mozzarella, tomato & pesto chicken pizza

pesto pizza

Our basil plant is still going strong so I keep making and freezing pesto every weekend like an Italian woman preparing for the end of the world. We sure love pesto pasta for a quick and easy dinner, but I’m always on the lookout for more creative ways to utilize all this pesto.

For this pizza, I’ve shared with you my go-to pesto recipe, but feel free to use your favorite. The dough recipe was also featured over here, but I retyped it on this post. It’s my favorite pizza dough, because it’s 100% homemade with 5 simple ingredients and requires zero rising time. All in all, this recipe takes less than an hour from start to finish!

MOZZARELLA, TOMATO & PESTO CHICKEN PIZZA

  • An original recipe
  • Yields: 8 large slices (or 4 servings)

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1 packet (or 2 1/2 tsp.) active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (hot water from the tap is easiest)
  • 2 1/2 cups bread (or unbleached, all-purpose) flour
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt

For the pizza:

  • 1 cup pesto *suggested recipe here
  • Two 8 oz. balls of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thin round slices
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, diced into bite sized cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Roma tomatoes (or other favorite kind of tomato)
  • Optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese, chopped basil, crushed red pepper flake, etc. for serving

Directions:

  1. For the pizza dough: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) with your pizza stone inside the oven too. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let it stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat/roll into a round circle big enough to cover your pizza stone. Pull out your pizza stone from the oven and dust with a bit of extra flour. Transfer your dough to the pizza stone and roll over any extra edges to create a higher “lip” around the whole pizza to prevent the loss of any cheese or pesto. *yeah, I learned the hard way
  2. For the chicken: Heat the 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add your diced chicken breasts, garlic powder, onion powder and some salt & pepper. Allow to cook brown for 5 minutes. Remove to a plate to rest. *It’s okay if they aren’t fully cooked as they’ll cook the rest of the way in the oven.
  3. To assemble the pizza: Spread on the pesto first, sliced mozzarella cheese next, and then the sliced tomatoes and cubed chicken breast. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown along the edges. Let the pizza cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, extra basil, crushed red pepper flake, etc. if desired.

 

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