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Look at these beets. Of all the vegetables, beets are the most ardently impassioned (nutritionally speaking). This torrid root vegetable is at the top of my list of vibrant and nutrient-dense super foods. I love beets.

The above mixture made for a surprise hit at my recent Udi’s Gluten-Free ultimate pizza and ski party last Thursday night. The annual SIA Snow Sports Show was here in Denver. I had a pizza party at my house on opening night for ski-rep friends from out of town, shop owners and a few manufacturers. Since I’m gluten-free, my guests are always gluten-free. Why not? Gluten-free isn’t what it used to be, especially when you have help from visionaries like the good folks at Udi’s.

Udi’s Gluten Free Foods is located here in Denver. How lucky is that? I’ve watched their artisanal drift into the gluten-free product world for some time now and have run into Heather (marketing coordinator) and Jillian (social media maven) at various conferences, shows and events. I’ve even done some early taste-tasting at one of their unveiling parties. I don’t do product reviews, book reviews or give-aways on my blog. I decided early on that I didn’t have time for it or enough interest in processed foods to bother with it. I prefer whole foods and if I’m going to advocate for anything, it will be organic plants and my support for local CSAs (community supported agriculture). Having said that, I do use a few pre-made, gluten-free flour mixes on occasion and I’m a huge fan of Udi’s gluten-free pizza crusts. If I use a specific product in a recipe, I say so, but I don’t accept products for blog endorsements. I’m a nutritionist, not a professional blogger.

When I decided to have this pizza party, I knew I’d need to make about 28 to 30 pizzas. If you’ve noticed how popular Udi’s gluten-free crusts are, you’ve probably also noticed that sometimes they’re hard to find. (I think gluten-cootie people are buying them as well. Grrrr.) I have two Whole Foods and one Natural Grocer nearby and they’re often low or out of the crusts. They’re that good. I contacted Jillian a week before the party and asked her if I could order 15 packages of crusts and pick them up myself. I didn’t want to freak out if I couldn’t find enough. Jillian said she’d have the crusts delivered to my house at no charge. To be honest, that wasn’t my plan and I didn’t want them for free (seriously). We emailed back and forth and she finally said, “Hey, we’re Colorado ski and snowboard people here at Udi’s and we know the SIA Show is in town. We just want to contribute to the energy and fun of it all.”

Thank you Udi’s! They delivered 16 packages of gluten-free pizza crusts (32 crusts) to my house, fresh and ready for me to top with my bizarre creations. I don’t make mainstream pizzas.

Pepperoni and cheese? No way.

Roasted beets and beet greens pizza? Delicious.

New Mexican red chile enchilada pizza. OMG!

BBQ chicken and onion ring pizza? Huge hit.

Bacon, LETTUCE and tomato pizza? Another winner.

Plus, I did lots of mixed veggie pizzas with exotic cheeses.

It was a lot of work, much more than I anticipated and even though I have a double oven with convection settings, it wasn’t easy to shuffle 28 pizzas in and out of the ovens. There were too many people here to have a sit-down dinner so I used groovy-looking, palm frond eco plates and forks that eventually went into my composter and lined my dining room table with butcher paper. Easy clean-up. We pulled the pizzas out six at a time, cut them up and slid them onto the butcher paper. People drank local beer and Red Truck wine (not local) and hung around the table testing the weird assortment of pizzas. My guests loved it.

Total success! Thank you Udi’s and thank you Jillian. I would have said good things whether you gave me the crusts or not, but I do appreciate it and love having you in my backyard. Colorado is such a great place to live. Glad you guys live here, too.

gluten-free red chile enchilada pizza
(see top square plate above loaded with 3 pieces of this pizza)

*This was one of my odd-ball creations and it came out great. I made four of these pizzas and didn’t write down a detailed recipe, so I’m generalizing here. You’ll have to adapt the recipe amount to your needs, but use this as a basic guideline.

what you need for the sauce
U
di’s gluten-free pizza crusts
Bueno’s Basic Red Chile Purée (see my recipe instructions below, adapted from Bueno’s)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon gluten-free rice flour (or whatever basic GF flour you have on hand)
sea salt, ground pepper and Mexican oregano
* Make the sauce ahead of time as it needs time to cook and simmer down to the consistency appropriate for a pizza. You want it thicker than traditional red chile sauce. This recipe from Bueno Foods is a good basic one, although I tweaked it slightly. I used a little less water (so the sauce would be a touch thicker), more oregano (I love Mexican oregano), omitted the sugar and used 1 tablespoon of rice flour. Using this recipe as a guideline – heat the oil, saute the onions and garlic, add the flour and mix well. Add the thawed red chile purée, water, Mexican oregano, salt and pepper and blend well. Simmer for an hour or longer. This is what it should look like.

what you need for the topping
shredded, cooked chicken
Hatch canned whole green chiles (1 small, 4 ounce can per pizza)
1/2 cup corn kernels (or more)
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained (or more)
shredded colby-jack cheese

what you do
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I start with thawed Udi’s pizza crusts.
2. Brush prepared (and warm) red chile sauce on the Udi’s pizza crusts. I used just enough to fully cover the pizzas. You want the flavor and coverage, but you don’t want it wet and sloppy.
3. Place the shredded chicken in a bowl and add 2 or 3 spoonfuls of the red chile sauce to moisten it and add more flavor. Mix well. Place the chicken on the pizza crusts. You don’t need a lot, just enough scattered around so you get a few bites of chicken here and there.
4. Place strips of green chile over the chicken. Make sure you drain the green chile well (pat it with a paper towel so it’s not wet).
5. Sprinkle some well-drained corn kernels and black beans over the pizza.
6. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The Udi’s directions say 5 to 7 minutes, but I always cook them longer. I like the cheese to be lightly browned and bubbly. Set the timer for 7 minutes and see what you think. Rotate pizzas and bake for a few more minutes. Watch closely as they can burn and overcook easily.
* Tip: line the bottom of the oven with tin foil to catch the drippings.

You might also like my Udi’s roasted beet, spinach and zucchini pizza. Or, my Udi’s ridacchio and squash pizza.

Peace, fresh powder and Udi’s gluten-free pizza.
Melissa

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45 Responses to “Udi’s gluten-free pizza party”

  1. Beauteous maximus! All photos are super enticing – even for ‘gluten cootie’ peeps like me! I should try Udi’s pizza crust since all others have let me down – even my own home-made;-) Just wish they used more whole grains in their products. Now, how’s the skiing??

    • Melissa says:

      Love this! “Beauteous maximus!” Thank you. I know what you mean about pre-made gluten-free food not having enough whole grains in the mix. I just don’t eat much of that stuff at all, but these pizza crusts are a really nice treat on occasion. I load them with healthy ingredients. They are one of my favorite comfort foods. I love that they’re thin. I don’t like thick pizza crusts and haven’t come up with a home-made version that is any better. This is my “go-to” treat.
      xo

  2. You are amazing, Melissa! If I lived in your neighborhood, I would have started skiing, become a manufacturer, etc. … anything to be in on that party! Such heavenly, unique pizzas–including that awesome red enchilada one–and brilliant on the brown paper and eco bamboo plates and forks. :-) Bravo to Udi’s for helping you out, too! I used their pizzas to make gf/df Mexican pizzas using Kim’s recipe for my support group’s gluten-free pizza party last week. That was my first time eating them and I really liked them. Udi’s product just came to a store in town, but I’ve heard they run out very quickly. These stores need to get smart and have a HUGE supply. Imagine how much that would help their revenue! Anyway, awesome job on your pizza party, Melissa. I can only imagine how happy your guests were. ;-)

    xo,
    Shirley

    • Melissa says:

      Shirley,

      I’d love it if you were in my neighborhood (although it’s zero degrees and snowing like crazy right now — I’m not sure you’d like it). Yes, Udi’s is a great company and I’m thrilled they are in my back yard. Mexican pizza is all the rage right now. I’m a huge home-made red chile enchilada fan, so adding red chile (from powder, not salsa) seemed like a natural to me. When I lived in NM, I made it from dried red chile pods, which was a bit of an ordeal.

      Let me know when you move out this way. I’ll throw you a welcoming pizza party!

  3. Erin Block says:

    Mmmm! These look delicious…especially on a cold snowy day!!! And, I love those eco plates…I used them last summer for picnicking. =)

    • Melissa says:

      Erin,

      I’m late in responding, although it’s another snowy day here in Colorado. Bet you have quite a bit up at your house! I like those eco plates too, but they’re a bit expensive. Love the way they look though. I didn’t want to be washing dishes since I had pizzas coming out of the oven every 12 minutes or so. I decided it was worth it not to deal with plates. Smart move as I had enough of a mess as it was!

  4. Oh.My.Goodness. All of this is too cool on too many levels.
    1. So impressed that you managed to shuffle all 28 pizzas and their different toppings and successfully feed such a large party without too much hassle.
    2. Udi’s ROCKS for that cool special delivery. We just adore Udi’s crusts and use them on a regular basis for all of our own unusual toppings. And, finally.. 3. I love that idea of those bamboo plates and the butcher paper. For the record…I am SO copying that idea (and ALL of your unique pizzas).
    Thanks so much for sharing your party and Udi’s generosity with us, Melissa!!
    xo
    kim

    • Melissa says:

      Kim,

      Copy away! The plates were actually made from palm fronds and they looked awesome. A bit expensive, but worth it for a crowd like this. Each one was different and so “earthy” looking. They went well with the butcher paper. It was such an easy way to serve pizza. When I was finished, I just gathered up the paper and threw it away. No table to wipe off or anything. Plus, it really did look cool.

      Wish you were closer. We could do a joint (group?) pizza party.
      =)

  5. Man you rock! Now I’m thinking I should move to Colorado instead of California. I love the pizzas you made. They all sound delicious. What lucky guests that arrived at your house. I would have loved to seen a photo of you baking all of those pizzas. I hope you got to enjoy your company. My son loves those Udi crusts. I’m always sneaking spinach or chia seeds onto the sauce. I’m not sure I could get away with beets just yet, but I’m working my way there. Made him a chicken enchilada pizza with greens and he liked that one. Those crusts are so good it makes it easy to hide more good foods on top or at your house show them off. Thanks for the new pizza ideas! I’m sharing this on my Super Bowl Party list.

    • Melissa says:

      Diane,

      I’m not sure you’d like the sub-zero weather and blowing snow (which is the scene right now), but we’d love to have you here in Colorado! Actually, a pizza party like this is right up your alley, being the creative cook that you are.

      I think we’re all in agreement. Udi’s pizza crusts rock!

  6. Lexie says:

    I want in on one of these ski parties dudette! Oh wait, the last time I went skiing was oh um, maybe 15 years ago. Hmmph.

    So these Rudi’s crusts … I must give ‘em a try. Talk about easy and convenient. I’ll take one of your BLT pizzas to go please!

    I was thinking about you as I chatted with a gentleman about turmeric and Hawaiian healing herbs. Check out my latest post for the details. I knew that this kind of thing would be right up your alley :)

    xoLexie

    • Melissa says:

      Lexie,

      These were Udi’s crusts, not Rudi’s crusts. We’re lucky to have both Udi’s and Rudi’s right here in Colorado, aren’t we? Easy to confuse them with such similar names.

      Dudette, yourself! You’re the one hanging on the beach in Hawaii right now. Loved your turmeric post. I’m in the midst of writing a curry post and will link to you. Turmeric is one of my favorite spices.

  7. Maggie says:

    Okay next time you throw a pizza party you need to give us some warning. I’d happily fly down to Colorado for some pizza and skiing. Hello! I love the beet and greens idea. We don’t get UDI’s here (I’m in Ontario outside of Toronto) so I am dying to try it!

  8. I guess my invite to your awesome pizza party got lost in the mail :) This sounds AMAZING! I have yet to try Udi’s pizza crust but now, thanks to you I am going to go give them a try! You just made me so, so hungry!

    • Melissa says:

      Carol,

      It would be such a blast to have a GF potluck with all of you wonderful bloggers. I’ll do the pizza, you bring dessert!

      xo

  9. Must have had that substitute mail carrier again last week, my invite was lost too. What a party! I love your crazy combos and can just see the pizza chaos with all of them flying out of your oven.

    • Melissa says:

      Wendy,

      I was chaos, believe me. But somewhat orchestrated. Crazy combos are the best. You can’t go wrong when you start with good ingredients! You do a few of your own crazy combos with cooking. I’ve seen some on your blog! =) It makes playing with your food more fun when you experiment.

      xo

  10. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eva Pananoudakis and greenschemetv, Gluten Free Emily. Gluten Free Emily said: Gluten Free For Good Udi’s gluten-free pizza party: Look at these beets. Of all the vegetables, bee… http://bit.ly/fgTbh0 #GlutenFree [...]

  11. 28 pizzas! You are simply amazing. You rock my gluten free world! I consider myself pretty good under cooking pressure, but you definitely take the cake (or pizza, in this case). I was in Denver for four days in December. We ate at Udi’s every single day. I couldn’t get enough. I wrote them a long note telling them how wonderful they were and I got a lovely email back from Jillian. As for me, here in New England, Trader Joe’s now carries Udi’s and we are now able to keep a pretty regular supply of their breads and bagels in our freezer. Now, if only Trader Joe’s would get Udi’s pizza crust, we’d be in business. Would you come and help me make 28 pizzas, if that happens???!!!

    • Melissa says:

      GFD — I’d love to help you make 28 pizzas! How fun would that be?! We could be oh-so-creative. Glad you were able to eat daily at Udi’s while visiting Denver. Wish I could have joined you for one of those meals. Of all their products, the crusts are my favorite. So, so glad they are located here in Denver. Whew…

      xo

  12. ah, I would so love to try Udi’s … if only they had some egg-free options!

    I definitely agree with promoting whole foods, but there are some pretty awesome packaged foods these days, which is so great to see.

    • Melissa says:

      Alisa,

      I agree, there are just times when you need something ready made and these crusts are my “go-to” product. I love them! (Sorry about that egg thing. What a drag!)

      xo

  13. Tia says:

    I am bookmarking this recipe. It sounds delicious. I just love chicken enchiladas and pizzas, so why not combine them? I also love Udi’s pizza crusts, but they are always out. I look every time I go to the store to stock up, but I am usually disappointed. Gone! At least my store is finally ordering enough of their bread to keep it in stock. Maybe they will get a hint soon with the pizza crusts.

    I also would like an invitation the next time you are having such a party. Pleeeeeeeeeeease!

    xoxo,
    Tia

    • Melissa says:

      Tia,

      You guys are all invited next time! And my heart goes out to you on the “sold out” situation of Udi’s crusts. That’s why I contacted the company directly. I needed a ton of crusts and knew I’d never be able to find enough. They were awesome. I’m so lucky they are in my neck of the woods!

      xo

  14. Alta says:

    Oh. My. Gawd. This sounds so good, I’m seriously thinking about making it asasp. Okay, not today because it’s sleeting and i don’t want to go to the store, but soon. Very soon.

    • Melissa says:

      Alta,

      Hope your weather is better, although it’s taken me so long to reply that it’s probably spring by now. I think I saw that you made the red chile pizza. Hope you liked it!

  15. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ellen Allard, Melissa. Melissa said: I love my #Udi's #gluten-free pizza crusts. Check here for details. http://t.co/hDq0e87 via @AddThis [...]

  16. Gluten says:

    I would like to try this pizza. All images in this post looks so YUMMY and gluten free :) I am imagining now that this pizza is here in front of me. I would love to have them with my friends! More posts. thanks!

  17. [...] Red Chile Enchilada Pizzas from Gluten Free For Good [...]

  18. This looks incredible! My husband loves the Udi’s products especially their pizza crust. I am guilty of being one of the non gluten free people eating your products. I so love gluten free breads.

  19. AndreAnna says:

    Reason #800947354872 I want to move to Colorado.

  20. Mary Mickelson says:

    I am also allergic to yeast and milk. Do you have anything available that would work? It’s hard to be gluten, dairy, yeast, beef intolerant.
    Thanks!
    Mary

    • Melissa says:

      Mary,

      My heart goes out to you! No, I don’t have a substitute for the pizza crust, but there are more and more options out there so hopefully something will work for you. Have you check Namaste Foods? They have some good products that are allergen friendly.

  21. Erin Block says:

    “ardently impassioned” — I love this description of beets. I think they are too…and in more than nutrition! :)

  22. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    That’s a lot of catering to take on, so well done (I put it down to all that training we did in our soup kitchen…. knew it would pay off :) ) I imagine that once you’ve tackled something like this, the second time around will seem less daunting? Creating dishes is fun and I love it, catering for more than a few people however is a totally different skill and one of the reasons I admire a good chef.

    Your pizza toppings sound fabulous Melissa and I’m sure your guests thought the same.

    Cid

    p.s. I’ve been lucky enough to get hold of some wonderful Mesquite flour to play with…. any ideas?

    • Melissa says:

      Cid,

      Boy, I admire a good chef as well! Having more than just a few guests for a major meal can be incredibly difficult. I’m sure if we tried to pull off a catered event in your beautiful kitchen, we’d have a blast whether our guests got their food on time or not.
      :-)

  23. Melissa says:

    Maggie,

    It’s a long plane ride for you, but we’d LOVE to have you visit. And I’m sorry you don’t get Udi’s in Canada. Maybe someday! And try the roasted beets on pizza. They are amazing!

  24. Melissa says:

    Hey wonderful blog following friends — boy, I got behind in my responses and now I can’t catch up. I read every one of your comments and love them all, but the past month, I didn’t keep up my end of the conversation. Sorry about that.

    This is a group THANK YOU! I appreciate your input so much!

    xo

  25. [...] Gluten Free For Good, so I started scouring her site for recipes. I’ve made a version of her red chile enchilada pizza before with Udi’s crust (a deliciously evil treat!), but I didn’t have time for that. A [...]

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