Recipe: Chicken Pesto Naan Bread Pizzas

Ok, I have been working on my pizza repetoire, and I PROMISE, I am working on a post with a traditional pizza crust. The sad fact is, I don’t love making pizza crust. (I do love eating it, though, so please do stay tuned.)

The good news is that since I don’t love making homemade dough, I am constantly coming up with ways to have pizza without having to slave away in the kitchen for hours. (See also this post for my English Muffin Pizzas.)

I think one of my issues with pizza is we love ALL THE TOPPINGS. Seriously, my husband and I think, the more the better when it comes to pizza toppings. So, I find myself making dough and then ALSO assembling the MANY toppings which can be a little overwhelming.

Still, pizza is so versatile and anyone who peruses the internet for 10 seconds can access about a thousand recipes for different variations on the traditional pizza pie.

I love keeping Naan bread in my freezer to pull out and make these quick pizzas. My absolute favorite is chicken pesto pizza, but you can make these with any of your preferred toppings. I make fresh pesto in the summer and freeze it to whip out on cold winter nights to add to pizza, veggies, pasta or (a family favorite) rice.

A Word About the Ingredients

Naan Bread: I love to use frozen Naan bread. The packaged kind just does not stay fresh very long. I get mine at Trader Joe’s but probably any frozen brand will do.

Pesto: I make mine fresh with our homegrown basil, pine nuts, good parmesan and high quality olive oil. (I make a basic one using a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis’ book, Everyday Italian.) However, store bought pesto is an absolutely fine alternative.

Cheese: Do not, I repeat DO NOT, use pre-shredded cheese. You don’t have to break the bank, but I do recommend buying a higher quality white mozzerella cheese and shredding it yourself.

Chicken: My hands-down favorite way to procure the required chicken for a recipe like this (or any recipe that uses cooked chicken) is by roasting bone-in split breasts. I like making them a day or two ahead for dinner and then I just make one or two extra for using on this pizza, for fried rice, in salads, etc.

Vegetables: For toppings like onions, green peppers and mushrooms, it is my personal preference to saute them ahead of time as I don’t feel they get cooked enough in the few minutes the pizza is in the oven (the goal of which is really just to melt the cheese). For the below recipe, I saute the mushrooms for a few minutes in about a tablespoon of butter before adding them to the pizza.

Chicken Pesto Naan Bread Pizza

Naan Bread Pizza
  • 4 Naan Bread Bases
  • 1 breast chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 2-3 whole artichoke hearts, rough chopped (dry with a paper towel)
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced and cooked
  • 2/3 cup mozzerella, shredded (not packaged, pre-shredded)
  • Fresh Parmesan, shredded

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place the frozen bread on a cookie sheet and bake for about a minute, just to get it started. Remove from the oven and raise the oven temperature to 450.

Spread about 1/4 tablespoon of pesto on each Naan bread base followed by the chicken, artichokes, mushrooms and tomatoes, being careful not to load them down too much. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake for another 2-3 minutes to melt cheese and finish heating bread, watching to be sure they don’t brown too much. Serve warm w/ fresh parmesan.

Serves: 4 (one pizza/person)

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