Thursday, October 7, 2010

Easy Pesto Pizza

Easy Pesto Pizza with Spinach Salad
I'm so behind on blogging!  Last week, the hubby and I celebrated both of our birthdays (27 for me, 30 for him), we had family in town, and a BIG 30th bday party on Saturday.... so I'm finally getting back to the blog.

I had a club meeting tonight and I needed a quick fix for dinner, so I came up with this recipe.  It's a super easy one that tastes like you spent more time on it than you really did.  The big time savers are the store-bought pizza dough and the store bought pesto sauce.  By all means, if you have time to do homemade versions of these things, do!  But if you're in a pinch for time, use these shortcuts and  you can whip this up in just a few minutes -  it cooks very quickly too. 

  • Frozen Pizza Dough, thawed
  • EVOO
  • Store-bought Pesto
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Chopped Cooked Chicken Breast
  • Torn Basil
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • Hot Pepper Flakes
Spread with Pesto
Preheat oven to 385 degrees.  Take your store bought pizza dough, and roll it out/stretch it out to fit a cookie sheet.  I find making square pizza is a bit easier.  Brush the dough with EVOO, and par-bake until it just starts to puff up, approximately 3-5 minutes, then remove.

Take a spoon and spread the pesto sauce all over the crust.  You won't use as much pesto sauce as you would a red sauce, but make sure you have good coverage because the pesto packs a lot of the flavor!

ready for the oven
Next, top with shredded mozzarella cheese.  I like to use Sargento brand low fat cheese, and I find that one standard size bag is the perfect amount for one pizza.  Then, cover with sliced grape tomatoes (slicing them might seem a little labor intensive, but it really only takes a few minutes - if you want, just halve them... whole ones roll off too easily). Next, add your chopped chicken breast.  I had leftover grilled chicken, so I just used that.  Finally, top with some torn basil leaves, shredded parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes (if you like spice).

Put the pizza in the oven, directly onto the center rack, this let's the crust get all nice & crispy. Cook until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is nice and golden brown.  Let cool on a cookie sheet for a few minutes, then slice & serve.  Enjoy!

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