If you've never made a pizza in a cast iron skillet, you need to start now! Using store bought shortcut ingredients like jarred pesto and rotisserie chicken, this Pesto Chicken Pizza is an easy & delicious way to switch up pizza night!
My husband's favorite food in the world is pizza. I'm pretty sure he would eat it for every meal, every day and thoroughly enjoy it. My kid's and I love it too, so it goes without saying that pizza is a pretty regular menu item at our house. We do switch it up by getting good ol' delivery, take & bake, or the infamous frozen when hunger quickly strikes. We also love doing "build your own pizza" nights using store-bought flatbreads or naan bread along with a bunch of toppings so everyone can make their own. This is a fun activity for kids to help with!
Making Pizza In A Cast Iron Skillet
I'm a firm believer that a good cast iron skillet is a kitchen staple. From making burgers, pizza or even dessert, this pan has so many uses, is ultra-durable and holds heat evenly. I also think there's something special about an old cast iron pan that has been used for years and years. It's almost as though it holds the memories of the many different dishes it's made throughout it's life.
While cooking pizza in a cast iron skillet may not be the first thing you'd think of using it for, it's really the perfect pan for making them. The even cooking surface allows the pizza crust to get perfectly crisp and golden brown. Once you learn the basics, it's so easy to switch up the toppings to create any pizza your heart desires.
The reason this Pesto Chicken Pizza comes together so quickly, making it a great weeknight meal, is the use of store-bought ingredients. I have 5 recipes boxes full of recipes, and still have no shame in using store-bought shortcuts. It can often come across as taboo to tell someone that *gasp* you didn't spend hours in the kitchen, but instead used some store-bought helpers to speed up the process of making a dish. What matters is that you are taking some time, long or short, to create something delicious that your family can enjoy together. Recipes don't have time meter that measures how long it took to make something to how much your family will like it. Give yourself grace and reach for the refrigerated pizza dough and jarred pesto used in this recipe without hesitation.
One of my all-time favorite kitchen hacks is the use of rotisserie chicken from your grocery store deli. This stuff is so good! My grocery store often sells leftover cold ones in the deli section of a little cheaper than fresh, and they are my go-to when I don't want to take the time to cook my own chicken. When I get it home, I peel off all the chicken, shred it and portion it out to either freeze or use in a recipe like Pesto Chicken Pizza. I also love having it in the fridge to easily top a salad or make quesadillas.
How To Make Pesto Chicken Pizza
From start to finish, this Pesto Chicken Pizza comes together in just over half an hour, making it perfect for a quick lunch or weeknight meal. Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees. Brush the bottom of your cast iron skillet with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. The cornmeal ensures the pizza doesn't stick to the pan and gives the crust a signature pizza feel. Unroll pizza dough and press into the pan, creating a lip around the edge.
Spread pesto evenly on top of dough. Cut mozzarella into thin slices and lay out on top. Then place shredded chicken, feta and sundried tomatoes on top.
Place pizza in the oven and bake anywhere from 25-30 minutes until the crust is perfectly golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove pizza from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into 8 pieces. This allows the pizza to set.
I love serving pizza with a simple Caesar or garden salad. Fresh fruit or cut veggies are other great options. too. I also love the idea of serving pizzas and flatbreads as an appetizer. Cut the pizza into smaller squares as a fun addition to your next party. Wherever you choose to serve it, this Pesto Chicken Pizza is sure to be a huge hit!
Other weeknight meal ideas:
Pesto Chicken Pizza
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. cornmeal
- 13.8 oz. refrigerated pizza dough
- ⅓ cup basil pesto jarred
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
- ½ cup cooked chicken shredded
- ¼ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ⅓ cup sundried tomatoes chopped
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Grease bottom of cast iron skillet with olive oil. Sprinkle bottom with cornmeal. Stretch pizza dough across bottom of the skillet, creating a rim around the edge to make a crust.
- Spread pesto on top of dough, leaving ½ inch around the edge. Cut mozzarella into thin slices and lay out evenly across dough.
- Place shredded chicken, feta cheese & sundried tomatoes evenly on the top of the pizza.
- Bake in the oven 25-30 minutes until dough is golden brown and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing into 8 slices.
Helpful Equipment & Ingredient Links
- I use the refrigerated pizza dough that you "pop" out of the tube, but if you have a different kind or recipe you like to use feel free. You will need enough dough for 1 large pizza.
- I love jarred pesto! It's usually found near the other pasta sauces in the grocery store. A huge time saver!
- Rotisserie chicken is one of my favorite kitchen hacks! I buy them, take all the meat off and use it in anything from soups, enchiladas, to this pizza! It also freezes great for moist, flavorful chicken anytime!