Pesto pizza is, hands down, one of my favorite types of pizza to make at home. It’s quick and easy, and you can use many variations on the sauce and toppings, depending on your mood.
With so many pesto pizza topping combinations to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. You could always follow the classics and go for olives, artichoke hearts, and Parmesan cheese on your pesto pizza, but that’s just too predictable (and plain).
Instead, try out my creative pesto pizza toppings and combos with their freshness and flavor. The following are three pesto pizza topping combinations that you will love absolutely.
12 best Pesto Pizza Toppings and Combinations
Pesto is Italian for crushed and refers to a sauce made from blanched herbs, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and salt. Pesto can be used as a topping on pizza or as an appetizer with breadsticks. Here are some of the best toppings, both individual and combos, waiting to try out for you-
If you like to keep it simple, tomatoes are an excellent option for the top of any pesto pizza, and they’ll go well with basil, garlic, and pine nuts.
Bacon goes well on everything, so why not on a pesto pizza? You can add cooked bacon bits as a garnish or cook some fresh bacon to use in your toppings before putting it in the oven.
I like to cook mine by frying it in a skillet until it is crispy and then transferring it onto paper towels to drain any excess grease.
Once you have cooked the bacon, set aside one tablespoon of the rendered fat from frying it and let cool slightly before adding it into a blender along with 1⁄2 cup packed basil leaves, 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1⁄2 cup olive oil, 3 cloves minced garlic cloves.
Blend until smooth. Pour over the finished baked crust and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Top with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni slices, pineapple chunks (optional), and bacon pieces. Bake at 450°F (230°C) for 15 minutes or until bubbling hot and golden brown.
3. Spinach & Ricotta Cheese
Spinach and ricotta cheese are both fantastic choices for pesto pizza toppings. Simply cook Spinach down lightly in the pan and mix with shredded ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, and nutmeg. Spread out over the crust first before topping with your favorite ingredients.
Mushrooms pair perfectly with thyme, also often used as an ingredient in traditional pesto sauce. However, I will use store-bought jarred basil pesto sauce instead of making our homemade version.
Begin by cooking the mushrooms over medium-high heat in butter or olive oil for about five minutes, then transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. Next, cover the crust evenly with this prepared jarred basil pesto sauce, spreading it evenly across the surface all the way to the edge.
Then layer on parmesan cheese, chopped green onions, thinly sliced zucchini, and quartered grape tomatoes before adding the sauteed mushrooms.
Sprinkle with feta cheese crumbles and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with parsley if desired before slicing into eight slices and serving.
5. Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions
Sauteed mushrooms and onions are a delicious addition to pesto pizza. Cook the mushrooms over medium-high heat in butter or olive oil for about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper, and then add the green onions to soften them.
Reduce the heat to low, and add a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan before adding the mushrooms back in. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
Add a teaspoon of fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Place the pizza crust in a greased baking dish, brush with olive oil, and then pour over the pesto sauce.
Add on top of it two cups of cheese, sprinkle on some basil leaves, and add sliced black olives. Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is golden brown. Serve with a slice of lemon to squeeze over it before enjoying.
Sauté 1 cup diced bell peppers in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, occasionally stirring, until they have become soft. Transfer them onto a sheet pan and roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until they turn charred around the edges.
Toss with balsamic vinegar and set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Layer on diced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, and roasted bell peppers before sprinkling over some grated pecorino romano.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes or until the cheese has begun to melt and bubble. Let cool for a few minutes before cutting into 8 slices and serving.
7. Bacon, Artichoke Hearts, and Goat Cheese
Add three slices of cooked and crumbled bacon to a bowl, a one-quarter cup of jarred marinated artichoke hearts, chopped green onion, a few teaspoons of shredded fresh basil leaves, freshly ground black pepper and softened goat cheese.
Spoon or spread over pesto sauce onto your prepared pizza crust. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Enjoy.
8.Basil Pesto + Mozzarella + Tomato
This classic pesto, mozzarella, and tomato combo is the first pizza I ever made for myself. It’s one of those combinations that just never gets old. The pesto’s earthy taste complements the tomato slices’ freshness and the mozzarella cheese’s tanginess.
You’ll also want to add a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and some basil leaves to make this dish tastier. You can’t go wrong with this classic combination.
Tip: Make sure your sauce doesn’t over-sauce your crust, or it will get soggy.
9.Cilantro Pesto + Black Bean + Corn
Cilantro Pesto – Cilantro pesto is the perfect way to add extra flavor and nutrients to your pizza. For a spicy option, try adding some jalapeno with it.
Black Bean – A great way to get protein from beans is by adding them to the top of your pizza. It’s also a great vegan alternative for those looking for something meatless.
Corn – Add some fresh corn kernels to your pesto pizza for crunchy texture and sweetness. If you’re feeling daring, add in bell peppers too.
Another great way to add flavor is by using caramelized onions. Caramelized onions have a bold and intense flavor, so you only need a bit for your delicious pizza. Add a layer of thinly sliced onions to your pizza for extra pizzazz.
10.Kale Pesto + Roasted Red Pepper + Feta
This is the perfect topping combo for those who like to mix it up a little. The Feta adds a salty flavor, and the roasted red pepper adds a delicious smokiness that keeps you coming back for more. Plus, kale has a lot of health benefits and will make your pizza much healthier.
This is also a great option if you want something light or want to make your vegan pesto with Spinach instead of basil. Kale Pesto + Manchego Cheese + Roasted Red Pepper.
Add a Spanish flair to your traditional pesto recipe by adding manchego cheese and a touch of garlic. It gives it just enough spice without being overpowering.
11.Arugula Pesto + Goat Cheese + Mushroom
Adding a healthy dose of arugula pesto to your pizza is one way to get more greens into your diet. Pair it with mushrooms and goat cheese for a nutritious and decadent meal.
If you’re looking for other toppings, try this combo: pesto, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, + balsamic vinegar, or these: Arugula Pesto + White Beans + Roasted Red Peppers. Throw in some white beans (for protein.) and roasted red peppers if you need more flavor.
12.Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto + Chicken + Spinach
Sun-dried tomatoes are a great addition to a pizza for their sweet and savory flavors. They also add an extra layer of texture, which can be great if you want something different from the traditional tomato sauce.
This is a good topping combination if you want something that tastes like summer on your pizza. Top this with some chicken, Spinach, and Parmesan cheese for an amazing dinner meal. You’ll be craving it all winter long.
Don’t get overwhelmed by choices. Pick a favorite topping from each category and create your combinations. The combinations are endless, so get creative and have fun. I’m always looking for new ideas, so if you’ve got a favorite or best pesto pizza toppings, please comment below and tell me about them.