(Very Green) Vegan Pesto Pizza

Friday = pizza night

Am I right?

And this Friday we’re having this vegan pesto pizza. It’s the bees knees, yo. Actually, we ate this on Tuesday. And Wednesday. But you can eat it today!

Chris could straight up live off pizza. He will eat pizza for any meal, any day of the week, multiple days in a row. He eats a million other things besides pizza but would most likely prefer pizza all-of-the-time.

Typically I’ll make tortilla pizzas that I crisp to a browned perfection under the broiler on both sides before adding any toppings. He loves them and it keeps me from hassling with making dough. Tortilla pizzas are a quick weeknight meal on heavy rotation around here.

But on this pizza night, I busted out the real thing.

I wanted to try my hand at an all-vegan pizza filled with veggies. But veg-heavy pizzas can sometimes be soggy or too heavy and when using red sauce I always seem to feel like it needs cheese.

Enter vegan pesto! Vegan pesto without nutritional yeast that tastes completely amazing, if I do say so myself.

It’s adapted from a pesto recipe I made in the summer that swirled between a bowl of zucchini noodles and cherries. I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually made pesto with pine nuts. Anyone else? Both the summer pesto and this pesto are made with pistachios. I might deem pistachios the best pesto nuts ever.

Now for the roasted veggies.

I very rarely buy broccolini because of it’s high price tag for what you get (typically a small bunch). I got to thinking that it would probably be a better fit on pizza in comparison to regular broccoli because of it’s long and slender stems and less tightly packed florets. Definitely the right decision and it was on sale. Win!

I roasted thinly sliced brussels sprouts and onion alongside the broccolini.

I don’t know much about bread baking and yeast but I have figured a few things out. In this pizza dough recipe you’ll want to proof the yeast before mixing it in with the other dough ingredients.

The process of proofing yeast is really just to make sure your yeast is still alive.

You want your yeast mixture to puff up just like you see below. If it doesn’t, here are a few reasons you may be having trouble.

  • Your mixing liquid is too hot or cold. The milk (or more commonly, water) should feel warm, not hot to the touch. To control this I heat the milk on the stovetop until just warm. I’ve people specify a range of temperatures between 75° – 105° but have never actually used a thermometer to test my temp.
  • Make sure the bowl you’re adding the yeast to is not cold. Rinse the bowl with hot water to take the chill off. (Our cupboards are cold because they’re on the exterior wall of our house. #oldhouseproblems)
  • If it doesn’t puff up, make it again with a fresh packet of yeast.

I could have screamed after taking these photos. I forgot the kalamata olives, which are basically my new favorite topping on ev-er-y-thing.

They’re the perfect salty, juicy bite. And I forgot them.

Just picture the pizza below dotted with sliced kalamata olives. Yep, great job.

And if you really want some cheezy flavor but still want to keep things vegan, sprinkle on some of my very favorite vegan parmesan cheeze. I keep this stocked in the fridge at all times.

Print Recipe!

Very Green Vegan Pesto Pizza

gluten-free, vegan // yields 2-3 servings for 1, ~18x9-inch pizza

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios
  • 4 loosely packed cups zesty baby greens (baby arugula + kale work great)
  • 2-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed + stalks sliced in half
  • 6-8 brussels sprouts, stems removed +thinly sliced
  • thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sliced kalamata olives
  • gluten-free pizza crust (yields 3 crusts)

While your pizza dough is rising preheat your oven to 375° F.

Place garlic in a food processor and turn on until minced. Add the pistachios and turn on until well chopped. Add in the baby greens, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Pulse to combine until greens are incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Turn the processor on (or pulse) while slowly streaming 1/3 cup olive oil into the top of your processor. I like mine left with a bit of texture but process to your desired consistency.

Taste and adjust flavors if necessary. If your pistachios weren’t heavily salted you will probably need to add more. I like to add more lemon juice and a bit more olive oil for easier spreading on the pizza.

Place veggies on a baking sheet and toss with the 2 teaspoons of oil. Sprinkle with salt + pepper. Roast until lightly golden brown and tender, about 18 – 24 minutes. Toss 1-2 times while they roast. Set aside.

Roll out pizza dough and bake per these instructions (or use any other thin-crust pizza dough recipe).

Spread a thick coat of pesto on your pizza and top with roasted veggies (you'll probably only use 1/2 of the broccolini for one pizza) and the olives. Bake at 425° F (oven should already be hot from baking the crust, preheat if not) for 2-3 minutes until the veggies and pesto are hot. Do not over-bake or pesto will dry out.

Top with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper if desired.


  • Pesto should cover about 1 large pizza. You want a thick coat of the pesto if you’re not also topping with cheese. If using cheese (I recommend goat or parmesan) you can go a little lighter on the pesto.
  • If your pesto was previously refrigerated, bring it to room temperature for easier spreading and add a bit more olive oil and lemon if needed.
  • The pesto will taste very garlicky on its own but works well on top of this crust and with veggie toppings.

Pizza Dough Tips:

  • Step by step instructions can be found here.
  • Roll the dough very thin for best results with this combination, 1/8-inch is ideal.
  • This dough does not store well in the fridge after rising. It dries out. It’s best rolled and baked after rising. If you do want to make ahead, I had success rolling mine out and baking then letting them cool on the counter. I heated them at 425° for a few minutes longer then topped and baked to heat the toppings. I haven’t tried refrigerating the baked crust to be used the next day, but it might be another option.
  • Make sure your flours are very finely ground.
  • Make sure your dough rises. If not, it will be very dense and not nearly as tasty.

Yeah. I think I could handle this every night of the week.



Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers

I’m taking a quick break from all things Thanksgiving. I have to avoid overloading myself with Thanksgiving flavors before the actual day so I will still appreciate and actually want to eat them.

Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com
Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com

This meal was the perfect way to temporarily stray from sage, rosemary, potatoes, brussels sprouts, and lots of meatlessloafing. It was incredibly comforting and flavorful and perfect for a freezing cold Friday night spent swaddled in a blanket watching movies.

Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com
Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com

How do you all spend your Thanksgivings? Is every year the same? When I was growing up it was always at my grandparents house (mom’s side). We would drive in from Michigan for Thanksgiving and then when we moved to Cleveland we were only 5 minutes away. As my grandparents got older Thanksgiving shifted to our house. I came back every single year from college for Thanksgiving and couldn’t bear the thought of not being home for that holiday.

(Dec. 2009)


Since moving to Colorado, we’ve gotten to enjoy the company of our friends for Thanksgiving. We’re going on our sixth “Friendsgiving” this year, and I can’t even really put into words how much I love it. I definitely still miss my family like crazy, but celebrating this holiday with friends is pretty special. It’s an all day affair with at least 15 friends and some of the best Thanksgiving food you’ve ever tasted. Our friends who host not only cook a ton of the food, they also brew 2 special beers for the day (super talented brewers!). This year they’re brewing a Pumpkin Oktoberfest/Marzen and a Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. Yes please!

Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com
Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com

There are an ample amount of veg-friendly + gluten-free dishes, whish is always so nice. And speaking of poblanos, last year I actually brought this poblano cornbread stuffing and everyone raved. I typically go pretty traditional with the stuffing so I had to bring two and eat some of each. Stuffing is my favorite.

This year I’m definitely bringing my recent easy vegan gravy, some kind of stuffing, and I haven’t decided what else! Definitely a dessert that I have yet to come up with.

Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com
Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com

I can’t get over how the roasted flavors in this dish pair with the creaminess and mild flavors of the polenta.

And I could definitely see putting an egg on top.

Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com
Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com

Print this!

Polenta Stuffed Poblanos

gluten-free // yields 4 med/lg stuffed poblanos

polenta + peppers:

  • 1 cup polenta grits, plus water
  • 4 med/lg poblano peppers
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided

tomato adobo sauce:

  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2-4 chipotle adobo peppers, seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

For the sauce: Puree half of the tomatoes, the onion, 2 peppers, garlic, cumin, and 1/2t salt in a blender. Taste and add more peppers if desired for spice. Place a saucepan over medium with 2t oil. Once hot, pour in the sauce and remaining tomatoes. Bring to a simmer with a lid ajar. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes while you cook the polenta. Stir occasionally. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Cook polenta according to package directions with water only (no broth) and omit any butter/oil they specify. About 30 minutes.

While the polenta cooks, preheat your oven to broil. Broil peppers for a few minutes until charred and bubbly. Flip and repeat once more. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Slice lengthwise on one side and peel back the sides from the stem end. Drain liquid and remove all seeds. Set aside.

In a small pan heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Cook the corn for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. Set aside.

When the polenta is finished cooking stir in the corn mixture, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 – 3/4 cup cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Add more water as needed (2-3 tablespoons at a time) for a creamier polenta texture. Taste and add more salt if desired.

Pour about half of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Stuff peppers with polenta and place over the sauce. Top with more remaining grated cheese and broil for a few minutes until bubbly. Serve hot with extra sauce on the side.



If using quick cooking polenta the order of cooking things will change. If you don’t want the spice from the adobo peppers or can’t find them (ethnic aisle in a small can) blend in 1-2 jarred roasted red peppers instead.

To make vegan omit cheese and use 3:1 ratio of water to non-dairy unsweetened milk for a creamier consistency. Stir in 1/4-1/3 cup of vegan parmesan or 3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast if desired.

Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com
Polenta Stuffed Poblano Peppers | edibleperspective.com

Any dessert recipes you’re looking for?


Also! The winners from the Boulder Organic! soup giveaway are:

grand prize: Caitlin C.

runners up: Caroline C. + Jeanne

The winners have been notified. Thanks to everyone who entered!!