Pizza with Pesto, Sausage, & Tomatoes

Pizza with Pesto, Sausage, & Tomatoes

Pesto on pizza is a great alternative to pizza sauce.  I love making homemade pizza dough, and it’s fun to experiment with different toppings.  Usually I just use whatever I have on hand, and this time I happened to have a package of artichoke and garlic sausages (Aidells brand), mozzarella cheese, and cherry tomatoes.  I decided to make pesto to go with it, and it turned out to be a great combination.  I used my favorite pizza crust recipe, as well as my sister’s recipe for pesto.  The pesto was delicious!  Enjoy!

Pizza with Pesto, Sausage, & Tomatoes


  • 1 ball of pizza dough, rolled out on parchment paper (pizza dough recipe here)
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 pre-cooked sausage link, sliced thin (I like Aidells brand… there are lots of different flavors.  Artichoke and garlic is a good choice.)
  • Pesto Sauce (recipe below)


  1. Place a pizza stone on rack in lower third of oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
  2. Spread pesto sauce onto rolled out pizza dough.  Top with desired amount of cheese, tomatoes, and sausage.  (I like to put half of the cheese on now, and then the other half of the cheese on a couple minutes before the pizza is finished baking.  This prevents the cheese from browning too much).
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees.  Lift the parchment and pizza onto the heated pizza stone.  Bake the pizza about 8-12 minutes, until the crust edges brown and the cheese is golden brown in spots.

Pesto Sauce


  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup (2 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. With food processor running, drop garlic through the feed tube to chop.  Then add pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and basil; pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add olive oil in a steady stream while the processor is running and blend until incorporated.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: approx. 1 1/3 cups (recipe can be halved)

As you can see in this photo, I went a little light on the cheese because I don’t like my pizza too cheesy. Half of the pizza had less cheese (my half) and Eric’s half had extra cheese- just the way we both like it :)

Source: Pizza Dough recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, ‘Italian Classics’ Cookbook;  Pesto recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen


3 Responses to “Pizza with Pesto, Sausage, & Tomatoes”

  1. 1 eric June 14, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Using the parchment paper under the pizza dough is an easy way to transfer the pizza from your counter to the really really hot stone. I’ve tried to move a sticky pizza directly onto the stone and it was a disaster, so use the parchment, or aluminum foil to make the transition simple.

  2. 2 Kathy June 14, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    We will be making pizza this week.
    I think I will try pesto sauce.
    Looks so good, thank you!

  3. 3 kristineskitchen June 14, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Your pizza looks delicious! I am excited to have a new topping combination to try. I need to try to find other flavors of Aidells sausages- our local grocery store doesn’t have too many flavors. Thanks for the recipe!

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