Chicken Pesto Pizza Recipe

Chicken Pesto Pizza Recipe
Homemade chicken pesto pizza with the crispiest crust, loads of walnut pesto and a kick from pepper jack cheese.
Then I layered slices of my favorite organic pepper jack cheese, followed by the chicken and a sprinkling of more grated pepper jack. I want that cheese to just nicely hug the chicken from all sides like a cozy blanket. 
Hey, did you know that pizza was invented in Napoli Italy?
There’s even an association that protects the true Napolitana pizza, which cannot be any thicker than 3 mm. That’s what I strive for when making my pizzas, which is the reason why I insist you use this rustic pizza doughrecipe. You can stretch it so thin you can read the morning paper through it. Unless you are into deep dish pizza, then I can’t help you today. Maybe another come back 😉
Just like it is the case with every single pizza that I make, I always bake the crust for a couple of minutes on my pizza stone before adding my topping. Then I take it out of the oven, so the oven won’t get cold while I assemble all my toppings.
Back into the oven it goes for about five minutes or so, just until the cheese is nicely, gooey melted and the crust has little crispy brown marks. This little step is what makes the difference between crispy pizza bottom or a soggy center. Simple as that. 
Once summer rolls around you can actually grill the pizza dough right next to the chicken on your grill, then add all your goodies on top and let the cheese melt. 
I totally get that using pepper jack cheese is not your traditional choice, but it adds so much flavor, and it melts so amazingly that it is definitely worth breaking the pizza laws for 😉 
I might be in trouble with the Napolitana pizza police for this one, but the dough is on point tough! That should count for something right ?! 
More pesto pizza toppings:
baby arugula and goat cheese
marinated sun dried tomatoes or sun dried tomato pesto
heirloom tomatoes, basil and balsamic glaze
sauteed spinach and marinated artichoke hearts
top with whipped ricotta and roasted tomatoes (pizza pesto e ricotta & pomodori)
for the meat eaters: Italian sausage and kale (pizza pesto alla Salsiccia)
sprinkle with crispy sage
Chicken Pesto Pizza Recipe
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
35 mins

The ultimate cheesy gooey chicken pesto pizza with the crispiest crust and a kick from pepper jack cheese.
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 people
Author: Florentina

  • 1 batch rustic pizza dough (formed into 6 dough balls)
  • 1 pound best grilled chicken sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds pepper jack cheese shredded or thinly sliced
  • 2 basil sprigs for garnish
  • Red pepper flakes for serving
Walnut Pesto
  • 2 bunches basil (leaves only)
  • 1/3 c walnuts chopped
  • 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  1. Prepare your pizza dough according to the recipe directions.
Walnut Pesto
  1. Add the basil leaves, walnuts, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth but still with a little bit of texture. Adjust seasonings to your taste with sea salt and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the Pizza
  1. Preheat your oven to 500”F with the pizza stone in it for at least 45 minutes or longer.
  2. Sprinkle some flour on your kitchen counter or over a pastry board and place one of the pizza dough balls on top. Sprinkle with some flour and using the palm of your hand gently press down on the dough until flat.
  3. Flip the dough on the other side and sprinkle some more flour on top if needed. Continue to press down with the palm of your hand and gently stretching the sides until the pie is thin too your liking. You could also use your knuckles and help stretch the dough as well, just be careful not to tear it.
  4. Sprinkle some flour on your pizza peel or cardboard and gently place the dough on top.
  5. Sprinkle a little flour or corn meal on top of the pizza stone in the oven and very carefully transfer the pizza pie to the pizza stone. Just give the pizza peel or cardboard box an nice little shake and it will slide right in.
  6. Bake the pizza pie for 3 minutes then remove it from the oven back to your pizza peel.
  7. Spoon a thin layer of the walnut pesto over the top and layer with the pepper jack cheese slices. Sprinkle the grilled chicken on top and a little bit more pepper jack cheese.
  8. Gently transfer the pizza pie back to the hot pizza stone and bake an additional 5 minutes or so , until the cheese has melted and the crust is crispy.
  9. Repeat with the remaining pizza pies and allow each pizza to rest for a few minutes for the cheese to set before cutting into it. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and enjoy with extra red pepper flakes on top.

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