Chicken Pesto Pita Pizzas
Thank you to Foster Farms for partnering with me to bring you this locally-grown recipe.
Sunday night is pizza night in our house – pizza and sushi night to be exact (weird I know – but so good). Occasionally the sushi gets dropped though if we’re too lazy to walk next door and pick it up (it happens).
The “usual” is a pineapple and chicken apple sausage creation on a whole wheat crust, which I happily eat every Sunday night.
This Sunday though, I decided to get a little fancy. We had friends in town and I knew my run of the mill mock Hawaiian wasn’t going to slice it.
I went to the Melrose Farmer’s Market early in the morning to search for inspiration among the fresh, local veggies.
I try to buy locally grown/produced food as often as I can. It helps support the community and local families and is better for the environment, due to reduced emissions from transportation and packaging waste.
Local fruits and veggies also tend to be more nutritious, as they lose their nutrients with prolonged exposure to oxygen and the elements during transit time.
This Sunday, I stumbled upon some particularly delicious looking tomatoes and pungent basil. I knew immediately what to make – pesto!
Naturally, I wanted to work protein into the dish to ensure a healthy, balanced meal, so I decided to make Chicken Pesto Pizzas.
In keeping with the theme of using locally sourced ingredients, I picked up Foster Farm’s new Simply Raised Chicken Breasts.
Foster Farm’s Simply Raised Chicken is locally grown in California and uses no antibiotics, hormones, or steroids. The chickens are fed a 100% vegetarian diet and are American Humane Certified, meaning they meet specific, rigorous standards for animal care.
Instead of opting for our usual whole-wheat pizza crust, I chose to use pitas this time. Whole-wheat pitas are easier to find than pre-cooked whole wheat pizza crusts, and god knows I’m too lazy to make my own crust!
They’re also great for customizability (the hubby prefers red sauce on his pizza), and, of course, to prevent fights over who gets the last slice.
- 2 Chicken Breasts (Foster Farms Simply Raised)
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 4 Whole Wheat Pitas
- 1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced
- 1 C. Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- 2 C. Fresh Basil
- ⅓ C. Walnuts
- ½ C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ Avocado
- 2 T. Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- Cals in pesto: 80 per tablespoon, makes 1 Cup.
- Set oven to 350.
- Sprinkle chicken breasts with garlic powder and Italian seasoning and bake until fully cooked, approximately 30 minutes.
- Using two forks, pull apart chicken breasts to make shredded chicken.
- Puree all pesto ingredients together in a food processor or high-powered blender. Scrape sides down as you go to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. You may need a little more or less extra virgin olive oil. Adjust accordingly.
- Set oven to 400 degrees.
- Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place pitas on baking sheet and brush top with a light layer of extra virgin olive oil.
- Spread each pita with 1 T. of pesto.
- Distribute shredded chicken among pizzas, then top with tomato slices.
- Sprinkle each pita with a ¼ C. of cheese.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
This recipe makes about four times the amount of pesto you’ll need for the pizzas. It’s just easier to make a big batch at once. Keep the remainder in a tightly sealed container in the fridge with plastic wrap pressed against the top layer to prevent browning (basil browns very quickly when cut and exposed to air).
You can also freeze the left over pesto in ice cube trays to thaw out for future meals – like Chicken Pesto Pasta!
For even more pesto flavor, you can also make the pesto first and coat the chicken in it prior to baking.
Weigh In: Do you try to buy locally grown foods? What’s your favorite kind of pizza?
*This post is sponsored by Foster Farms but all opinions are my own.