Pesto Pizza Recipe

This pesto pizza recipe requires just a handful of ingredients and is a breeze to make if you already have pizza dough in the freezer. 

pesto pizza recipe

We love making pizza at home. It’s one of the few meals that I think is worth the extra effort. We’ve spent a lot of time discovering our favorite style, and then nailing down how to reliably reproduce it. We prefer pizzas thin, but not too crisp, and definitely not too greasy! This easy pesto pizza recipe ticks all the boxes, and then some. It requires just a handful of ingredients, and is a breeze to make if you already have pizza dough in the freezer.

Related: Everything you need to know about making artisan pizza

How to make pesto pizza

Our love of homemade pizza is also one of the few excuses I have for kitchen uni-taskers (sorry, Alton!). We’ve found that if you’re going to make pizza often, a pizza stone is a must. Pizza stones absorb moisture as the pizza bakes, which makes for a crunchier crust. If using a pizza stone, you’ll need to pop it in the oven while it’s pre-heating. A word of warning though: pizza stones have a tendency to break in half, so be careful not to get too attached to yours. If you don’t have a pizza stone, I’ve heard that you can achieve a similar result by baking your pizza on an upside-down cookie sheet (it’s supposed to allow air to circulate underneath the pizza). However, I’ve never tested this method myself, so I can’t speak to how well it works.

When making this pesto pizza recipe, I’d encourage you to keep things simple and not add on additional toppings. The homemade pesto really shines here, and the tomatoes add just the right pop of freshness. However, if you’re dying to add on more toppings like onions or peppers, sauté them until they’re slightly tender before adding them to your pizza. This will ensure that your toppings get fully cooked in the oven, and will remove some of the moisture from the veggies (which is essential for maintaining that perfectly crisp crust!).

Serve this homemade pesto pizza recipe with a side salad or some roasted vegetables. It’s best eaten right away, but you can easily reheat this pizza in a skillet on the stove or in the oven. Avoid microwaving leftovers, as your pizza may become a little rubbery while being reheated.

Looking for more homemade pizza recipes?

Alex and I have made a lot of pizza over the years. A few of our favorite recipes are:

This recipe is…



Pesto Pizza Recipe

1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pizza
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian


This pesto pizza recipe requires just a handful of ingredients and is a breeze to make if you already have pizza dough in the freezer.



  1. Place your pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. Slice the tomato.
  2. When the oven is ready, either put the dough on a floured pizza peel (if you are so lucky), or pull the pizza stone out of the oven and carefully place the dough on it.
  3. Quickly assemble the pizza. Spread the pesto over the dough, sprinkle on as much cheese as you like, add the tomato slices, and top with some fresh grated parmesan and a pinch of salt. Also, I like to brush a little olive oil on the crust to help it brown.
  4. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned. This is about 5 to 7 minutes, but just keep an eye on it.
  5. Try to let the pizza cool before you eat it, so you don’t burn off all your taste buds – this is always the hardest part!

Keywords: pesto pizza recipe


About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I made a variation of your stuffed poblano peppers last night, looks like tonight I am making pesto pizza! Thanks for all the great recipes!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2010 at 4:55 am

    I love pizza , and this one looks delicious !

  • Reply
    Baking Serendipity
    September 25, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    My husband and I make a lot of homemade pizzas, but surprisingly have never made one so simple, or with pesto. Holding onto this recipe to give it a shot! Thanks :)

  • Reply
    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)
    September 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I love anything and everything with pesto, especially pizza! Yours look so delicious, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Oh dear…I’d never known about pizza stones till I read this post. Putting this on my list to try, together with Jim Lahey’s no knead bread and pizza dough! I love how we’re taking these once unattainable-at-home foods and bringing them right home. Nothing beats eating fresh.

    • Reply
      September 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm

      No knead bread is great! Good luck with a pizza, the stones make all the difference!

  • Reply
    mary c.
    September 27, 2010 at 7:11 am

    I make Pesto pizza, but when I slice the romas (I use three), I sprinkle with a little salt and let sit for about 10 minutes. Then I take paper towels and dab to take a lot of the moisture out. And have you tried this pizza using fresh mozzarell cheese (buffalo)? It’s really a fab tasting pizza, been making it for a few years now.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I love pesto pizza! I usually add chicken or buffalo mozz. cheese. Looks amazing- Beautiful photos!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.