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Easy Chicken Pesto Caprese Pizza

5 from 3 votes

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Chicken Pesto Caprese Pizza is a fast and easy dinner idea ready in just 30 minutes with a homemade crust! Instant yeast makes this weeknight meal possible, topped with chicken, tomatoes, and basil pesto. A great Italian homemade pizza recipe.
A whole Chicken Pesto Caprese Pizza on a baking sheet with extra tomatoes around it

This Chicken Pesto Caprese Pizza is inspired by one of the most popular recipes on this site, Pesto Caprese Penne Pasta. A delicious crust is topped with basil pesto, mozzarella cheese, shredded chicken, and cherry tomatoes. Best part is it is so simple and ready in just 30 minutes!

Why You Will Love This Recipe

A Chicken Caprese Pesto Pizza is a delicious and flavorful variation of traditional pizza that incorporates the flavors of the classic Italian Caprese salad.

It features fresh mozzarella cheese, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, chicken, and pesto sauce as the base sauce.

This homemade Chicken Pesto Caprese Pizza is ready in just 30 minutes, which means a delicious, special pizza is just minutes away for your next pizza night.

Make your own pizza dough with a crispy crust with this fast and easy dinner recipe!

I am a big fan of caprese anything. Caprese is fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and tomatoes. The flavors are so simple yet so amazing together, and I have been busy using them in as many ways as I can! Find more caprese inspired recipes here!

Ingredients

These are the ingredients you need for this chicken pesto pizza recipe:

  • Shredded Cooked Chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken or other leftover chicken is perfect)
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Grape or Cherry Tomatoes – fresh tomatoes are perfect for this pizza!
  • Fresh Basil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Pine Nuts or Walnuts
  • Salt
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Instant Yeast
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Water
  • Dried Basil
  • Garlic Powder

The fresh pesto in this recipe is a smaller batch of my popular Basil Pesto, but you can use any pre-made or store bought pesto that you like as well.

Store-bought pizza dough will also work, but this homemade dough is incredibly fast and easy!

Equipment

This is the equipment you need to make the homemade basil pesto pizza:

  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Large Bowl
  • Food Processor or Blender
  • Baking Sheet
  • Oven

Instruction Overview


To make the Chicken Pesto Caprese Pizza, first get the homemade dough going using instant yeast.

Combine the yeast, a cup of flour, the warm water, oil, sugar, and salt. Add a little more flour until the dough is soft and not too wet.

Also add the dried basil and Parmesan to the dough.

Knead the dough ball on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, just a few minutes. Then let the dough rest and the dough rise slightly for 10 minutes.

Make your homemade pesto sauce, or have one ready, and cut your fresh tomatoes.

Prepare your preheated oven and roll or pat the dough into a 12 inch circle.

Pinch the edges to make a crust edge. Spread the pesto across the dough.

Top with the cheese, tomato slices, and chicken.

Bake on a pizza stone or upside down cookie sheet until the cheese is melted and starting to turn golden brown, approximately 12 minutes.

Top with some freshly sliced basil and Parmesan, and serve immediately.

Modifications and Substitutions

I highly recommend making the fresh basil pesto in the recipe (it is AMAZING!) but any store bought pesto will also work.

This would also be great with sausage! Or without meat!

This recipe uses a crust that is ready in 30 minutes start to finish with Instant Yeast. I prefer the texture of my homemade pizza dough, but it takes longer to prepare.

I love to add other ingredients based on what I have and like such as red onion, fresh spinach, and garlic clove.

For a spicier twist, you can add red pepper flakes or sliced fresh jalapeños to the pizza.

Instead of chicken, you can use grilled shrimp or prosciutto for different protein options.

Experiment with different types of cheese, such as fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, or Parmesan, for added richness and flavor.

Kim’s Tips

If you do not have a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water, the water should be very warm but not too hot. If too hot, it will kill the yeast and the dough will not rise.

Also make sure that the yeast you are using is not expired, as that is typically a primary cause for dough not rising. 

FAQs

What is pesto pizza sauce made of?

The pesto sauce is made of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon, salt, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese.

What does pesto pizza taste like?

A pesto pizza tastes fresh, lemony, and garlicy.

What goes with pesto on pizza?

This pizza is topped with tomatoes, chicken, and cheese. Other great topping options includes sausage, zucchini, corn, onion, and asparagus.

Do you cook chicken before putting it on pizza?

Yes. The pizza is not cooked long enough for the chicken to cook.
Rotisserie chicken or a leftover chicken with neutral or Italian flavors is perfect to use for this recipe.

More Pizza Recipes

Pizza Recipes

A whole Chicken Pesto Caprese Pizza on a baking sheet with extra tomatoes around it

Chicken Pesto Caprese Pizza

Chicken Pesto Caprese Pizza is a fast and easy dinner idea ready in just 30 minutes with a homemade crust! Instant yeast makes this weeknight meal possible, topped with chicken, tomatoes, and basil pesto. A great Italian homemade pizza recipe.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: 30 Min or Less, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 742kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Pizza Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (more or less, from 1 3/4 – 2 1/4 cups, it depends on how dry your flour is)
  • 1 envelope instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup very warm water (120° to 130°F)
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or 1 Tablespoon dried/canned)

Pesto Sauce

Pizza Toppings

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Combine 1 cup flour, yeast​, sugar, salt, dried basil, and Parmesan in a large bowl. Add very warm water and oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Dough should form a ball and will be slightly sticky.
    2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 envelope instant yeast, 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup very warm water, 1/2 Tablespoon dried basil, 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 3 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • Knead on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting, make the pesto sauce if you are not using pre-made pesto. Do this by combining all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender and blending until you reach your desired consistency.
    1 cup fresh basil, 1/2 lemon, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 pinch red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pat or roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is approximately 12 inches wide.
  • Transfer the dough to a greased baking sheet. Form a rim by pinching the edge of the dough.
  • Spread the pesto along the dough, avoiding the crust edges.
  • Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese across the pesto. Top with the halved tomatoes and chicken. Sprinkle a little more Parmesan across the pizza if desired.
    1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
  • Brush the edge of the crust with a little more oil and sprinkle with Parmesan or garlic powder, if desired.
  • Bake on lowest oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.
  • Thinly slice the remaining fresh basil, if using, and sprinkle across the top of the pizza. Cut and serve immediately alongside extra pesto, if desired.
    freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh basil

Notes

If you do not have a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water, the water should be very warm but not too hot.  If too hot, it will kill the yeast and the dough will not rise.
You can also use any pre-made or store bought pesto sauce in place of the homemade.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (1/4 pizza) | Calories: 742kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 1152mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 807IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 350mg | Iron: 5mg
By on November 5th, 2019

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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