Portobello Pesto Pizzas

We can’t say this enough, but…we LOVE pizza. There’s just something about a crispy crust, tomato sauce, melty cheese, veggies, and meat, all baked together, that is just wonderfully delicious.

  • By Jackie Sun
  • August 17, 2014

As people who love to cook, whenever we love certain foods, we’ll always attempt to make it at home. Whether it’s our favorite combo, a Green Pepper and Mushroom Pizza, or a classic, simple Margherita Pizza grilled to crispy, charred perfection, we are always up for pizza.

However, sometimes we might want to cut back on the calories a bit, and enjoy the benefits of pizza, but without the crust. This is where our Portobello Pesto Pizzas come along. We cut out the bread (and the carbs) and use a juicy, meaty portobello mushroom cap as a vessel instead. Topped with sliced tomatoes and cheese, this vegetarian pizza has all the makings of a personal pizza.

“Wow I LOVED these. I like them better than regular pizza! Such a great use for the pesto. Will definitely make for my vegetarian friends.”

To amp up the flavor even more, we use pesto instead of tomato sauce. This is a great way to use up any leftover pesto you might have, and our homemade pesto is healthy and delicious. We featured this pesto, which is made from creamy avocados and fragrant basil, in our Pesto Pasta with Shrimp recipe. In fact, this pesto (and our love for pizza!) inspired this dish.

Making a bigger batch of pesto is great, because you only make it once and can use it for so many things – as a sauce for pasta, to add extra flavor in soups, as a sandwich spread, for meats and fish, in omelets, in pizzas, etc.

“Top 5 favorites of all time – this meal was absolutely delicious and super flavorful!”

The recipe below makes a larger amount of pesto than needed for these pizzas, but that’s for two reasons: 1) this pesto is so good, you probably want to add more than the amount stated, or 2) you can use the leftover pesto for other meals, making it a quick, healthy, and flavorful way to get your meals made in no time!

So while we will always love a good pizza with a crisp crust, we have the admit that this recipe definitely hits the spot.

Enjoy these veggie pizzas with these awesome sides:

Prepping Smarts

  • If you don’t have a food processor (or you would rather practice your knife skills!), you can still make this pesto by hand. Here’s how:

How to Make a Hand-Chopped Pesto

Food processors and blenders are not needed to make a delicious herb pesto.

Equipment Smarts

  • Food processor – a handy and efficient tool to have in the kitchen and to make pestos
  • Sheet pan – catches all the juices when the portobellos bake, making for easier clean-up

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools

Portobello Pesto Pizzas

These simple vegetable-based pizzas are lighter in calories and provide an umami, meaty flavor. We give these pizzas a flavor boost with a delicious herb pesto, which is great all summer long.

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

Total time: 35 min

Serves: 4


  • Pine nuts – 2 Tbsp (Sub walnuts if you’re on a budget)
  • Basil – 2 cups, loosely packed
  • Garlic – 1 clove, peeled
  • Avocado (small) – 1/2
  • Olive oil – 3 Tbsp to 1/3 cup
  • Portobello mushrooms – 4
  • Tomatoes – 2 , sliced
  • Olive oil – 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Mozzarella – 4 oz, grated (Or just used a slice of sandwich cheese – mozzarella, fontina, Swiss)



  1. Pine nuts (optional step) – Toast in a frying pan over medium-high heat until golden brown. It’s also completely fine to skip this step.
  2. Make pesto – Combine pine nuts, basil, garlic, and avocado in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are broken up. Drizzle in olive oil, while keeping food processor on, until you get a sauce-like consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Portobello mushrooms – Remove stems. Using the side of a spoon, scrape out the inside gills (the dark ridge-y stuff). (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  4. Tomatoes – Slice.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Brush portobello mushrooms with olive oil (both sides). Place portobellos cap side down (or stem-side up, even though the stems are gone) on a sheet pan. Divide 1/3 cup pesto amongst the mushrooms. (Add more if desired or save the rest for another dish.) Top with sliced tomatoes and then sprinkle on cheese.
  3. Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.


Try our award winning meal plan service for free

Get our Meal Plans

The convenience of meal kits without the waste

Share the love!

Join our Community

Enjoy genius (& useful!) cooking tips in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How can we help you in the kitchen?

Join our Community

Enjoy genius (& useful!) cooking tips in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign up for the Cook Smarts Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Privacy Policy: We hate SPAM & promise to keep your email address safe.

Skip to content