the rustler, barbecue mock duck pizza

by Stacy

Do you ever feel like a pizza menu is a serious test of your relationship? It could be a date or you could be married, it could even be with friends. “So…. what kind of pizza do you want?” An innocuous question, perhaps, but there is definitely a wrong answer sometimes. Reconciling disparate pizza hankerings can be a treacherous path.

A local Minnesota chain we used to frequent is Pizza Luce. We have eaten a lot of their pizza, delivered and not. When just the two of us, the conversation almost always went something like this:

Me: What are you thinking for pizza?
Him: What about the fresh veggie?
Me: *wrinkles nose*
Him: I suppose you want the garlic mashed potato. *rolls eyes*
Me: *smiles hopefully*
Him: We had that last time.
Me: *whines* The fresh veggie is boring. It doesn’t have green olives.
Him: I like the fresh veggie, though.
Me: *siiiiiiiigh* Boooooring.
Him: *frowns* I just don’t feel like the potato pizza.
Me: Hmph.
Him: Well… what about the Rustler?
Me: Oooooh. Remember to ask for no pineapple though! We always forget.

homemade "the rustler" pizza

Crisis averted!

The Rustler is a combination of BBQ-marinated mock duck, red onions, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, banana peppers, and pineapple (which we leave off as an abomination — something we agree on). It’s delicious, and making the pizza at home is the whole reason I bought a banana pepper plant. Particularly for a first attempt, it turned out quite well. I forgot the onions and we were out of mozzarella cheese, but it was still tasty and was definitely a reasonable imitation of the Luce creation in lieu of a 2500 mile delivery zone.

This used up the last of my homemade seitan and I finally made some barbecue sauce (stop yelling at me, Erin! Wah!) that is quite tasty. I’ve included the recipe below.

homemade "the rustler" pizza

Sweet barbecue sauce, chewy mock duck, crunchy banana peppers and melty cheese make for an excellent combo. Neither one of us care for pineapple, but toss it on if that floats your boat. One time we ordered a Rustler for delivery and forgot to ask them to leave the pineapple off. I had picked a piece off and left it on my plate, but some cheese was stuck to it. My intrepid dairy-addict cat actually ate the pineapple just to get the cheese, resulting in some very amusing kitty faces.

What’s your favorite gourmet pizza? Have you ever tried to make it at home?

We eat more pizza than I post, mostly because I’m never happy with the photos. This one was too good not to share. The “regular” version is BBQ chicken if mock duck isn’t your thing. Give it a try!
Other fancy pizza ideas: butternut squash, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and sage, or arugula and balsamic vinegar.

homemade "the rustler" pizza

The Rustler Pizza

Inspired by Pizza Luce


  • 1 pizza crust or ball of pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, divided (see recipe below)
  • 3/4 cup seitan or mock duck
  • 1/3 cup red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup banana pepper, cut into rings
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or drained (optional)


  1. If using pizza dough, stretch and par-bake crust at 425F for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Mix the tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce together. Spread over pizza crust. Combine the rest of the barbecue sauce with the seitan and let stand while the rest of the pizza is assembled.
  3. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of sauce. Evenly distribute onion, pepper, seitan, and pineapple (if using). Top with cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake at 425F for 7-10 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is melted and bubbling.
  5. Drizzle the remainder of the barbecue sauce on top before serving.

Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce

Inspired by Big Al’s KC BBQ
Makes 2 cups sauce

This is scaled back from the 6 cup yield of the original. It also called for garlic and onion powder which I don’t have, so I adjusted for fresh.


  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and stir, cooking until just softened. Stir in garlic and cook one minute.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Simmer longer for thicker sauce, or add water to thin sauce as desired. Use an immersion or stand blender to puree onion pieces if wanted.
  3. Brush onto meat for last 10 minutes of cooking. Store excess in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

homemade "the rustler" pizza

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate H. June 25, 2010 at 7:31 am

MmmMmmMmm…the Rustler is my most favorite pizza ever from my favorite pizza place, hands down. (I do also love the garlic mashed and the Athena.) I’m just outside of the Luce delivery area now that I’ve moved to Ben’s though…so i’m going to have to try this one myself! Yay!

However, I LOVE pineapple on pizza so I’ll keep that! :) nom nom nom


Stacy June 25, 2010 at 11:08 am

Athena is the whiny plea option since the hubby isn’t an artichoke fan (heathen!), but I convince him on a rare occasion. πŸ˜€

Neither of us actually like pineapple! Not on pizza, just in general. While I’m sure pineapple-likers would enjoy the added dimension, I cannot comment on it because it’s not my thing. Pineapple away! πŸ˜‰


Kate June 25, 2010 at 8:38 am

We make lots of pizza at home but stick with margherita style sauce, sausage and basil (hold the cheese for me though) – this’ll be a nice way to change it up, I’ll definitely be trying this soon! You probably saw it, but SK had a shaved asparagus pizza that looked really good too, and is sitting on my to-make list.


Stacy June 25, 2010 at 11:15 am

It’s nice to throw a non-traditional combo into the mix sometimes, and this one qualifies!
Mmm, I did see that. Sometimes I don’t let myself read the asparagus recipes too closely because it makes me sad to think that I won’t make them. The obvious solution is to make pizza plans at a friend’s house. This idea has merit…


Mimi June 26, 2010 at 11:06 am

I just made a pizza that was very similar to this two days ago, but since we are ominvores, it had BBQ chicken (from a chicken not a gluten).

So how come you never had them add olives to the fresh veggie? Marriage is compromise…


Stacy June 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

There was no gluten barn at the fair or I would have taken pictures. ;-p

Hehehe. We do get the fresh veggies sometimes — with green olives which he also likes. Sometimes we get the garlic mashed potato pizza instead. This *is* the compromise. We both like it!


Randi August 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I recently moved to So Cal from Minneapolis as well and am really missing Luce. I don’t know if I’m brave enough to cook it myself though. Want to start a delivery service? :)


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