This cilantro pesto pizza made with Trader Joe’s dough is definitely worth making, for a couple of reasons.
First of all, Trader Joe’s refrigerated pizza dough bakes up so nicely…the crust is golden, crispy on the outside and the perfect chewiness on the inside.
Secondly, the cilantro pesto is an unusual but appealing riff on traditional pizza recipes that call for tomato sauce or basil pesto. You can see my previous post that shows the recipe for cilantro pesto, easily made from cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, almonds, and a bit of lime juice.
I found that the fewer ingredients, the better when using cilantro pesto as your base sauce for pizza. This pizza only has five ingredients: the Trader Joe’s dough, cilantro pesto, mozzarella cheese, parmigiana cheese and mushrooms. Before, when I tried topping this cilantro pesto pizza with sun-dried tomatoes, I found that they overpowered the green and more subtle notes of the cilantro.
Here are just a few suggestions and highlights:
First, preheat the stone in your oven for at least 45 minutes, preferably an hour. Turn your oven up as high as it will go. Mine maxes out at 500 degrees F. The Kitchn and I both agree that the hotter the oven the better, when baking pizza. High heat makes for a crisper outer pizza crust and more tender interior, whether you’re using Trader Joe’s dough as I did here or your own homemade dough. And yes, at that high of heat, your homemade pizza will bake fast.
Shown here on my hot pizza stone in the preheated oven are the “before and after” shots of my cilantro pesto pizza made with Trader Joe’s dough. Because of the high heat, this transformation took only eight minutes. To get a great crust, you really need a pizza stone, and there are all kinds and qualities of pizza stones available. I plan to post a review of my awesome Dough Joe pizza stone in the near future.
The Trader Joe’s pizza crust turns out perfectly every time…a beautiful golden brown exterior and tender chewy interior.
I’ve been extremely pleased with Trader Joe’s pizza dough…not only is it high quality, but it’s a convenient time-saver too. The bag of dough shown here was priced at only $1.19, so we’re also talking a really great value here. I recommend that you let this refrigerated dough sit out on your counter while the oven is heating up your stone and while you’re getting all of your other ingredients ready.
Be sure to flour your work surface, the rolling pin and the outside of your dough before you start rolling it out.
This Trader Joe’s dough is easy to work with as long as you use enough flour.
I used about 3/4 cup of cilantro pesto for the sauce base on this pizza, but you can use more or less, depending on your tastes.
On top of the pesto, add the mozzarella cheese, the parmigiana, and the sliced sauteed mushrooms. Then transfer this pie to that hot oven and let the magic happen!
I love how how the olive oil in the cilantro pesto seeps into the bread dough while baking and creates a gorgeous greenish-gold crust.
A red Zinfandel wine paired nicely with this cilantro pesto pizza made with Trader Joe’s dough. Next time, I plan to try a white wine pairing…the subtle flavors of this pizza should go well with a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc.
Be sure to cover and refrigerate any leftovers for excellent eating in the following days. I actually like this cilantro pesto pizza more the second day. The crust soaks up some of that flavorful pesto and oil, and the cilantro melds so nicely with the cheeses and mushrooms. Wine and pizza two days in row? Fine by me! Here’s the recipe:
- ¾th cup of cilantro pesto
- 6 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼th cup of grated parmigiana cheese
- 8 ounces of sliced white button mushrooms
- One 16 ounce package of Trader Joe's refrigerated pizza dough, or dough of your choice
- Preheat stone in oven to highest temperature it will go for 45 minutes to 1 hour
- Meanwhile, place Trader Joe's pizza dough on kitchen counter to rest
- Saute sliced mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil until their water releases and they are soft
- Flour work surface and rolling pin
- Roll out pizza dough to size of your paddle and stone.
- Top dough with cilantro pesto and spread evenly to within 1 inch of edges
- Top evenly with cheeses.
- Top evenly with mushrooms
- Transfer to hot stone in oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, checking often through window of oven to make sure toppings and bottom do not burn
- Remove pizza from oven when cheese is browned and bubbling.
- Slice and serve with extra parmigiana cheese on side.
This week I am linking up with Link Love @Running with Spoons Weekend Potlucks @The Country Cook Friday Favorites @ Life in Leggings What’s Cookin’ Wednesday @Buns in my Oven Tipsy Tuesday @Grey is the New Black MMM @Healthy Diva Life Totally Terrific Tuesday @ Live Randomly Simple