Veggie Pesto Pizza

Living in New York City is like living in the pizza capital of the world.

Sure, we have the gold standard when it comes to thin-sliced pies that you can grab in any neighborhood in the city — but don’t count out Chicago-style and every other variety in between. You can get it all here.

My preference is an average of the two — not quite super thin and nowhere near as intimidating as a deep-dish.

Craving a slice of something last weekend, we walked past the Big Mozz stand at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg as the guys were preparing pies out of their wood-fired mobile unit. Although we didn’t have a chance to try a slice from their crew (yet) — I definitely left knowing I’d be making pizza for dinner.

Our Rookie Chef version? A veggie pesto pizza, which is the recipe you’ll find below. But feel free to add any sort of meat or protein you’d like. One thing that’s great about a pizza recipe — toss on any delicious toppings you love to make it yours.

To start — you’ll want to follow the directions on the pizza crust you’re using. But we pre-heated the oven to 425 degrees and then ended up toasting the pizza in oven (once set with toppings for 10 minutes — total).



1 tube of Pillsbury pizza crust (use whichever variety you have at the store)

Basil pesto

Minced garlic

Parmesan cheese (we used shredded — but grated will work too)

Marinated artichoke hearts

Jalapeno peppers

Sweet peppers (we used a combo of red, orange and yellow)

Fresh mozzarella

Baby arugula

Olive oil

Pesto dough

Unroll your pizza crust onto a non-stick pan and generously spread a layer of basil pesto on top. This will be your base (like a tomato sauce for a regular pizza). Next, add some minced garlic around evenly and then toss a layer of Parmesan (which will act as a bottom glue to the veggie toppings).

Pizza progress

Once set with Parmesan cheese, add the goodies. We alternated a couple layers of the artichoke hearts, jalapeno peppers, sweet peppers, pulled mozzarella and baby arugula.

Pre-baked pizza

Before popping in the oven to bake — add one last layer of Parmesan cheese to “seal” all the goodness you added to your toppings. One last drizzle of olive oil on top for crispness and you’re ready to bake.

Baked pesto pizza

For the oven, you’ll want to follow along with the directions on the crust you’ve purchased, but for reference — we added the pizza in the oven for 10 minutes on 425 degrees. Watch the corners of the crust til they turn a golden-toasted brown.

Slice of pesto pizza

BOOM. That’s it for a fresh pizza made by yourself. If you don’t happen to have a lot of these ingredients on hand already, think of it as a good excuse to just make more pizzas with the ingredients you needed to add.

One fun thing about this recipe too is that it’s completely editable to whatever you’d in the mood for that night.

Have some extra tomato sauce on hand? Just add some fresh basil leaves, salt & pepper, tomato slices and mozzarella. You’ve got your very own Classic Margherita Pizza.


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