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
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:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Grease a pizza pan and spread the dough evenly onto the pan (in whatever shape you like). Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spread the ricotta cheese on top of the pesto (it may not cover the entire pizza). Sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
- 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!