This deliciously cheesy and savory sausage & garlic pesto flatbread uses my easy 1 hour flatbread pizza dough. Top with fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, homemade pesto, and cooked crumbled sausage for a quick dinner recipe the whole family will love!
I can’t praise homemade flatbread pizza enough. Adapted from my favorite pizza crust recipe, my homemade flatbread pizza bakes up into a thin and chewy base for your favorite flatbread toppings. Quicker, easier, and thinner than a full size pizza, my flatbread recipe takes about 1 hour start to finish and is perfect for beginners.
I make flatbread pizza a few times each month because it’s quick and convenient, especially when I have a bunch of random toppings to use up. My latest favorite flatbread is this snazzy pesto and sausage combination. I paired it with mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes, then topped it all with crushed red pepper.
It’s cheesy, salty, saucy, garlicky, spicy, savory, and best of all: homemade.
Homemade Flatbread Dough
Store-bought dough is definitely convenient, but you only need a few basic ingredients to make it yourself. Though the recipe is included below, I have an entire separate page for my homemade flatbread dough. (For extra tips and step-by-step pictures, take a look.) This dough freezes and thaws easily for a quick 20 minute dinner, too. Perfect for when you don’t feel like cooking but still crave a homemade meal.
This recipe yields 2 individual flatbread pizzas. They’re relatively small and can easily feed 2-3 people with a couple leftover pieces for lunch. You need:
- sugar + water to feed/activate the yeast
- olive oil
For even more flavor, add herbs and seasonings to the dough like garlic powder, lemon pepper, or Italian seasoning– or leave it plain. However, the real fun comes with the toppings!
Flatbread Pizza Video Tutorial
New to working with yeast? You can watch me make my flatbread dough in the following video tutorial. Here I’m topping it with mozzarella and fresh tomatoes, but the process will be the same. Simply swap the toppings for the pesto, sausage, and sun-dried tomato combination.
Toppings For Sausage & Garlic Pesto Flatbread
We use 4 simple, yet incredibly flavorful toppings for today’s flatbread pizza.
- Mozzarella: For best flavor, use fresh mozzarella cheese. I recommend 4 ounces of sliced mozzarella per flatbread. As it bakes, it gets wonderfully gooey, melty, and toasty.
- Sausage: Use whatever sausage you and your family enjoy. I crumbled up pork sausage, but sliced turkey or chicken sausage would be great here too. If it’s not cooked, you’ll need to cook it before using as a flatbread topping.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: I love sun-dried tomatoes on flatbreads and pizzas. Feel free to use thinly sliced fresh tomato instead.
- Pesto: We can’t have pesto flatbread without pesto! I used the full recipe (1 cup) of my homemade basil pesto, but kale pesto from my pesto pasta salad would be equally tasty.
Let’s quickly chat about this! For this flatbread, I used my homemade basil pesto recipe with an extra clove of garlic. You can use any pesto– homemade or store-bought– that you love. But I will say–like homemade flatbread dough, homemade pesto tastes best.
I used 1 cup of the pesto, but feel free to go lighter. You can use any leftover pesto on salads, in star bread for a delicious savory option, with scrambled eggs, in turkey wraps, or spread on grilled chicken. It’s very fresh and very versatile!
How To Assemble Flatbread Pizza
After the dough has risen, this flatbread comes together in minutes.
- Punch down the risen dough and divide it in two. If desired, you can make 1 large flatbread, but the larger it is, the longer it will take to cook.
- Use your hands or rolling pin to flatten out the dough. I like to roll out/arrange the flatbreads on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, then pick the whole thing up and place it on a baking sheet– there’s no special pizza pan or pizza stone required. Let the dough take on whatever shape it wants; the shape doesn’t matter, but the thickness does. This is flatbread, so make sure it’s pretty thin before you add the toppings.
- Poke the dough with your fingers or prick with a fork to reduce any large air bubbles as the flatbread bakes.
After that, bake the flatbread with toppings for about 15 minutes in a hot oven. See what I mean about fast?
Make It Your Own
Flatbread is your opportunity to have fun and discover some new flavors and pairings. Not a fan of pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, or sausage? You have full creative control of your flatbread toppings. 🙂
- Add some fresh basil or arugula when the flatbread comes out of the oven.
- Instead of sun-dried tomatoes, slice up some heirloom tomatoes.
- Sauté mushrooms, kale, or peppers with the sausage.
- Add caramelized onions.
- Use any cheese you love!
And PS: have some breath mints for dessert.
Deliciously cheesy and savory garlic pesto flatbread topped with crumbled sausage, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes uses my easy 1 hour homemade pizza dough. This is a quick and convenient dinner recipe the whole family will love!
- 1 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (180ml) warm water, (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour or bread flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for brushing the dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cooked or uncooked sausage*
- 1 cup homemade pesto*
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes or thinly sliced fresh tomatoes*
- optional: crushed red pepper flakes
- Make the crust: Place the yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Pour warm water on top. Whisk gently to combine, then loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
- If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the flour, olive, oil, and salt. Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick and shaggy. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, including any loose flour. Knead it with lightly floured hands for 2 minutes until it begins to come together and becomes smooth. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add 1-2 more Tablespoons of flour.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl (I use nonstick spray to grease) and cover with plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to sit and rest for 45 minutes at room temperature. Once it has rested and slightly risen, you can place it in the fridge for up to 2 days. More instructions in the make ahead tip below.
- As the dough is resting and rising, prepare the toppings. Make the homemade basil pesto and cook the sausage if it’s not cooked. I crumbled up uncooked pork sausage and browned it on the stove for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C).
- Shape the dough: Punch the dough down to release any air. Divide the dough into two. On a lightly floured surface with floured hands and working with one dough piece at a time, begin shaping and stretching the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. You can use a floured rolling pin for this too. Don’t worry about the shape of the dough, just make sure it’s pretty thin. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Carefully transfer both pieces of dough to a parchment paper or silicone-mat lined baking sheet, or use a pizza stone. (You can also shape/roll out the doughs directly on a silicone baking mat or a large sheet of parchment if that is easier for you and then just transfer the whole thing to the baking sheet.)
- Poke your fingers all around the surface of the flatbreads or prick a few holes with a fork. Drizzle or brush each with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Spread about 1/3 cup of pesto on each then top with mozzarella, tomatoes, and finish with sausage. (Reserve remaining pesto for topping.)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust and toppings are browned to your liking. Remove from the oven and spoon remaining pesto on top. If desired, finish with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. Slice and serve warm.
- Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The sausage can be cooked a few days in advance; just keep in the refrigerator until ready to use. The pesto can also be prepared in advance. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2-3 months. The dough can be prepared through step 3, then after it has risen, cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Continue with step 5. To freeze the dough, prepare it through step 3. After it has risen, punch it down to release any air. Divide it in 2, if desired, then wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator. Then let the dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before stretching out/shaping and topping. If the thawed dough keeps shrinking back as you try to shape it, lightly cover it with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let it rest on the counter or your work surface for 15 minutes. (The gluten just needs a chance to settle.)
- Yeast: You can use instant or active-dry yeast with zero changes. If you’re new to working with yeast, I recommend reviewing my Baking with Yeast guide.
- Pesto: I used the full recipe (1 cup) for my homemade basil pesto, but I added an extra clove of garlic. You can use any pesto, homemade or store-bought, that you love.
- Sausage: Use whatever sausage you and your family enjoy. I crumbled up pork sausage, but sliced turkey or chicken sausage would be great too. If it’s not cooked, cook it prior to using as a flatbread topping.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: 1/2 cup is a rough measurement. Use however much or little you like.
Keywords: sausage garlic pesto flatbread, sausage pesto flatbread