Pesto Pizza (easy recipe!)

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In this super easy pesto pizza the crispy crust is topped with mozzarella, scrumptious basil pesto and pine nuts. it’s so fresh, flavorful and amazingly good.

The recipes uses my easy no-knead dough recipe that you can make in just 1 bowl and it turns out perfectly every single time!

Top view of a pesto pizza with mozzarella cut into slices.

I’ll never say no to pizza, and I absolutely love any sort of vegetarian topping, from this Greek pizza with feta to this veggie pizza or artichoke pizza. They’re so easy to whip up and a million times better and cheaper than regular delivery pizzas.

And this freshly baked pesto pizza with its crispy crust and juicy topping is another amazing pizza recipes to add to your repertoire.

The contrast of textures, the richness of basil pesto and melty-mozzarella glory are just perfect to please vegetarians and meat lovers alike!

Make your easy pizza dough, grab some homemade or good-quality store-bought pesto, and make the pesto pizza recipe of your dreams.

Yes, you’re going to love it!

List of the ingredients

  • Easy pizza dough: flour, instant or active yeast, salt, olive oil, water.
  • Fresh mozzarella (or firm shredded mozzarella)
  • Basil pesto (homemade or jarred)
  • Pine nuts (optional)
  • Salt & pepper
The ingredients to make this pesto pizza are arranged over a white background.

How to make pesto pizza

(Note: this is a quick description, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Start by making this dough (video tutorial included, easy peasy).
  • You can make your own homemade basil pesto using a food processor (recipe here) or you can use good-quality store-bought pesto. But also spinach pesto or arugula pesto make a wonderful twist and work well with pizza!
Top view of a white bowl full of fresh basil pesto sauce over a white background.
  • When the dough is ready and fluffy, stretch it into a large rectangular shape (approximately 9×13 inches). I use some parchment paper then I transfer the pizza with parchment paper onto a hot pizza stone.
  • Spread the pesto on top, scatter with diced mozzarella, pine nuts, salt, pepper.
  • Bake until golden and crispy, top with fresh basil leaves and… Enjoy!
Two images showing a spoon spreading some pesto and a pesto pizza ready to be baked.

Recipe notes

Pesto pizza ingredients

Homemade pizza dough: I use my fav 1 bowl pizza dough that uses all-purpose flour, yeast, olive oil, water and salt. You can find the full recipe and all the tips to make it here. But you can certainly use your favorite store bought pizza dough to speed up the process.

Mozzarella cheese: I love using fresh whole milk mozzarella in water for my pizza recipes, but shredded low moisture option works too if you prefer.

Pesto: the flavor of fresh homemade basil pesto is obviously the best, but you can also rely on good-quality store-bought pesto, preferably if it’s fresh (you’ll find it in the prepared food/refrigerated section).

Pine nuts: they’re a bit pricey, buy you need just half tablespoon for a nice crispy touch and lovely taste, but you can also use walnuts or shaved almonds.
I leave them totally optional.

Salt and pepper: make sure you add some salt and freshly ground black pepper before baking. I also love a touch of sea salt flakes before serving.

Pesto pizza variations?

This amazing pizza is also easy to customize with delicious add-ins. Think of delicious cherry tomatoes, shaved parmesan cheese, or your favorite grilled veggies (peppers, red onion, zucchini…) or a few dollops of ricotta!
You can also add shredded chicken to make a chicken pesto pizza recipe!

Top view of a slice of pesto pizza.

Tips for succes!

  • Preheat the oven. You want a super hot oven for this pesto pizza!
  • Bake the pizza on the bottom rack, close to the heating element. This is the best spot in my oven to make the pizza bottom crispy. But since each oven is different, use the position that works best for you.
  • Stretch the pizza dough using your fingers and try to keep all those gas bubbles inside the dough. No rolling pin, please.
  • Bake your pizza on a hot pizza stone or pizza steel gives you more crispiness than using a pizza pan. Alternatively, you can use a baking tray (see my tips in the recipe card!).
  • Use parchment paper and a pizza peel (or the back of a baking sheet) to transfer your pizza to the hot stone. This helps greatly if you use a high-hydration dough like my no-knead dough.
Close-up of some pesto pizza over a white background.

More easy pizza recipes?

These collection of 17 veggie pizzas and 25 YUMMY pizza toppings or Focaccia toppings are sensational and perfect to inspire you! 

Here a few of our favorites:

If you make this scrumptious homemade pesto pizza, or you have a question, let me know by leaving a comment. I would love to hear from you and get your feedback! x

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Pesto Pizza

In this scrumptious pesto pizza the crispy crust is topped with mozzarella, basil pesto sauce and crispy pine nuts. it's so fresh, flavorful and amazingly good.
Recipe yields 2 large servings or 4 smaller ones.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Resting time1 hour
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Pizza
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pesto pizza
Servings: 4
Author: Katia

Ingredients

PIzza dough

  • 1 easy pizza dough (or your fav dough)

Pesto topping

  • 1 (140 gr/5oz) fresh mozzarella ball in water, diced (or ½ cup of shredded mozzarella)
  • ¼ cup basil pesto sauce
  • ½ tablespoon pine nuts
  • teaspoon fine salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Pizza dough

Pesto topping

  • Shape the dough: when the dough is ready follow step 5, place the dough on a parchment paper sheet and starting from the center, gently press it out with your fingers until you get approx a 9×13 inch pizza. Then gently place the dough onto a pizza peel or onto the back of a rimmed baking sheet. 
  • Add the topping: firstly, dice the mozzarella and pat it dry using some kitchen towels to reduce the extra moisture. Spread the pesto sauce evenly, top with diced mozzarella, scatter a few pine nuts, sprinkle with some fine salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Bake the pizza: when the oven is hot, use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or hot baking sheet. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, approx 15 minutes. Each oven is different, keep an eye on it (e.g. in a forced fan oven it will take about 8-10 minutes).
  • Serve: allow the pizza to cool for a minute or two before serving, but don't add extra olive oil (you'll have enough from the pesto sauce). Slice and serve immediately.

Notes

What to use instead of a pizza stone? Each oven usually has a rimmed baking sheet or a large cookie sheet that you can simply invert it and place on the lowest shelf of your oven before you preheat it. When the baking sheet is right-side up, taking the pizza in and out of the oven will be easier and the preheated baking sheet will make a nice and crisp pizza crust. If you want to reduce the hassle of baking the pizza with this method, just stretch the pizza dough on a greased large baking sheet.
How to measure flour? I use both US cups and grams. The cups of flour are leveled, which means you have to fill the measuring cup all the way to the top letting the flour flow over a little. Then, use the back of a knife to level the top off. However, a digital scale is an excellent kitchen tool and gives a more correct weight. 
Pizza with pesto leftovers: cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator up to 1 day or freeze up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in the oven the frozen pizza leftovers until nice and crispy.

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