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This pizza is soooooo good. It is a copycat recipe of my favorite pizza from Red Wagon Pizza Co., the “Olive Oyl.” The base is pesto (off to a great start), then we add delicious globs of creamy ricotta (whole milk ricotta! non-negotiable!), a smattering of green olives, artichoke hearts, and sautéed mushrooms. I don’t know if the original za has cheese on top, but I think pizza that isn’t topped with a cheese blanket is weird, so we add a nice layer of parmesan, lemon zest, and generous grinds of black pepper. YUMMMM!!! If you’re never made your own pizza, you gotta do it and try this pesto pizza recipe!
Let’s talk pizza crust
Do you have to make your own pizza dough to make this recipe? No! I won’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. You can buy store bought dough or even a crust that’s rolled out and ready to be topped. Maybe you eat gluten-free and you’d like a cauliflower crust. I know Trader Joe’s has a tasty one! BUT. Perhaps you do want to try making your own dough? I used this recipe from Serious Eats to make one large pizza. I would highly recommend it, especially if you are intimidated by making dough. It is no-knead and it is INCREDIBLY easy. You just mix the ingredients together a day ahead and let it rise for 18–24 hours. On the counter! Won’t take up fridge space! No kneading, no stand mixer, no mess. That’s it. Ready to go. I found this crust to be the perfect amount of crispy and doughy and I have eaten a lot of homemade pizza crusts! But maybe you already have a fave pizza dough recipe. You can use whatever you like!
Assembling & Baking the Pesto Pizza with Ricotta, Olives, & Artichokes
If you’re not following me on Instagram, go do it @saltedspoonful!! I’ve posted a video of assembling & building this perfect pizza. Before anything else, make sure to sauté your mushrooms in a bit of butter so they are cool to touch and put on your pizza when the time comes. Preheat your oven to 500°. If your oven goes hotter than that, you can cook your pizza at a hotter temp for less time. Punch Pizza (a popular Minnesotan chain) makes their pizza in a 900° oven for like 6 minutes. So, you can make your pizza in a very hot oven as well.
Now, onto assembly. We have our dough rolled out. You can use a pizza pan to make a round pizza or use a baking sheet to make a rectangle pizza. I lightly spray my pizza pan with cooking spray before putting the dough on it, just in case it wants to stick. Spread pesto allll over the pizza dough. I like to spread my toppings really close to the edge so that the crust isn’t a big bare chunk of bread but to each their own! Next, we glob on spoonfuls of delicious, whole milk ricotta. (The low fat kind tastes like crap and has a terrible grainy texture. Trust me.) Spread the globs a little with the back of a spoon but not too much—we’re not trying to make an even layer, we’re trying to have spotty areas of thick ricotta. If that makes sense. Then we’ll sprinkle on sliced green olives, chopped artichoke hearts, and the sautéed mushrooms. Sprinkle an even layer of parmesan cheese over everything, then the zest of a lemon and several grinds of pepper. Into the oven she goes! 500° for 15 minutes.
When the pizza comes out, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over (or less if your lemon is very juicy) and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. Slice up and enjoy!!
Tools I Use to Make This Pesto Pizza
- Pizza Wheel: The easiest way to cut a pizza is with a pizza wheel. Of course you could use a knife or even scissors, but if pizza night is a regular thing at your house, you need a pizza wheel!
- Pizza Pan: This one has over 8,000 reviews and it’s made by Wilton so you know it’s good!
- Ove Gloves: I love the Ove Glove wayyyyy more than my regular oven mitts. It’s a glove so you have a better grip on the super hot stuff you’re holding. And it gives you more protection than your average oven mitt. This pizza is coming out of a 500 degree oven. You don’t want to burn yourself!
Lastly… let’s say hypothetically you are too lazy to make this pizza yourself. RED. WAGON. SHIPS. NATIONALLY!!!!!! Luckily they are a 5 minute drive from my house. But if you’d like to order their amazing pizzas and you don’t live nearby, click here. They were on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, not once, but TWICE! Amazing.Print
Modeled after my favorite pizza from Red Wagon Co., the “Olive Oyl,” this delicious pizza has a pesto base, thick globs of creamy ricotta, green olives, artichokes, sauteed mushrooms, parmesan, lemon & black pepper. It is phenomenal.
- pizza dough (store bought or make your own, I like this no-knead recipe from Serious Eats)
- 6 ounces pesto (I used Rao’s brand)
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup Castelvetrano or regular green olives, sliced
- 1/3 cup small canned artichokes, chopped
- 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- lemon, zest & juice
- several generous grinds of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 500°.
- Sauté mushrooms in a frying pan on medium heat with a bit of butter or olive oil until browned, season with salt. Set aside and let cool.
- Lightly spray a pizza pan or baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll out whatever dough you are using and spread it out on your baking vehicle of choice.
- Spread pesto evenly over the dough out to the edges.
- Dollop on ricotta, then spread each dollop a little bit so you have areas of thick ricotta.
- Evenly sprinkle olives, chopped artichokes, and sautéed mushrooms onto the pizza.
- Cover with grated parmesan, zest from 1 lemon and several grinds of black pepper.
- Bake for 12–15 minutes, until crust looks crispy and toasty.
- Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon (or less if your lemon is extra juicy) over the pizza. Let it cool for a few minutes, then cut it up and enjoy!
These were the measurements I used when I topped my pizza, but feel free to use however much of each ingredient you want!
Keywords: pizza, vegetarian, pesto, mushrooms, meatless monday, ricotta, olives, artichokes