Quick, Easy and Flavorful Cilantro Pesto Flatbread

Do you ever get caught in a recipe or flavor rut? I do, all the time! Especially when it comes to dinner, we seem to repeat the same meals. I mean - we're all busy, and coming up with new dinner ideas takes time and energy! One week when Jordan and I were just married, I made grilled cheese and tomato soup so many times that we haven't had it again since...and that was almost 3 years ago haha! Oops!

So if you need a new, easy weeknight meal idea - this Cilantro Pesto Flatbread is it! Packed with flavor, and done start to finish in under 30 minutes. With protein from the black beans and cheese, this can easily be a vegetarian meal, or add some cooked chicken or pulled pork.

Used in this post: 

Over the last few weeks I've been sharing some of my favorite recipes to make with our Vitamix machine, including our Clean Green Smoothie and Raspberry Sorbet with Mango Coulis. For this pizza sauce I wanted to break out from the traditional red pizza sauce recipe, and use a cilantro pesto instead.

Did you know: the word pesto likely comes from the Italian verb pestare, which means to pound or crush. While we usually think of pesto made with basil, really any herb can be used! Pesto is incredibly easy to make in the Vitamix - I told Jordan I'm never going to buy it again haha! This cilantro pesto is light and fresh with an almost citrus taste. A perfect companion for the black beans, tomatoes and corn that we throw on top.

For the sake of time, I used a pre-made refrigerated pizza crust and canned beans and corn so the only thing I needed to prep was the sauce (which can be made ahead of time) and cutting tomatoes. Pretty darn easy, right?

Cilantro Pesto Flatbread Ingredients: 

1 pizza crust (pre-made or homemade)
1 recipe cilantro pesto (recipe below)
2-3 cups italian blend cheese
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup canned whole corn kernels
1 tomato, diced
Cooked chicken, if using

Cilantro Pesto Directions: 

Preheat the oven to the temperature specified by your chosen pizza crust. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the crust on the baking sheet and spread the cilantro pesto sauce evenly over the crust, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges. Sprinkle cheese on top of the sauce - I like a lot of melty cheese haha! Top with the beans, corn, tomato and chicken. Bake per crust directions, and enjoy!

Want to add even more? How about some sliced onions and chopped green bell pepper?

Cilantro Pesto Ingredients: 

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 garlic cloves
2 cups cilantro leaves, stems discarded
2 tablespoons walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cilantro Pesto Directions: 

Load all the ingredients into your Vitamix machine. Select Variable 1, and start your machine. Slowly increase to Variable 7, and blend for 1-2 minutes or until your desired consistency is met. I personally like a really smooth pesto. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

If making ahead of time, cover and refrigerate for up to 5-7 days or freeze 3-4 months.

Kirsten Bell

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