Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pesto Chicken Pizza

PEOPLE. This pizza is crazy delicious. If you like pesto, you must make this pizza!! You will not be disappointed. It takes literally no time to assemble or cook, and got rave review from my husband!! We tried to make it a smidge healthier by using thin crust, and we found individual size thin pizza crusts at the store! I made my own pizza sauce and pesto for this one, and I'll include the recipes for those after the main pizza recipe.

Pesto Chicken Pizza
as adapted from Plain Chicken

1 pizza crust 
1/4-1/3 c. pizza sauce
2-3 Tb. pesto
1-2 c. mozzarella cheese
5 oz. can of cooked chicken

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix chicken and pesto. Start with 2 Tb. and add to taste. Set aside.

Brush pizza sauce onto pre-cooked pizza crust. Put a layer of mozzarella cheese on top of the pizza sauce. Sprinkle the chicken/pesto mixture over the mozzarella. Sprinkle more mozzarella over the chicken.

Bake pizza for 10-15 minutes, or until crust begins to brown and cheese is thoroughly melted.

Pizza Sauce
You can totally make this on your own, and save yourself the money of buying a huge jar! The only money you put into this sauce is the cheap lil can of tomato sauce.

1 8oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2-1 Tb. pizza seasonings*

Open tomato sauce and pour into microwave safe bowl. Add seasonings to tomato sauce, starting with 1/2 Tb. Add more seasonings to taste, up to 1 Tb. Stir together. Put plastic wrap over the bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir.

*I have an already prepared "pizza seasonings" in my spice rack. This is simple enough to make on your own, though. Just combine equal parts of basil, oregano, marjoram, and garlic.

adapted from Simply Recipes

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed (or 2 TB. dried, crushed basil in a pinch)
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/6 c. pine nuts*
3/4 tsp. minced garlic (about 1 1/2 minced garlic cloves)
salt and fresh ground pepper

Pulse the pine nuts in a food processor a few times to break them into small pieces. Add in basil and pulse a few more times. Add in garlic and again pulse the food processor a few times.

Turn the food processor on and slowly add the olive oil in a slow stream. Stop a few times to scrape down the sides. Once the olive oil is completely mixed through, add the cheese and blend in the food processor until completely combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

*I have heard that you can use walnuts in place of pine nuts, and I have to say...it worked!! I'm not a pesto snob by any means, so others might not agree with this, but if you don't have any pine nuts and you do happen to have walnuts--go for it!

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