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Spicy shrimp pizza!
Main Dishes, Seafood, Spicy

Red Pepper Pesto and Shrimp Pizza

by Nick

Last week’s vote for a dish was really close. So close, in fact, that it was a tie. I broke the tie by one email that a nice reader sent me encouraging me to make a shrimp dish. I decided that if she wanted a shrimp dish bad enough to email me then her vote counts for two.

And so I settled on this awesome shrimp pizza with a red pepper pesto sauce.

I went with a thin crust for the pizza. It just seemed like a crispy thin crust was the best way to go. The original recipe actually said to buy store bought stuff, but you can probably guess how I feel about that.

I actually keep a few balls of pizza dough frozen that way I just have to pull them out a few hours before (like 5) and let it thaw slowly. Then it is just like fresh.

Yield
1 large pizza.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Shrimp and Red Pepper Pesto Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound large (16-20 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined, and halfed
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 1/4 medium onion, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 2 Cups low-moisture mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil (I left this off because I didn't have any. It was fine.)
  • 2/3 Cup red pepper pesto
  • Roasted Red Pepper Pesto (Makes about 2 cups)
  • Clove garlic
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) roasted red peppers
  • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) If you purchased nice whole shrimp, take your time to shell them entirely and cut them in half head to tail. Also remove the black vein near the back of the shrimp if there is one.

2) Toss the shrimp in a bowl with the garlic, pepper flakes, olive oil, and lemon juice. Let this marinate for 10 minutes or so.

3) Throw all the roasted red pepper pesto ingredients in a food processor and give it a pulse until it is sauce.

4) Chop up the onions and red pepper. Try to get them pretty uniformly sliced.

5) Check out this post on how to make the pizza crust.

6) You should preheat the oven to about 500 degrees and if you are heating up a pizza stone, make sure you give it at least 30 minutes to get the stone as hot as possible.

7) Roll out the dough and slap it on a lightly corn mealed pizza peel. You can also use the back of a sheet pan if you don’t have a peel.

8) Add an even layer of the red pepper pesto and then top it with the onions and fresh red peppers.

9) Pile on the cheese and finally those shrimpies. Try to keep the shrimp in one layer or they might not cook all the way through. You can pile them on though as long as they don’t overlap. They will shrink up when they are cooked.

10) Cook about 12-14 minutes in a 500 degree oven and the shrimp should be cooked perfectly, the cheese melted, and the crust super crunchy and delicious.

Adapted from Pizza!

Prepping the Shrimp

If you purchased nice whole shrimp, take your time to shell them entirely and cut them in half head to tail. Also remove the black vein near the back of the shrimp if there is one.

Then toss your shrimp in a bowl with the garlic, pepper flakes, olive oil, and lemon juice. Let this marinate for 10 minutes or so.

Garlic is maybe my all time favorite thing.

A garlic marinade is one of my favorite things.

Red Pepper Pesto

The pesto is actually really simple. Just throw all your ingredients in a food processor and give it a pulse until it is sauce. It’s okay if it has some lumps.

The original recipe said to not use the oil in the jar, but then the recipe called for added oil. I thought I would try just pouring in the entire contents of the jar and skipping the extra oil. That worked like a charm.

This is good stuff.

This is good stuff.

Besides the pesto, chop up the onions and red pepper. Try to get them pretty uniformly sliced.

Pretty simple toppings really.

Pretty simple toppings really.

The dough

I’m not going to go into the exact specifics of making pizza dough in this post. You can check out a really detailed explanation on this post. I actually made the dough I’m using for this recipe a few weeks before and just froze it in a bag with a bit of olive oil drizzled inside.

You should preheat your oven to about 500 degrees and if you are heating up a pizza stone, make sure you give it at least 30 minutes to get the stone as hot as possible.

Then roll out your dough and slap it on a lightly corn mealed pizza peel. You can also use the back of a sheet pan if you don’t have a peel.

If at all possible, it's always worth it to make it.

If at all possible, it’s always worth it to make it.

Add an even layer of your red pepper pesto and then top it with the onions and fresh red peppers.

This sauce is maybe the best part of the pizza.

This sauce is maybe the best part of the pizza.

Next pile on your cheese and finally those shrimpies. Try to keep the shrimp in one layer or they might not cook all the way through. You can pile them on though as long as they don’t overlap. They will shrink up when they are cooked.

Nice shrimpies.

Nice shrimpies.

About 12-14 minutes in a 500 degree oven and your shrimp should be cooked perfectly, your cheese melted, and your crust super crunchy and delicious.

I could barely wait to eat it.

I could barely wait to eat it.

Honestly, I had never really made a seafood pizza before, but it worked really well. I ate about half of this pizza for dinner one night and took the other half for lunch the next day.

As with most pizzas, it’s possible that this one was better cold.

This was pretty good cold the next day also.

This was pretty good cold the next day also.

If you are looking for a spicy and interesting pizza to try, definitely give this one a go.

Be sure to check back tomorrow also to vote on a new dish for next week!

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16 comments on “Red Pepper Pesto and Shrimp Pizza

  1. This looks wonderful. The roasted pepper pesto reminds me of Ajvar!

    BTW most of the photos are missing in the newsletter- they came across as red X's.

  2. This looks amazing! I've never had shrimp on pizza before but it sounds SO yummy! That red pepper pesto is a great change from the old pizza sauce too!

  3. Nice touch with the Red Pepper pesto, I am alergic to cheese but this looks good enought to try as an appetizer at a party, and I agree it would be good cold, with some reserve Red Pepper Pesto for dipping.

  4. Holy crap that looks awesome.

    I just ate a quart of ice cream and 14 ounces of Cheerios and I still want to eat that. Maybe four of them.

  5. Fabulous photos, as usual! The red pepper pesto sounds like the perfect accompaniment to the shrimp. I'm going to add this to our Friday night pizza rotation.

  6. I made this last night. It was a hit! I had some of the roasted pepper sauce left (I had added some home grown tomatoes to the food processor for the sauce). So I asked my husband this morning what I should do with it. He says “Make more of that pizza!” LOL So I guess I am making more of it.

    Thank you for the cooking inspiration!

  7. I made this tonight and it was delicious! I used a mix of shrimp, scallops and calamari. I would recommend using more seafood than listed because it cooks down a lot. Also, I would also recommend adding zucchini and mushrooms. I used a store bought whole wheat crust and it was delicious. The pesto sauce is so good! Can't wait to make it again!

  8. This was fantastic! The pesto was a big hit, my little sister who tends to be very picky when it comes to eating any kind of sea food even loved it. I’m whipping up another batch of pesto today just to have on reserve for other recipes.

  9. I did a search for pesto to find that great mint pesto you posted, and came across this. I'm actually really excited to make this now!

  10. We made this last night and the pesto didn't go over well, but the shrimp were a big hit. So we made a second pizza using the marinated shrimp and roasted red pepper strips. We covered the pizza in cheese, but reduced the amount of cheese compared to other pizzas we top with Hungarian sausage or Italian sausage.

    We used home roasted red peppers, not commercial, so that might be part of the problem and we ran out of parmigiano, so that was missing from our pesto. Still, if you love the tasted of roasted red pepper, go for it. Well worth trying and playing around with.

    A good pizza stone/baking stone is almost mandatory for producing a nice crisp crust at home. Our home oven only goes to 470 degrees, but the thin crust pizzas are all nicely crunchy. We leave the stone in all the time since it helps regulate the heat for any baking/cooking.

    We highly recommend trying this recipe and adapting it to your specific tastes.

  11. I have made this recipe and it is absolutely fabulous! I found it because I was searching for the Wegman’s Red Pepper Pesto Recipe, but this is awesome! Might be a nice sauce to use on pasta as well! Thanks!

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