Inspiration for Simple Christmas Pizza
I originally created and shared this recipe three years ago, motivated by a desire to use ingredients I had on hand. I found myself with about a cup of pesto left from another meal, and a good amount of mozzarella cheese.
As I spread the pesto I had onto the pizza crust, I realized it was only going to cover about half of the pizza. Then I remembered I had an opened jar of tomato sauce and the fridge. Suddenly I realized I could make a festive yet simple Christmas pizza while using up some food in the fridge. A winner for sure!
Simple Christmas Pizza Options
As I mentioned, this simple Christmas pizza recipe was originally inspired by ingredients I already had on hand. Maybe you have some pesto in the freezer, too? If so, you can skip a couple steps in my recipe instructions.
I originally made this Christmas pizza with traditional basil pesto (see original photo above, pre-new camera!). But kale pesto is a great alternative, especially in the winter when fresh basil can be rather iffy. So I used kale pesto for the recent remake of our simple Christmas pizza, and include the instructions for that below.
I used a store bought pizza crust and tomato sauce, which makes putting this Christmas pizza together so simple. But of course if you want to make dough and/or sauce yourself, that is great!
This recipe makes just one pizza, but can be easily multiplied for holiday entertaining. The kale pesto quantity in the recipe could spread to make two of these pizzas. If you are just making one pizza, you will have some extra to toss with pasta another time.
We enjoyed the Simple Christmas Pizza as our main dish for supper, but have also cut it into smaller slices to serve it as an appetizer.
Wine for Simple Christmas Pizza
The first time I made this Simple Christmas Pizza we served it with some Chianti we had on hand. That worked well as you might expect. During our recent redo of this recipe, we enjoyed it with a bottle of Negroamoro from Puglia. This fruit-forward Italian red wine was also good with this pizza recipe.
- KALE PESTO
- 4 cups tightly packed kale leaves, stems removed
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted (pine nuts or walnuts would work, too)
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- OTHER INGREDIENTS
- 1 large pizza crust
- ¾ cup tomato pasta sauce
- 6 ozs fresh mozzarella, cut into thin semicircle slices
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- This recipe is prepared assuming you are making kale pesto to go with store bought sauce and pizza crust. If you have pesto already, skip to step number 4. You could easily make 2 pizzas with this amount of pesto.
- Add the kale and garlic to a food processor, coarsely chopping to create enough room for the other ingredients.
- Add the pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, cheese, and olive oil, and puree until it comes to a nice smooth consistency.
- Set the pizza crust out on a pizza baking sheet. Scoop about ¾ cup pesto onto 1 side of the crust, and spread it around to cover half of the crust.
- Scoop the tomato sauce onto the crust and spread to cover the other side of the pizza.
- Spread the sliced mozzarella around the pizza.
- Put the pizza into the oven, and bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and begins to bubble and brown slightly. Remove from oven, slice and serve.
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