Welcome to the flatbread that is going to knock your socks off this summer. It’s loaded with flavor from the bright lemon and basil citrus pesto, the star of this flatbread pizza, the one that’s here to steal the show.
And we’ll gladly let it because it’s just so dang good.
This recipe is inspired by the same pizza that inspired the citrus pesto itself.
In a small pizza restaurant run by a family from Naples, Italy, on a side street near our Air B&B in Nice France, our love for pizza with bright lemony pesto was born. The lemon paired with the chewy pizza crust and fresh peppery arugula was a match unlike any other.
While this quick and easy version uses store-bought naan or homemade flatbread, and not a multi-day fermented pizza dough (gah, it was just so good), it’s the perfect version for anytime the craving strikes.
What You’ll Need for Citrus Pesto Pizza
Alright, here are the star players. There are very few of them, because each one packs its own punch, adding so much to the pizza, that we don’t need to overwhelm it with other ingredients. This is a simple recipe at its finest.
- Citrus Pesto: an easy make-ahead component for the pizza. In fact, it’s likely that once you make it you’re going to keep a jar in the fridge at all times this summer because the bright freshness pairs beautifully with so many summer recipes!
- Mozzarella Cheese: using fresh mozzarella cheese will provide you with melty texture and the most flavor.
- Arugula: the pizza is topped with fresh arugula, which adds a lovely hint of pepper and freshness.
- Olive Oil: toss the arugula in a little olive oil or drizzle it over the pizza for added flavor and a little creaminess.
- Garnishes: I’d recommend topping with flakey sea salt, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil.
How to Make Flatbread Pizza
There is no shortage of easy vegetarian flatbread pizzas here at FITK. It’s basically my weeknight go-to, and the more time you spend around here, I bet it’s going to be yours too. So you may not really need a ‘how to’ for it. You might already be a pro, in which case, go ahead and skip on through.
But if you’re new to the world of easy flatbread pizzas, be prepared to be wowed by these easy steps.
If you’re using homemade flatbread, be sure to read the post and decide if you’d like to bake the flatbread or cook it on the stovetop. There are detailed notes in the post to help you decide. You can also use store-bought naan (pictured here) if you’re even shorter on time.
Regardless of which flatbread you choose, start by spreading citrus pesto as the sauce base for the pizza. I recommend leaving a bit of a ‘crust’ for your pizza as you spread it around.
Next goes the fresh mozzarella. Use slices or mini balls, it’s up to you!
If you do use mozzarella balls that have been in a brine, be sure to pat it dry before putting on the pizza as moisture will leak out when it bakes.
Now, we’re going to bake it until the cheese is melty and the edges are golden brown.
Once the pizza has baked, top it with arugula, a drizzle of high-quality olive oil (you can also just toss the arugula in olive oil or serve it dry) and a pinch of flakey sea salt. Garnish with additional basil and red pepper flakes as desired and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can, it just obviously won’t be a vegetarian flatbread then. I would recommend adding prosciutto or (pre-cooked) sausage.
You can, I find it has less flavor and can dry out when baking, but it can definitely be used if you can’t find or don’t have fresh mozzarella. I would recommend adding a hearty layer of the cheese to prevent it from drying up when baking.
You can substitute microgreens.
More Flatbread Recipes to Love
- Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza
- Grilled Peach and Pesto Flatbread
- Grilled Corn and Burrata Flatbread
- Artichoke and Arugula Flatbread
- Bruschetta and Burrata Flatbread
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Citrus Pesto Flatbread Pizza
- 2 flatbreads, store-bought naan or homemade
- 4 Tablespoon citrus pesto
- 6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup arugula, more or less to taste
- Olive oil, drizzle
- Flakey sea salt
- Basil, for garnish
- Red pepper flakes, for garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or place a pizza stone in the oven to pre-heat.
- If using a baking sheet and not a stone, place the flatbread on the baking sheet to prepare. If using a pizza stone and you want it preheated, simply assemble the flatbreads on the counter and transfer using a pizza peel or gently with your hands.
- Spread the pesto evenly between the two flatbreads, leaving as much of a crust as you'd like. Top with the mozzarella cheese, dividing evenly between the two pizzas, too.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove from pan and slice, then top with arugula, a drizzle of olive oil as desired, flakey sea salt, and additional basil leaves.
By the Way…
This recipe is part of our collection of easy flatbread pizza recipes. Check it out!
Another great flatbread! A lovely recipe for summer. I grilled the flatbreads and they turned out well. Thanks for the tip in the recipe. I didn’t add arugula (because I forgot, lol) and it was still delicious! Enjoy everyone!
Yum, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed grilling it! Thanks so much for sharing, Marisa!
Yum!! I really enjoyed the citrus flavor of the pesto and it stands out in this recipe! Very easy to throw together and I’m already looking forward to my leftovers for lunch tomorrow. 😉
The best kind of leftovers! 🙂 Thanks, Cassie!