Pesto Cheese Pizza

Celebrate National Cheese Pizza Day with this basil-packed grown up version of the classic cheese pie!
Pesto Cheese Pizza

In honor of National Cheese Pizza Day, we’ve got a healthier version of this classic favorite. The best part? It's still oh-so cheesy and flavorful. The healthier  whole-wheat base will keep that belly feeling fuller, longer. And in lieu of traditional marinara sauce, we made our own pesto, full of heart-healthy fats from olive oil and pine nuts. In addition, we’ve substituted full-fat cheese with lower-fat ricotta and mozzarella. With all of these fresh and flavorful ingredients, forget the delivery boy — forever! (And an added bonus — there’s no pizza box to dispose of!)

Recipe: Pesto Cheese Pizza

Photo by Caitlin Covington

Serves 4 

What You’ll Need:

1 package refrigerated whole-wheat pizza dough
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 large clove garlic, quartered
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Grease a pizza pan and spread the dough evenly onto the pan (in whatever shape you like). Set aside.
  3. Make the pesto: Place the basil, pine nuts, parmesan, oil, water, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse a few times, and then blend until fairly smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup of the pesto onto pizza dough, covering evenly. Put the rest of the pesto in a tightly sealed container and store in the refrigerator.
  5. Spread the ricotta cheese on top of the pesto (it may not cover the entire pizza). Sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

What's your favorite way to make the classic cheese pizza pie a little healthier? Share with us in the comments below!

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