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!
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.
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.
Basil leaves are also crushed this way, and the mixture is blended. The result is a fresh, delicious, pine 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?
Pizza Crust Recipes:
- 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.