I love our homemade pizza nights. If it were up to me, we’d have pizza weekly, but Brian loves burgers and fries, so we’ve compromised to alternate Pizza and Burgers on Saturdays.
I have to be satisfied with just a couple times a month. Sigh.
And this pizza? My absolute favorite. Mmmmm.
It’s also super easy and quicker than ordering a pizza. Not to mention about 1/3 of the price.
Start the pizza by making a batch of my quick and easy pizza dough, let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, and then roll it out in a pan (or a pizza stone) that’s been lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Here I’m using a cookie sheet to make a medium/large pizza. I like thick crusts so I build the edges up, but my daughter doesn’t, so when she makes the pizza she rolls it all flat.
There’s another reason to make your own- you can tailor it to your tastes.
Then prebake it in a 425 degree oven for about 8 minutes. I always pre-bake when I’m using a lot of toppings like this pizza, ’cause I’ve had too many times where the pizza is burned on the edges, but raw in the middle. This step ensures an evenly baked crust even when loaded with toppings.
After the prebake, spread a layer of pesto over the dough. I’m using a jar of my Frugal Pesto (why frugal? Well, there’s a secret, inexpensive ingredient…) that I froze from last season’s basil harvest. I make and freeze enough each season to be able to use it on pizza, bread, or in Creamy Pesto Pasta for the rest of the year.
Add a layer of shredded mozzarella next and then evenly distribute chopped, cooked chicken over the cheese.
Next up are the vegetables: canned quartered artichoke hearts, canned (or sauteed) mushrooms, chopped sweet onion, home-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil and kept this way), and sliced kalamata olives.
A note about the dried tomatoes: when using them on something like pizza that cooks hot and quick, it’s important to have them on a bottom layer, or at least pushed into the sauce and cheese, otherwise they will burn.
After the vegetable layer, all that’s left is to sprinkle on some feta cheese and freshly grated Parmesan.
I learned this trick with pizza a while ago: always end the layers with some cheese (usually Parmesan) which helps all the toppings meld together and stay on when eating after it’s cooked.
Plus, hello…it’s more cheese!
Pop it back in the 425 oven for another 10 minutes or so, until the crust is brown and the toppings are cooked and browning as well.
Transfer the pizza from the pan to a large cutting board and slice with a pizza cutter or knife. When using a cookie sheet, I cut 12 narrower pieces – 6 on each side – so that every piece has some crust.
This pizza is so good, it seriously makes me want to go over my one-piece-portion-control-limit. This is definitely one of the times where I put aside leftovers with my name on them for the next day, ’cause I don’t want anyone eating my piece.
It’s pretty much this pizza that finally prompted me to buy a toaster oven this last year because it comes out almost like it’s fresh-from-the-oven again.PRINT
Chicken-Pesto Greek Style Pizza
- One batch Quick and Easy Pizza Dough (scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe)
- cornmeal for the pan
- 1/2-3/4 c. prepared pesto (here’s an easy, frugal pesto recipe)
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella
- 1-1/2 c. cooked, chopped chicken
- 1/4 to 1/2 c. each of the following: quartered artichoke hearts, mushrooms, chopped onions, chopped dried tomatoes, and sliced kalamata olives
- 3/4 to 1 c. crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Make the pizza dough and let it rest 15 to 20 minutes while the oven is preheating to 425 degrees. Prepare a medium size baking sheet or a pizza pan/stone by lightly sprinkling with cornmeal.
- Roll and press the dough to fit the pan, building up the edges if you desire a thicker crust, or just rolling flat for a thinner-style.
- Prebake the rolled-out crust for 8-10 minutes. If the crust develops a bubble (or two), just gently push down on them with a spatula to deflate after removing from the oven.
- Spread the partially baked crust with pesto, sprinkle with mozzarella, and distribute the chicken evenly over the crust.
- Add all the vegetables in even layers, starting with the dried tomatoes so they are towards the bottom.
- Top with the feta and Parmesan cheeses.
- Bake in the 425 degree oven for 8-12 minutes more or until the crust is nicely browned and the cheeses melting and starting to color.
- Transfer to a large cutting board before cutting into serving pieces.
Makes one pizza, about 10-12 slices