to experiment more with flours I can tolerate in this recipe. I can’t do bean, buckwheat, sorghum, and more. I’ll try cornmeal soon. I may even try the pumpkin seed flour Ali just used for her chocolate cake recipe. I’ve never had any issues eating pumpkin seeds before! :-) Note to other readers: I’m referring to Ali of Whole Life Nutrition. She is having a giveaway for this terrific new gf flour! Go get your name in for the giveaway and check out the stunning chocolate cake she made from this recipe here.

      Now I really need to check out all the Friday Foodie Fix recipes! I keep getting distracted with lunch, laundry, and other chores … see why I like going to our mtn property?! ;-)

      Thanks, Diane!

  2. Anali on June 6th, 2009 3:11 pm

    Ah, the old cold for breakfast pizza test. That certainly is a stringent test and only the best make it, so I’m sold on this. Plus, I’m loving saying “popover pizza” in my head! ; )

    • Shirley on June 7th, 2009 6:58 pm

      Hi, Anali–LOL I’m so glad someone appreciates the “cold for breakfast” test! I’m a word lover and alliteration girl myself, so I hear you. ;-) Hope you’ll try it and like it … you can really use any toppings of your choice. :-)


  3. Linda on June 7th, 2009 5:31 pm

    Those onions and mushrooms look delicious. I’m sure my family would like this recipe. I’ll try it soon.

    BTW, thanks for the link. I’ll add you to my blog roll.

  4. Carol, Simply...Gluten-free on June 7th, 2009 11:15 pm

    Regardless of the name controversy – it looks and sounds delicious!

  5. RobinSue on June 8th, 2009 10:08 am

    Sounds like a pizza to me. Looks great and seems nice and easy too!

    • Shirley on June 8th, 2009 1:59 pm

      Robin Sue–Hey there—good to see you again! :-) Thanks. It’s very easy. BTW, I used to make this recipe all the time before going gf. (You’d just use regular flour and skip the xanthan gum.)

      Lots going on at your blog as usual, dear. Mississippi Mud Cake and upscale Jello shots! Fun, fun stuff. Guess I’ll have to post my gf version of Mississippi Mud Cake soon. ;-)


  6. Christine on June 8th, 2009 11:25 am

    Ohhh, looks great Shirley! I’ll be trying this one for sure! Maybe the meat version though. I’m new to this popover thing so I’ll be reading up on this today! Thanks.

    • Shirley on June 8th, 2009 1:54 pm

      Hi, Christine!–Good to see you here at gfe again! You don’t have to know anything about popovers to make this recipe. Just follow the directions. Please report back, especially if you use another gf flour combination. The meat version is the classic one for us and the one Mr. GFE likes best. :-)

      I had to pop over (ha ha) to your blog, The “C” Chronicles, and check out your latest posts. So glad you had a great time in Vegas and had success eating gf (except for that one annoying incident—we’ve all had those and they are frustrating!!). As I told you, we’re still pondering our family vacation with our 21-year old and Vegas might be a possibility with its relative closeness to the Grand Canyon.


  7. glutenfreeforgood on June 8th, 2009 3:19 pm

    Flourless pizza? You have some interesting tricks up your sleeve, Shirley! I can’t wait to see how you pull that off.

    I’ve been sidetracked lately and must get caught up on my blog surfing. I didn’t miss any more half-dressed men wandering in rivers, did I?

    Well, I love mushrooms, so I’m going to have to give this a try. I love your litmus test of cold pizza for breakfast! Very clever.


    • Shirley on June 8th, 2009 7:04 pm

      Melissa–Good to see you again, dear! :-) I’ll plan on sharing the flourless pizza recipe soon … don’t want to keep you guys in suspense too long. LOL

      Ha ha on the half-naked men. We’ll you might see one again … we didn’t go to our property this past weekend because it had rained for a week and the river was up. Mr. GFE might have to do another dock rescue!

      Please report back when you make your version of popover pizza. I love hearing feedback! :-)


  8. V-Grrrl on June 9th, 2009 12:59 pm

    Anything that contains carmelized onions is my friend. : )

    I’ve been a lazy cook lately but everytime I come here, I see another reason I should break out of my slump and get serious in the kitchen.

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 6:42 am

      Hey, V–Gotta agree. I do like my caramelized onions. Just saying those two words (even before 7 am) makes me hungry. I think Mr. GFE would have preferrred non-sweet onions though. Next time …

      I think it can be hard to be inspired in the kitchen in the summer. I’m sticking to simple the next few days … corn on the cob, artichokes, broccoli … oh, and there’ll be some meat in there somewhere. ;-)


  9. noble pig on June 9th, 2009 9:15 pm

    It sounds yummy. I love the onion mixture going on here.

    • Shirley on June 10th, 2009 6:52 am

      noble pig–Hi, Cathy! I really appreciate you stopping by, especially with all you have going on over at your noble pig site these days. It’s been so much fun to see the recipes you have come up with as you’ve cleaned out your freezer before your upcoming move. :-) That pear-cranberry pie with oatmeal streusel would be easy to make gf—and delicious, of course!


  10. Mari on June 20th, 2009 12:35 pm

    Wow! I was thinking of making a pizza today, and kept trying to talk myself out it, because it just seemed like too much work, and I didn’t want to use the frozen GF buttermilk bread dough again, so I was sulking. I happened across your site and signed up, and this lovely recipe floated into my inbox. I have decided to make it tomorrow for Father’s Day, because it looks special, easy, and delicious. Thank you so much! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

    • Shirley on June 20th, 2009 12:46 pm

      Hi, Mari–Welcome to gfe! Thanks so much for your comment. What’s funny is that the email you got was a bit of an “oops” … Feedburner is only supposed to send the most recent post, but some tweaking is being done to my feed and it sent out links to the last 10 posts instead! I was agonizing over everyone being annoyed by that, so your comment tickled me pink. :-)

      I’m so glad you found my site. As I shared in the recipe, I can’t guarantee the popover pizza will work for every gf flour mix (they can vary so much in ingredients), but I’ve had great luck with the Jules mix and my own gf flour mix (using Asian rice flour and cornstarch—recipe in post). Hope yours turns out well! Sometime soon I plan to share my flourless gf pizza recipe where different flour mixes are not an issue. Good luck with the popover pizza!

      Thanks so much! Look forward to seeing you more here at gfe!


  11. Mari on June 20th, 2009 2:10 pm

    I’m glad your site oopsed too, and thanks for the warm welcome. I’ve decided to keep a batch of your mix in the pantry, because it’s so inexpensive and the ingredients are really easy to find at my grocery store. Love the Asian rice flours myself, and I use them in other recipes. Much cheaper and just as good as the Authentic Foods brand! In this economy, any time we can save money, it’s a great thing. :) Am also going to make the peanut butter cookies; so glad you posted that, because it looks great. I’ve made similar cookies in the past, but yours look better.

    • Shirley on June 20th, 2009 3:17 pm

      Mari–Thanks very much for that endorsement on the gf flour mix! :-) It really is terrific with the very finely ground white rice flour and naturally fine cornstarch, and economical as you said. My support group has been loving it. We have an international grocery store that carries the white rice flour now and they’ve all been stocking up and making their own mixes. It’s just so easy to do.

      The peanut butter cookies are just wonderful peanut butter and brown sugar goodness as they, of course, contain no flour. A gluten-eating friend says she likes them even better the second day. I like them all the time and mine don’t always last to the second day. The recipe makes about 24 cookies and I always share them so I won’t be tempted to just go crazy. LOL Oh, and don’t know if you saw the later “variation,” but if you want to take them to another level, you can turn them into peanut butter chocolate hazelnut sandwich cookies by spreading Nutella on one and sandwiching them together. Oh, my … you only need one or two of those!

      Have a great weekend, Mari!

  12. Mary on November 20th, 2010 8:02 pm

    Any suggestions on how to make this dairy free? Do you mean that you usually use ground venison instead of the mushroom/onion? I’m going to try this dairy-free. Looks good!

    • Shirley on November 20th, 2010 11:22 pm

      Hi Mary–Well, for the milk, you’d use non-dairy milk, but for the mozzarella I can only suggest the Daiya mozzarella type “cheese.” I haven’t tried it yet, but I know folks really like it. I’ve heard of using nutritional yeast before to create a cheesy flavor similar to Parmesan and I’ve seen almond flour and olive oil create a cheesy taste before. So experimenting is definitely in order. ;-)

      Yes, that’s what I meant about the ground venison; that’s usually our topping for this pizza.

      I hope a dairy-free version works. Please report back because I need to make a dairy-free version, too. :-)


  13. susan g on February 1st, 2012 11:39 am

    Shirley, that was a treat! We ate some hot from the oven, then finished it up a few hours later. Delicious both ways. (It was a 1/2 recipe in an 8×8″ pan.) I used Bob’s Biscuit Mix for the flour because that was what was on hand — very delicate and not much popping. Whatever you call it, it’s a keeper.

    • Shirley on February 1st, 2012 11:31 pm

      Thanks so much for the feedback, Susan! I haven’t made this in a while, but it’s a family and support group pleaser. :-) Great idea on using half the recipe in an 8×8 pan! LOL on the name quibbling, too. ;-)


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