Spicy White Pizza with Bacon, Shrimp & Asparagus


Pizza is the great unifier.

I mean, you can take a handful of motley, leftover ingredients (say, a little spinach, some cooked bacon, the last bits of a few different kinds of cheese), put them on a pizza, and…presto! A delicious meal with very little effort.

It’s my ultimate I-have-no-idea-what-to-make-for-dinner-tonight meal.

This is also my second entry in the Breakstone’s Triple Churned Challenge. If you like what you see, please consider voting for my menu! (When you vote, you’ll be entered to win $300!)

Homemade pizza dough versus store bought

For this pizza, you can go all out and make the dough from scratch—or, if you’re short on time, swing by your local pizza joint and ask them to sell you a ball or two of dough. Most places are happy to oblige.

Or grab a ball of fresh dough at the grocery store on your way home from work. (Pizza dough also freezes really well. You just need to plan ahead a little to thaw it out.)

I’ll often make a batch of dough at the beginning of the week, so I have it on hand when inspiration strikes.

My favorite pizza dough recipes

If you want to make your own dough, here’s a list of my favorite pizza recipes to date. I used the dough from the Thin-Crust Pizza for this pizza.

Less is more (the secret to good thin-crust pizza)

Go light on toppings. Use as many as you like, but don’t pile them on by the metric tonne. When you’re tempted to add more: Stop. You can do it. You’ll thank yourself later.

Your restraint will help keep the crust from getting soggy.

Pizza is a good way to use up leftover ingredients

Or stretch a small amount of pricier ingredients to feed a crowd.

For this pizza, you build layers of flavor by quickly sautéing the shrimp in a little bit of bacon fat and freshly cracked black pepper. The bacon adds a subtle smokiness that pairs really well with the asparagus.

Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to peel and devein fresh shrimp. (Scroll down.)

I used 16/25 count shrimp for this recipe, but by all means, use any size you like—or whatever’s on sale.

Bigger shrimp just make a more dramatic presentation.

The white sauce is a mixture of ricotta and Breakstone’s sour cream, which adds a really nice tang to the pizza.

I used whole milk ricotta, but it would be good with skim, too.

For this recipe, I used my favorite Black Forest bacon from Whole Foods.

The Black Forest bacon is totally worth hunting down, and not really more expensive than a pound of regular bacon that’s not on sale. (Alright, I’ll readily admit that I’m probably addicted to the stuff.) But by all means, use your favorite bacon.

The fresh chili pepper adds a little heat (if you’re not crazy about hot stuff, just leave it off).  I also used asparagus, one of my favorite springtime veggies—not to mention an excellent companion to bacon.

This particular combination of ingredients makes a great springtime pizza.

My second recipe for the Breakstone’s Triple Churned Challenge

So, we’ve been challenged!

That’s right! The good folks from Breakstone’s threw down the gauntlet, and we picked it right up (mice love found things, after all). Here’s the scoop on The Breakstone’s Triple Churned Challenge.

Vote today and be entered to win $300

Breakstone’s challenged me and three other gals to create an appetizer, entree, and dessert using their Triple Churned Sour Cream.

This contest is sponsored by Breakstone’s and the winner will be chosen by reader vote. Readers can vote for their favorite recipes here once a day. The grand prize is $3,000 (how cool is that?)!

And every time you vote, you’ll be entered to win a $300. The more you vote, the greater your chances to win. (Thanks, Breakstone’s!)

If you missed it, here’s my entry in the appetizer category: Panko & Chili Crusted Oven Fried Chicken Fingers.

Panko and Chili Crusted Oven Fried Chicken Fingers

The basic technique for this pizza

The short version of this recipe goes like this: Fry the bacon and par-cook the shrimp. Roll the dough out. Slap a little sauce on it. Arrange your ingredients. Bake in a super hot oven for about 12 minutes. Inhale.

Read on for more detailed instructions.

Spicy White Pizza with Bacon, Shrimp & Asparagus

1 ball pizza dough (see note above)
coarse cornmeal for the pizza pan
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup Breakstone’s sour cream
1/4 lb. bacon, diced
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
6-7 spears asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 chili pepper, seeded, deveined, and sliced into thin strips
shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
freshly cracked black pepper

Makes 1 large pizza

Bring your dough to room temperature

For this recipe, I’m assuming that you either bought a ball of pizza dough somewhere—or made your own. If you’ve refrigerated your dough, take it out and let it come up to room temperature before handling.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Prep your veggies

Nip the bottom quarter-inch or so of the asparagus off and discard. Chop the spears into pieces about a half an inch long. Whack the top off your chili pepper.

Cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and the ribs. Discard them.

Slice the pepper lengthwise into thin strips.

Make the white sauce for the pizza

Put the ricotta and the Breakstone’s sour cream in a small bowl.

Grind on a little fresh black pepper. (I don’t add any salt here because the shredded cheese is usually plenty salty.)

Mix until uniform. Set aside.

Fry the bacon

Dice the bacon up. Put it in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat.

Stir occasionally, cooking until the bacon is crisp.

Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon. Set it aside in a bowl (line it with a paper towel, if you like, to catch any leftover grease).

Pre-cook the shrimp

Discard most of the bacon fat from the frying pan. (Save it in the fridge and use it to fry potatoes!)

Toss the shrimp into the pan. Season with a little freshly cracked black pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

This is important. You just want to get a little color on the shrimp at this point—but not cook them all the way through.

When they’ve just turned pink on both sides, yank them out of the pan and put them in a bowl. (See how they’re a little blueish and translucent in places? That’s what you want. It means they’re still raw inside.) They’ll finish cooking in the oven.

Roll out the dough

Sprinkle a little coarse cornmeal on a large pizza pan (round or rectangular…up to you!

Set your ball of dough on a lightly floured board.

Stretch it out (or roll it…sacrilege, I know…but also pretty darn effective) so it covers your whole pizza pan.

Assemble the pizza!

Grab your cheese out of the fridge. It’s time to assemble the pizza.

So, by now, your counter should look about like this. Pan covered in dough. Ricotta/sour cream white sauce. Fried bacon and shrimp. Sliced asparagus and chili pepper. Grated Parmesan and shredded mozzarella.

Spread a thin layer of white sauce on the dough. (Depending on how large your pizza is and how thin you rolled the crust, you may or may not use all of the sauce.)

Sprinkle with half the chopped bacon.

Sprinkle with a little shredded mozzarella.

Arrange the shrimp so they’re spread out.

Add some slivers of pepper.

And the asparagus spears.

Sprinkle with the rest of the bacon, a little more mozzarella, and some grated Parmesan. Topping a pizza like this (cheese, toppings, more cheese), helps the toppings stick to the pizza better when you bite into a slice.

Bake the pizza!

Pop the pizza into your preheated 500-degree oven.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbly and the crust is crisp.

Yank the pan out of the oven. Slice immediately and serve.


If you liked this pizza, please vote for me!

You can vote daily, and be entered to win $300.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. Thank you so much, this looks wonderful. We make homemade pizza each week and I’m always looking for new ideas. We are definately making this one for tomorrow nights dinner.

    I was looking at that bacon at whole foods last week, I wasnt sure how it was going to taste especially with such a dark color. Going to swing by and grab it on my way home form work tomorrow.

  2. man this makes me want pizza after I had pizza this past Sunday! lol that sure looks delicious. I haven’t tried white sauce yet but after seeing this I’m very tempted to.

  3. I am new to this site, but am so glad to have found it. This pizza looks amazing! Is there a way to get a printer friendly copy of the recipe?


  4. I have made this twice, with minor alterations, and it is a huge hit. LOVE THIS. We have pizza night regularly, so I am always looking for a new take. This one is a great addition to the repertoire.

  5. Made this pizza tonight. Was putting it together and realized I had forgotten to buy mozzarella. Used extra parmesan instead. It worked and was absolutely delicious. Best pizza we have ever made! Kudos to you!