Pesto Pizza Recipe | The Great American Recipe

I love making pizza with my husband. In our home, we trade responsibilities—he cooks one week and I cook the next—but every Friday we make pizza together. He introduced me to pesto the first time I visited California and since then we’ve made it often at home. Keep the color and freshness of the pesto by adding it right before serving the pizza. This recipe is perfect for those days when you don’t have a lot of time. Thanks to the use of fast-acting yeast, the dough needs just 10 minutes of resting time.

This recipe from Silvia is featured in the season finale during Season 1 of The Great American Recipe.


Yield: Serves 4


  • Roasted tomatoes
  • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

  • Pizza
  • 2¼ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2¼ teaspoons fast-acting instant yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • ⅔ cup warm water (120–130°F)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fine cornmeal, for dusting
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Oaxaca cheese, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt

  • Pesto
  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ½ cup pine nuts, plus more for garnish
  • ¾ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven 400 degrees F.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Spread them out and roast for 25 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and set aside. Increase the temperature to 500 degrees F.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer with the bread hook attachment, combine the flour, salt, basil, oregano, and garlic. Using your hands or a fork, give it a quick mix. Add the yeast and sugar and mix again. Add the warm water and oil and mix at medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Spread a thin layer of cornmeal on a pizza peel and place the pizza dough on top. Using your hands, form the dough into a round.
  5. Scatter the mozzarella and Oaxaca cheeses on top, leaving a rim around the edge, then sprinkle the garlic salt on the rim. Transfer to a pizza stone in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  6. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, Pecorino Romano cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix until well blended. Scrape down the mixture from the sides. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Just before serving, spread the pesto on top of the cheese pizza, add the roasted tomatoes, and garnish with fresh basil leaves.