Greek Pesto Chicken Pizza
This delicious recipe using Greek-inspired ingredient combinations is a nice twist on a traditional homemade pizza. The pesto sauce is made from fresh spinach, fresh oregano, garlic and lemon, the chicken is seasoned with oregano and lemon as well, and the cheese combination includes Greek feta. For the crust you can try our homemade dough recipe that follows or you can save time and use store bought.
- 4 ounces fresh spinach leaves, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For the chicken:
- 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- For the pizza:
- 1/4 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (see notes)
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, coarsely shredded
- Dough for one 13-inch round pizzas (about 1 lb fresh ~ recipe follows)
Place the spinach leaves, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse repeatedly until the mixture forms a coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Season the chicken with oregano, salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer and sauté just until no longer pink in the middle ~ about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Sprinkle with lemon juice, transfer to a plate and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a 13-inch pizza pan with nonstick spray and place the pizza dough in the center. Flatten with the palm of your hand, then, using your fingertips, press and stretch the dough to form a 13-inch circle, creating a slightly thicker rim around the edge. Pinch out any air bubbles that may have formed.
Spread the pesto evenly over the crust to within 3/4-inch of the edge. Distribute the onion and pepper slices on top, then add the chicken. Top with the feta cheese, then the mozzarella.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown and crisp on the edges.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.
Makes 4 servings
Be sure to just barely cook the chicken so that it doesn't dry out when you bake the pizza.
About the feta cheese:
We used President Fat Free Crumbled Feta for this recipe. Despite being fat free, we thought it had all the flavor of a regular feta, with just the right amount of saltiness, and its firm texture held up nicely during the baking of the pizza. We found it in the select cheese case of our local grocery store.
- Our Easy Pizza Dough
- 2/3 cup water at approximately 110°F
- 1/2 tablespoon yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 to 7 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy and forms bubbles.
If using a stand mixer:
Attach the dough hook and put both flours in the bowl. Add the yeast mixture and mix at medium low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. If the mixture seems too dry, add some additional water in 1 teaspoon increments. If the mixture seems too wet, add extra all-purpose flour in 1 teaspoon increments. Once the dough has formed a ball, continue kneading for an additional 6 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is soft and elastic.
If working by hand:
Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. If the mixture seems too dry, add some additional water in 1 teaspoon increments. If the mixture seems too wet, add extra all-purpose flour in 1 teaspoon increments. Turn the dough out onto a flat surface that has been lightly floured. Knead by hand for 8 to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Allow to rise:
Transfer to a large bowl that has been brushed with olive oil, cover with a damp towel and set aside in a draft-free location to rise for 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Proceed with the recipe according to directions.