One the reasons homemade pizzas are great is that you can be as creative as you’d like; throw away the standard conventions to suit your own tastes. Of course you can do that with the toppings and the cheese...why not the sauce? I love the traditional tomato based pizza sauce, but every once and while, I want to make a white sauce, or a pesto sauce…which is what I show you in this recipe video for Chicken Pesto Pizza. Here, I’m playing with the sauce, but obviously you can add other toppings, or cheeses to the mix as well. Hope you enjoy it.
Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
- As a pizza topping, chicken has a pretty mild flavor, so I always season the chicken with a bit of salt & pepper. You may also want to play with other cheeses to bring in more flavor
- If you can, use a pizza stone, and very high heat in the oven. That will help ensure that your pizza has a nice crispy crust.
- Use a good pesto. I generally like to make my own, as pesto’s are pretty easy. But if you’d like to use a jarred version, just make sure it’s one you like. Remember you can also add more cheese, lemon, or spice to the pesto, if you want to punch up the flavor a bit more.
- Finally, and this goes for all my homemade pizza’s, I like to use polenta/grits to help slide the pizza from my cutting board onto the pizza stone. The grits act like little ball bearings and help the raw dough slide more easily – otherwise the transfer from cutting board to pizza stone can be a real pain
RECIPE FOR CHICKEN PESTO PIZZA
Ingredients (for about 2 people)
- 2/3 cup Pesto Sauce – Recipe below
- Pizza Dough - Don't make it; buy it from your local pizza shop - they've already sized it for small, med, large (this recipe is for medium size)
- 1/4 cup of diced chicken
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Making the Pesto
- Blanch a large bunch (about 2 loose cups worth) of basil in boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove to an ice bath to cool, and then dry with paper towel
- In a blender, add the basil, along with 2 tbls pine nuts, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, squeeze of lemon juice, a few tablespoons of olive oil.
- Blend until smooth, add more olive oil if needed
Making the Chicken Pesto Pizza
- Heat your oven and pizza stone for at least 20 minutes in a 500 degrees
- Stretch out the pizza dough to the desired thickness (I like it pretty thin)
- Then place it on a cutting board or pizza peel that you’ve sprinkled with dry polenta/grits
- Use a spoon to spread your pesto on the dough, evenly and about an eight of an inch thick
- Top with the mozzarella cheese, and the diced chicken (fresh or sun-dried tomatoes would also be great here)
- Place the pizza in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the crust nice and crispy
- Remove it and let it cool on the pizza stone for about 5 minutes
- Slice it up and serve
Hope you enjoy this homemade pizza recipe. Leave me a comment and let me know how it goes.