Grain Free Pesto Pizza. (with directions to make with Raw Cheese, Goat Cheese or Dairy free)

by Brittany on January 9, 2013

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Pesto Pizza holds a special place in my family.. and for 1 reason. My mom made the BEST pizza pie on the block. and I mean the BEST.  It was  and remains one of our favorite things to eat at family gatherings.

When I met my husband and cooked dinner for him for the very first time- in an attempt to impress him I made my mom’s pesto pizza! That was 7 years ago.. he’s stuck to me like glue. I’m quite sure this recipe is what made his heart pitter patter for me. Food IS the way to a mans heart. That’s no joke.

Fast forward to 7 months ago. My brother started dating the girl of his dreams. The first meal they made together was also THIS pesto pizza. Now they are engaged.

This pizza is love. lifelong blissful love. Make it for those that you love the very most.



Use my Grain Free Thick Crust Pizza (Gluten/Dairy/Soy Free) recipe. 

par -bake the crust as called for in the recipe and then leave it out while you make the fresh pesto!  Leave your oven on- so its hot for the second portion of baking.

Homemade Pesto

  • 5 cups (fresh) basil leaves
  • 6 -7 Whole cloves of fresh garlic.
  • 1/4 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 4 Tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese (see substitution notes below)
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil 
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. 

Additional  Toppings

  • 3 cups of chopped seeded tomatoes 
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cups of shredded cheese (see substitution notes below)
  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced basil leaves. 
  • Fresh Pepper (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional) to sprinkle on top.
  1. To remove seeds from tomatoes- slice each tomato into 4 quarters. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds- and then chop tomatoes to the size of your preference.
  2. On your par-baked crust spoon and spread the pesto first. Then top with the cheese. Follow up with the  chopped tomatoes, slices of garlic clove, basil leaves, a dash of fresh pepper and then top with Parmesan cheese (optional). Place back in oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.

Substitution Notes:

  • My husband reacts poorly to regular processed cheese but is able to consume raw cheeses perfectly fine. Since I made this pizza for him- that is what I used. I used raw Parmesan (If you can’t find that Pecorino Ramano or another aged sharp cheese will also work.) I was able to find this cheese at Trader Joes. Since mozzarella cheese is not available in raw form I used a block of white cheddar (that I hand shredded). I also was able to find that cheese at  Trader Joes. 
  • For those of you (like me) that tolerate Goat and Sheep cheese well- you will be able to find Sheep’s milk Pecorino Cheese at Trador Joe’s and most large supermarkets (I can always find it at Wegmans!) For the shredded cheese I buy a block of either Goat’s Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese (and hand shred it).
  • For those 100% Dairy Free - leave all Dairy out of the Pesto & Use your favorite variety of nondairy shredded cheese.  We like Daiya! (Note: Daiya is not grain free)
  • For substitution notes on the crust- please refer to the crust recipe.


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen | my BIG FAT grain free life January 10, 2013 at 1:23 am

OH MY GOODNESS! I must have it NOW. Looks delicious. I cannot wait to try this.

Thanks for the recipe!


Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit January 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Wow, I feel like I should be making this pizza for Kevin ASAP. Wouldn’t hurt to have him love me a bit more… plus it’s about time we get engaged. Maybe pesto pizza is the missing ingredient? Heh.


Diane Bramos January 15, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Happy, happy! Joy, joy!! On a brand new server!!!


Aubree Cherie Davis January 16, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Looks delish! I’m also excited to try a new pizza recipe and the pesto sounds divine. Thanks for sharing!


Melanie January 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm

This looks amazing Brittany, but both my children have nut allergies and I can’t use almond flour. I read through the recipe a number of times and did not find any substitution or recipe notes that you referred to in a reply to someone else on the crust recipe page. Am I missing something?


Brittany January 31, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Click the link that goes to the main crust recipe. On that page I have provided detail on how to use another flour!


Melanie January 31, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I’m sorry Brittany but I can’t find any link. I’ve read through the post a few times just to be sure. Can you please post the direct link to the flour substitutes here in a message? Thanks so much!


Melanie January 31, 2013 at 10:23 pm

I should clarify my last reply. I clicked on the link to the actual crust recipe but cannot see any notes or details about how to sub in another flour instead of the almonds. Can you copy and paste it here for me. Thanks a bunch!


Brittany January 31, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Oh shoot! You’re right.
Sorry about that. Ill update that recipe this evening to include substitution info. I put it in most of my recipes..thought for sure I included it in that one.

Melanie January 31, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Thank you so much! Looking forward to trying this out and praying that my two daughters will outgrow their nut allergies. :)


Beth April 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Would nutritional yeast work as a substitution for the Parmesan in the crust, or is it shredded Parmesan?


B.J. July 12, 2013 at 2:55 am

Thank you for this recipe! I made it tonight and it turned out nicely : ) Just wondering is there a way to not use parchment paper since it probably has some corn in the paper?



Brittany July 12, 2013 at 3:47 am

A baking mat should work well instead.


Wendy September 8, 2013 at 3:53 am

Some “gormet” markets carry buffalo mozzarella, which tastes wonderful and doesn’t create the uncomfortable side effects that cows milk mozzarella does.


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