Goat Cheese & Arugula Pizza

Now that we're creeping into the warmer weather months (at least here in California!) it's time to start thinking about a new food season!  My brain is preparing myself for bathing suit weather which means I'm beginning to think about adding greens like WHOA to my diet. My brain is also trying to convince me that it's cool to eat 5 pieces of pizza. This brain can't be convinced otherwise.

Let's compromise. Let's make baby steps to getting bathing suit ready. Sure, I really just want to eat potatoes on my pizza, but that's not gonna get me into a bathing suit anytime suit. Sidenote: Have you ever eaten pizza in a control top bathing suit? It's the worst.

I think this pizza is practically salad. Pesto coats the dough (that's green!), goat cheese adds a creamy tang, roasted tomatoes provide sweetness and that mound of arugula on top? Peppery salad component!  Control top bathing suit, here I come!

Just not while eating pizza...

And we're off!

The beauty about this recipe is that you could easily buy store bought pizza dough & pesto.

But I didn't feel like doing that. Good pesto can be so dang expensive if you buy it in a store. Let's make some!

Here's a new technique I learned from Keys to the Kitchen . Soak the basil leaves in water for 5 minutes.

It reduces the sharpness/bitterness of basil leaves.

Can I tell you something? I am over pine-nuts. I knoooooooow. It's silly.

I got pine mouth  once and I just can't trust pine nuts. I love using toasted walnuts in my pesto.

It makes it less bitter. It's AMAZING.

Step by Step (I'm trying to get TKOTB stuck in your head) to pesto.

Presto! Pesto.

No Knead Dough!  It's my go-to dough. You make two pizzas with one recipe. I grabbed one of the mounds to make this pizza. You could totally buy pizza dough if you want....

Now we're ready to top our pizza. Not pictured. Garlic. Oops. I forgot.

With the No Knead Pizza recipe, we coat the bottom of a baking sheet. And we stretch the dough out on top.

If you ever have a hard time getting the dough to stretch out to the edges, let it sit. Come back to it. It loosens up.

Pesto layer.

Goat cheese & tomato layer. Add a few minced cloves of garlic on top. Now BAKE.

We're gonna dress the arugula with lemon & olive oil.


I mean...just....look...at that....

Top with arugula!

I get dibs on the edge pieces!

Salad pizza!

Here are a few of my favorite pizzas:

Corn Zucchini Lime Pizza

Bacon Brussels Sprouts Pizza

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Pizza

Potato Rosemary Pizza

Goat Cheese & Arugula Pizza

makes ONE 13 x18 inch pizza
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

  • 1/2 recipe no knead pizza dough (or your favorite pizza dough)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh pesto (recipe below)
  • 8 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Preheat oven according to directions on your pizza dough. If using the No-Knead dough recipe, preheat to 500F. Spread pizza dough out on an oiled baking sheet. Put an even layer of pesto on top of the dough. Crumble goat cheese on top and scatter the tomatoes & minced garlic over the pizza. Bake in an oven for 10-12 minutes, until crust is slightly browned. Let pizza sit for 2-3 minutes. In a small bowl, mix arugula, lemon juice & olive oil. Place dressed arugula on top of the cooked pizza and serve.


makes about 1 cup of pesto

recipe adapted from Keys to the Kitchen 

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Put basil leaves in a medium bowl filled with cold water. Let leaves sit for 5 minutes, set aside. In a food processor or blender, blend walnuts, garlic, olive oil and salt. Drain basil leaves (it's OK if they have excess water on them) and blend with the nut mixture to combine. Add in the Parmesan and pulse/blend a few times until fully incorporated. Store in an air-tight container.

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  • March 18, 2013

    Delicious. This reminds me of the best gluten free pizza in NYC. I never added walnuts into my pesto. Maybe I should give it a try.

  • March 18, 2013

    It looks fantastic and sooooo yummy!

  • March 18, 2013

    Wow, I'm definitely making this. Any pizza with arugula is my husband's favorite!! It's father's day tomorrow in Spain, so it will be perfect for him... It will compensate for the time he tried to make arugula pizza unsupervised and he put the arugula in the oven...LOL, we're still tease him for that!!!

  • So much goodness on that pizza! Your pesto looks amazing!

  • Jane M
    March 18, 2013

    THING.OF.BEAUTY! Control top bathing suit for me, because I can't just eat ONE SLICE! DREAMY! BTB, did you make your pesto in a VITAMIX? WOOHOO!

  • Kaitlin
    March 18, 2013

    Ugh, I got pine mouth last summer from some very spendy pine nuts I got at a natural foods store! It was terrible and I haven't eaten them since, which is a bummer since they're so delicious but the little things ruined my trust too. I'll have to take the walnut pesto for a spin.

  • jenny
    March 18, 2013

    wow. I have totally been craving pizza lately, but I haven't wanted a really rich, wintery version. this looks perfect! also, I love pesto made with walnuts. the best!

  • Sini
    March 18, 2013

    Have to try your technique with the basil leaves! Sometimes the pesto really turns out to be too bitter. I'm planning to make a variety of flatbreads this weekend for our girls' night. I'm totally thinking of making some with pesto now! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • March 18, 2013

    Yeah this can live in my mouth forever, rent free.

  • March 18, 2013

    Positively fabulous! I could eat goat cheese by the spoonful.

  • heather
    March 18, 2013

    I experienced pine mouth once as well and have totally given up on those things - not worth it! I just made the no knead dough yesterday for later this week (based off of your recommendation at a seattle joy the baker book signing which was about a year ago!) and here is this recipe - kismet! I love your blog.:)

  • Beth
    March 18, 2013

    This pizza just looks like Spring to me! Going on the grocery list for this week!!!

  • March 18, 2013

    This looks amazingyum (new word I just made up). I make your no kned pizza dough weekly and this is so making it into the topping rotation.

  • March 18, 2013

    Pine mouth is really freaking my shit out, Tracy. Not gonna lie. Also, this looks amazing & I just wanna shove goat cheese down my gullet, bathing suits be damned.

  • March 18, 2013

    I like this, looks so nice and fresh. I make something like this for lunch often with tortillas, but sometimes I want a bit more dough than that. I like to think bathing suit season is far, far, away.....:)

  • I'm so into the arugula-on-pizza thing. Yummmmmmmm

  • March 18, 2013

    This pizza looks fantastic. I've been looking for a new pizza dough recipe and I'm gonna give this one a whirl!

  • March 18, 2013

    I love salad on my pizza and this looks like a particularly tasty salad pizza! Excellent pesto tips! I, too, am not the biggest pine nut fan.

  • yum!!! I need that pizza in my life soon :) thanks for sharing that pesto tip.

  • March 18, 2013

    I think I could add goat cheese to every meal! so good :) thaks for sharing

  • March 18, 2013

    I have a pinterest board called COCKING FOR FRIENDS (where I put all the recipes I would like to coke some day for them) well, this board looks like your blog! because I post all your AMAZING recipes! Really! I'M SO IN LOVE with your blog. everything is so well explained, with such a nice pictures and looking so easy! Great job, really! I'm more into fashion blogs, but your blog is just perfect! It makes me feel in a good mood when I see your pics!

  • March 18, 2013

    Tomatoes aren't quite in season here on the east coast, it's currently snowing :-( But as soon as they are back, I'm making this pizza for dinner, it looks fantastic!

  • Jenny
    March 18, 2013

    soo goood!!! must make this.

  • March 18, 2013

    I really love your fancy pansy pizzas. Why am I so not creative when it comes to this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • March 18, 2013

    I think I want to call in sick to work tomorrow, stay home and make 2 of those.

  • Ann
    March 19, 2013

    I love the idea of dressing the rocket before topping the pizza with it. I have never heard of 'pine mouth' but I would hate to get it. There are concerns about food here too in Australia regarding the quality of food imported from China (as the linked article mentioned). I would be extremely wary as you are.

  • March 19, 2013

    yes! perfection. p.s. totally healthy with all those veggies.

  • March 19, 2013

    what a great approach to bathing-suit season!! :) Your salad-pizza looks soooo delicious! Definitely gonna try this!

  • March 19, 2013

    Made this delicious creation but used feta instead of goat since it was what I had on hand. Also added some kale to my pesto and roasted the garlic for the pesto. Such a delicious meal.

  • March 19, 2013

    This is my dream pizza. I love love love arugula on top of pizza, and goat cheese is my favorite!

  • March 19, 2013

    This looks incredible! Next pizza I make, i'm adding these toppings!

    xx Kait

  • I leave for a two-week trip to Hawaii in 3 weeks (!!!) so this looks like the perfect way to satisfy my next pizza craving. Which will probably happen in approximately 2 days. Also, I've never had arugula on pizza. Does that make me strange?

  • March 19, 2013

    You know, just having someone talk about (gulp) "getting bathing suit ready" is like a splash of cold water. Woah. Really? Already?!?

    Yes. =) Workout more frequently, & make home-made veggie goodies (like veggie pizza), your fabulous salads, etc. = a good plan.

    =) Thank you for putting the silver lining on, and providing how-to for, bulking up the plate with veggies vs. bread, cereal, and cookies. Veggies ARE yummy, and mid-June is 3 months away. Here we go!

  • March 19, 2013

    This looks so freaking goood!! Making it on Friday!

  • Jenny
    March 23, 2013

    I baked at 500 degrees for 12 minutes and put plenty of pesto on my Trader Joe's pizza dough. It was so good!I put sausage and bell peppers and feta on my pizza. Yum!!

    • Tracy
      March 23, 2013

      Nice job!!

  • March 23, 2013

    These look delicious and beautiful!!I will try these.

  • March 25, 2013

    Mmmm I wish I had this for lunch right now!!!

  • rachael
    April 1, 2013

    hi tracy - love the blog and the podcast. i made this pizza last night for my boyfriend and me. it was such a hit and so easy! keep up the great work, you rule! rp

  • February 11, 2014

    i made this for dinner last night and it's freaking amazing. just sayin'

  • Natasha
    March 21, 2014

    Made this for dinner today and it was absolutely delicious!! The whole family loved it and it's pretty much gone (had to hide me some for lunch tomorrow lol). I was short on time so instead of making the dough I picked up pillsbury artisan pizza crust - Whole Grain ... Worked out perfectly :)

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