Chicken Pizza with Nut Free Pesto

Pizza topped with nut free pesto (also known as a French Pistou), marinated chicken, two kinds of tomatoes, and two cheeses. I originally called this the Chicken Pistou Pizza!

chicken pesto pizza

Earlier this summer, I had a moment of weakness – well really my husband had a moment of weakness. He said that I had been pining over a pizza/baking stone and an immersion blender for so long that I should just get them. (I had thought I could just wait until my birthday in October, but I don’t think he wanted to listen to me talk about them for the next 2 months!) So, we grabbed two of our trusty blue coupons from the car trunk (you know the store I’m talking about!) and made these purchases.

A few days later when I mentioned it to my mom, she told me that she never uses her pizza stone or immersion blender and I could just have hers! Thankfully, mine were still in the store bag with the receipt safely tucked inside! I actually wrote this post before the Roasted Tomato Soup post to announce the immersion blender, but I forgot and posted the soup first, so I spilled the beans – oh well! 🙂  

One of the main reasons I wanted a pizza stone is because this wonderful pizza crust is supposed to be baked on one. While I thought it was completely delicious baked on a regular cookie sheet, I couldn’t help but wonder how different it would be if the recipe was followed. Plus, I had the perfect pizza recipe to try. I’ve made a Chicken Pesto Pizza before, but then I saw this on Annie’s Eats and loved her combination of chicken with tomatoes. I had some homegrown tomatoes from my parents’ neighbor that were just begging to be used.  

chicken pesto pizza

I decided to incorporate the method from the Chicken Pesto Pizza for making the chicken. Because of my nut allergy, I had to make a pine nut-less pesto, and after some googling, I discovered the French Pistou – a combination of olive oil, basil, and garlic (and never pine nuts); hence, the Chicken Pistou Pizza was born!  

For the nut free pesto (French pistou), garlic and salt are first made into a paste using a mortar and pestle.

french pistou nut free pesto

Basil leaves are also crushed this way, and the mixture is blended. The result is a fresh, delicious, pine nut free pesto!

french pistou nut free pesto

By the way, if you were wondering if the pizza stone improved the crust, the answer is YES! 🙂


In the original post, I made this transferred this dough directly to the baking stone. This was a big mistake, as it took 3 of us to do it! I also used a bunch of cornmeal to prevent the pizza from sticking to the stone.

Some time after the original post was published, I started using parchment paper for the pizza to sit on through the entire assembly and baking process, and a pizza peel for transferring the pizza in and out of the oven. These changes have drastically simplified pizza making for us! I have a step by step photo tutorial of this method in my Quick Homemade No Yeast Perfect Pizza Dough post.

Looking for more Pizza recipes?

Check out these other pizza ideas:
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Turkey Bacon, Sausage, and Pepperoni Deluxe Pizza
Chicken Pesto Pizza

Pizza Crust Recipes:

Homemade Pizza Crust
Quick Homemade No Yeast Perfect Pizza Dough
Thin Crust Pizza
Cauliflower Crust Pizza

chicken pesto pizza

Chicken Pizza with Nut Free Pesto

A homemade pizza with a homemade nut free pesto sauce, topped with marinated chicken, two kinds of tomatoes, and two types of cheese! A French Pistou is essentially a nut free pesto, made with crushed garlic, basil, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. A great alternative for those with nut allergies.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 slices


  • pizza stone
  • parchment paper
  • Pizza Peel


  • 1/2 batch pizza crust (enough crust for 1 large pizza)

For the Marinade:

  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (diced in small pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for cooking chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian or pizza seasoning (plus extra for sprinkling)

For the Nut Free Pesto:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
  • olive oil (~4 tablespoons, give or take)
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

For the Pizza:

  • 2-3 small (vine-ripened tomatoes, juice and seeds removed, diced)
  • sun dried tomatoes (optional)
  • Pesto or nut free pesto (pistou)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese


Marinate the Chicken:

  • Place diced chicken in a resealable plastic bag filled with 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Make the Nut Free Pesto:

  • Crush the garlic using a mortar and pestle.
  • Add the salt and use the pestle to make a garlic paste. Add torn basil leaves and olive oil and continue using the pestle to make the pistou.
  • Transfer mixture to a mini food processor to achieve consistency, if desired.

Make the Pizza:

  • Place pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F for at least 30 minutes, ideally 60 minutes.
  • Cook the chicken in a pan with some olive oil, if necessary, until fully cooked.
  • Roll dough out onto a piece of parchment paper in a round shape. Brush outer edge of dough with olive oil. Using a pizza peel or flat baking sheet, transfer parchment and dough to pizza stone to prebake the crust for 5 – 7 minutes, or just until the crust starts to turn golden.
  • Remove crust from oven and, leaving on parchment, transfer to a heat resistant work space or cutting board. Top with pesto, cooked chicken, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with a dash of Italian or pizza seasoning and top with Parmesan cheese.
  • Transfer the pizza, still on the parchment, onto the baking stone in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is melted.


If you don’t have parchment paper, liberally using cornmeal can help prevent the dough from sticking to the pizza stone. 
Nut Free Pesto adapted from
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword chicken, Italian, main dish, pizza, tomatoes

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