Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

Try a healthier take on pizza with this delicious and hearty sausage pizza that uses a kale pesto sauce topped with onions and cheese.

Pizza has always been one of my favorites foods. I can’t tell you how much pizza I ate while I was pregnant with my boys. So when Justin found this recipe from the Southern Living magazine and asked me to try it, I was hesitant. I like my pizza with red sauce, a whole lot of cheese, and nothing else.

We weren’t sure we would be able to make the recipe at first because it requires a skillet that can be cooked in the oven, and I don’t have any cast iron skillets yet. I looked up the pans that I do have and found out they are oven safe up to 450. The original recipe says to cook at 500 but since the pans can’t go that high we did 450 and it worked out fine.


A few weeks ago I told a story about Justin getting some fresh home-made sausage from a friend. There was still a bit of it left, so we used that up in this recipe. We had also bought some kale for another recipe so had a bunch of extra.

The original recipe says to purchase a pre-made pizza dough, but I used our homemade pizza recipe to make my own dough. By substituting whole-wheat flour for the all-purpose flour I was able to make a whole-wheat crust as suggested.

Step by Step

When the dough is almost finished, preheat the oven to 450 (or 500 if your pan can handle it) and start browning the sausage in a large skillet. Crumble the sausage and cook until it is no longer pink in the middle. Then remove from the skillet and place on a plate lined with towels.

Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

Don’t wipe the pan out, and add two tablespoons of oil with the sliced onions. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are brown and softened. This usually takes about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

In a food processor, combine the kale, basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, two tablespoons of oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Process this until it is smooth and makes a pesto.

Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

Heat a 12-inch oven-safe skillet (preferably cast iron if you have it) over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Then sprinkle with the cornmeal so that it coats the pan as well. The cornmeal gives the crust a slightly sweet flavor that went really well with this meal.

Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

Stretch the dough out so that it covers the pan, including the sides, to create a deep dish crust for the pizza. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the crust for about 2-3 minutes, until it starts to bubble up.

Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

Quickly spread the kale pesto over the crust then top with the sausage, onions, and cheese. The original recipe called for feta cheese, but I don’t like feta, so I used only the mozzarella.

Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

Sprinkle some crushed red pepper over the pizza, and brush the exposed edges of the crust with more olive oil.

Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

Place the entire skillet in the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Recipe

Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

Try a healthier take on pizza with this delicious and hearty sausage pizza that uses a kale pesto sauce topped with onions and cheese.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: kale, pesto, pizza, sausage
Servings: 8 servings
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 1 pizza crust (whole-wheat)
  • 1 lb sausage
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 or 500 (whichever your skillet can handle)
  • Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink
  • Meanwhile, cut the onion into thin slices
  • Remove the sausage from the pan and place on a towel-lined plate
  • Without cleaning the pan, add two tablespoons of oil, the sliced onions, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Cook the onions for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until brown and softened then remove from the heat
  • In a food processor, combine the kale, basil, parmesan, garlic, 2 tablespoons of oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until smooth
  • Heat an oven-safe 12-inch skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil and cornmeal and swirl to coat the pan
  • Stretch the dough over the pan to cover the bottom and sides of the pan
  • Cook dough over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until the dough starts to bubble
  • Quickly spread the pesto on the dough, then top with the cooked sausage, onions, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, and crushed red pepper
  • Brush any exposed crust edges with oil
  • Place the entire skillet in the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted
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Nutrition Facts
Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza
Amount Per Serving
Calories 527 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 68mg23%
Sodium 1193mg50%
Potassium 256mg7%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 1120IU22%
Vitamin C 12.7mg15%
Calcium 286mg29%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza
Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza
Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza
Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza
Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza

19 thoughts on “Hearty Sausage and Kale Pesto Pizza”

  1. This looks amazing. My hubby is not a fan of pizza sauce so I think this would make him very happy. I have to check to see if I have a Ian that can go in the oven now. Hmmmm maybe a idea for a Christmas present (early) lol

  2. I love pizza and sausage! It looks so delicious. Just by looking at the pictures really makes me hungry and crave for it.

  3. Ohhhhh my yum! This looks incredible and I am already writing down a grocery list to make this on the weekend. We are having company and although I don’t like to “test” a new-to-me recipe when we have someone different around the table, this one looks too good, and is perfect for a weekend dinner! We have a vegetarian in the home so would love if you had a great option for swapping out the sausage with something veggie friendly. I’m thinking to marinate some tempah? What do you think?

  4. Trần Quốc Hưng

    How amazing those pizzas are! It is such a fabulous recipe for my family and friends in the weekend! But I think I will change some ingredients in these pizzas to make my own recipe! Anyway, thank you so much for the suggestion!

  5. This looks like a pizza that i would love. I am a huge veggie person and so that kale would probably be amazing.

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