Chicken Pesto Pizza
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Have pizza night at home with this flavorful chicken pesto pizza. It’s quick and easy using leftover chicken and premade pesto!
One of my all-time favorite ingredients to cook with is pesto. Definitely in the summer when I can make homemade pesto from my garden basil, but the rest of the year too.
The herby, garlicky sauce is so good on SO many things that aren’t just pasta, like cucumber tomato salad or even pesto popcorn.
It’s really good as a stand-in for tomato sauce on pizza, too. And when you make pizza as much as we do, well, you’ve gotta keep mixing it up.
This chicken pesto pizza is one I make a lot, whenever we have some extra pesto and cooked chicken hanging around.
It comes together really quickly, especially if you already have some pizza dough on hand. Add some cheese, red onion, and tomato, and you’re set.
Skip the delivery pizza tonight and make this easy chicken pesto pizza instead!
Ingredients for chicken pesto pizza
Grab your ingredients and get ready to make pesto pizza.
Pizza dough – I like to use my homemade pizza dough, but you can use any pizza dough for this recipe.
If you’re using frozen pizza dough, make sure to thaw it in advance. For pizza dough that comes in a roll, check the package for preparation instructions; sometimes you need to let it come to room temperature before using.
Pesto – Again, I prefer using either a more traditional homemade pesto or a seasonal alternative like carrot top pesto.
Not sure what’s in pesto? It generally contains basil, parmesan, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts.
When I make it myself I swap other nuts for the pine nuts, so feel free to do the same!
If you prefer, use your favorite jarred pesto. Barilla’s pesto is usually easy to find and quite good.
Cooked shredded chicken – You’ll need about 1 cup of chicken. Simply save some chicken from another meal and you’ll be set!
You can also cook and shred a single chicken breast, or buy shredded rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.
Mozzarella – You want low-moisture shredded mozzarella for this recipe.
Red onion – I love red onion on pizza because it gives a nice bite that contrasts the other flavors. Cooking it on the pizza instead of adding it raw after will reduce the sharpness.
Tomato – Like a classic caprese, tomato is perfect for this pizza. It adds a sweet juicy flavor to the pizza.
Look for smaller tomatoes and slice thinly. You can also use cherry tomatoes and halve them.
How to make chicken pesto pizza
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Roll out your pizza crust to fit a round pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet. (If using a baking sheet, it might not fill the entire space.)
If using a pizza stone or a baking steel, preheat it with the oven. Make sure to add some semolina or cornmeal to your pizza peel to prevent sticking when you slide in the pizza.
Mix 2 tablespoons of the pesto with the cooked chicken so that the chicken is coated.
Spread the rest of the pesto onto the pizza crust, leaving a small rim around the edge of the crust.
Note: If you prefer, you can skip coating the chicken with pesto and use it all for the pizza crust.
Evenly scatter the mozzarella on top of the pesto sauce.
On top of the mozzarella, add the sliced tomato, then the chicken, then the red onion.
Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned.
Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Add heat to the pizza with a sprinkling of crushed red chile flakes on top of the pesto layer.
Replace the chicken with mushrooms to make it vegetarian.
Try it with a smoked mozzarella, or add some grated parmesan.
Instead of pizza crust, use individual pieces of naan for single-serve pizzas.
Top with chopped artichoke hearts or baby spinach.
Garnish with chopped fresh basil, or add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
More pizza recipes
Try these other pizzas as well!
- BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
- Herb Pizza Dough
- Brussels Sprouts Pizza with Bacon
- Zucchini Crust Pizza
Chicken Pesto Pizza
- 1 ball pizza dough
- 1 cup cooked shredded chicken
- 1/2 cup pesto sauce, divided use
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tomato, sliced thinly
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
- Preheat oven to 450°F. If using a pizza stone or baking steel, remember to preheat it with the oven.
- Roll out pizza crust to fit a pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet.
- Mix the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the pesto (optional). Spread the rest of the pesto onto the pizza crust, leaving bare crust around the edge.
- Scatter on an even layer of mozzarella. Arrange on the sliced tomato, chicken, and red onion.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is golden. Let cool briefly before slicing and serving.