Pesto Pizza

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Pesto Pizza combines quick pizza dough, homemade pesto sauce, Roma tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. This meatless pizza recipe is a favorite combo at our home! 

Basil Pesto Pizza

I’ve been making homemade pizza forever. We grew up making it as kids, and it was our Saturday night meal to go with “Donnie and Marie”. Yeah, I’m old.

The difference between then and now is 1) we didn’t make homemade crust back in the day, 2) we loaded the pizza with raw ground beef (ewwww) so the pizza was greasy after it cooked, 3) we knew nothing about the fantastic sauce that is PESTO, 4) we used about 5 pounds of cheese that we sliced (shredded cheese wasn’t a thing), and 5) we were young and could eat unlimited slices without worrying about our waistlines.

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Oh, the memories!

Why We Love This Pesto Pizza:

  • SIMPLE – This pizza uses simple ingredients easily found in your local grocery store. Making your own homemade pizza dough is pretty quick and it’s totally worth the extra steps.
  • FAVORITE SAUCE – Pesto sauce is one of our favorite sauces and is fantastic on pizza. 
  • A DELICIOUS COMBO – We love the combo of quick pizza dough, homemade pesto, Roma tomatoes, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Friday nights just got tastier!
  • Optional Ingredients: Try using cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach, red onion, fresh arugula, and/or leftover chicken.
Side view of two slices of pesto pizza on a plate.

Pizza Ingredients:

  • Quick Pizza Dough – This pizza dough rises pretty quickly. I often stick the dough in the refrigerator (covered with plastic wrap) until I’m ready to form the crusts. While we love our homemade pizza dough recipe, store-bought dough works in a pinch.
  • Bold Pesto Flavor – We have a large pot of fresh basil in the summertime, and I make a double batch of homemade basil pesto sauce about every other week. Let’s just say…we have loads of thick pesto sauce in the freezer right now.
  • Roma Tomatoes – Use thin slices of fresh tomatoes on this heavenly pizza.
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – I normally use shredded Tillamook cheese or shred my own. We’ve also used fresh mozzarella too.

You will need a cast iron skillet for this recipe, and I use mine regularly for so many things.

How to Make Pesto Mozzarella Pizza:

Step 1
Make homemade pizza dough.

  • Activate the yeast. Using a large standing mixer, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Take a spatula, and stir it around a couple of times. Then let it sit for about 15 minutes so that the yeast activates. You should see a bubbly mixture when it’s ready. Then add the extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt, and stir again.
  • Add flour to desired consistency. Start by adding about three cups of bread flour to the mixer. Let the mixer run, and occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Gradually add more flour until you get a nice dough consistency. It should be slightly sticky, but easy to handle.
  • Let the dough rise. Grease a large bowl with canola or olive oil. Remove the dough from the mixer, and form it into a ball. Then place it in the bowl, and cover it with a clean dishtowel. Place the bowl in a warm place in your kitchen and let rise until approximately doubled in size. The rise may be different each time and will vary depending on where you live.
  • Use dough for pizza crusts. Once the bread rises, it’s time to form the dough into desired shapes. This recipe should make about three medium-sized pizzas.

Step 2
Make homemade basil pesto sauce.

  • Clean the basil. If you are picking fresh basil, make sure you rinse it under cold water and then pat dry with a clean towel (or paper towel).
  • Toast the nuts. Toast the pine nuts on the stove top, until fragrant and slightly brown. Remove to cool slightly.
  • Shred parmesan cheese. Use a box grater to freshly shred some parmesan cheese.
  • Combine. Combine the fresh basil leaves, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and garlic cloves in a food processor.
  • Process. Pulse for several seconds until the ingredients are ground up. Then remove the plunger on top, and drizzle the olive oil through the feed tube until the sauce is nice and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Store. Store pesto sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.

Step 3
Assemble pizza.

  • Spray the skillet with baking spray. If grilling, add some cornmeal to a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Press the dough out. Use your hands to press the pizza dough out to all sides of the cast iron skillet (or pizza stone).
  • Spoon the pesto sauce over the pizza dough, smoothing to all sides of the dough.
  • Add tomato slices and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Step 4
Bake pesto pizza. Preheat oven to 475-500 degrees. Place skillet in the preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the pizza is golden brown on the bottom and top.

A cast iron skillet of pesto pizza.

Step 5
Slice and serve. Slice the pizza into triangles and serve with extra shredded parmesan cheese.

What to Serve with Pesto Pizza:

While our quick dough is our favorite pizza dough recipe, you could make our whole wheat pizza dough recipe or even make French bread pizza too.

Side view of some slices of pesto pizza.

Recipe FAQs:

What cheese goes well with pesto?

I think almost any type of cheese goes well with pesto sauce, like mozzarella, goat cheese, white cheddar, parmesan cheese, gruyere, or white cheddar.

Is pesto pizza a thing in Italy?

Yes, pesto pizza is made in Italy, but slightly different. It’s traditionally topped with mozzarella di bufala and pesto Genovese sauce.

Can I use store-bought pesto sauce instead of homemade?

Yes, you can easily find a good quality pesto sauce in your local store.

Six slices of pesto pizza with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

Side view of a plate of two slices of pesto pizza.

Pesto Mozzarella Pizza

Pesto Pizza combines quick pizza dough, homemade pesto sauce, Roma tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. This meatless pizza recipe is a favorite combo at our home!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 slices
Calories: 172kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf



  • For the dough, use 1/3 recipe of my homemade pizza dough for one skillet pizza.
  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees f. Grease the skillet, and spread dough in the pan, pushing it to all sides of the skillet.
  • Top the dough with homemade basil pesto sauce., sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden on top and golden brown on the bottom. Slice and serve immediately.


There are many more tips and details in my blog post.
See our homemade pizza dough and homemade basil pesto sauce for this delicious savory pizza!


Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 30mg | Vitamin A: 325IU | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!


  1. OH MY GOODNESS!!! This was AMAZING!!! I used your pizza dough & pesto recipes and the entire family loved it! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Cathy! I’m so glad ya’ll enjoyed it so much! 🙂

  2. I am excited as I am having this awesome recipe tonight. The Pesto takes it to another level!

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