The Most Perfect Hawaiian Pizza

The perfect Hawaiian pizza

This post is part of a “Culinary Challenge” sponsored by Dominick’s. I have been compensated for this post.

Dominick’s recently invited me to participate in a “Culinary Challenge:” They’d send over a $50 Dominick’s gift card and the names of two surprise international ingredients if I’d agree to make dinner for my family with the ingredients and blog about the meal for my readers!

My Dominick’s Culinary Challenge Ingredients: Dell’Alpe Italian Pear Tomatoes and Goya Coconut Water

I decided to make… Homemade pizza sauce and pizza dough with a coconut-water crust!

When we visited Kauai in August, everyone in our family was enamored with the pizza we enjoyed in Hanalei at a little pizzeria. It featured a multigrain crust made with coconut water:


For this recipe, I wanted to incorporate coconut water and coconut oil into my favorite pizza dough recipe to try to capture the texture and slightly-sweet flavor of the Hawaiian pizza’s crust that we enjoyed on the island. Then, I planned to use the Italian pear tomatoes to make my own island-inspired pizza sauce! Here’s how it went…

Jill’s Coconut Pizza Dough (adapted from thin-crust pizza dough recipe at

3 1/2 cups high-gluten flour (I used King Arthur’s Unbleached Bread Flour – it’s best not to use all-purpose flour for a thin crust as it doesn’t have enough gluten) 1 cup room-temperature Goya Coconut Water 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1 packet yeast 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon sea salt Making a good thin-crust pizza is an art all unto its own. It’s easy to make a thick, chewy crust that rises in the oven, but thin & crisp takes a little more work to get just right. I was curious to see how my favorite crust recipe would turn out with some coconuttier substitutions :)

Mix all ingredients except flour in a mixer with dough hooks (you could also use a bread machine to mix.) If you use Goya, it does have small chunks of coconut in the water. You can use a strainer to remove these if you don’t want them in your crust – I opted to leave them in.

If you’ve never cooked with coconut oil, it’s solid at room temperature. I warmed the measuring spoon for ten seconds in the microwave to liquify it.

Add flour slowly and mix until just combined. The dough will look dry but will clump in your hand if you squeeze it.

Gently clump the dough into a ball and put it into a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it rise for 24 hours on the counter at room temperature. (Seriously — the overnight dough rise is what gives this dough its flavor and texture.)

Jill’s Hawaiian Pizza Sauce This is a sweet sauce with lots of onion – just the way we like it! I’ve tweaked this recipe a little each time I’ve made a Hawaiian pizza, but because of the size of the large can of my “secret ingredient” Dell’Alpe tomatoes, I doubled the ingredients. This makes enough sauce for two pizzas, so you can freeze the extra for another time… or, make two pizzas! 1 can (28oz.) Dell’Alpe Italian Peeled Pear Tomatoes 2 tablespoons honey 3 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons tomato paste (if needed – if your sauce is thick enough without it, skip) 3 cloves garlic 1 onion, grated 2 tablespoons Italian seasonings (I used a shaker blend of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and basil) 1 teaspoon sea salt Butter Toppings: 1 pineapple Cooked ham 1 8oz. bag of mozzarella cheese

Dump the canned tomatoes into a pot on medium heat. While they’re heating up, grate the onion into a frying pan. Crush the garlic with a garlic press and mix with the onion.

Brown both in a skillet with a little butter. Once the onions soften and begin to caramelize, add them to the tomatoes and begin crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients.

Turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically as the sauce thickens. While that’s simmering, cut up your pineapple, cut up your ham, and…

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Roll the dough out on the countertop with plenty of flour. You can use a pizza pan or pizza stone to bake the dough. For a very crisp crust, heat the stone in the oven before you slide the dough onto it. Use a fork to perforate the dough so that air bubbles don’t form in it while it bakes.

Bake the crust for 5 minutes, and then take it out to assemble the pizza.

Yum! Bet you can’t guess what I paid for that ham. (Oh yes… it was free earlier this year during one of those crazy “$10 off Ham” sales. Anytime I make a ham, I cut up what’s left over and freeze it for omelets, salads… or a delicious pizza.)

Grab a spoon and sauce that pizza…

… and grab a helper for pizza assembly.

Ready for cheese! (Oh, that was cheap too. Thanks, Kraft Catalina!) Once the cheese is on, put the pizza back into the oven on the bottom rack and bake for 10-15 minutes. Mine took exactly 12 minutes to look like this:

Yum! If you want a super-crispy crust, slide the hot pizza onto a baking rack so it can cool for a few minutes. If you leave it on the stone or in the pan, it can soften a bit. And then… dig in! So how was it?

Mr. Cataldo: “Oh, you nailed this. This is PERFECT.” Beautiful Teen Daughter Cataldo: “This is the best pizza you have EVER MADE, Mom!” Young Cataldo son: “I hope you made another one of these, Mom. This is going to be gone fast.” It was very, very good. And while it’s a labor of love to make a pizza from scratch versus popping one in from the freezer, oh, the rewards..! This sauce beats anything out of a jar, any day. And the crust was delicious, crispy, with a hint of coconut sweetness. Friday Night Pizza Night at the Cataldo House just had the bar raised. Delicious!

This post was written as part of a $50 Dominick’s Culinary Challenge blog giveaway. Dominick’s provided me with a $50 gift card and two surprise ingredients to buy (Goya Coconut Water and Dell’Alpe Italian Pear Tomatoes.) I’ve got another $50 Dominick’s gift card to give away too to one lucky reader… enter to win through October 6th, 2012, and you could be enjoying your own Culinary Challenge at home soon too!




  1. cg1 says

    I never thought of coconut water for pizza crust but sounds tasty.

    Even if King Arthur flour is a bit expensive they have a lot of great tips at their site.