Chicken Pesto Pizza Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 35 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.
Chicken pesto pizza is a colorful and flavorful way to change up your usual tomato sauce-based pizzas. The toppings are totally customizable, and the fresh layer of pesto gives this pie an herby twist.

Updated: Jan. 08, 2024

Tired of takeout? Homemade pizza is a perfect choice for a kid-friendly Friday night or a no-fuss date night. Our recipe for chicken pesto pizza puts a great spin on pizza for those who don’t love tomato sauce. It’s also an easy way to use up a jar of pesto!

So close that meal delivery app. It’s time to pull out your pizza stone, fire up your oven, and assemble this flavorful (and colorful) pie.

Ingredients for Chicken Pesto Pizza

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  • Active dry yeast: You’ll need active dry yeast to help the pizza dough rise before baking. The packets can typically be found in packs of three in the baking aisle, and you’ll need a little less than what’s in one packet for this recipe. Here’s our guide on how to use yeast so you can make the best pizza dough possible.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour might be the most common type of flour you’ll find, but this recipes uses bread flour. The extra protein in bread flour will give your finished pizza crust the structure it needs to not flop when you’re holding up a warm triangle of pizza.
  • Chicken: You want boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this pizza so you don’t have to spend time pulling meat from any bones. Plus, the white meat of the breasts tends to pair better with the flavors in a pesto pizza.
  • Pesto: Either a good-quality store-bought pesto or a quick homemade pesto will do the trick here.
  • Mozzarella: You can use shredded mozzarella like the recipe calls for, or use the slices from a log of mozzarella if that’s what you have on hand.


Step 1: Activate the yeast

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. It will start bubbling in about 5 to 10 minutes, and that’s when you’ll know it’s ready to mix with the rest of the dough ingredients.

Step 2: Form the dough

When the yeast is bubbling, beat in 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon oil, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft, kneadable dough.

Step 3: Knead the dough, and let it rise

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, six to eight minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about one hour.

Step 4: Cook the pizza toppings

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, onion, peppers and mushrooms. Cook and stir until the chicken is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, six to eight minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 5: Assemble the pizza

Punch the dough down, and roll it into a 15-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a greased 14-inch pizza pan or a pizza stone. Build up the edge slightly, and spread the pesto over the dough until you reach the edge. Top the pesto with the chicken mixture and cheese. Sprinkle with pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Step 6: Bake the pizza

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Bake the chicken pesto pizza until the crust and cheese are lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Add bacon: Who doesn’t love an excuse to add bacon to anything? Cook a few strips of bacon, cut the strips into bits of bacon, and sprinkle them over the pizza. The salty, smoky flavor will taste great with the fresh pesto and chicken.
  • Use a fun pesto variation: Branch out, and use a pesto with a little extra flair, such as spinach pesto, garlic scape pesto, kale pesto or arugula pesto.
  • Leave the veggies off: If you’re craving chicken pesto pizza but you don’t have fresh vegetables on hand, you can leave them off altogether. The mozzarella, chicken and pesto will be more than enough flavor for a simple ‘za!

Can you store chicken pesto pizza?

Everyone knows leftover pizza is the best. Whether you prefer it cold or reheated, this chicken pesto pizza should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for three to four days. Here are several ways to reheat your pizza when you’re ready to eat.

Can you make chicken pesto pizza ahead of time?

Since this pizza uses a homemade dough, it’s best to make it fresh. That being said, you can cook the toppings and prepare the pesto the day before. Store them separately in airtight containers, then simply arrange on the dough once it’s ready the next day.

Chicken Pesto Pizza Tips

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Can you use store-bought pizza dough when making chicken pesto pizza?

To save a little time, using a store-bought or premade pizza crust is a reliable pizza shortcut. Instead of waiting for homemade dough to rise for an hour, you can prep the pizza right before you plan to enjoy it.

Can you use precooked chicken for chicken pesto pizza?

Using precooked chicken is another wonderful way to cut down on the prep time for chicken pesto pizza. If you have leftover chicken or extra rotisserie meat on hand, this pizza makes a perfect leftover chicken recipe.

Chicken Pesto Pizza

Prep Time 35 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 8 servings.


  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 each small green, sweet red and yellow peppers, julienned
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Beat in 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon oil, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add chicken, onion, peppers and mushrooms. Cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Punch dough down; roll into a 15-in. circle. Transfer to a greased 14-in. pizza pan. Build up edge slightly. Spread with pesto. Top with chicken mixture and cheese. Sprinkle with pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. Bake until crust and cheese are lightly browned, 18-20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 313 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 655mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 17g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 lean meat, 1 fat.

This chicken pesto pizza is the only pizza I make now. We love it! Keeping the spices simple helps the flavors of the chicken and vegetables come through. The pizza tastes incredible and is good for you, too. —Heather Thompson, Woodland Hills, California