Thursday, November 3, 2011

Backpackers Recipe Guide for Tomato, Mozzarella and Pesto Tortilla Pizza

Over in the forums at Food Bloggers of Canada, I came across a post about a contest has going on. Submit your best 5 ingredient, 5 step recipe that can be made in a hostel kitchen. The top recipes are going to be included in a recipe guide they're putting together and will available on their website and in some of the hostels in their network around the world. Having spent a fair amount of time in the hostels of Australia, I thought this would be a fantastic contest to enter. The recipe I decided on was fresh tomato, mozzarella, and pesto pizza...made in a frying pan.

I've spent a lot of time in Australia. Between a semester abroad, a four month backpacking trip, and two shorter sight seeing trips I've spent a decent amount of time in hostels all over that country. Cooking in a hostel kitchen can be a pain in the butt but, when you're traveling for that long, take out for every meal isn't really an option. You learn to adapt but, I'll admit, I was never too creative in those kitchens. I ate a LOT of peanut butter on water crackers. Most kitchens that I encountered didn't have an oven or a freezer so the cheap grocery store meals that you might want to gravitate towards weren't really an option. 

We ate a lot of take out pizza while we were traveling so I thought a fresher version would be a good recipe to work on. At home, I make this in the oven. That's just what you normally do, right? And that's how I was going to submit this until I was talking to my mom on the phone and she suggested making it in a frying pan. Genius! It's the perfect solution for the limited hostel kitchen where an oven is a real luxury. 

Fresh Tomato, Mozzarella, and Pesto Tortilla PIzza
Serves one
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

1 large tortilla (or pita)
Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced (or a small regular tomato or drained canned tomatoes)
1 tablespoon of prepared pesto
2 regular sized bocconcini (or about 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or other cheese)
  • Heat tortilla in a frying pan over medium heat
  • Spread pesto on the tortilla
  • Top the tortilla and pesto with tomato slices and cheese
  • Cover the pan with a lid or another frying pan for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted, pesto is bubbling, and tortilla is crispy.
  • Slice and enjoy!
Of course, if you happen to be in a hostel where you have access to an oven, this can be baked at 425 degrees until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. If you happen to have access to fresh ground pepper it's a nice addition just before serving.

Step 1: Tortilla into a frying pan on medium heat

Step 2: Spread the pesto across the tortilla

Step 3: Top the pesto with tomatoes

and sliced cheese

Step 4: Cover with a lid or another pan until hot and bubbly

The finished product
I have to say that I might start making this pizza in a frying pan all the time. The tortilla crust was so much crispier than I've ever been able to get it in the oven. 

Mmmm, you’ll find tasty recipes like these in the Backpacker Recipe Guide. Every time I make this pizza I feel like I'm making something really fancy. It always looks so impressive. When you're traveling and away from home a homemade meal can feel like an indulgence. I recommend to take a few minutes to treat yourself and sit down to eat a nice meal. 

Have you spent time traveling? What was your favorite meal while you were on the road?


  1. You should have made the pizza "authentically Australian" and cracked an egg on top ;-)

  2. Oh. My. I can't believe the simplicity for one...and how much I love pesto and tomatoes and cheese! This looks fabulous and so easy. Thanks! Mind if I mention this on my blog and direct people here? Would love to share...

  3. Hi Chere,

    Feel free to repost. As long as the proper credit is given, go for it. Glad you liked the recipe! : )

  4. @Michelle
    Of course! Wouldn't dream of not giving credit where credit is due. I've always done something like this, on a tortilla, but in the oven. Never thought of a pan, and like you say, it crisps up so nice from the heat on bottom. It's a great lower calorie 'pizza'


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