Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pizza (V/GF Option)
While I love a rich, decadent, and creamy pizza from time to time, I’m also a huge fan of homemade pizzas topped with fresh, light, and nutritious ingredients. Making pizza at home is not only delicious and fun, but it’s a great way to get in tons of veggies. This Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pizza is topped with fresh lemon, goat cheese, almonds, and red pepper flakes – packing in both flavour and nutrition.
I used my go-to homemade vegan hemp seed pesto for this recipe, which I love adding to just about everything. If you’re looking to make this pizza recipe entirely plant-based or dairy-free, simply leave out the goat cheese and top with some extra nutritional yeast. I tried making this pizza with and without the cheese, and both tasted delicious 🙂
How To Make Homemade Pizza
Homemade pizzas quite literally provide a blank canvas for you to experiment with different flavours and ingredients. If you have kids – this is one of those foods I recommend getting them involved in. They can help make the dough, arrange the toppings, come up with ingredient ideas, etc. Most kids love pizza, and they’re more likely to eat something they’ve helped to make. Homemade pizza might just be the way to get the kids (or adults?) to eat their veggies!
While topping ideas are endless, you also have plenty of different choices for dough. I personally love buying pre-made whole wheat pizza dough from the refrigerated section of the grocery store (I know Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s both carry them). Other great options are almond or cauliflower crusts if you’re in need of a gluten-free option. If you’re feeling up to it – you can make pizza crusts from scratch using bread flour, too! There are many basic pizza dough recipes available through a quick search on Google.
Once you’ve decided on the dough, it’s time to decide what toppings to add. You may choose to follow a recipe, or you may experiment with your own mix of toppings. In general though, you’ll have to pop the dough in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove the dough, add the toppings, and then put the pizza back in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, to let everything cook. Then, add items like leafy greens or fresh herbs just before serving. Need some topping ideas? Check out my tips below for how to make pizza a healthy choice.
How To Make Pizza Healthy
Yesss – you heard that right! While pizza tends to get a bad rap for being high in sodium, saturated fats, and processed meats, making your own pizza at home gives you complete control of ingredients. By choosing fresh, whole foods, you can totally make pizza a nutritious and balanced meal. Some tips:
Choose a healthier dough/crust. As I mentioned above, whole wheat doughs and homemade cauliflower or almond flour crusts tend to pack in a bit more nutrition (like fibre). If purchasing a store-bought dough or crust, flip the package over to check the ingredients list. The list should be a short one, as your basic pizza dough only really contains flour, yeast, salt, water, and oil.
Go nuts with veggies! Add seasonal veggies like zucchini, broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes. Leafy greens (like arugula, kale, spinach) always work well, just be sure to add them at the end so they don’t burn.
Choose lower-sodium ways to add flavour. Spices and herbs are always an excellent choice here. You can never go wrong with basil, but spices like oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes are delicious too. Fresh onion and garlic also pack in a flavourful punch, as does a squeeze of lemon juice or a drizzle of oil (think: extra virgin olive oil, truffle oil, or a nut oil).
Choose sauces carefully. Red, tomato-based sauces are a great option, as are nutrient-dense pestos (like in this recipe!) If using store-bought sauces, always check the ingredients list to ensure there are minimal added sugars and sodium.
Add a protein source. Protein helps to balance out the meal and make it more filling. Try crumbled or shaved cheeses, shrimp, chicken, or tempeh, while avoiding processed meats like pepperoni. This Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pizza recipe packs in protein through the hemp seed pesto (there are about 14 grams of protein in a 1/4 cup of hemp seeds), as well as through the crumbled goat cheese.
If you give this Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pizza a try, let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more simple, healthy recipe ideas.
Get the Recipe: Roasted Broccoli Pesto Pizza
- Pizza dough of choice - enough to make one 12-inch pizza crust
- 1.5 cups broccoli florets (small pieces)
- 1/4 cup goat cheese (omit for vegan recipe)
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/2 lemon
- Approx. 1-2 tbsp olive oil (to grease baking sheet)
Hemp seed pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil (about 2 large handfuls)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt + pepper (to taste)
- Sprinkle of red pepper flakes, squeeze of lemon juice, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Sprinkle of nutritional yeast (if vegan)
- Prepare pizza dough/crust according to package instructions, making about a 12-inch pizza crust. Preheat oven to temperature as indicated on dough package (usually ~450F). Grease a large baking sheet with olive oil and add prepared dough to baking sheet. Place dough in the oven for about 5 minutes, then remove to add toppings.
- Meanwhile, make hemp seed pesto by adding all pesto ingredients to a food processor. Blend until a green paste forms. Adjust seasoning as desired.
- Chop broccoli into small florets and slice 1/2 a lemon into thin slices.
- Remove pizza from the oven, then top with hemp seed pesto (spread evenly over top with a spoon or spatula, leaving about a 3/4-inch space for the crust). Add broccoli, goat cheese, lemon slices, and chopped almonds. Ensure that ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Return pizza to the oven, and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
- Once pizza is done, remove from the oven and add remaining toppings as desired, such as red pepper flakes, a squeeze of lemon juice, or an extra drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
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