This Chicken Pesto Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese is delicious with either a homemade or store-bought pizza crust. Pesto and marinara create a flavorful base for the delicious toppings.
Some of my fondest childhood memories stem from pizza night. I’m from a great big family of six and I’m the youngest which means many of my siblings up and got married and flew the coop when I was still pretty young. My Mom would frequently have all of them, including significant others and their little ones, over for dinner. Sometimes we would barbecue but many times it would be a pizza party. Either way, it was always a full house. I swear she must have made enough pizza dough to fill a room because there would be a constant stream of different types of pizza coming from the oven over the course of a couple of hours. There weren’t any exotic ingredients. They were simple yet totally delicious.
I still get that little feeling of excitement when it’s pizza night. I’ve experimented with all kinds of ingredients and combinations and this is one that I make over and over again. I hope you try it and I hope you like it as much as we do.
The grocery list – A jar of your favorite marinara, a rotisserie chicken, red onion, pesto, goat cheese, shredded Italian 4 cheese blend. You’ll also need enough pizza dough – store bought or from scratch – to make two pizzas, a little sugar, some olive oil, and all-purpose flour for rolling out your crust.
There are two items that I buy almost every time I visit Costco. I love to have this great big container of pesto and this tub of goat cheese on hand for emergencies. Like when you need pizza, pronto. Pizza emergencies.
Back there behind the pesto and goat cheese is the Tomato Basil Marinara from Trader Joe’s. It’s REALLY inexpensive and very tasty. I use it when I don’t have time to make a sauce from scratch.
Lets caramelize some onions. Thinly slice about 1/2 of a red onion. Go grab a heavy bottomed pan, cast iron works great. Generously coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and place it over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook and stir for a couple of minutes. When the onions have just begun to soften, sprinkle in about a teaspoon of sugar.
Continue to cook and stir till they are nice and golden brown and yummy. Set them aside for now.
On a lightly floured board, roll out both of your pizza crusts and then transfer them to baking sheets that have been lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. You can use store bought dough – I won’t tell anyone, but if you have the time you can make your own.
Now we can assemble the pizzas. Top each crust with an equal amount of your favorite jarred marinara sauce, using only enough to lightly coat the dough. Divide the caramelized onions between the two pizzas. Note to self: caramelized onions are yummy – next time make more.
On goes the chicken. I used a store bought roti chicken but you can cook up some of your own if you are so inclined. I was not inclined.
Mmmm, pesto. Just drop it on with a small spoon.
Without cheese it’s not pizza in my book, but you don’t need a ton of it. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of shredded Italian 4 cheese blend over each pizza and then dot the top with small pieces of goat cheese.
It is ready for the oven. Baking it on the lowest rack will help the crust crisp up nicely. It only takes about 10-12 minutes. Thankfully.
Allow the pizza to sit for about 5 minutes while you stare at it lovingly.
You can use this time to open a nice bottle of red wine or pour some beer into frosty, cold mugs. I like to be productive with my time. I am not a time waster. No sir.
Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Chicken Pesto Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese
- 1 ½ to 2 pounds pizza dough, divided into 2 rounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
- ⅔ cup marinara sauce, (your favorite brand)
- olive oil
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
- ½ cup pesto
- 2 cups shredded Italian 4 cheese blend, or more, as needed
- 6 ounces goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F and move oven rack to lowest position. Coat two large baking sheets lightly with olive oil and set aside.
- Use a rolling to pin to flatten one pizza dough round out on a lightly floured board. Set the rolling pin aside and continue to flatten and stretch the dough into shape until very thin (about ⅛-inch thick). Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and reshape, as needed. Repeat with the second dough round.
- Top one of the crusts with half of the marinara. It should be enough to just lightly coat the dough. Top with half the chicken. Using a small spoon, dot half of the pesto over the top. Sprinkle on half of the shredded cheese and then drop small pieces of half of the goat cheese over the top.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, on the bottom rack of your oven, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
- While first pizza is in the oven, repeat process with 2nd pizza crust and remaining toppings. Transfer to the oven as soon as you remove the first pizza.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.