Treat yourself to this Pesto, Feta, and Veggie Pizza … it’s loaded with amazing flavors that are impossible to resist!
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If there’s one food I could never pass by, it’s pizza. I love, love, love it! And since I like my pizza packed with veggies, I can tell myself it’s healthy. Ha!
It’s hard to screw up pizza. I’ve eaten plenty of mediocre pizza, but I can only remember one truly horrible pizza. Well before my husband and I got married, we took a road trip, and one of our stops was St. Louis. This was before Yelp, and we didn’t have cell phones (yes, I am old), so we ended up wandering around and eating somewhere that looked good.
Well, it wasn’t. The pizza we ordered was a soggy, gooey mess. It was such a disappointment. There’s really nothing worse than eating bad food on vacation, know what I mean?
Another thing I love about this pizza is how easy it is to make. I used store bought pizza dough and pesto, which really speeds things up. Of course, you could make your own, too, and the Basil-Spinach Pesto I used for my Green Pizza would be delicious here. When it comes to quick and easy dinners though, I love shortcuts like this.
Have you ever tried to stretch a ball of pizza dough only to have it retreat back to it’s original size? There is a better way. First, take the dough out of your refrigerator before you start prepping your ingredients. That way it can warm up a bit. And don’t add too much cooking spray or oil to your pan. The dough needs something to stick to.
Next, instead of forcing the dough to stretch (and risking tearing it), press it out, then let it relax for a few minutes. Repeat the pressing / relaxing process until the dough covers your pan. I like to do this while I’m prepping my toppings, so I don’t waste any time.
Once you’ve conquered the dough, it’s time to focus on the star of this recipe, the fresh vegetables. Veggies tend to release liquid while they cook though, so I have a few tricks to avoid a soggy pizza. Since mushrooms contain so much water, so you’ll cook them first. It only takes a few minutes and adds tons of flavor. You’ll also remove the seeds and membranes from the tomatoes. Finally, if any of your veggies are really juicy, blot them with a little paper towel.
It’s time to assemble your Pesto, Feta, and Veggie Pizza! You’ll start with a layer of pesto (drain off any excess oil before you measure it) and a generous topping of cheese. Next, add the veggies: garlicky mushrooms, sweet red peppers, fresh tomatoes, and zippy red onion. A layer of salty kalamata olives and feta cheese balances out the sweetness from the veggies, and then it’s time to bake. Yum!
I loved trying out my new pizza pan for this recipe! The price was right, and it worked perfectly. The crust was crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle. After years of living in tiny apartments with itsy-bitsy ovens that would only fit a small rectangular pan, it was nice to make a big, round pizza! Now to update all my other baking pans …
Make this Pesto, Feta, and Veggie Pizza tonight! It’s the perfect way to perk up your week.
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 lb. pizza dough
- 1/3 cup pesto
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 red pepper, quartered and sliced
- 2 plum tomatoes, seeds and membranes removed, chopped
- 1/4 of a large red onion, sliced
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove pizza dough from refrigerator.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until browned.
- Stir in garlic and remove from heat; continue stirring for a couple minutes as pan cools.
- Season mushrooms to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.
- Lightly spray a 15-inch pizza pan with nonstick spray (or coat with olive oil).
- Press pizza dough onto pan until it reaches the edges. (Tip: let the dough relax for a few minutes if it won't stay in place, then continue pressing it.)
- Spread pesto evenly over crust, then top with about 2/3 of the mozzarella cheese.
- Top cheese with mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and olives.
- Sprinkle with feta and remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake pizza until crust is well browned, about 20 minutes.
- Let cool for a few minutes, then cut into slices or squares. Enjoy!
P.S. Do you love pizza, too? Then, make sure to check out all of my pizza recipes for everything from thin crust to deep dish!