Fresh Pesto Pizza

August 5, 2012

by — Posted in Food, Gardening

Alright my friends, the first post of our new series: meals under $3! I’m going to be keeping track of several meals a week to see how they match up with the $3 goal. Some might be what you’d expect, and some might be surprises, both good and bad. Some will be under $3 total, some will be under $3 per person… and some will, unfortunately, be over. But that’s the fun of it, we’re going to learn together.

Tonight’s meal: Fresh Pesto Pizza. Let’s start with my picks from the garden:


My tomato plants are going great guns! After all those dried tomatoes, I picked all of these! I’m going to make most of them into tomato sauce to freeze (who doesn’t love home made sauce?), but I used 3 on my pizza. Yay for free produce! Also, there’s a sprig of Oregano… also going bananas in this heat!


Also, I haven’t harvested my basil in forever, so some of them were growing flowers (which means they’re the terminal ends and won’t grow any more), so I quickly picked them off so they’ll keep growing. Most of this will also be made into pesto to freeze, but I used some on my pizza.

Now for the recipe:


1 1/3 c water
2 tsp butter or margarine
4 c flour
5 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp yeast

For bread maker, you put them in this order. Choose the dough cycle. Mine takes an hour and a half, so I have to plan ahead. To make by hand, dissolve yeast and sugar in water, add melted butter (don’t melt for the bread maker), stir in flour and salt, knead. Let it rise for 40 minutes, punch down and let rise again for 20 minutes.

I only used half of this for one cookie sheet sized pizza, which is perfect for Ansen and I. I froze the other half of the dough to bake as bread another time.


3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 bunch of basil (or 1/4 c of pesto)
1/2 c cooked chicken
olive oil
1 c shredded mozzerella

Roll out the dough on your baking sheet. Cover with olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes while you slice tomatoes, shred chicken, etc. Remove from oven, cover with basil or pesto, spread tomatoes evenly over the top, add chicken (I only put it on Ansen’s half), cover with cheese. (Feel free to add more cheese if you like!) Return to oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.


Now for the fun part! The cost!!


$.50 – flour (this could be cheaper but I use unbleached)
$.25 – salt, sugar and butter (all fairly negligable)
$.25 – yeast (this is for full price, but mine cost $.50 for the whole jar)
$1 – remember, I only used half of this for one pizza!


$0 – basil & tomatoes (these would obviously add to the cost if you had to purchase them!)
$.99 – chicken (this is per pound, I don’t really know how much I used, but this is an overestimation)
$.22 – an ounce or so of olive oil to cover dough (you can use less)
$.70 – 1 c of cheese ($2.79 for 4 cups at Aldi)

Total: $2.41 (for one pizza and another .50 for a loaf of french bread!)

This recipe could obviously be quite a bit more if you aren’t growing your own, but I think this one is a keeper for the under $3 club! If you made 2 pizzas, you could easily feed 4-6 people for less than $5! Pretty happy with how this one turned out. I think next we’ll see how my new recipe for plum pork chops turns out.