Super cheesy Pesto Chicken Pizza! Easy, healthy, and sooo yummy. Read my tips for the “lightened up” version!
I was introduced to the wonderfulness we call pesto a few years back (ummm, probably 6 years actually) when I was visiting my brother in Santa Monica California. He took us to this quaint (I generally don’t use that word but it fits here) restaurant that can only be described in one other word: eclectic. It’s a vintage bookstore-turned-cafe with a little shop in the back corner filled with artisan-made trinkets, and you can eat on the back patio where you’ll be surrounded with the most incredible array of foliage.
Wow. Excerpt from a romance novel anyone? I swear I didn’t mean to sound so…. weird. But it totally came out weird.
This restaurant was pretty incredible though and I’ve been dying to go back ever since. I had a pesto turkey sandwich with the crispiest, best-ever sweet potato fries of my life. That sandwich was my first experience with pesto and I was instantly, irreversibly hooked.
Sometimes I get intense cravings for pesto. I think it’s the potency of it. After eating potatoes and gravy for dayzzzzz (I love you Thanksgiving, but I’m also a little bit over you) I need something strong and loaded with a good punch of real flavor. I made this pesto chicken pizza before we left on our Bahamas cruise (more on that coming later!) and practically dreamed about it the whole time we were gone.
My husband, who by the way is normally a 100% pepperoni guy, loved this pizza. We froze the leftovers and he ate them for days afterwards, just couldn’t get enough. In fact! I had made two or three other dishes that week with leftovers and he kept pushing them aside to get to the pesto chicken pizza. We are big fans.
And this pizza is easy! Crust + pesto + chicken + mozzarella + possible parsley = amazing pesto chicken pizza for dinner. I used Miracle Dough for mine but you can use your favorite homemade or store-bought crust. And if you’re looking for something on the lighter side, you can use thin-crust and part-skim mozzarella cheese for an equally delicious yet totally healthy version. Mmm.
Pesto Chicken Pizza
- 1 batch homemade or store-bought pizza crust*
- 1/3 cup homemade or store-bought pesto (click here for my homemade pesto recipe)
- 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese**
- optional: freshly chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 400. Sprinkle chicken breast with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Cook in a greased pan or skillet over medium heat 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle. Cut into cubes and set aside.
- Spread pesto over your pizza crust. Spread cubed chicken throughout. Sprinkle generously with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is melted (or according to store-bought dough instructions).
- If desired, sprinkle pizza with chopped parsley. Serve warm.
**Use 1 cup of part-skim mozzarella cheese for a lightened-up version.