Pesto Pizza

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This easy pesto pizza has a beautiful crispy crust topped with mozzarella, scrumptious basil pesto, and pine nuts. It’s so fresh and amazingly good, and you can make the pizza dough in just one bowl.

Published Nov 23, 2022/updated Mar 5, 2024

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

I’ll never say no to pizza, and I love any 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 recipe to add to your repertoire.

The contrast of textures, the richness of basil pesto, and the melty mozzarella glory are perfect for pleasing vegetarians and meat lovers alike!

Make this super easy 1-bowl 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, yeast, salt, olive oil, and water)
  • Fresh mozzarella (or shredded mozzarella)
  • Basil pesto
  • 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)

  • Grab a large bowl and start by making this pizza dough recipe. It’s easy to make and requires minimal prep time.
  • You can make your homemade pesto pizza sauce using a food processor (recipe here) or good-quality store-bought pesto. But spinach pesto, arugula pesto, or pesto with kale also make a great twist and work well with pizza.
Top view of a white bowl full of fresh basil pesto sauce over a white background.
  • Once the dough has doubled and become fluffy, stretch it into a large rectangular shape (approximately 9×13 inches). I then transfer the pizza onto a hot pizza stone using parchment paper.
  • Spread the pesto and scatter with diced mozzarella, pine nuts, salt, and 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 favorite one-bowl pizza dough, which 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 fresh whole-milk mozzarella in our pizzas, but the shredded low-moisture option works well, too.

Pesto: The best flavor comes from fresh homemade basil pesto, but you can also rely on good-quality store-bought pesto. Look for it in the prepared food/refrigerated section—fresh is best!

Pine nuts: I know they are pretty pricey, but only half a tablespoon is needed for a crispy texture and delicious flavor. Optional substitutions include walnuts or shaved almonds, but feel free to skip them.

Salt and pepper: Make sure you add salt and freshly ground black pepper before baking. Also, I love some sea salt flakes before serving.

Pesto pizza toppings?

This pizza is amazing and can be easily personalized with some amazing toppings. You can add cherry tomatoes, shaved parmesan cheese, or grilled veggies like peppers, red onions, zucchini, and even a few dollops of ricotta to make it even tastier. And if you’re in the mood for a chicken pesto pizza, shredded chicken would be a great addition!

Top view of a slice of pesto pizza.

Tips for success!

  1. Preheat the oven: A super-hot oven will help you achieve the perfect crust and ensure the pizza cooks evenly.
  2. Bake the pizza on the bottom rack: This concentrates the heat on the bottom, resulting in a deliciously crunchy crust. But every oven is different, so you may need to try different positions to find the sweet spot for your oven.
  3. Stretch the pizza dough with your fingers – Keep the gas bubbles inside to achieve a light, airy crust.
  4. Bake your pizza on a hot pizza stone or pizza steel. That will give you more crispiness than using a pizza pan. Alternatively, you can use a baking tray (see my tips in the recipe card!).
  5. Use parchment paper and a pizza peel (or the back of a baking sheet) to transfer your pizza to the hot stone. This helps if you use a high-hydration dough like my no-knead dough.
  6. Bake only one pizza at a time – Cooking multiple pizzas at once can create too much moisture inside the oven and affect the texture of your pesto pizzas.
Close-up of some pesto pizza over a white background.

More easy pizza recipes?

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

Here are a few of our favorites:

If you make this scrumptious homemade pesto pizza or have a question, leave a comment. I would love to hear from you and get your feedback!

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Top view of a large pesto pizza cut into slices.
Print Recipe
4 from 1 vote

Pesto Pizza

This scrumptious pesto pizza has a crispy crust topped with mozzarella, basil pesto sauce, and crispy pine nuts. It's fresh, flavorful, and amazingly good.
Recipe yields 2 large servings (approx 12-inch pizza)
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Resting time1 hour
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Pizza
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pesto pizza
Servings: 4
Author: Katia


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


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 approximately 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: Dice the mozzarella and pat it dry using kitchen towels to reduce the extra moisture. Spread the pesto sauce evenly, top with diced mozzarella, scatter a few pine nuts, and sprinkle with 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 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.


What should you use instead of a pizza stone? Each oven usually has a rimmed baking sheet or a large cookie sheet that you can 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 stove will be easier, and the preheated baking sheet will make a nice and crisp pizza crust. Alternatively, stretch the pizza dough on a greased large baking sheet.
How do you measure flour? I use both US cups and grams. The cups of flour are leveled, which means you have to fill the measuring cup 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 for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat the frozen pizza leftovers in the oven until nice and crispy.


  1. 4 stars
    It would be most helpful if you’d recommend the proper baking temperature. It’s missing in your recipe!😎

    1. The first step in the recipe asks to follow the instructions for the pizza dough, including preheating. To avoid confusion, I will add the temperature in the recipe, too.
      Thanks, Ross. : )

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