When I first moved out of my parents house and was living on my own, I was just beginning to find my love for cooking. But I was also a student, and about to start medical school (aka a full time job!) and needed fast, easy, delicious meals that I could throw together in between blocks of studying. One of my favorites from my parents’ repertoire of quick and easy meals was a simple toasted sandwich of sautéed chicken breast, apple slices, pesto, and mayonnaise. So easy right? And so delicious!
And what’s better than a yummy sandwich? A crispy thin-crust pizza! The sandwich ingredients marry so well together, and so I thought, “why not try these ingredients out on a pizza?”
When it came to choosing a cheese to fit in with this flavor combo, I instantly thought of gruyere. It is a great melting cheese, and has a beautifully creamy and nutty flavor that works as the perfect backdrop for shredded chicken and crisp granny smith apple.
I have two tips for making this recipe:
- Get store-bought pizza dough if you can! I know, I know, how terrible. But trust me, we have made countless batches of totally delicious homemade pizza dough, and sometimes it is really nice to be able to just pull a batch out of the fridge and roll it out instead of having to whip one up when you get home from work, or the night before. So while of course I support homemade pizza dough, I also am a big fan of finding shortcuts for easy meals when necessary!
- If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, use it to shred your chicken! Place the entire cooked boneless skinless chicken breast in the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn it on to a medium speed, such as 4 or 5. Let it run for about 30-45 seconds, or until the chicken is shredded to your liking. So easy!
- 1 skinless boneless chicken breast
- 1/2 cup pesto (store bought or homemade)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 package store bought pizza dough, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup cornmeal, divided
- 4 oz. gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1/2 granny smith apple, diced
- Pizza stone
- Pizza peel
Preheat pizza stone in an oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
While oven is preheating, prepare the toppings. Salt and pepper chicken breast on both sides. Sauté until cooked through. Allow to cool to room temperature, then shred. (If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, you can place the entire chicken breast in the bowl with the paddle attachment and use a medium speed (about 4-5) to shred it in less than a minute.)
To make aioli, add pesto and mayonnaise to a small bowl and stir until combined. (Add to squeeze bottle, if desired, for easier dispensing onto the pizza.)
To assemble pizza, roll out pizza dough on a floured surface to desired thickness. Use about half of the cornmeal to lightly dust a pizza peel. Lay the rolled out pizza dough on the pizza peel. Sprinkle gruyere cheese to cover the pizza dough, then top with shredded chicken. Spread the rest of the cornmeal on the preheated pizza stone. Transfer pizza to pizza stone and cook for 11 minutes.
Remove pizza from oven to a cutting board. Top with diced apple and pesto aioli. Slice and serve.
Makes 2-3 servings.
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