Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pesto, Broccoli, and Spinach Pizza

My husband and I are both big fans of pizza.  Really, who isn't?  Last year, I did a whole unit on pizza with my pre-K class!  We cooked, graphed, did pizza fractions...even pizza art!  (And my husband enjoyed multiple trips to Bertucci's so that we could stock on pizza boxes and take-out menus for the dramatic play area in my classroom!)

There are so many fun, easy ways to make pizza at home, and we love them all!  Naan pizza, pita pizza, refrigerated crust...we like all of these.  For this pizza, I had some dough in the freezer from a month or so ago.  I've made the Barefoot Contessa's recipe and the Pioneer Woman's recipe in the past, and I have to say that I am partial to the Pioneer Woman's recipe.  (My regrets, Ina.)  The PW's dough yields a very thin crust that is full of flavor, and makes any pizza shine.  I love that the recipe yields enough for 2 pizzas.  It freezes and defrosts so easily -- why not make a little extra ahead?

This is a very simple pizza recipe -- and it's very green, literally!  Loaded up with spinach and broccoli, it is easy to convince yourself that pizza is a health food.  This recipe uses pesto instead of a traditional pizza sauce.  While pesto can be dense in calories, it packs in a lot of flavor, and you really don't need much.  I used a reduced-fat mozzarella (but not fat-free, yuck!) and I do think that I completely convinced myself that this is quite healthy -- lots of veggies and calcium! 

Pesto, Broccoli, and Spinach Pizza
serves 4-6
adapted from Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals for Kids


1 box frozen chopped spinach
2 small crowns broccoli
1 batch pizza dough (store-bought or homemade, your choice)
1/2 cup pesto sauce (mine came from the jar, I won't tell if you don't tell)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, preferably low-fat
2 cloves garlic, pushed through a press


1. Prepare pizza dough according to package directions or recipe.  (Alternately, you can use a pre-cooked pizza dough or naan bread for the crush, and bake the pizza in a cooler oven, about 375 or 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Defrost spinach in the microwave, about 5 minutes on high, breaking it up after 3 minutes with a fork.  Meanwhile, wash broccoli and chop finely. 
4. Use paper towels to press down on the spinach to absorb the excess water.  Be careful, because it will be hot.  This will take you a few paper towels -- you want to wring most of the moisture out of the spinach. 
5. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli in the microwave.  Place it in a glass bowl with a tablespoon of water, and cook on high for about 5 minutes.
6. Spread the pesto over the pizza dough.  Top with the spinach, broccoli, and cheese.  Sprinkle the pressed garlic over the top.
7. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.

For more fun Rachael Ray recipes, check out one of my most FAVORITE blogs -- Taste and Tell for Saturdays with Rachael Ray!  This is one of the blogs that I check even on nights when I'm way too exhausted and full to think about food.  It's a great source of cookbook reviews and fun, tasty recipes!


  1. This looks really good! And it's vegetarian too, i'll probably make that soon!

  2. I think this was your best pizza yet!

  3. This looks insanely delicious with the spinach (I love spinach) and broccoli and pesto. And cheese too. Yum!!! I'm with you on the fat-free cheese. Yuck is right! I'm making a Barefoot Contessa pizza tonight, posting it tomorrow. Hopefully it's edible, lol.

  4. PW always has such wonderful recipe ideas. This is one good looking pizza! I'll have to give this a try this next week! :)

  5. Yum yum! I will have to try this on GF crust soon. THanks for sharing.

  6. I have loved pizza since I was a little girl (I would have so enjoyed being in your class!) This pizza recipe looks just as delicious as a classic slice of cheese and pepperoni (but much more sophisticated, and healthier too!) Thanks for sharing this love.

  7. this is def healthy ;)
    ive yet to make my own pizza dough yet. i love thin crusts too!

  8. I also love making my own pizzas and calzones. I usually buy pizza dough but after my class at King Arthur Flour, I vow to make pizza dough on my own!

  9. This looks so easy and delicious!

  10. What a fun classroom activity! And this pizza looks delicious. I love all those veggies!

  11. Thanks for sharing this recipe it's definitely a really good reward for my brother who got his Alcohol Server Certification last week. But still work on the dough first. I'm not really the cook-type but I'd like to do something special for him.