Lentil Pizza

We grew, and still do, lentils and peas on the farm. For years we had a stack of recipe pamphlets from the Idaho and Washington Pea and Lentil on the farm to give away to friends and relatives. Some of these recipes were quite unique and I, being a big fan of trying different things, was intrigued by them.

Long, long ago, shortly after I was married, I would occasionally make lentil pizza from one of these recipes. People look at me oddly when I ask if they have ever tried lentil pizza but that is before they tasted it. It takes quite a bit of time but it’s a unique food and occasionally worth the time.

In various moves and life changes I lost the pamphlets and perhaps five or ten years ago I stopped by what is now called USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council to pick up some more. Of course during the passage of a few decades they changed the pamphlets. The new pamphlets did not have the pizza recipe and I was concerned that I had lost the recipe forever.

But during the unpacking from a more recent move I found one of the pamphlets. And to make sure that I will always be able to find it, after all the Internet is forever, I’m posting the recipe here.

Lentil Pizza

Old World Pizza
(Split peas or lentils plus a rice crust give it newness)

For two 12-inch pizzas, 16 servings, you will need:

Crust for two pizzas
5 cups cooled cooked white rice
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 and 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Mix together with a fork. Put half of mixture in each of 2 well-oiled 12-inch pizza pans. Spread evenly and press against bottom and sides. Bake at 450 F (hot oven) for 20 minutes. One sheet pan, 10” x 15” x 1” may be used. Note: 1 cup white rice, uncooked, makes 3 cups cooked rice.

Topping for two pizzas
1 and 1/3 cups cooked mashed hot or warm lentils or split peas
1 pound bulk pork sausage
3-15 ounce cans (approx. 6 cups) tomato sauce
3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano leaves
2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed basil leaves
salt, taste before adding
1 and 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Mash or whip cooked drained lentils or split peas, leaving some whole. Cook bulk sausage until well-done, but not hard and lumpy. Drain off fat and add to mashed lentils or split peas. Mix well.

Combine tomato sauce, plain or with mushrooms, and seasonings except salt. Taste, tomato sauces vary. For powered herbs, use half as much; fresh herbs twice the amount. Spread 1/2 over each rice crust. Sprinkle 1/2 of lentil-sausage mixture evenly over the sauce of each pan, then the Mozzarella cheese and a dusting of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired.

Just before serving time, bake at 450 F for 10 minutes. Each pan cuts into 8 generous servings. The second pan my be freezer-wrapped and frozen, to be backed at a later date. Give an extra 5 minutes for baking from the frozen state.

This unusual low-cost pizza is not a “finger food.” Serve (with a fork), a tossed green salad, and fresh fruit. Why not use this menu for a novel Sunday Brunch? A budget-bonus: the lentils or split peas, added to the sausage, serve as a meat stretcher and protein-extender in the filling, another way of getting more-for-your-money main dishes.

I haven’t made this for Barb’s family yet. Barb has been very polite when I mention this recipe and hasn’t even made funny noises when I say something about it. The facial expressions have been more than adequate to communicate her skepticism.


10 thoughts on “Lentil Pizza

  1. Not everyone understands the wonderfulness of lentils — at least, not until they have smelled ’em cooking! The lentil is an underappreciated pulse.

    Must admit, they had me at lentils, sausage and rice. This stuff for me would be like one of my 20-something roommates and chocolate-chip cookies: she ate all the cookie dough before baking every time, no matter how firm her resolve to do otherwise.

  2. Sent the link off to my brother as I thought he might find it interesting. He sent me back this:
    …There is a saying in Eastern Europe regarding lentils (and I got this 34 years ago from a friend who’s ancestors were from there) roughly translated:

    “Every pea, a fart and a half.”

    He didn’t go in to how exactly they cooked the things back in the old country but it was probably nothing like the pizza recipe.

  3. I’d appreciate if you posted more lentil recipes. They’re a staple of our household with generally at least one meal a week lentil based. Always looking for more recipes to use them with.

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