If you are a fan of pesto, give my Chicken Pesto Pizza recipe a try. It’s a pizza with pesto sauce as the base plus chicken, cherry tomatoes, onions, mushroom, cheese and more. A restaurant-quality pizza made right in the comfort of your home. For pizza night, skip takeout and frozen pizzas. This easy recipe is the perfect solution for a busy weeknight dinner.
This easy chicken pesto pizza you’ll want to keep a fork close by because it’s LOADED with toppings. You can try and pick it up and eat it, but you may have some casualties! Ha!
I think I might actually prefer pesto sauce in place of pizza sauce. Make your own pesto sauce or use the jar of the store-bought kind to save on time. I had a jar of Classico Pesto Sauce in the pantry so that’s what I used on mine. Fresh basil pesto would be AMAZING though.
For veggies and herbs, I loaded it up with sliced mushrooms, white onions, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves. If you have leftover chicken, chop it up for your pizza. If not, bake two boneless, skinless chicken breasts and chop them up once they’ve cooled.
Pizza is always a family favorite in our home. I like to experiment with different flavors and ingredients and pizza is the perfect canvas for that.
Why You’ll Love This Pesto Chicken Pizza
- Make with your favorite pizza dough
- Great way to use up leftover chicken
- A delicious pizza for the whole family to enjoy
- Quick and easy to make
- Leftovers are yummy (if you have any!)
- Load up with your favorite toppings
- Can use store-bought or homemade pesto
The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.
- Pizza dough – You can use homemade pizza dough or store-bought pizza dough. I like Pillsbury Pizza Crust.
- Pesto sauce – I buy mine at the grocery store in the pasta aisle, but you can make your own if you like.
- Chopped cooked chicken breasts – You can use leftover rotisserie chicken, a grilled chicken breast or bake a chicken breast like I do and chop it up.
- White onion
- Sliced mushrooms – I use white button mushrooms. Cremini mushrooms are also fine.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Mozzarella cheese
- Goat cheese
How to Make Homemade Chicken Pesto Pizza
- Step One: Prepare the pizza crust according to package directions. For the Pillsbury Pizza Crust I used, I greased a pizza pan with cooking spray and spread the dough to fit. Then I pre-baked for 8 minutes in a 400°F oven.
- Step Two: Spread pesto sauce evenly over pizza crust, leaving a gap around the edge.
- Step Three: Evenly distribute onions, mushrooms, chicken, basil and cherry tomatoes over the sauce.
- Step Four: Then top with mozzarella cheese and goat cheese cheese.
- Step Five: Bake an additional 7 to 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.
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What to Serve with Chicken Pesto Pizza
- Salad – I like Caesar salad or simple tossed garden salad.
- Garlic bread – Match made in heaven with pizza.
- Grilled or roasted veggies
- Roasted potatoes – Try these Parmesan Thyme Roasted Potatoes.
Variations and Substitutions
- Use a red onion instead of white onion.
- Instead of cherry tomatoes, try sliced fresh tomatoes.
- Add other toppings like chopped artichoke hearts, red peppers or kalamata olives.
- Spinkle on extra spices like garlic powder or red pepper flakes for some heat.
- Drizzle on extra virgin olive oil right before serving.
- Not a fan of pesto? Use regular tomato sauce or pizza sauce.
- No fresh basil? Skip or use a teaspoon of dried basil.
- Substitute feta cheese for goat cheese.
- Omit the chicken to make it vegetarian.
- Try a whole wheat pizza crust or gluten-free pizza crust.
Store leftover pizza in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap on a plate in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can I Freeze?
Yes, you can freeze this pizza! Let it come to room temperature first. Wrap it up either in slices or whole in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to eat the pizza, simply remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once it’s thawed, you can reheat it in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted. Avoid using the microwave to reheat frozen pizza as it can make the crust soggy.
What is the Difference Between Pesto and Pizza Sauce?
Pesto sauce and pizza sauce are both used Italian cuisine, but have different ingredients and flavors.
Pesto is typically made from fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. The ingredients are blended together in a food processor to create a thick, smooth sauce with a bright green color. It has a strong, fresh flavor with a nutty and slightly sweet taste from the pine nuts and cheese. It’s commonly used as a topping for pasta dishes, as a dip for bread, or as a spread on sandwiches.
Pizza sauce is a tomato-based sauce that’s used as a base for pizza. It’s typically made from canned tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and a variety of herbs and spices like oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Pizza sauce has a tangy, slightly sweet flavor with a rich tomato taste and is a milder tasting sauce than pesto. It’s spread over the pizza dough before adding toppings like cheese, vegetables, or meat.
Can I Use Fresh Mozzarella for this Pizza?
You are more than welcome to top your pizza with round mozzarella slices if you would like. Just aim to make them thinner, so they have a chance to melt up as the pizza bakes. If they are too thick or they won’t fully warm and meltdown.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Allow the pizza to cool a few minutes before cutting into slices. This will help the cheese to set so the toppings won’t slide right off.
- Once the pizza is out of the oven, drizzle on extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle on freshly chopped basil for extra flavor.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper before you cook it to give it some flavor.
- Use a pre-made crust to save on time.
- Don’t forget to leave about an inch gap around the edge when you’re spreading on the pesto on the pizza dough.
Yes, of course! I typically buy pesto sauce to save on time.
Sure! I would add extra toppings to make up for not using any cheese.
The best way to reheat pizza is in the oven. It keeps the pizza crust nice and crispy. Place the leftover pizza on a baking sheet or directly on the oven rack. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350°F or until the cheese melts.
Another way to reheat is in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This method can make the crust soggy though so keep that in mind.
- Buffalo Chicken Pizza
- BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Vegetable Pizza
- Italian Meatball Pizza
- Sweet Chili Chicken Thai Pizza
- Cheeseburger Pizza
- Crockpot Supreme Pizza
Chicken Pesto Pizza
- 1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust or your own homemade pizza crust or other brand of refrigerated pizza crust
- ¾ cup pesto sauce
- 1 cup cooked chicken breasts chopped
- 1 small white onion chopped
- ½ cup sliced mushrooms
- ¼ cup cherry tomatoes sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- ¾ cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- ¼ cup goat cheese sliced or crumbled
- Prepare the pizza crust according to package directions. For the Pillsbury Pizza Crust I used, I greased a pizza pan and spread the dough to fit. Then I pre-baked for 8 minutes in a 400°F oven.
- Spread pesto sauce evenly over pizza crust, leaving a gap around the edge.
- Evenly distribute onions, mushrooms, chicken, basil and cherry tomatoes over the sauce. Then top with mozzarella cheese and goat cheese cheese.
- Bake an additional 7 to 10 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is melted.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.