These easy, make-ahead Skinny Pesto Pizza Crostini will be the hit of the party. They're perfect for the holiday season! Thank you to QSquared NYC for helping me to share this recipe with you.
I was 23 years old and determined to throw a "grown-up" Christmas party. Luckily, my friends were game and humored me by dressing up in their Christmas best - guys in ties and dress pants, girls in dresses and skirts. There wasn't a single non-glittery female eyelid in the crowd! Plenty of cocktails (okay, cheap beer and vodka with cranberry juice...hey, we were 23!) and a potluck that involved everything from brownies to bacon-wrapped water chestnuts.
Even then, I was a lover of anything savory and salty, so my contribution was a pizza crostini, straight from a family friend's recipe. They were a hit and I found myself making batch after batch of them all night long. Seriously, I probably made about 150 of those things and my friends thought I was "the best cook ever" (spoken through a haze of cheap lager).
The recipe has since disappeared in the abyss of my recipe box, so it was time to re-create it with a healthy twist. Out with the glug of Italian salad dressing and in with a helping of basil pesto, out with the handfuls of mozzarella and in with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top. And, of course, plenty of veggies and black olives. I just can't do pizza without black olives. But if you're not a fan, just leave them out.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can make the topping ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake the crostini. I don't know about you, but when I'm entertaining, I want to do as little prep as possible when my guests arrive so that I can actually spend time chatting and cheers-ing.
Back in my 23-year old party hosting days, I raided my parents' stash of serving dishes and appetizer plates. Now I have my own stash of dishes and some of my favorites are the ones you see in the photos, made by QSquared NYC (you may remember seeing some of their cool dishes when I made this salad). They are from their Peony collection, which includes everything from appetizer plates to serving bowls.
You'd never know it from looking at the pictures or from even looking at the dishes up close, but they are made of melamine. That means they are really sturdy, and perfect for entertaining both indoors and outdoors. Thankfully, all of QSquared products are BPA free, so you can feel comfortable using the dishes to feed family and friends.
If you want to learn more about QSquared NYC and see some of their amazing collections of dishes (tons of different patterns), check out their site, or follow them on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.
Other healthy appetizer recipes:
Cookin' Canuck's Cinnamon Apple & Goat Cheese Crostini
Cookin' Canuck's Mini Brie & Pear Appetizer Quesadillas
Cook the Story's Grilled Scallops, Butternut Squash & Basil Skewers
Sugar-Free Mom's Healthy Kale Spinach Bacon Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Cook Like a Champion's Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls
Skinny Pesto Pizza Crostini
- 24 thin slices multigrain baguette cut on diagonal
- 1 Roma tomato diced
- ½ red bell pepper diced
- ½ orange or yellow bell pepper diced
- 16 black olives diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto
- 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
- minced flat-leaf parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the baguette slices on a large baking sheet in a single layer.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the tomato, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, black olives, garlic and parsley.
- Stir the pesto into the tomato mixture until combined.
- Scoop one rounded tablespoon of the mixture on each baguette slice. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over top.
- Bake until the cheese is starting to melt and the crostini are heated through, 7 to 8 minutes. Garnish with parsley. Serve.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by QSquared NYC. All opinions are my own.
This is definitely going on my holiday menu making list! You can't have too many appetizer options this time of year : )
Kirsten / ComfortablyDomestic
Crostini loaded with veggies is one of my go-to appetizers to serve at parties. I love how you kept the flavors of pizza but presented them in ahealthier way.
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom
Love this Skinny Pesto Pizza Crostini! This is like the perfect quick and easy party appetizer, love!!
Love how you healthified this recipe! Gorgeous plates too!
Meagan @ A Zesty Bite
Simple yet gorgeous appetizer. This would also help me out on the my fitness pal.
These crostinis are vibrant and beautifully presented - who wouldn't want to grab several of these when they're so colorful and decked with healthy, tasty ingredients. This will be perfect during the holidays to also serve for my vegan sister (and her vegetarian family!). 🙂
Those crostinis are so cute and tasty!! 🙂
Stephanie @ Back for Seconds
These are so fun and festive! Plus they look scrumptious!
Food blogs are so dangerous at lunch time. Perfect appetizer.
taylor @ greens & chocolate
These would be absolutely perfect for a holiday party!
Love these flavors! Perfect appetizer for upcoming holiday parties!
sometimes old favorites can't beat! i love the fact that you can part of the recipe ahead of time. and it's got flavors that i know everyone would love.
These look so flavorful! Perfect appetizer for holiday gatherings.
Do you think this would work if I replaced some of the bell peppers with some sort of meat, like pepperoni or ham? And I love those dishes! Maybe my husband will buy me some for Christmas if I drop enough hints. 🙂
Julia, that would absolutely work! I've actually made them that way before and they were a big hit. And yes, definitely drop those hints because you'd love these dishes.
This is genius! I can't wait to make this for the holidays. Your grown-up party sounded like fun.
very pretty and colorful
I have to make these for my family! I have a feeling they wouldn't want to share them with guests. 🙂
I know the feeling! We like to keep some of our really good appies to ourselves, too.
Love the idea of a 'grown up' party! Although now, it seems like all I want to do is eat soup and be in pajamas!
LOL. I hear you, Abby! That's me on most days of the week.
That's awesome that you had such a "grown-up" party in your early 20s! These crostini look like something I need to make over the holidays. Oh, and I love those dishes!
Thanks, Diana. Make sure you check out the QSquared NYC site...they have some awesome dish patterns!
Lori @ RecipeGirl
This looks like the perfect, healthy appetizer to serve over the holidays. I love that it's festive-looking too!
Thanks, Lori! I figured that we all need a guilt-free appetizer here and there over the holidays. It makes up for all of the baked Brie. 🙂