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Smoky Breakfast Pizza with Pesto Sauce

Smoky breakfast pizza with a basil pesto sauce, mushrooms, cheeses, black pepper and egg cooling on a rack.

This recipe sat in my ever-growing “recipes to try” stack for a couple of years and every time I thought to make it, something in me kept putting it off. I’m not sure why because I absolutely love pesto anything and I love eggs. I think the concept of putting an egg on nearly everything we bake, or cook has very much become the thing to do. It’s probably my need to go against the grain, always, which caused so much resistance to getting around to making these pizzas. The recipe originally came from Food and Wine Magazine, and I’ve adapted it over time to where we are very happy with it. It looks sort of fancy (it’s the egg, I’m convinced) but this is a simple pizza to make with easy, fresh ingredients. Here are the main ingredients involved:

A smoky breakfast pizza made with a fresh basil pesto sauce, smoky cheeses: mozzarella, romano and gouda with mushrooms, black pepper and egg.

Basil. You will need fresh basil to make the pesto sauce. If you are short on time and opt to use jarred pesto sauce, I would avoid any additional olive oil since jarred pesto is very oily.

Olive Oil. I prefer to use lighter olive oil, specifically extra virgin olive oil as it has a better flavor.

Pizza Dough. Here’s another pizza recipe I’ve shared recently that has a great pizza dough. Any dough recipe will work. I’ve found that a whole wheat crust is extremely good with this recipe as it’s firm enough to support the heavier sauce and mushrooms.

Cheese. Mozzarella, Smoked Gouda, and Romano make up the cheese for this pizza. I like the smokiness of gouda and the way it melts but you could also use a smoked mozzarella or a gruyere…or a combination of all because cheese.

Mushrooms. Love them or not, they add so much to this pizza! If you choose to omit them, try adding onions, tomatoes, or red pepper. If wild mushrooms are unavailable to you, try portabella mushrooms instead.

Eggs. They are kind of the point of this recipe but of course, you don’t need to add them.

I like to season my pizza with lots of black pepper, a bit of oregano and I add arugula to my pizza for added texture and the nutty flavor arugula brings-not necessary but strongly recommended. This may be a recipe for a breakfast pizza, but we make this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and it continues to stay on rotation at our house. Enjoy!

Smoky Breakfast Pizza with Pesto Sauce

pizza dough ingredients in a stainless steel bowl including whole wheat flour, salt, crushed red pepper, oregano and black pepper.


1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves

⅓ cup olive oil plus more for greasing baking sheet

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1 pound of freshly prepared pizza dough, (or store bought) separated into 2 or 4 pieces.

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1 cup shredded mozzarella

½ cup shredded smoked gouda

½ cup grated Romano

½ cup wild mushrooms, finely chopped

4 eggs

Arugula leaves (optional)

Crushed red pepper to taste

homemade fresh basil pesto sauce on top of a whole wheat pizza crust before going in the oven.


In a blender or food processor, blend basil, olive oil, and garlic until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and black pepper.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly grease baking sheets with olive oil. Place pizza dough on a lightly floured surface; stretch dough into a 7-inch circle (if making two larger pizzas, simply stretch and divide dough in half). Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet and repeat this process until all pizzas are formed.

Using a flexible spatula or the back of a spoon, spread pesto sauce evenly over doughs, leaving about ½-inch border around the doughs for crust. Sprinkle pizzas with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Bake pizzas for 7 to 9 minutes until the crusts are browned and puffed up.

smoky breakfast pizza with a whole wheat crust, pesto basil sauce, mozzarella, romano, gouda, mushrooms, bacon, pepper and arugala.

Remove pizzas from oven. Using the flexible spatula or the back of a spoon, make a small well in the center of each pizza. Crack an egg into each well. Return pizzas to oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the egg whites are set and yolks are slightly runny. Place a few pieces of arugula on top and season with more black pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Pizza cooling from the oven on a rack. Pizza is round and made with a whole wheat crust, pesto sauce, mushrooms, bacon, pepper and topped with three different cheeses and an egg.

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