Pump Up Your Pizza with Mushrooms
We have so “mushroom” in our hearts for pizza! We all know pizza is a student favorite – there’s a good chance it makes a weekly or even daily appearance in your schools. Because of that, we need to focus on variety – giving students new, tasty options that will keep them coming back and feeling excited about lunch.
Just because pizza is popular, it doesn’t mean we have to serve the same thing day after day. With it being such a popular dish, there’s even more reason for us to spend a little extra time making sure our pizza looks and tastes great.
Let’s Perfect Your Pizzas
Take the vegetarian cheese pizza option to the next level by using a mixture of fresh and frozen vegetables to create an eye appealing and delicious vegetarian option to impress all students! You can use a frozen cheese pizza, or you can make the pizza from the USDA recipe file or your school recipe. Flatbreads are also a popular base for pizzas (looking for a recipe? Try this one).
Personal & Gluten Free Pizza
Why not create tasty, personal-sized pizzas with mushrooms? Add our Gluten-free Portabella Pizza to your school lunch menu to accommodate students needing a gluten-free option. Trust us – every student will want one of these.
One of the keys to a good pizza is not over topping it; we can add lots of flavors, but we need to minimize quantity. The frozen pre-cut vegetables can greatly decrease prep time, so you can churn out a lot of these pizzas quickly. If you want to credit the vegetables, we just need to carefully layer them on. Since your mixed vegetable topping is likely spread across a few vegetable subgroups, the easiest crediting option is to classify the vegetable topping as an “other” vegetable. (Looking for a recipe? Try this one.)
Don’t forget about fresh veggie toppings! Fresh mushrooms are a popular choice and can either be roasted prior to topping and baking the pizza or topping with the fresh mushrooms then baking. This may depend on the time you have available, what your students prefer, and the current quality of the mushrooms you have in-house. Remember you can always roast the mushrooms that morning or the day before and hold them under refrigeration until it’s time for service, too.
Try adding mushrooms to other pizza options as well. Out in the delivery world, pizza frequently has meat and vegetable toppings together! So, try adding mushrooms to your pepperoni pizzas to easily make a Deluxe Pizza. (Pro Tip: Batch cook your pizzas! Pizzas held too long will dry out and lose quality of flavor – as will the toppings!)
And don’t forget the fresh herbs from your school garden. They can really pop the pizza flavors!
Name that Pizza
The finished product will appeal to all students, and by promoting it on your menus and serving line carefully, you’ll attract vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. While we are perfecting the veggie pizza, we recommend calling out the toppings – not just naming the pizza “vegetarian.” Using the toppings as part of the name, such as Mushroom and Pepper Pizza or Peppers and Mushrooms Pizza, will tell students what the pizza is, and let students know it’s a great pizza, not just for vegetarians.
Even better… maybe you want to run a contest to have students name the pizza – or name it after the school mascot or a landmark in your town! You may even want to offer samples to students on the serving line or the day before you offer the pizza, so they can get a taste of it before making their lunch choice. We know that students can sometimes be resistant to trying new things, even when it comes to pizza, so allowing them to “try before they buy” is a great habit to get into.
Show Us Your Perfect Pizzas
As you create the winning pizza for your students, we want to see the results. We would love to see your team’s perfect pizza. Tag us on your Facebook and/or Twitter post and you can win a Mushrooms in Schools t-shirt.
Every time you share your recipes, we will feature you in our “Mushrooms on the Menu” newsletter (want to subscribe? Click here). We want to celebrate all the hard work you and your team do.