Friday Night Dinner Ideas: Easy Shrimp & Tomato Pesto Pizza

4 Jan

ImageIt’s Friday night. You’re on your way home from work. You (and your wallet) don’t want to order take-out again, aren’t interested in nuking any leftovers lurking in your fridge, and can’t stomach the thought of scraping together a meal from the cereal, Planter’s peanuts and instant oatmeal in your pantry cabinet. What’s a gal or guy to do?

Whit up a quick pizza, of course!

“But GKG!” you protest. “Don’t I have to buy all of the ingredients? Won’t this end up costing me just as much as take-out? Meh.”

And, yes, you might have to spend a little to enjoy this, or any, home-cooked meal. But you’re spending your hard-earned moola on something fresh, not processed; something made by YOU, not Marie Callendar or Smart Ones; something flavorful, simple, and oh-so good. Plus, these leftovers will be fabulous for reheating the next day (or for dinner for the following two or three nights … GKG don’t judge … ). A quick trip to the grocery store to stock up on basics will lead to a delicious and healthful meal that I guarantee you’ll love. You can’t go wrong!

The best part of this Shrimp & Tomato Pesto Pizza is how well the flavors work together. Oven-roasting the shrimp and tomatoes creates a slight sweetness in both ingredients, which is equally tempered by the savory, salty tastes of cheese and pesto. A basic white or wheat crust — store-bought or homemade, according to your preference –is a stellar neutral backdrop that allows the other ingredients to shine. Happy eating!

Easy Shrimp & Tomato Pesto Pizza — serves 4, or serves 1 with oodles of leftovers. 🙂


You’ll need:

  • 1 pizza crust, white or wheat
  • 1 small jar pre-made pesto sauce, or 1 batch homemade pesto
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, plus parmesan for garnishing
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or left whole
  • 10-12 peeled and deveined shrimp (about 1/4 of a large frozen bag)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Cornmeal for the pizza stone or baking pan

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. If using a pizza stone, place the stone in the oven while preheating. If using a baking sheet, prepare by drizzling with 1-2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkling it with a handful of cornmeal.
  • Roll out your pizza dough to a 12″ to 15″ round. Transfer to baking sheet if using, or a cornmeal-covered pizza peel / cutting board if baking on a pizza stone.
  • Add 2-3 tbsp of pesto sauce, spreading in a thin layer over the crust. (Use more if desired.) Add mozzarella cheese, sprinkling in an even layer. Arrange toppings (shrimp, tomatoes) over the cheese, sprinkling with parmesan, salt & pepper as desired.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is cooked through and cheese is melted and slightly browned. If using a pizza stone, transfer the pizza from the peel / cutting board onto the hot stone by gently shaking it back and forth until the pizza slides onto the hot stone. (This may take some practice; if you fail, like I did the first time, you can turn your pizza into a gigantic calzone. WIN.)
  • Eat up!

What are your go-to Friday night dinner options? Is cooking from scratch too much effort at the end of the week? (I respect that — THT and I definitely ordered some pizza tonight, out of sheer end-of-the-work-week-laziness, and it was molto tasty.) Ever tried seafood on pizza, or other “unconventional” toppings?


One Response to “Friday Night Dinner Ideas: Easy Shrimp & Tomato Pesto Pizza”


  1. Bottom’s Up: A Few of My Favorite Wines and Brews (and Why You Should Try ‘Em) « galley kitchen gal - January 5, 2013

    […] FAVORITES & PAIRINGS: My favorites are usually the Chardonnay with pretty much anything, Cabernet Sauvignon with marinara pasta, steak or pork chops, and Rose with a light-flavored meal like Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano or Shrimp and Tomato Pizza. […]

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