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Perfect Pesto Pizza Sauce

Pesto pizza sauce is a change from regular tomato based sauces that is flavorful and fun, and it is getting a lot more popular. Pesto also makes a great sandwich spread, toast topping, dip, and is great in any number of other uses. Adding parsley, lemon and red pepper to this recipe gives it a bit more zing on your pie.

Top your pesto pizza with goat cheese roasted cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic for a fantastic taste treat. Try this excellent basil based Italian food on just about everything – not just pizza. While you are waiting for the nuts to cool, you can just put the remaining ingredients in the food processor. Taste as you go along to figure out what the best ingredient balance is for you.

Most of us have enjoyed pasta tossed with pesto sauce, but not many of us have used such a sauce on a pizza, in which case why not try this recipe, because the pesto is amazing with the other ingredients in a pizza, especially if you add tomato slices and mozzarella on top, so you get the classic tomato, mozzarella and basil trio that Italians love. You just have to toast the pine nuts, and the quickest way to do this (unless the oven happens to be hot already) is to put them in a dry skillet and let them become aromatic and golden brown.

Take care not to toast them too much. Anything more than a light golden brown is too much, and shake the pan sometimes so they toast evenly. They can then go into the food processor with the other ingredients in this pesto sauce recipe until you have something which is the right texture.

Zingy Pesto Pizza Sauce
Summary: Pesto sauce is renowned as a pasta sauce, but use it on pizza and you will love how the toasted nuts and basil’s fresh flavor is so good on pizza.
Cuisine: Italian
Recipe type: Pizza
Serves: 12
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper, or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Toast pine nuts in hot pan or in oven.
  2. Allow to cool.
  3. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and puree until a thick, smooth paste has formed.
  4. Allow to rest for thirty minutes for flavors to develop, and then spread on pizza crust as usual.
(Makes 3 cups, or tops 3 to 6 pizzas)

Photo Description:

Pesto is lovely with pasta, but make some homemade pesto and spread it over your favorite pizza crust, and you will wonder why you never thought of doing this before. It makes a change from tomato-based pizza sauce and it is easy to prepare. Boasting fresh basil and parsley, as well as toasted pine nuts, garlic and lemon, this pesto is bursting with flavor. Spread it over your pizza crust then top the pizza with mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and any other ingredients you want. The photo shows what your finished pesto sauce will look like.


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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.

Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.

When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole


Thanks for visiting.


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