This Pesto Pizza recipe is extra special thanks to the addition of chicken and juicy blistered tomatoes. It’s caprese goodness, on a pizza.

A pesto pizza topped with blistered tomatoes, with a serving spatula taking a slice out.

This Pesto Pizza Recipe is for caprese lovers!

With almost a quarter of a million pageviews, my Chicken Pizza is one of the most loved recipes on this site. With red sauce and lots of cloves of roasted garlic, it has big gourmet flavor.

So today, let’s take everything we love about that pizza and change it up just a little bit to make a Pesto Chicken Pizza. And let’s take that to the next level by making a pizza inspired by caprese (an Italian salad of tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese).

While lots of pesto pizza recipes stop after just the pesto, cheese and chicken, this one is extra special thanks to the addition of blistered tomatoes, which are juicy and bursting with flavor. They take only a few minutes to whip up but really add such a special touch.

Why You Will Love This Basil Pesto Pizza

  • Shortcut ideas for just about every ingredient. Sure, you COULD make your own pizza dough, make your own pesto and cook your own chicken, but you don’t HAVE to. I give shortcut ideas for everything.
  • Even if the only shortcut you take is buying pre-made dough, this recipe still comes together pretty quickly. You should be able to have it on the table in about 45 minutes.
  • Psst – lots of kids I know LOVE pesto. Weird but true. This pizza could turn out to be a hit for the whole family!
Ingredients on a light speckled platter, including poultry, tomatoes, cheese, an herb mixture, basil, pizza dough and spices.

Pesto Pizza Ingredients

  • tomatoes – before you start your pizza, make a quick batch of blistered tomatoes for a topping. They take less than 10 minutes, and they turn cherry or grape tomatoes into something extra delicious. If you need to skip this step, it won’t be quite as delicious, but you can just use regular regular cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half.
  • chicken – you’ll need one small chicken breast for this pizza. You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer!
  • salt and pepper – for seasoning the chicken so it tastes great.
  • pizza dough – you’ll need a 1 pound ball of dough. You can use our homemade pizza dough recipe, or buy prepared dough at the store.
  • nonstick cooking spray – for preventing the dough from sticking to the pizza stone.
  • basil pesto – I highly recommend our homemade pesto recipe, but a high-quality store-bought pesto is also great.
  • mozzarella cheese – I like to buy a bar of low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese and shred it up myself, but any kind of mozzarella you like is good here.
  • chopped fresh basil, grated Parmesan cheese and/or red pepper flakes – all optional garnishes that really enhance the final presentation and flavor, so I recommend using them all!

How to Make Pesto Chicken Pizza

A rimmed baking pan with one cooked chicken breast on it.

1. COOK CHICKEN. Pat the chicken dry and gently pound it to an even thickness. Place it on a rimmed pan, season it with salt and pepper, and bake until it is cooked through. Remove it from the oven and let it cool briefly before slicing it up.

A wooden peel with a round of dough on it.

2. STRETCH & PARBAKE CRUST. Toss and stretch the pizza dough into a large circle and carefully place it on a preheated pizza stone that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake 6 minutes.

Before and after photos showing a savory pie being topped with an herb spread, cheese and tomatoes.

3. PESTO, CHEESE, TOMATOES. Remove the crust from the oven and spread it evenly with the pesto. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese, and divide the tomatoes over the cheese. Bake 6 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and the dough is cooked through. 

A wooden peel with a pesto chicken pizza on top of it.

4. ADD CHICKEN. Divide the cooked, sliced chicken over the pizza and return the pizza to the oven for 2 more minutes.

A pesto pizza recipe topped with blistered tomatoes, with a serving spatula taking a slice out.

5. SERVE. Garnish the pizza with basil, Parmesan cheese and/or red pepper flakes, if desired, and cut and serve immediately.

Chicken Pesto Pizza Recipe Home Chef Tips

  • I highly recommend a pizza stone. Pizza stones are a wonderful tool to have if you’re a pizza lover because they help to achieve a crispy crust without shelling out a few thousand dollars for an actual pizza oven. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can follow the same directions in the recipe card below using a regular round pizza pan. Your pizza may take a few extra minutes to cook through, as the pan will not be as hot as a pizza stone.
  • To shortcut the chicken prep time, use shredded rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken instead of cooking it fresh.
A dark plate with a slice of basil pesto pizza topped with tomatoes.

What to serve with Basil Pesto Pizza

My favorite side dish for this chicken pesto pizza is a nice fresh salad, like mixed greens with Italian salad dressing, or a summer berry salad (hold the chicken).

The only other thing you need is a cocktail! I think that either a basil cocktail or a bourbon mule would be a perfect pairing.

A chicken pesto pizza topped with blistered tomatoes on a wooden board.

Chicken Pesto Pizza Recipe FAQs

Can you put raw chicken on pizza dough?

No, you MUST precook chicken before you put chicken on pizza. The pizza won’t cook long enough for raw chicken to cook all the way through on top of the pizza. 

Why is pesto not vegan?

Traditional basil pesto is not vegan because it contains Parmesan cheese, which is made with animal products.

Should you cook pizza dough before adding sauce and toppings?

Yes, cooking (or par-baking) for a few minutes before adding sauce and toppings prevents a soggy crust and ensures even cooking for your pesto pizza.

A dark plate with a slice of a chicken pesto pizza recipe topped with tomatoes.
A pesto pizza topped with blistered tomatoes on a wooden board covered with parchment paper.

Basil Pesto Pizza with Chicken

This Pesto Pizza recipe is extra special thanks to the addition of chicken and juicy blistered tomatoes. It's caprese goodness, on a pizza.
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Ingredients

  • 1 small chicken breast about 8 ounces
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound Pizza Dough homemade or store-bought
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • ½ cup Basil Pesto homemade or store-bought
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ batch Blistered Tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh basil, grated Parmesan cheese and/or red pepper flakes, for garnish optional

Instructions

  • Place pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Pat chicken dry and use a meat mallet to gently pound to an even thickness. Place chicken on small rimmed baking pan and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Transfer chicken to oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F. Remove from oven and let cool briefly before thinly slicing.
  • Meanwhile, toss and stretch pizza dough into a 14-inch circle. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven and spray with cooking spray. Carefully place dough on stone. Transfer to oven and bake 6 minutes (you can do this step and the next step while chicken is still cooking).
  • Remove pizza crust from oven. Spread crust evenly with pesto. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over pesto, and then divide tomatoes evenly over cheese. Return pizza to oven and bake for an additional 6 minutes or until cheese is melted and dough is cooked through.
  • Divide chicken over pizza; return pizza to oven and bake 2 minutes.
  • Cut and serve immediately, garnished with basil, Parmesan cheese and/or red pepper flakes, if desired.
Serving: 2slices, Calories: 634kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 84mg, Sodium: 1.822mg, Potassium: 255mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1.027IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 340mg, Iron: 4mg
This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
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