Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto Pizza

One of my favorite childhood TV shows was the amazingly addicting, absolutely ridiculous cartoon series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

My brother had almost every single action figure from the show. From the Turtle’s arch-nemesis Shredder to their old & wise rat master Splinter, he had enough action figures to stage full-on Turtle battles in our living room.

Of course, we never missed an episode. And when the movies were released, we made sure to beg our parents to allow us to see every single, horribly cheesy flick they made. Afterwards, we would spend hours pretending we were skilled martial arts amphibians and looked forward to dinner where we got to partake in our shared affinity with the turtle’s one true love, pizza.

Back then, the pizza of choice was usually from Pizza Hut and strictly cheese-only. But, nowadays, our pizza choices have changed pretty radically to include fresh fruit, veggies, and even pesto. So, when I saw the contents of our fridge and spotted my basil plant overgrown and begging to be used, I decided it was time to create a quick, grown-up version of our favorite classic.

As always, I love to make quick dinners that we can enjoy without a lot of sweat work (especially in this heat). So, I made a few shortcuts to make this pizza as delicious and easy as possible. I love the store-bought pestos, especially Sun-Dried Tomato Basil and so far, my favorite way to eat is as a pizza sauce. The pesto sauce packs a punch of flavor that pairs perfectly with the fresh spinach and tomatoes. The cheese in this is more of an accent flavor that really brings together the pizza as a whole.

The other short cut I used was purchasing the pizza dough from a local place instead of making my own. I have no doubt that this pizza would taste pretty amazing on homemade dough. But, I have found that in a pinch, my favorite local pizza shops sell their pre-made doughs for a pretty reasonable price and help me big time on saving a few hours in prep work.

I honestly had a whole lot of fun with this recipe. It probably isn’t anything incredibly new, just a fun homemade family meal that everyone can enjoy in under 30 minutes. What I have always loved about pizza is that it is one of those foods that can be shared with everybody. I like to think that sharing a pizza can cross a bridge with others that just simply can’t be done with the traditional plated meal.

So here’s to many more pizza moments, from childhood TV shows to fun family meals. I hope you love this one as much as I do!



Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto Pizza

approx. 8 servings


  • 1 store-bought or homemade 12″ pizza crust
  • 1 (8 oz.) jar Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto sauce
  • 1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 large tomato, washed and sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Garnish: 6 to 8 large basil leaves, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (or to package instructions for pizza dough).
  2. Pre-bake crust for 5-8 minutes. While the crust bakes, wash spinach, pat dry and set aside. Then slice tomato into thin (less than 1/2″ slices) and set aside.
  3. When crust is ready, remove from oven and spread on a layer of the pesto and top with a layer of spinach, then tomatoes, and top with cheese – evenly sprinkled over the pizza).
  4. Place back into oven and cook until crust begins to turn golden brown (approx. 8-10 minutes). Remove from oven and garnish with chopped basil leaves. Serve hot.

12 Responses to “Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto Pizza”

  1. Emily says:

    I love the sun-dried tomato & pesto flavor, sounds so good! And I really like how you found a way to make it so quick. I can’t wait to try this out, I can’t believe I never thought of getting pizza dough locally- brilliant!

  2. Jordan says:

    My brother loved ninja turtles too, but I always ended up having to be the bad guys – no fun! Love this pizza, especially with the spinach and pesto. Yum!

  3. This pizza is right up my alley! Looks wonderfully fresh and flavorful!

  4. Urban Wife says:

    So funny about Ninja Turtles! Although I can’t relate (grew up without a t.v.!) my husband loves to remind me all the amazing 80’s and 90’s tv goodness I missed out on, including Ninja Turtles. This pizza looks amazing. I made Chicken BBQ (hubs fav) the other night so now I know I’ll be making this one with the leftover dough. Yay! :)

  5. […] Read this article: Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto Pizza » The Fresh Fridge […]

  6. Is there anything better than pizza? Honestly, it’s always one of my favorite meals. I love your shortcuts. And I too have an over~grown basil plant waiting to be used! This looks amazing.

  7. This pizza looks and sounds so so perfect! :)

  8. Gorgeous pizza. Who wouldn’t want to eat that! I love your website very much; great photos, easy to read, and print out recipe. Well done!

  9. Lindsay says:

    That pizza picture look pretty great. I wonder if the result in reality would be the same as the picture.

  10. Denine says:

    Reblogged this on and commented: Doh! I just rezleaid that I forgot one vital element to this pesto recipe NUTS! I love to use pine nuts in my pesto but you really can experiment with all kinds of nuts! To this recipe, add about a 1/4 cup.