How to Make a Pesto Pizza with Goat Cheese & Honey

Pesto, pecan, mozzarella, basil and goat cheese pizza is the most universally LOVED pizza to ever come out of my pizza oven. I know. I was surprised too. Here’s how to make this delicious pesto pizza.

Freshly baked and cut pesto pizza on a wooden cutting board with a silver spoon, honey dipper and pot of honey in background.

I am a pizza purist.  Tomato sauce, pepperoni and cheese.  I do not want cauliflower, broccoli or cantaloupe on my pizza. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things but let’s face it – there is.

Pizza isn’t just any food that you can do whatever you want to in order to make it cooler or trendy. 


It should be treated with reverence and respect. 

Sun-ripened plum tomatoes, basil leaves plucked from their stems, shimmering with morning dew, dots of melty, browning cheese.  This is pizza.

Sure you can add things other than tomato sauce and cheese.  Of course you can. You can even have pineapple and ham on it if you want – but you’re making yourself look kind of suspicious when you do that. God knows what you do to your other foods.  Eat cereal with water? Stir soup with your toes? I mean who knows what kind of lunacy you’re up to.

Having made my point clear – I respect and revere classic pizza – I can now add the exception to my “weird pizza is unnecessary” rule.  

Just having pesto on pizza isn’t necessarily unconventional. But the combination of ingredients on this pesto pizza isn’t something you would have seen on Jughead’s slice of pizza for example.

A disc of uncooked pizza dough on a wooden cutting board with a small container of garlic scape pesto, chopped and whole pecans, bunches of fresh basil and a honey pot with honey dipper.

The toppings

  • Pesto
  • Goat Cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Pecans
  • Basil

To make it, just press out your dough like I show you in my Perfect Pizza at Home post. And yes. You can use a store bought pizza crust as long as it’s actual pizza dough that you form yourself. Not one of those precooked rounds. That is where I draw the line.

O.K. fine you can use a precooked and shaped crust.

Disc of uncooked pizza dough, goat cheese, garlic scape pesto, pecans, fresh basil and a honey pot with honey dipper on wooden cutting board. Pizza oven with burning logs in it in background.

Slap on a layer of homemade or store-bought pesto. (I use my garlic scape pesto.)

With the pesto you get flavours of basil, olive oil, garlic, parmesan and pine nuts.

Overhead view of rolled out dough slathered with pesto on wooden cutting board. Also on board are goat cheese, chopped and whole pecans, bunches of fresh basil, and honey pot with honey dipper. Shredded mozzarella and containers of garlic scape pesto in background.


Top the pesto with some blobs of goat cheese. And yes the goat cheese is important because of the tang it has. 

Of course if the thought of goat cheese makes you green, then just skip it. Again, though, you’re acting suspicious.

Rolled out pizza dough covered with garlic scape pesto and chunks of goat cheese on a wooden cutting board. Also on cutting board are a spoon covered with pesto, pecans, fresh basil and log of goat cheese.

Add one handful of mozzarella cheese and the all-important PECANS.  They toast while the pizza is cooking and add deep nuttiness to the pizza along with some unexpected crunch that’s deeply satisfying. 

Uncooked pizza dough covered with pesto, chunks of goat cheese, mozzarella and chopped pecans on wooden cutting board in front of pizza oven.

The basil and honey get added after the pizza is cooked.


Pizza being placed into wood-burning pizza oven.

Cook your pizza either in a pizza oven or (more realistically) in your regular oven using the directions and steps I give in my Perfect Pizza at Home post. 

At this point, you might decide you’re jealous of my pizza oven. You’re maybe even a bit angry at me for having one when you, on the other hand, do not have one.  That’s O.K. and understandable. 

I made my pizza oven 5  years ago. By myself. And you can make one too. Here’s how to build a cob pizza oven.

Cooked pizza being taken out of wood-burning pizza oven on a metal pizza peel.

As soon as you slide your pizza out of the oven, sprinkle the top with pieces of torn or cut basil.

Then – and THIS is what MAKES THIS PIZZA IRRESISTIBLE – drizzle it with honey.

Freshly cooked pesto pizza being drizzled with honey from a honey dipper. Pot of honey, fresh bunches of basil and containers of pesto shown in background.

Make sure you twirl that honey all around, letting it seep into the nooks and crannies of your crust.

Close-up of the wooden honey dipper drizzling honey onto the freshly baked pesto pizza.


So how did this wondrous pizza combination come about?



A slice of pesto pizza on wooden cutting board in foreground. Spoon covered with pesto, wooden honey dipper, fresh basil, pecans, containers of pesto and honey pot can be seen in background.

I was having a pizza party a couple of years ago and told everyone that there wouldn’t be a pesto pizza on the menu for the night. I made this decision based on the fact that whenever I made pesto pizza everyone seemed to avoid it, choosing the rich tomato sauced pizzas instead.

I mean, I thought I was being smart. If these assheads weren’t going to eat my delicious homemade pesto, I wasn’t going to waste it on them.

Overhead view of the freshly baked and sliced pesto pizza on a wooden cutting board.

This announcement was met with resistance. If I’m being honest, it was more of a rebellion with fists smashing on tables and people spontaneously snarling like dogs.

So I went inside, took out a few containers of my homemade pesto (recipe for that pesto here) and let my friend Andrea’s daughter make a pesto pizza.  Her daughter Sage is a grown woman. And a chef. So I wasn’t really taking a lot of chances on handing the task over to her.

I can’t remember who came up with the combination of pecans, honey and fresh basil but I suspect it was her.  Since that night I’ve called this pizza The Sage in honour of her, which confuses people to no end, what with the pizza containing no Sage whatsoever.

I’d consider adding a few slices of Sage if she ever told me she liked pineapple and ham on her pizza.

Cooking pizza in your oven

If you don’t know how to cook a REALLY good pizza in your home oven you need to read this post about how to cook pizza in your oven. I scoffed at this method for a while but tried it out, perfected it a bit and now I can say it rivals my wood oven cooked pizza.  It doesn’t involve a pizza stone or a baking sheet. Just a cast iron pan.

Cooking in a pizza oven

If you have a pizza oven, chances are you know how to cook pizza in it but for those who are just considering building their own wood fired pizza oven this is how it works.

  • Start your fire in the middle of your pizza oven about 3 hours before you’d like to serve the pizza.
  • Keep the fire hot and big, feeding it every half hour or as needed.
  • After the oven is up to temperature (around 900F) push all the ash and coals to the back or side of the oven. 
  • Wipe the bottom of the oven floor with a wet rag tied to a pole. This cleans the floor and also adds some steam to the oven.
  • Build your pizza right on a pizza peel just before putting it into the oven. I use a piece of parchment paper under my pizza dough on the peel. This prevents sticking. The parchment can be pulled out from under the pizza once it’s been in the oven for a minute or so.
  • Slide your pizza (and parchment paper if using) into the middle of the oven and rotate it as it cooks so all sides get licked by the fire. Your parchment will probably go up in flames around the edge. That’s O.K.
  • Before pulling the pizza out, using your pizza peel, lift it up to near the dome of the oven. This will help get any toppings nice and crispy and brown and bubble the cheese a bit.

Pesto Pizza

An unusual combination of pizza ingredients that results in a universally loved flavour.
4.34 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 686kcal


  • 250 grams pizza dough
  • 1/3 cup pesto store bought or homemade
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1 oz mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 tbsp pecan pieces more or less as desired
  • 6 basil leaves torn or cut
  • 1 tbsp honey


  • Pull your 250 gram ball of dough into a disk and top with pesto.
  • Scatter blobs of goat cheese around pizza.
  • Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
  • Scatter pecan pieces across the top of the pizza.
  • Bake until done.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and then immediately top with fresh torn basil and a good drizzle of honey across the entire pizza.


Instructions for making the perfect pizza in your home oven using a cast iron skillet can be found here in my post on Making Perfect Pizza at Home.


Serving: 1half of pizza | Calories: 686kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 1484mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 1285IU | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 4mg

Your pizza night will never be the same.


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How to Make a Pesto Pizza with Goat Cheese & Honey


  1. Connie in Tucson says:

    I started making pesto with pecans when I ran out of pine nuts. I had peanuts – but peanut pesto? I think not. I will surely try honey and pecans on my next homemade pizza. Thx

  2. whitequeen96 says:

    I would never had thought of putting honey on pizza, but this actually looks really good!

  3. Okay, you made me do it. This sounds amazing and it will probably end up as a semi-homemade meal this week. Meaning, doctored up frozen cheese pizza. Because…three kids. And sports. But fall is coming and you reminded me of my favorite pizza ever. I mean, depending on the season. Check it out. And add some pears and candied bacon next time.

  4. Kristin Ferguson says:

    Karen, remember me? The loon who built a pizza oven in her back yard? I don’t really know if you Canadians use “loon” that way. Isn’t it your national bird, maybe? Anyway. My favorite pizza of all time has broccoli as its star ingredient, but hear me out! The experience that got me started on my pizza obsession was this. I was hired as the pastry chef for the W Hotel in Westwood, a swanky boutique hotel. For some reason, I was also in charge of making all the pizzas. This was literally half my job, since the two restaurants plus a night club plus room service were all very demanding of pizzas. I resented it. “I’m a pastry chef, not a pizzaiola goddammit!” but it was my job. So I decided if I was going to have to make damn pizzas I’d make great damn pizzas. I couldn’t get a reservation at the hottest spot in town, Pizzeria Mozza, because it was literally the hardest reservation to get in all of Los Angeles and environs. So I took my daughter and we arrived at 11:15 am and waited for the doors to open for lunch at noon. We got a spot and ordered. My genius daughter ordered the “long-cooked broccoli” and cacciocavallo pizza with chilis and garlic. It was so good I was confused. It was the most interesting food I’d ever eaten, and in a good way. I was completely absorbed in eating this pizza. Flash forward to when I had mastered my own dough and built my own oven: I made my own version of this pizza using slow-cooked broccoli and garlic confit (heavenly; you should make garlic confit, and I can give you the recipe) with gruyere cheese, chili flakes, and, in the role of sauce, plain whipped cream. The broccoli is tender and yielding, which a lot of people just assume they won’t like because they always think they like broccoli to be “crisp-tender” but they are wrong in this case. The sweet nuttiness of the broccoli comes out when it’s gently but thoroughly cooked like this. The garlic confit is whole cloves of gently-cooked garlic that are meltingly tender. The gruyere is actually better than the cacciocavallo cheese on this pizza. Chili flakes bring the heat as usual. It’s stunning! Oh, do try it pretty please? My second favorite pizza is clam. I use canned clams and cream and white wine and garlic and oregano and chili flakes. You sweat the garlic, oregano and chili flakes in olive oil for a half a minute, then add the clam juice, wine and cream, reduce until syrupy and thick, then add in the actual clams and it’s done. This is the entire pizza topping. No cheese or sauce. This is a magic pizza. You are free to sprinkle with parsley after for color.

  5. WoniyaWaken says:

    I am making this tonight, but adding sliced fresh figs and Mike’s Hot Honey…gonna be YUM-O!!!

  6. Terri says:

    This looks absolutely amazing. I don’t have room for a pizza oven like yours but I bought this ooni 3 that cooks with food grade wood pellets, the pizza cooks in less than a minute and tastes amazing. Will have this pizza on our next pizza day, thank you for the recipe! I have no connection to ooni but I love there options for a wood fired pizza.

  7. canadamsel says:

    I’ve been making a similar pizza since the early 90s, when I tried one at a little restaurant in PEI. I use walnuts, not pecans – and have never tried it with honey. Bet your version is magnifico. Now I’m hungry. Hmmm. Breakfast pizza!

  8. Garth Wunsch says:

    Dear Ms Karen., Do you cover your pizza oven in the winter to keep it from getting wet, then freeing and possibly cracking? You crack me up, but I wouldn’t want my pizza oven to crack up. I live in the land of the Frozen Chosen (just a little bit north of you)… Sudbury.

  9. Mark says:

    “Not that there’s anything wrong with those things but let’s face it – there is.”

    Hahahaha… Best laugh I have ever had at 5am, bar none!

    If you ever invited me for pizza, I wouldn’t say no… (Just saying….)

  10. Markus says:

    I can only imagine, it’s the best!
    I generally eat pizza but when I do, it’s a pesto and crab. I bet you’d like it unless you don’t like crab

  11. Just looks and sounds absolutely amazing. Gonna give this one a try the grill, since, you know, I don’t have a pizza oven in my backyard, hehe.

  12. Michelle says:

    I’m salivating ! Wish I had a pizza oven like you. Looks incredible. You are so cool!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I’m one of those “suspicious” people who intensely dislike goat’s cheese ( I don’t care if you talk about me behind my back, really I don’t) Taste’s like licking a barn floor.

    • TucsonPatty says:

      One of my girlfriends says it tastes the way dirty gym socks smell, and don’t try to talk her out of that! I personally love it, and found the worlds easiest appetizer that everyone loves, using goat cheese and honey. Pour honey on a serving plate, place the goat cheese log on top, cover with more honey, then sprinkle generously with chopped pistachios and serve with your favorite choice of crackers. So yummy!

  14. Dan Russell says:

    “Of course if the thought of goat cheese makes you green”

    I don’t know who these people are, but they should not be invited back. Nobody needs this kind of negativity in their life.

  15. Josephine says:

    My mouth is watering…

  16. Vikki says:

    I’m not a chef (not even a great cook) but with the goat cheese and honey, it sounds like a “pizza cheesecake with herbs….and pecans.” Hmmm–would be willing to try though.

  17. Audrey says:

    Thank you for the nutritional information for half of a pizza, which is way more realistic! Usually it’s 1/3 of a pizza (I can’t do that math, lol).
    Looks and sounds delicious, Karen.

  18. Eileen says:


  19. Sherri says:

    Pesto, Feta, Kalamata Olives, Sundried Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts, and maybe thin sliced Red Onion…..

  20. Glenda says:


    Container question…… I searched your pesto recipe but didn’t come up with the source for those cute little containers you are using for your pesto. Reusable hopefully?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Glenda! They are reuseable, and I have NO idea where to get them. One of my sisters gave them to me for Christmas one year. They’re actually for pesto! I’ve searched for them so I could link to them but wasn’t able to find them. That was a year ago though so maybe I should try again. ~ karen!

    • TucsonPatty says:

      Years ago, I found some tiny containers that look very much like those, at Big Lots, which is sort of like a dollar store, here in Tucson. They do not bounce well after freezing pesto, so you might want to get something a tiny bit sturdier! Good luck.

  21. Ella says:

    Blech….goat cheese tastes like something scraped off of the barn floor. So gross.

  22. Mary W says:

    This sounds like a delicious pizza to me. All ingredients that I love and pecans and honey on top put it over the top. Why hasn’t this been a thing for years? I love balsamic drizzle with pecans, pecans and strawberries, pecans with anything is just better. Toasted on top of a pizza? YES but not if it was a tomato based sauce – that would be crazy.

  23. Carswell says:

    I always use pesto when making homemade pizza. I prefer it over tomato sauce.

    Pesto, chopped fresh tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella with fresh basil is my version of a basic pizza. Pesto is also good under slices of zucchini or thin slices of potato (like the ones I had in Rome).

    If I really want to go crazy and far outside the “real pizza” lane – pesto, crumbled goat cheese (it HAS to be goat cheese, mozzarella is waaay too mild) and *gasp* smoked oysters (lightly chopped so they don’t sit in big lumps) with an extra drizzle of the oil from the can. Amazing.

    • Alena says:

      I always make pesto pizza when making my own pizza, too. I sometimes add small chunks of sheep feta because goat cheese (which I loooove) sometimes does not live long enough in my house to make it onto the pizza.
      The smoked oysters are a great suggestion, I will try it on the weekend. It will cool enough to turn the oven on; I can’t wait!
      Thanks for the suggestion, Carswell!

  24. whitequeen96 says:

    Waaah! I’m reading this at 4:30 AM because I can’t sleep, and now I REALLY can’t sleep! I want basil pizza with honey!

  25. Sandra Lea says:

    Ok, making this immediately.

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