Lightened-Up Creamy Veggie Pizza with Chicken

The hardest part about this particular post was thinking up what the heck to call this thing. This is what happens when 1) I'm craving pizza. 2) I need to use up zukes because I overestimated what I needed for zoodling. 3) I want a creamy white sauce that isn't pure fat (not that pure fatty white sauce is a bad thing...). Oh, and 4) I don't feel like trekking to the store for more groceries.

And hence, out of all that, a delicious concoction of thinly sliced zucchini, creamy pesto sauce (with a secret ingredient!), colorfully crunchy peppers and onion, and smoky-spicy chicken chunks was born. I must say, this was one of those recipes where you THINK it could be good, but you aren't sure. It could come out of the oven and be a complete and utter disaster, forcing you to resort to cereal for dinner (I actually like cereal for dinner sometimes, but that's for another day).

Thank heaven, we liked it. Kris loved it as much as I did, which is saying something considering there was so much veg and so little chicken. It could easily be made vegetarian by skipping the meat altogether. Next time I'd probably add more meat, but a 1/2 cup was all I had left in the fridge.

Kris suggested bacon next time. Some things really don't change.

P.S.- the sauce is where it's AT! Only 5 ingredients and no one will be able to tell there's a secret addition that cuts the fat and boosts the protein!

Creamy Veggie Pizza with Chicken

1 recipe pizza dough, store-bought or made following package directions*

1-2 zucchini, extremely thinly sliced (I used a peeler to make wide, paper thin slices, but feel free to make thin rounds or whatever you like)

1/2-1 cup shredded cheese (I used a very full 1/2 cup- use whatever cheese you have that sounds good)

1/4 cup each red and yellow bell pepper, small dice

1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup cooked, shredded chicken**

1/2 cup shredded parmesan

1 batch creamy pesto sauce

Lay zucchini on paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Prepare pizza crust according to package directions. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or oil. Spread dough out on sheet. If dough requires pre-baking, do so. Spread sauce over crust liberally. Layer zucchini, then cheese, bell peppers, onion, chicken, and parmesan. Bake until crust is golden, then broil for a minute or two until cheese begins to bubble. Serve hot. Stores well in the fridge for a day or two.

Creamy Pesto Sauce

4 ounces 1/3 less-fat cream cheese

Full 1/2 cup hummus

2 heaping tablespoons basil pesto



Soften cream cheese (pop it in the microwave for a few seconds if needed). Add hummus and pesto, mixing until it is well combined. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. This is a delicious pizza sauce, but I think would work equally well on pasta, in lasagna, etc. Makes one heaping cup.

*I always use Bob's Red Mill GF pizza crust mix.

**This recipe is great with only a 1/2 cup of meat, but next time I will probably use more.