Chef Linda
Linda Soper-Kolton, Chef, came to the Sanctuary as a guest chef to share her love of compassionate cooking in our then-fledgling culinary program. Lured by the magic of the Sanctuary, her love of animals and the urgency of our mission, Linda stayed on to lead and grow the culinary program, inspiring and educating with love, patience, and delicious food.
View Recipes
Chef Sara
Sara Boan, Chef, joined the Sanctuary staff in 2016 and has been developing recipes and sharing her passion for vegan cooking ever since. She teaches award-winning year-round vegan cooking classes at The Homestead and leads food demos for weekend tour visitors in the spring, summer and fall. When she’s not teaching, Sara is most likely spending time with her partner, snuggling with her rescued kitties or enjoying a cup of freshly brewed oolong tea.
View Recipes

Blog Image

Weeknight Pesto Pizza

By Chef Sara

Homemade pizza? On a weeknight? Yes! My Weeknight Pesto Pizza comes together quickly with an easy pesto sauce, a delicious, yeast-free spelt crust, and store-bought vegan cheese. I tested with Daiya Mozzarella-Style Shreds and Miyoko's Vegan Mozz, with equally scrumptious results. This recipe is wonderful all year long, but in the summer when basil is in season, it's even better!

Weeknight Pesto Pizza with Daiya Cheese
With Daiya Mozzarella-Style Shreds
Weeknight Pesto Pizza with Miyoko's Cheese
With Miyoko's Vegan Mozz

Spelt is a variety of wheat that's lower in gluten than conventional wheat, which may be easier to digest for folks who are mildly gluten-sensitive. I love it for the subtle, nutty flavor it lends to baked goods. This yeast-free crust gets its rise from baking powder instead of yeast, so the texture is a bit more delicate versus chewy yeasted dough. However, you won't need to worry about waiting for the dough to rise, making it the perfect weeknight pizza dough solution!

 

 

Ingredients for Weeknight Pesto Pizza

Ingredients

Pizza Dough
 1 1/3 cups whole-grain spelt flour
 2 teaspoons sugar
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 ½ teaspoon salt
 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 6 tablespoons water
Pesto
 1 cup fresh basil leaves
 2 tbsp pine nuts or walnuts
 1 1 garlic clove, peeled
 2 tsp mellow white miso
 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
 Generous pinch of salt
Toppings
 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or thickly sliced
 1 ½ cups shredded vegan cheese
  Basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or reusable silicone baking mats.

First, make the dough. Place all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or dough hook attachment, then add the olive oil and water. Mix on medium-low speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pliable. Alternatively, stir together all the ingredients in a bowl, then knead by hand for 5 to 10 minutes. Divide the dough into two pieces, roll into balls, and brush with olive oil to prevent the dough from drying out. Set aside and allow the dough to rest while you prepare the pesto.

To make the pesto, place the basil, pine nuts or walnuts, garlic, miso, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse to finely chop, Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then turn the machine on and stream in the olive oil. Process until mostly smooth. Add the nutritional yeast and pulse briefly to combine.

Place a ball of dough on one of the prepared baking trays and flatten slightly. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a thickness of roughly 1/4-inch, or until about 8 to 10 inches in diameter. (It works best to remove the parchment or silicone baking mat from the baking tray before rolling the dough, then transferring back to the tray when the dough is rolled.) Repeat with the second ball of dough. Use a fork to prick the crust all over, then transfer to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove the par-baked crust from the oven, and spread with pesto. (Depending on the size of your pizzas, you may have extra pesto - try freezing it into ice cube trays for later.) Sprinkle evenly with grated cheese and top with the tomatoes. Return the trays to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 additional minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is firm and starting to brown.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and garnish with optional basil leaves. Enjoy immediately.

 

Weeknight Pesto Pizza

Weeknight Pesto Pizza

DifficultyModerateCook Time15 mins
YIELDS
Two 8- to 10-inch thin-crust pizzas

weeknight pesto pizza
INGREDIENTS

Pizza Dough
 1 1/3 cups whole-grain spelt flour
 2 teaspoons sugar
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 ½ teaspoon salt
 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 6 tablespoons water
Pesto
 1 cup fresh basil leaves
 2 tbsp pine nuts or walnuts
 1 1 garlic clove, peeled
 2 tsp mellow white miso
 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
 Generous pinch of salt
Toppings
 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or thickly sliced
 1 ½ cups shredded vegan cheese
  Basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or reusable silicone baking mats.

First, make the dough. Place all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or dough hook attachment, then add the olive oil and water. Mix on medium-low speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pliable. Alternatively, stir together all the ingredients in a bowl, then knead by hand for 5 to 10 minutes. Divide the dough into two pieces, roll into balls, and brush with olive oil to prevent the dough from drying out. Set aside and allow the dough to rest while you prepare the pesto.

To make the pesto, place the basil, pine nuts or walnuts, garlic, miso, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse to finely chop, Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then turn the machine on and stream in the olive oil. Process until mostly smooth. Add the nutritional yeast and pulse briefly to combine.

Place a ball of dough on one of the prepared baking trays and flatten slightly. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a thickness of roughly 1/4-inch, or until about 8 to 10 inches in diameter. (It works best to remove the parchment or silicone baking mat from the baking tray before rolling the dough, then transferring back to the tray when the dough is rolled.) Repeat with the second ball of dough. Use a fork to prick the crust all over, then transfer to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove the par-baked crust from the oven, and spread with pesto. (Depending on the size of your pizzas, you may have extra pesto - try freezing it into ice cube trays for later.) Sprinkle evenly with grated cheese and top with the tomatoes. Return the trays to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 additional minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is firm and starting to brown.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and garnish with optional basil leaves. Enjoy immediately.

 

ShareTweetSaveBigOven

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *