This post was sponsored by WP Rawl. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!
If you love barbecue chicken pizza, you have to make this fun twist that uses mustard green pesto as a base! It pairs perfectly with the sweet barbecue sauce to give this traditional barbecue chicken pizza a southern spin.
Years ago, the hubs and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in Asheville. While we were there, we spent the morning doing some foodie shopping at the farmer’s market, where we met a very endearing older man who made the most incredible pesto with greens from his garden. He was nice enough to let us taste them all, and I picked up a bottle of my favorite - a mustard green pesto. The bitter greens were SO delicious tempered with nuts, olive oil and cheese!
When we got back home, I tried to brainstorm the perfect recipe to use it in so I didn’t waste a bite of my precious pesto. This barbecue chicken pizza with mustard green pesto was what I came up with, and now, 6 years later, I’m finally sharing the recipe with you all!
For this month’s partnership with WP Rawl, they picked a theme of mindful eating, and obviously, I was 1000% on board! It’s always so much fun to work with brands who want to actively promote principles of intuitive eating.
And what better recipe to advocate for mindful eating with than pizza? In my experience, it’s the foods people are most afraid of that they tend to eat the least mindfully. Guilt is a distraction! And it often leads to eating those foods in a way that reinforces their fear! How many times have you eaten pizza only to walk away uncomfortably full, yet hardly even tasted it?
Mindful eating is eating with the intention of paying attention. It’s bringing non-judgmental awareness to the experience of eating, including your thoughts and beliefs about foods, how your body feels, and what the food tastes like. Benefits of mindful eating include the following:
Reduced binge eating
More intentional and overall nutritious food choices
Eating according to hunger/fullness cues
One of my favorite tools for eating more mindfully is the three point check in. As you’re eating, try to take a moment to check in with the following:
Thoughts and beliefs – Can you identify and thoughts or beliefs about this specific food? Any “shoulds?” Any diet rules or food police thoughts?
Internal observations – Where are you at on the hunger/fullness scale? How does this food make you feel?
Senses – What does the food taste like? Texture? What’s it smell like? If you were “wine tasting” your food, how would you describe it?
Here’s an example from when I ate this pizza for dinner:
Thoughts and beliefs – I used to think pizza was bad for me, but now I think it’s just food. It has fat, protein and carbs that will keep me satisfied. I usually feel best eating a couple slices plus something fresh, but sometimes more or less, so I will tune in as I’m eating to see what works for me today.
Internal observations – I’m meal hungry right now, about a 3 on the hunger scale. The pizza feels warm and cozy in my stomach, especially since it’s chilly in the house today.
Senses – The crust has a crispy bottom with a good chew. The slightly bitter mustard green pesto is tamed by the sweet barbecue sauce and melty cheese. I get bits of herbal freshness from the cilantro.
The cool thing about mindful eating is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Sometimes I’m able to eat with more awareness, other times I’m gobbling down breakfast in the car on the way to my office. On days where I have more time and space, I’m able to do a check in a few times throughout a meal. Other times I might just check in briefly at the beginning.
Now, back to the recipe! To make this pizza, first you’ll whip up an easy mustard green pesto in the food processor. WP Rawl makes it easy with their pre-washed and cut mustard greens, so you can just throw in the blender with olive oil, garlic, nuts and parmesan. Instead of baking your own barbecue chicken, I used shredded rotisserie chicken. If you can find it, I used smoked chicken breast I found at the grocery store and it was especially tasty with this. Use whatever red barbecue sauce you prefer – although this is where I do have to tell my fellow South Carolinians that our traditional mustard based sauce would not be very good here! This pizza is easy to assemble, and bakes up crisp on a hot pizza stone. Turn the oven up as high as it will go to get the crust nice and crispy!
I like to pair this with a crisp, fresh slaw or salad, which also tastes really yummy piled on top of the pizza to make a pizza salad. Or try it with my crunchy salad mix tossed with your favorite dressing, or my melon and mint salad.
Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Mustard Green Pesto
Makes: 1 pizza
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Mustard Green Pesto:
¼ cup toasted almonds
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 ball pizza dough
Mustard green pesto (I used about half)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
Place mustard greens, almonds, garlic, and parmesan in a food processor. Pulse to chop. Slowly stream in olive oil while motor is running, scrapping down sides as needed, until pesto is creamy. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Dust pizza dough with flour and roll out into a large circle on a pizza stone.
Toss chicken with barbecue sauce.
Spread dough with mustard green pesto. Top with 1 ½ cups of mozzarella, barbecue chicken, and red onion. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over the top.
Place pizza in the oven and bake 12-15 minutes until dough is crisp and golden and cheese is melted.