Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Pesto Pizza

There’s something so comforting and delicious about homemade pizza. And this was one of the best dinners we’ve made in quite some time. Sure, the onions take a while to cook, but they are so worth it.

Top down view of a Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Pesto Pizza on a dark wooden table.

Either make this on a day when you have a couple hours to hang around the kitchen before dinner, or caramelize the onions beforehand and just store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. Other than that, this meal comes together quite nicely with no need for any additional advance prep.

Top down view of onions frying in cast iron pan on a dark wood background.

The pesto is vegan, but feel free to substitute Parmesan cheese for the nutritional yeast if you so please. You can always use some of our favorite pesto recipes, like kale almond or lemon basil.

Top down view of onions browning and caramelizing in a cast iron pan on a dark wooden background.

If you’ve never worked with pizza dough, I’ll warn you that you should be prepared to be frustrated. As soon as you try to make a nice large circle, all it wants to do it jump back into a ball. When this happens, go grab a beer and take a swig, let the dough rest for 10 minutes or so, and then come back to it.

Side profile of a white ceramic plate with dabs of homemade pesto sauce sitting on a wooden dark planked surface.

The less you work the dough, the easier it will be to shape. So don’t go twisting it into all sorts of different shapes before you go to roll it out.

A completed caramelized onion, mushroom, and pesto pizza sitting on a wooden pizza peel prior to cutting.

So there you have it, caramelized onion and mushroom and pesto and amazing pizza! Who’s hungry?

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Top down view of a Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Pesto Pizza on a dark wooden table.

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Pesto Pizza

  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


A bold recipe for a spin on classic pesto pizza. Sweet, slightly crunchy caramelized onions and a bright vegan pesto make this pizza unforgettable.



For the onions:

  • 2 medium yellow onions, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • olive oil

For the pesto:

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 4 cups lightly packed basil leaves (from two 4-oz boxes)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 23 tablespoons lemon juice

To assemble:

  • 2 pounds pizza dough*
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups grated or sliced fresh mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make the caramelized onions: Place the onions, salt, and a bit of olive oil in a large skillet (cast iron works the best) over medium-high heat. Saute until they just start to brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook for another 60-90 minutes, stirring every 7-10 minutes.
  2. Make the pesto: Set a small skillet over medium-high heat and add the pine nuts and unpeeled garlic. Toss constantly until the pine nuts just start to brown. Transfer them to a food processor, but leave the garlic in the pan. Cook the garlic for about 10 minutes, turning every so often until some small black spots appear on the outside and the cloves feel soft.
  3. Add the basil to the food processor, along with the olive oil, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and lemon juice. Process until smooth. When the garlic is ready, peel the cloves, toss them in, and process until smooth. Add more salt or lemon juice to taste.
  4. Preheat oven to 450°F. Press or roll your dough into two 10″ rounds on parchment paper. Spread 1/3 of the pesto over the surface of each pizza and top with tomatoes, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and cheese. Sprinkle with some black pepper, if desired.
  5. Slide into the oven (preferably on a hot pizza or baking stone) with the parchment and bake 12-14 minutes, until nicely browned on the bottom and sides.
  6. Remove from the oven (use a pizza peel if you have one), let set for 5 minutes, slice, and eat!


I used readymade pizza dough from Trader Joe’s and let it sit out for an hour before rolling. Homemade is also fantastic.

  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 90 mins

What’s your favorite way to make a pizza? Do you have any flavor combinations that would work well with this? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out all of our pizza recipes now. You’ll really love making our Neapolitan-style dough as a thin, crispy, and chewy base!

Looking for more pesto-based recipes? We’ve got you covered with these selections:

Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing different views of a homemade caramelized onion, mushroom, and pesto pizza.

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on May 5th, 2014. Last updated: April 5, 2022 at 13:50 pm.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).

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