Pesto is one of my favorite foods.
I love classic pesto pasta.
But I also like to get creative with pesto, as these Pesto Flatbread Pizzas demonstrate.
Pesto Flatbread Pizzas: The Toppings
The toppings are the most unique element of these pesto flatbread pizzas. Roasted potatoes and chickpeas aren’t typically found on pizza. But they’re both quintessential toppings in our house, a carry-over from my three years as a vegan. Though I’m not currently vegan, a pizza still doesn’t feel complete without roasted potatoes and chickpeas. Both add great flavor and texture to any pizza.
Roasted potatoes, chickpeas, and pesto alone make a great meal. But add tomatoes, mozzarella, and Parmesan—and put in all on top of a flatbread—and you’ve got a pizza you’ll crave regularly.
At least I do.
If only I could look as classy as Sophia Loren while making them.
A Few Things!
I use Trader Joe’s Naan bread for these pesto flatbread pizzas. If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, I recommend using their naan.
The Pesto in Pesto Flatbread Pizzas
Don’t take a shortcut by using store-bought pesto.
Make my classic pesto as the recipe instructs. You’ll taste the difference immediately, and never go back to store-bought pesto.
Grate the Cheese Yourself
Take the few extra minutes to freshly grate all the cheese in this recipe yourself. Pre-grated cheese just doesn’t melt the way freshly grated cheese does. And it’s full of potato starch and natamycin.
Never heard of natamycin?
Simply put, you don’t want it in your cheese. Read more about natamycin here.
Parmesan is a crucial ingredient in the pesto and on top of the Pesto Flatbread Pizzas. So be sure to buy a block of Parmigiano Reggiano.
If it doesn’t say “reggiano,” or says anything other than “reggiano,” it’s not real Parmesan. Parmigiano reggiano is known as “the king of cheese” for a reason. The flavor and texture can’t be beat. Skip on any other alternatives, including grana padano, and get the real thing.
Pesto Flatbread Pizzas
For the potatoes:
- 1 ½ pounds potatoes, diced to ½ inch pieces (preferably a non-peel potato variety, like Yukon gold; don't use sweet potatoes, the flavor won't match)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
For the pesto:
- ¾ cup pine nuts
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 cups basil, rinsed
- ⅓ cup Pecorino, freshly grated or ground
- ⅓ cup Parmesan, freshly grated or ground
- ¾ cup olive oil
For the cheese:
- 8 oz mozzarella, freshly grated
- 2 oz parmesan, freshly grated or ground
- 1 15 oz can garbonzo beans, drained
- Handful of Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
- 6 flatbreads
Prepare the potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the diced potatoes on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the top, then drizzle with olive oil.
- Toss the potatoes, salt, pepper, and olive oil together until the potatoes are evenly coated with all the seasonings.
- Now spread the potatoes out on the baking sheet with enough space between each piece so they aren’t touching. (If the potatoes are too close together, they will steam, not roast.)
Roast the potatoes
- Roast the potatoes for 15 minutes.
- Take the baking sheet out of the oven, toss the potatoes so a different side of each piece is face down on the baking sheet. Roast for anther 12-15 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown.
- While the potatoes roast, you can slice the tomato, grate the cheese, and make the pesto.
Make the pesto
- To the bowl of your food processor/preferred processing apparatus, add the pine nuts and garlic cloves.
- Pulse a few times, then process until the pine nuts and garlic are mostly smooth and combined.
- Now add the basil and sea salt to the pine nut/garlic mixture. Process again until a green paste forms.
- Now add the Pecorino and Parmesan. Process until the cheeses have completely incorporated.
- Last, add the olive oil to the food processor. Process until the olive oil incorporates completely into the rest of the ingredients. Pesto is done.
Assemble the flatbreads
- With an offset spatula, spread a nice amount of pesto onto each flatbread. I reccomend using 2-3 Tbsp per flatbread.
- Now sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan over the pesto.
- Next, distribute the potatoes and garbanzo beans evenly across each flatbread.
- Last, put a few tomato slices on top of each flatbread.
Bake the flatbreads
- Bake the flatbreads at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until the flatbread is golden on the edges, and the cheese is completely melted.
Serve and enjoy!
- Allow the flatbreads to cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve alone as a snack, or make it a meal with a salad like this one. This is a great meal for lunch or dinner.
We absolutely love flatbreads here, too, Shannon! The flavors you’ve got going on here sound delicious…right up my alley for sure! I have actually had pizza with roasted potatoes (surprisingly tasty), but the chickpeas are a new one. I’ll have to try that sometime. This would be a fun way to mix up the dinner routine. Plus, pesto! Oh, and I second your comment about the offset spatula. I have a couple in different sizes, and I use them for everything from dessert to pizza! 🙂
Thank you David! I am basically obsessed with flatbreads 😆. Always fun to find another flatbread fan! Oh you must try the chickpeas on your next flatbread, they make a phenomenal topping! And aren’t offset spatulas lifesavers?!!! Never spreading sauce or frosting with another tool ever again! 😆
I love flatbreads. I’ve had pesto on pizza and love it. Never chickpeas, though. That sounds interesting!
Thanks Jeff! Isn’t pesto amazing on pizza?!!! It’s hard for me to make a pizza without it these days! Definitely give the chickpeas a try! They are such a delicious pizza topping.
I love this! I’m all for mixing carbs like this. We’ve never been vegan, but my husband was a vegetarian for many years and I loved adding legumes like chick peas to pasta. I used to make black bean pizzas, too. Beans are so versatile, but so are potatoes! Love these pizzas!
Thank you Mimi! That is awesome that your husband was vegetarian! You are definitely no stranger to the unique, but totally tasty, pizza toppings vegetarians and vegans come up with! I have to try adding black beans to my pizza, that sounds delicious! 😋
This is the only pesto recipe I make now. So good! And you sold me on roasted potatoes and chickpeas as pizza toppings. Love these flatbreads. 😋
I make these all the time! Really good for lunch the next day as well.
This is the best pesto recipe I’ve ever tried. The flatbreads were unique and tasty.