Flatbread pizza is everywhere lately. This particular recipe is my take on a flatbread pizza served at Seasons 52. That is a restaurant where our local chapter of the Association for Financial Professionals would meet for continuing education lunches. Back before I became a refugee from the corporate world. I don’t get out to Seasons 52 as often as I once did. So, I had to try and recreate this little gem myself. Because it is seriously delicious. I mean like amazingly good.
My guess is that Seasons 52 uses sliced steak on their version. But I wanted an explosion of beefiness, I opted to make mine with a good quality, well-seasoned, sliced, deli roast beef. And boy, does it do the trick! Add the caramelized onions (which develop their own beefy, umami splendor when they become golden) and the earthy mushrooms, and you have a flatbread pizza to die for. Well, at least to drool over. Dying may be a little extreme.
I chose this recipe for today because, while we are in the swing of the holiday season, you may be cooking for family, hosting a party, or contributing to a potluck. So, I’ve been trying to share recipes lately that are versatile enough for either a family meal or as party food.
Let’s see what goes into the Beef, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onions flatbread pizza
For a flatbread pizza, there must be some sort of flatbread. I’ve struggled making flatbread pizzas because my pizza dough recipe would get tough when rolled out very thin. So, I started using store-bought lavash. It works beautifully, especially if you like clean lines for presentation. But I like things to look a little more rustic and homemade. Instead of looking for a pizza dough recipe that would work better, I went in search of a lavash recipe. Thanks to Joe Pastry, I found one. One caution. I used half the salt that he has in his recipe because it was a little salty for me.
For comparison purposes, I featured my homemade bread on the right and the store-bought lavash on the left. I par-bake the bread so that I have room for it to get crispy once I bake the flatbread pizza in the oven. That’s why it looks a little bit pale. I actually made these yesterday and then sealed them in plastic after they cooled. And they performed beautifully in the pizzas today. So, if you are going to make your own flatbread, you can always make it ahead of time to shorten the process for making the flatbread pizzas.
Oh, and because I really do love my readers, I have included a little bonus. Although I’m going to post only one recipe with steps today, at the end of the post I will include ingredient pictures for two other flatbread pizzas. Once you know one recipe you will easily be able to adjust the steps for different flatbread pizza varieties. I thought I would share some that are popular with my family to give you some ideas on what others you can try.
Not much to it, huh?
Make sure your sliced roast beef is at least medium rare. It needs to retain its tender and juicy mouth feel when the pizza is baked, so give it some room to cook by starting out with something that is not already well done.
Let’s look at the steps for assembling the Beef, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onions flatbread pizza
Start by caramelizing the onions in butter.
You’ll use more butter than you think you need, but what is left is going to be used to caramelize the mushrooms too, so you want some leftover butter in the pan after the onions are done.
Then remove the onions using tongs and transfer them to a paper-towel-lined dish to drain a bit. Using tongs ensures that most of the butter is left behind for the mushrooms. The paper towels help ensure that your finished flatbread pizza is not too greasy.
Using the same pan, brown your mushrooms.
There was some butter in the pan when I first added them, but you can see there is not much butter left in it now. Mushrooms are spongy little things. They soak stuff right up.
Once the mushrooms are browned, add the thyme and stir just to heat. I like to leave the thyme fairly fresh because it adds a beautiful hint of lemony goodness to the finished product.
This is a white flatbread pizza, so no tomato sauce. Just a nice coat of olive oil and freshly diced garlic.
After the olive oil and garlic, layer first the mozzarella, then the caramelized onions and mushrooms.
I recommend sticking with the recommended amount of cheese. Flatbread pizzas are more about the flavor combo of the non-cheese toppings. Too much cheese makes the pizza top heavy on that thin little bread crust. It then becomes sloppy to eat and more cheesy than savory.
Next, drop half slices of the roast beef in little mounds. You don’t want a flat pizza. Dropping it by the half slice in little raised piles adds a visual texture to your finished flatbread pizza.
Finally, top with just a bit more mozzarella for contrast.
Then into a hot, hot oven it goes. But just for a couple of minutes or so. Everything is already cooked. You just want melting, hints of gold, and crispy crusts.
Note: I use a baking sheet or a pizza stone with parchment paper. It makes for easier cleanup and lifting the pizza out of the pan.
It should look something like this.
And it should smell like you’ve died and gone to heaven.
And then you bite into one and you know you did.
Good stuff, guys. Really good stuff.
And now, for the bonus part
Here is another version. Instead of olive oil and garlic, use pesto for the bottom.
Marinade the shrimp in salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and lime juice for about 15 minutes, then drain and cut the shrimp in half before adding the toppings.
I made this flatbread round, so I cut the flatbread pizza into wedges.
Or re-purposed grilled boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Chop into cubes, add the olive oil and garlic base, then cheese and chicken and thinly sliced onion, and more cheese. Finally, sprinkle a little oregano for a delicious Italian flare.
- 2 flatbread or lavash pieces, 10-12 inches long
- 1 large or 2 medium garlic, diced
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup sweet onion, sliced ¼-inch tick
- 1 cup sliced mushroom
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 cup thinly sliced, seasoned, rare deli roast beef
- Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 550° F or as high as your oven will go.
- Over medium low heat, caramelize the onions in the butter until soft and golden brown.
- Using tongs, remove the onion to a paper towel-lined, leaving as much butter behind in the pan as possible.
- Add the mushrooms to the hot pan and brown.
- Then add the thyme to the mushrooms and stir to heat.
- Turn off the flame and begin assembling the flatbread pizzas on a section of parchment paper.
- Brush olive oil over the tops of the flatbread pieces, careful to reach to the edge.
- Sprinkle ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella over each.
- Spread half of the diced garlic over each, distributing evenly.
- Then layer the onion and mushrooms.
- Drop half slices of the roast beef in small piles.
- Sprinkle some more mozzarella lightly over the roast beef.
- Lift the parchment paper with the assembled flatbread pizzas onto a cookie sheet.
- Place on the middle rack of the pre-heated oven.
- Bake until the cheese is melted and begins to turn golden brown, and the bread edges are becoming crispy, about 2-3 minutes
- Remove from the oven and place on a cutting board.
- Rest for about 3-5 minutes, then slice and serve.